Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What David Cameron Should Do at PMQs

Guido is right in his advice to David Cameron on PMQs...
More people have now petitioned for Gordon to Go than voted for him in his constitutency. If a couple of thousand more people sign the petition before midday, Dave will be able to tell the Prime Mentalist at PMQs that the most popular petition on his own website is the one wanting rid of him. Hint to Dave’s PMQs preparation team: namecheck the petition at PMQs and it will go ballistic. Worth it just to wind up Gordon into smashing a computer screen with a flying Nokia.

Go on, David, you know you want to.

PS: This doesn't alter my general view about Number Ten petitions, as enunciated in my latest vlog rant HERE.


Dick the Prick said...

I would have thought that the point of number 10 petitions was to give chaps the opportunity to create comedy names - bleedin' obvious really.

Anonymous said...

I have been monitoring the petition site, and it’s update rate is steady. I immediately thought that this system is slugged, or had McDoom got popular all of a sudden. Anyway, would McGrim ever allow a system, that could potentially be used against him, be allowed to operate without a safeguard being put in place. This is the party of fraudulent postal votes. In other words do you think there is any chance that Gordo would allow an HONEST system to be established.

Old Holborn said...

Cameron should simply walk across the floor and twat Brown with the Mace

RantinRab said...

Some joker set up another petition, urging people to show their support for the Prime Mentalist. Ninety percent of the names are quite entertaining but the bores who run the petition site removed the majority of them overning.

Anonymous said...

The thing that David Cameron should REALLY mention at PMQs is the Craig Murray demolition of our both our foreign office and home office for their blatant, well, if not outright mendacity, their disingenuous legalistic assurances that we don't 'condone torture' when as he points out, we have 'created a market in torture'.

It might be unsexy, it might not be very populist, but it destroys any credibility the Foreign Office and the Home Office have left and should be a target for the oppos.

Anonymous said...

Not that Dick would use a comedy name ...

But this is a double edged weapon. Cameron is hoping to be in the situation wher he too could be petitioned to resign as PM - and of course he will ignore it.

Has any policy been influenced by one of these petitions? Road pricing has been put on the back burner, but the govt would not say this was based on the petition.

its a gimmick and ripe for an 'austerity' measure. Just like all govt websites.

davefromluton said...

Then ask him if he pays for any office equipment he breaks.
But of course he'll say he is much too busy saving the world and why doesn't Cameron raise serious issues!

BillyJimBob said...

He shouldn't mention it because he'll end up on the receiving end of one eventually.

He should go for ID cards, Blunkett wants to can them. When they guy who came up with the numpty idea wants to see the end of them that has to be a open goal.

The Torys have said they'll drop the idea and we know it'll cost Zillions.

Whoever came up with the idea to create a petition site for Number 10 was an idiot.

Guthrum said...

naughty but a plan !

When the Democratic process has now broken down to the extent that we have one unelected Prime Minister and a cabal of toadies ie people like McBride running the country, unaccountable to anybody for another twelve months- any method of trying to get rid of him is now legitimate.

One point- advise Cameron not to use the word CHANGE it is a busted flush and meaningless- ACTION NOW would be far better

Andrew said...

There's a list of some of the better PM's 'supporters' (pre-censoring) in the comments at Guido's blog (see Iain's link).

Supposing Dave does mention the 'resign' petition though, what are the odds of it making the BBC Six or Ten O'Clock news?

Simon Dickson said...

I can't seem to get YouTube to accept my comment re your video, Iain. So I hope you won't mind me adding it here.

You suggested Cameron should be presented with a list of the most popular petitions each week, and he would commit to do something specific to respond to them. Except we've been there before.

In 2007, Webcameron had a feature called Ask David. Users were polled on the hot topics of the week? fortnight? can't remember. Then David would respond to them. Except, as has happened here, inconvenient or frivolous questions reached the top of the list... an early example of the Guido effect, perhaps? - and weren't then answered.

The feature was dumped in May 2007. Helpfully NHS Blog Doc records the reason why ( - there's no trace left on the website. But that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Unrelated I know, but Sky's John Craig has just posted this little snippet on his blog...

Overheard in the Members' Tea Room in the House of Commons, one Labour MP to another: "I don't mind Gordon screwing up the global economy, but tell him to leave our expenses alone." 4d65b24c70eb

Nice to know that Labour MPs have got their prorities straight

Philipa said...

Iain is the petition a scam? I signed the petition which then said I would get an email. It hasn't come and all details I entered were correct. Those details were my private home address, email etc. Is this a scam for getting such things?

Mark Thompson said...

I very much hope Dave does go with this although at 26,743 with just over an hour to go it looks unlikely that it will be top but it should be second by midday (and top later today).

