Tag Archives: petition

Join the call to end the ban on public ownership of buses

Award-winning: Reading Buses regularly invests back into its services and have one of the greenest fleets in the UK.

Greater Manchester has won the right to cap bus fares at £2 for adults and £1 for children after a landmark ruling by the High Court.

The ruling allows the metropolitan authority to regulate bus services there in the public interest.

Liverpool, West Yorkshire and Sheffield plan to do the same.

But the victory has opened up the debate on whether local authorities should continue to be banned from running services for people and not profit.

Even the Tory government seems to have shifted its position on this, believing the ban on municipal ownership is now “ripe for review”.

According to We Own It,

Only 9 municipal bus companies around the UK survived Thatcher’s disastrous deregulation. Because these bus companies don’t have to pay dividends to shareholders, they can invest more into improving local services.

This makes them incredibly popular, with Nottingham City Transport, Reading Buses and Lothian buses all regularly winning awards.

Reading Buses invests an additional £3 million a year into its service and has one of the greenest fleets in the UK.

The power of public ownership has led Reading to have the best passenger numbers outside London, with a 40% jump in just 6 yearsTalk about levelling up.

If the Reading model of public ownership was rolled out across the whole of Great Britain, it would save well over £500 million a year.

And in times of crisis, public ownership can also help insulate the public. In Northern Ireland, the operator Translink, owned and operated by local people, has just frozen fares to protect people from hikes in fuel costs.

Sadly the Tories seem to have lost track of this great idea, amidst all the emergencies they have created over the last year, in order to distract us.

We Own It has launched a petition to raise interest and prompt the Tories to remember the statement they made as part of Bus Back Better, their national bus strategy, launched on March 15 last year.

If you agree that it’s time we all had a bus service that served us, rather than profiting the owners, sign here: End the ban on public ownership of buses now! | We Own It

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If you signed the #petition against #Blair’s #knighthood, you’ll want to sign this too

Peter Mandelson: why isn’t Keir Starmer already investigating his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell?

One of the reasons This Writer appealed for readers to sign a petition against Tony Blair receiving a knighthood was his association with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who procured children for him to sexually abuse.

Blair’s name appears in Epstein and Maxwell’s infamous black book – once.

Blair lieutenant – and now an advisor to current Labour leader Keir Starmer – Peter Mandelson has 10 entries in it.

Starmer seems to think there’s nothing amiss with this.

So there’s a petition calling for Mandelson’s Labour Party membership to be suspended while an independent investigation into the extent of his involvement with Epstein and Maxwell’s sex trafficking, paedophilia and sexual blackmail enterprise takes place.

Visit the petition page to see seven reasons Mandelson’s behaviour should be investigated.

And please sign the petition.

Here’s where you can find it: Petition SUSPEND Lord Mandelson from Labour while carrying out probe into extent of his involvement with sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

#TonyBlairPetition: bid to stop former PM from having a #knighthood tops a million signatures

Tony Blair: he thought he was going to be knighted after dragging the UK into a genocidal war against a country that wasn’t doing us any harm. Now he may have to think again.

The petition to stop Tony Blair being made a “Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter” has now acquired more than a million signatures – but the tiny minority of the privileged in Westminster are digging in their heels.

The petition passed a million signatures yesterday – January 7 – and at the time of writing has nearly 1,050,000.

Some have commented on the number in terms of the number of deaths Blair caused during his disastrous adventure into Iraq with George W Bush of the United States:

But others have been busy devising spurious arguments to stymie the will of the people.

This Writer has heard rumours that Downing Street will refuse to accept the petition, point-blank. No explanation, no justification – just entitled disdain for the demands of the grubby Great Unwashed (as they still consider us).

An alternative has been put by Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey – that whether Blair receives a knighthood is a matter for the Queen:

There’s just one problem with this – but it’s a big one: the Queen is not responsible for decisions on who receives a knighthood; she acts on the recommendation of the prime minister – and in this case, he is acting on the recommendation of Labour leader Keir Starmer.

So for Davey – sorry, Sir Ed – to suggest that the petition is flying in the face of the Queen’s wishes is nonsense.

And all the time, the total number of signatures is mounting up. So far, nearly one-fortieth of the electorate has signed.

How many will have to, before the Establishment realise we won’t back down?

