Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Reason to Sign.


Things are likely to be quiet around here for a while. Cash reserves are running low and there's not much work coming in so I'll have to concentrate on activities that generate income. This does not mean silence but it does mean fewer long rambles. I'll have to learn to be concise. If possible.

There will be exceptions when something I consider important comes up. Note: what I consider important. That might include things that nobody else on the planet considers important. This is one I consider important -

Via Dick Puddlecote comes the news of an e-petition to amend the smoking ban. Simon Clark has finally persuaded our anti-everything government to put one of the 'stop hitting us' petitions up and he's right - it did need a 'name' attached to it. Anthony Worrall Thompson, a chef whose restaurants I will be happy to smoke outside. Maybe, one day, inside.

Now, I've never had much faith in petitions because I'm convinced that Kim Il Cleggeron and their coagulation are not in the least bit interested in what anyone has to say, unless they've paid them to say it.

However, Smoking Hot raised a good point. One of the staples of the smokophobe's imaginary world is the phrase 'most smokers support the smoking ban' and if we don't sign this petition, they'll hold up the low numbers as proof.


Many smokers don't have internet. One of the local smoky-drinky regulars doesn't even have a landline phone. Of those on the internet, few read blogs. So this needs to spread beyond the blogzone. Giving out the URL isn't likely to help because it's hardly memorable and prone to mistyping.

Lots of those smokers shivering in the cold have internet on their phones. Direct them to one of the blogs hosting the link. There will be more. Pick a blog you can remember the URL for while you're outside the pub/club/restaurant. Show them the link, if they don't want to sign at that time at least it's in their browser history. They can think about it later. They might even tell others.

I think this petition will be ignored even if it gets a million signatures. Little Clegg's fake repeal website studiously ignored it. The Cameroid, the Clegg and Special Ed are no more capable of understanding this issue than an anencephalic prawn so unless the Brain Fairy visits, they will continue believing everything in the garden is smokefree.

However, I would urge everyone to sign it. Not because they might listen, there's no chance of that, but so that the next time we hear 'most smokers support the smoking ban' we can slap down the smug gits with actual figures.

Plus, there is a chance, the slimmest and farthest outside chance, that maybe someone in that Westminster bubble will notice something's not as popular as they have been led to believe. Stranger things have happened.

But not many.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just signed electronically online and it's the typical, enter name, address and email address - then it emails back requiring a click-through for confirmation via the link embedded in the email.

Since I use one of those secondary alias email addresses instead of the main one for signing things online, to help cut down on spam, and since the provider allows up to 500 aliases - it dawned on me, the following.

If there are people out there w/o computers or internet access, maybe older people or those not able to access the petition online for some reason, can then an idea something like this work?

If one were to type up a paper petition stating what was online and then having places for people to put name, address and agreement to allow someone else to do the electronic registering of his/her vote online for them, then couldn't one collect name, address and hand signed authority for someone else to do so - then by using alias email addresses, one could go home after collecting other peoples' authorizations - and sit at the computer creating alias email accounts for them all and then inputting them into the online petition site?

I mean it's not very fair for those unable to access the internet to be left out of voicing their opinion, and this seems like one way of allowing them to do so.

Just a thought.

hangemall said...

Have already petitioned yesterday, L-I. Good idea about the phones, though.

Anonymous said...

L-I has my sword. Signed by a nonsmoker who believes in freedom of choice.

Chalcedon said...

I gave up several years ago after a particularly heavy cold plus pressure from family.

Anyways, I signed the petition. It just isn't right to banish smokers outside. The original idea was a well ventilated smoking room where staff were protected from second hand smoke (which is actually harmless pretty much) or establishments could become non-smoking or remain smoking. Fine. But this ban is wrong. I reckon it was started by the UN and WHO. Some kind of treaty on tobacco control.

Anonymous said...

I agree LI. If a million people sign the petition, we can't be dismissed as a tiny out of touch minority. And million is not out of the question when we start distributing Simon's cards in September, just as the evenings are getting chilly.

Pogo said...

I've just signed it, despite the fact that I'm a life-long non-smoker and am convinced that even if it got 5 million signatures it would still be completely ignored.

English Pensioner said...

As with Pogo, I've signed it although I'm a non-smoker because I object to the hypocrisy of the ban.

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment here which disappeared, so maybe it was bad of me to say so. But after signing the petition last night, it sparked the idea that for those with no internet access but wished to sign the petition, one might be able to take their signature approving someone else to vote for them online instead and then someone with internet access could place a signature on the electronic petition for them. Don't know if that was censored off the board or not, but I didn't think it was suggesting anything dodgy, just extending the petition to those who have no electronic access to it.

Junican said...

@ Anon

After I had signed the petition myself, I tried to sign for my wife as well (she also smokers). The site would not accept her signature because the email address had already been used. Fortunately, I have a secondary email address which I used for her.

I intend to complain to the site organisers about this when I can get round to it.

Leg-iron said...

Blogger's despamionator has been filtering comments again. I've just released two.

One day it'll actually catch some spam.

smokervoter said...

What a superbly democratic device E-petitions are. Wish we had them over here. If we did I would certainly find the time to make use of one, especially with a third-rail issue like smoking.

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