I think it was my post yesterday on my blog that triggered Guido's update regarding the number of signatures being more than his constituency vote.

I had been waiting for this milestone to be breached for the last few days. It is particularly important to note in Brown's case because the only democratic legitimacy he has at all is his constituency vote because of the way he schemed and bullied his way to the top job. Blair had 9.5 million votes from the country so he would never have been exposed like this through on online petition.

Brown is reaping what he has sown.

Donald Tusker said...

Cameron should go BIG on Gurkha rights to British citizenship.

The country is as one on this issue.

And Gordon is senselessly not on their side.

Oldrightie said...

I think Snotty's own two years and counting of his own and our destruction cannot be encapsulated in a 10 minute pre-warned attack. Dave's doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

Your vlog 'rant' makes it look like your magazine should be renamed Toilet Politics.

Makes sense after McPoisons antics.

Thats News said...

I don't think it would be a good idea, really. All Broon woulds do is to quote some of the names (names like Wibble-Wibble, Gercha coat, R. Soles, etc.) and it would make David Cameron look stupid.

Best left unmentioned, in my opinion.

Philipa said...

It's ok, email arrived and petition signing confirmed. Gordo should go.

Rush-is-Right said...

OT. Did you see Oleg Gordievsky's letter in the Telegraph yesterday confirming that Jack Jones was a soviet agent and received regular payments? Full link here.

Oh and by the way, I was Betty Swallocks, sadly now removed from the petition.

Rebel Saint said...

Iain, I happen to disagree with your view expressed on the Vblog. If "the nothing changes anyway" mentality prevailed then I would say that voting itself is a waste of time.

There is the risk of the frivolous and banal getting to the top ... but that's the risk we take : we get what we deserve. And it's interesting to note that the all the top petitions are about serious issues. Direct democracy has got to be the way forward. At first it would be abused by idiots know doubt but as time went on and it matured, if people realised they had REAL power to influence policy/decisions then I think you find a sudden upsurge in engagement with issues.

Paul Burgin said...

Sorry you didn't get the pound of flesh Iain, but they are discussing more important issues right now, such as the swine fever and the situation with the Gurkas. The sort of things which matter to the electorate!

Paul Halsall said...

Watching PMQs, I simply don't grasp what principle the PM is defending re: the Gurkhas.

I think we should stop what is, after all, a mercenary programme, but the older ones surely deserve better.

Will Rees said...

I think it was probably better MP's left petitions alone today, it is not number 1 and public health should take priority. Next week is another matter.

Bound to be a certain amount of 'there but for the grace of god' from MP's, but this is a man who wanted to give the electorate the right to petition the Commons the same way Downing Street can be. It is more a case of hoisting him by his own petard.
Having said that he, according to Hansard \gordon Brown has mentioned the word "petition" within the Commons once in the last five years.

I perceive this as potentially having constitutional ramifications that the blogosphere as well as creating it is also undermining with the "hilarity" of the doing a good job petition. I feel it would be better served compiling a list of questions for the asking from those that have been following regarding what is/has been going on. Some of these I think we already have answers to but not on public record.

For a start:
Who runs the petition site?
What is the policy for disregarding signatories?
What if any is the backlog on dealing with signatories?
What does the Prime Minister feel to be the magic number for triggering debate?

Stepney said...

Bang on Mr Dale:

Jack Jones, Soviet agent
SIR - Simon Heffer (Comment, April 25 ) writes that my information that Jack Jones was a Soviet agent “may or may not be true”.
I was his last case officer, meeting him for the final time in 1984 at Fulham, together with his wife, who had been a Comintern agent since the mid-1930s. I handed out to him a small amount of cash. From 1981, I had had the pleasure of reading volumes of his files, which were kept in the British department of the KGB until 1985, when they were passed on to the archive.
Oleg Gordievsky
London SW1

Thats News said...

Phillipa, have you checked your spam filter? A previous petition reply I received was seen as spam by Yahoo and held hostage until I freed it.

David Anthony said...

Iain, your Daley rants have so far been most disappointing.

There's been no sign of Janet Daley in any of them!

Unknown said...

The number 10 petition to keep Gordon is hilarious. The number is very variable. The point a Mr The numbers are up and down more than a whore's draws was trying to point out.
I still have one email address left.

peter_dtm said...

The idea is superb.

But in true nulab fashion is is twisted. You should read some of the answers we get fobbed off with; they demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the subject of the petition. eg - non compliant devices that break the law are being used by BT; OFCOM have done nothing. petition no10; get told that OFCOM are the correct body to deal with this - despite the petition explicitly complaining about OFCOM's illegal lack of action

so nulabour; all promises and absolutely useless !