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‘Rescind #TonyBlairknighthood’ petition tops half a million signatures

Tony Blair: half a million (so far) say he doesn’t deserve a knighthood. What do you say?

A petition calling for Tony Blair to be denied the knighthood he has been given in the New Year Honours list has received more than half a million signatures in two days.

That’s still fewer than one per cent of the UK’s population, but the number of signatures and the speed at which people have signed the Change.org online petition clearly indicates a huge groundswell of protest against the honour for a former prime minister who led the UK into a war that killed a million people on the strength of a lie, and whose name appears in child sex procurer Ghislaine Maxwell’s infamous ‘black book’.

It is now one of the most popular petitions ever to be hosted on Change.org.

Blair’s nomination to the highest order of knighthood in the UK – the Order of the Garter – is also considered to be a signal to the general public from the UK’s rich and entitled Establishment, that our opinions don’t matter a jot, that they will do whatever they like, and that they will rub our faces in it whenever they get the chance.

Blair was nominated for his honour by Labour leader Keir Starmer, who also nominated Islamophobe Trevor Phillips for a knighthood – for his services to equality!

Starmer really insulted us with that one – having a racist knighted while claiming that his version of the Labour Party is fighting hard against racism.

If you haven’t signed, and this article has encouraged you to do so, please visit Change.org and follow the instructions.

Sign the petition to make water companies pay YOU if they dump untreated sewage

State-approved sewage: but if the water companies are dumping untreated sewage, then they’re not fulfilling their contract with their clients – the public – and they owe us a refund.

Here’s a very good point:

We pay for the water company to take away surface-foul water to be treated at local sewage works.

This amounts to around 45-50% of our annual bill.

If the companies dump that waste water into the river or sea, without treatment, they are ripping us off.

Water companies have dumped sewage into rivers or the sea for years. Even in the height of summer during periods of low rainfall.

It is more profitable for them to occasionally sluice the sewage, when they think they can get away with it, rather than treating it.

If they were not just fined for any illegal dumping but forced to refund for treatment they haven’t done, it may make them a little more hesitant to carry on this disgusting practice.

That is the object of a new petition on the UK Parliament website: as water companies aren’t treating sewage – despite being contractually obliged to do so – then they owe their clients a hefty refund.

This is something that seems to have passed by the Tory government when it offered the privatised water companies a free pass from treating sewage on the grounds that they couldn’t get the chemicals from the European Union.

But the logic is clear. If they’re not buying and using the chemicals, then they don’t need the half of our water bills that is supposed to pay for it.

And the UK’s Tory government should make sure we get our money back. Right?

If you agree, sign the petition.

You can find it here: Require Water Companies to Refund Customers When They Dump Sewage – Petitions

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Will Parliament have the guts to debate this petition to criminalise lying by MPs?

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying.

One month after Dawn Butler was ejected from Parliament for pointing out – rightly – that prime minister Boris Johnson has lied to MPs “time and time again”, this happens:

A petition calling for dishonesty within the Houses of Parliament to be made a criminal offence has reached the 100,000 signature threshold required for a debate in the House of Commons.

But will the Tory government – whose prime minister is the most prominent liar on the Green Benches – have the guts to host it?

The petition states: “The Government should introduce legislation to make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence. This would mean that all MPs, including Ministers, would face a serious penalty for knowingly making false statements in the House of Commons, as is the case in a court of law.

“We believe false statements have been made in the House and, although regarded as a “serious offence” in principle, options to challenge this are extremely limited as accusing a member of lying is forbidden in the House.

“Truth in the House of Commons is every bit as important as truth in a court of law and breaches should be treated in a similar way to perjury and carry similar penalties.”

The government has already provided a response, which is mandatory after any petition passes 10,000 signatures: “The Government does not intend to introduce legislation of this nature. MPs must abide by the Code of Conduct and conduct in the Chamber is a matter for the Speaker.

“It is an important principle of the UK Parliament that Members of Parliament are accountable to those who elect them. It is absolutely right that all MPs are fully accountable to their constituents for what they say and do and this is ultimately reflected at the ballot box.”

But MPs are elected only by voters in their constituency – and then go on to disgrace the entire country. We need a mechanism by which anybody – not just local electors – can hold MPs to account and the criminal law should be it. And how, exactly, do constituents hold their representatives accountable?

“Freedom of speech in Parliament is an essential part of our democracy. It is a right that enables Parliament to function freely and fully, ensuring that MPs are able to speak their minds in debates, and to represent their constituents’ views without fear or favour.

“Parliamentary privilege, which includes freedom of speech and the right of both Houses of Parliament to regulate their own affairs, grants certain legal immunities to Members of both Houses to allow them to perform their duties without outside interference.”

Nobody is denying MPs these rights, of course. But freedom of speech is not freedom to lie. And legal immunities do not stretch to immunity from telling the truth.

The simple fact is that, time and time again (as Ms Butler rightly put it), MPs including the prime minister have deliberately and knowingly lied to Parliament and the nation – and they have been allowed to get away with it by a weak regulatory system and a weaker Commons Speaker.

We, the people, require a means by which we may directly hold our representatives to account.

If the petition calling for legislation to install such a means is refused, then Parliament will be admitting that it is corrupt, and that its members should be denied permission to make laws governing the rest of us; they will be demonstrating that they rule for themselves, not the nation.

This Writer would urge you to write to your own MP, demanding they support the demands of the petition and seek the introduction of strong legislation during the next Parliamentary session, to hold all Parliamentarians to account for their lies.

Let’s see how they all try to squirm out of it.

Source: Petition to make lying in parliament a criminal offence passes threshold to be debated by MPs | NationalWorld

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As the Home Office ships more people into concentration camp, join the fight to close Napier Barracks for good

Napier barracks: a journalist was arrested for taking photographs of a protest against conditions in the camp in January – not for taking part, but for embarrassing the Tory government that forces people to live in such inhumane, unhygienic conditions.

It’s scandalous – isn’t it? – that after being forced to empty the notorious Napier Barracks concentration camp for refugees, the Tory government is planning to fill it up again.

The camp, which housed around 400 people in homicidally cramped conditions (during the Covid-19 lockdowns, remember) in which 28 people were forced to share dormitories, was cleared after half its residents contracted the virus.

As an observer, This Writer can only conclude that this was the intention. Why else would Priti Patel put asylum-seekers in such unsuitable accommodation? Remember: other possibilities were available but ignored.

Independent inspectors have reported that the former barracks in Kent is unfit to house anybody at all, pronouncing it “filty” and “impoverished”.

According to The Guardian, the Home Office has absolutely no problem with inflicting more suffering on anybody unfortunate enough to be sent to the Napier site:

“We secured permission to use Napier barracks for 12 months and while pressure on the asylum system remains will continue to make use of the site.”

Take particular notice of the wording: “While pressure on the asylum system remains [we] will continue to make use of the site.”

It indicates that SNP MP Stuart McDonald was right when he said:

“That choice is a political one.

“The whole Home Office machine is hell-bent on ensuring life for people seeking refuge is as miserable as possible in the hope it will put off others from applying for refugee status.”

It has been said before but it is well worth reminding everyone that Home Secretary Priti Patel’s parents fled persecution by Idi Amin in Uganda to settle in the UK – and, to the best of our knowledge, they didn’t have to live in a dehumanising concentration camp.

Now she is very deliberately doing her very best to prevent anybody in a similar position today from doing the same.

In so doing, she sets herself up as a prime example of the selfishness and inhumanity of the current Conservative government – which is fascist in all but name.

Campaigning site 38 Degrees has launched a petition calling on the government to remember its humanity, if not its sanity, close the camp and find humane accommodation for the people being sent there. Already it has accumulated more than 77,000 signatures.

Yours will help change Patel’s mind. Please sign by visiting the petition page here.

Source: Home Office to send more asylum seekers to ‘unsuitable’ Napier barracks | Home Office | The Guardian

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Sign the petition to stop ‘do not revive’ orders on people with learning disabilities who catch Covid-19

No ventilator for you: even after the NHS announced that ‘do not revive’ notices should not be forced on people with any disabilities at all, let alone learning disabilities, it is still happening. Is this a quiet cull?

Personally, This Writer wants to know who is still signing these orders after the NHS announced that they were forbidden and everybody should be involved in deciding the level of their own care.

It is clear that this is still not happening, and it is still people with disabilities who are being targeted for death by abandonment.

This petition is an attempt to raise the public profile of an issue that the media seem determined to ignore – so let’s do what we can to get as many people to notice it and sign it as possible.

It states:

People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog.

Mencap said it had received reports in January from people with learning disabilities that they had been told they would not be resuscitated if they were taken ill with Covid-19.

The Care Quality Commission said in December that inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices had caused potentially avoidable deaths last year.

DNACPRs are usually made for people who are too frail to benefit from CPR, but Mencap said some seem to have been issued for people simply because they had a learning disability. The CQC is due to publish a report on the practice within weeks.

This is absolutely disgusting and cannot be allowed to continue. We must stand against this and not allow the UK to become a fascist state

We are all one and everybody has value. This is a serious human rights issue and cannot be allowed to continue in this day and age. We must join together and show we will not stand by and allow this horrific practice to continue. We must stand firm and resist this and insist this practice ends now!

Once again, the petition is here. Please sign it and pass it on to your friends and social media contacts.

This may not affect you – now. But who knows who will be targeted next?

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#BringBackBrown: ex-PMs endorsement of Rashford school meals petition sparks support

The secret of great political drama – as with comedy – is timing. And the timing of Gordon Brown’s political intervention is very dramatic for Boris Johnson.

The former Labour prime minister, who was in office between 2007 and 2010, has declared his support for footballer Marcus Rashford’s petition for schools to provide free meals to children whose families are stricken with poverty – possibly because of Tory Covid-19 restrictions.

Johnson has already refused Rashford’s demand. As far as he’s concerned, poor people’s ankle-biters can starve.

Or, if you want a less partisan view, here’s The Independent:

Poorer pupils will not receive free meals during school holidays, No 10 insists – putting Boris Johnson on a fresh collision course with footballer Marcus Rashford.

The Manchester United star has launched a fresh campaign to help hungry children, calling for vouchers for October’s half-term break and at Christmas.

The England striker stepped up his campaign by launching a Commons petition, saying: “Whatever your feeling, opinion or judgement, food poverty is never the child’s fault.”

The petition is also calling for free school meals to be extended to any household which receives benefits – to help a further 1.5million under-16s, during term-time.

But the [prime minister’s] spokesperson said: “We took that decision to extend free school meals during the pandemic, when schools were partially closed during lockdown.

“We are in a different position now. Schools are back open to all pupils and do not regularly provide food to pupils during term-time.

“We believe the best way to support families outside of term times is through universal credit, rather than schools subsidising meals.”

It’s easy to punch holes in this statement – but I don’t have to.

Mr Brown appeared on the BBC’s Breakfast News to say that he has signed Rashford’s petition, and he was delighted to explain his reasons:

Politely and calmly, he absolutely shredded the Tory prime minister’s statement:

It’s clear that Naga Munchetty had been told to end that segment of the interview, giving the government the last word, but Brown wasn’t having any of it. He explained exactly why the statement was nonsense and put the ball back very firmly in Boris Johnson’s court, saying it is for the (current) prime minister to answer this – not a stooge.

Then the most successful UK chancellor of the 21st century (still) levelled his verbal guns on current chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying – effectively – that his economic plans are nonsense. And, again, he was making perfect sense:

The interview has sparked a surge of support for the former chancellor and prime minister, whose calm, reasonable delivery prompted nostalgia for the days when the government was run by reasonable people who understood how a country works, rather than by populist prattlers whose only concern is making a fast buck for themselves:

Perhaps we need more interventions like this – to put Johnson and his hysterics firmly in context.

God knows, we’re not getting it from Starmer the Abstainer.

Source: Boris Johnson rejects Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend free school meals to half-term and Christmas holidays | The Independent

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Brexit will ruin the Garden of England; Brits respond in typical style

Farage’s legacy: it may not look like much now, but when it’s finished, this huge segment of the Garden of England will be a lorry park for 1,700 vehicles – the Farage Garage. The Jacob Rees-Bogs haven’t been installed yet.

This has been cracking me up since I first heard of it this morning (October 16) and I’m only sorry I had to wait until now to write an article about it.

It seems the practical upshot of Brexit is that Kent – also known as the Garden of England – is being bulldozed, in order to turn it into an enormous lorry park.

This is all being carried out by a political organisation that describes itself by the misnomer of “Conservatives”. What are they conserving, exactly?

British people, knowing that this is a result of the nation leaving the European Union, have dubbed the first such lorry park – set to hold 1,700 vehicles – the ‘Farage Garage.

Apparently the on-site toilets have been designated the ‘Jacob Rees-Bogs’.

Twitter has been gridlocked with it. See for yourself:

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