Please sign the petition against proroguing Parliament

Earlier today, I signed the petition against proroguing parliament and about 150,000 people had also signed it. I’ve just looked and now 604,612 people have signed – and it’s going up all the time! (P.S As I published this post it had gone up to 622,453)

Please do sign the petition here – it just takes a few seconds.

You can also see how many people have signed the petition in your local constituency here.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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66 Comments

  • Graham Martin-Royle 28th Aug '19 - 6:44pm

    VOC immediately and it doesn’t matter who gets to be the next PM, just get this lot out.

  • David Parry 28th Aug '19 - 7:22pm

    This is an affront to democracy and could threaten the future if the Monarchy itself

  • I think it’s overwhelmed. It’s not sending the confirmatory email. (Have usually got them +/- immediately before.)

  • Paul Barker 28th Aug '19 - 7:35pm

    Its up to 705,000 now, still rising by 1,000 a minute.

  • Ross McLean 28th Aug '19 - 7:54pm

    Please all do sign this – it really does take less than a minute. The webpage is very clear and user-friendly; all you need to do is enter your name, email address and postcode, then the website sends a message to your email address and you just have to click that for your signature to take effect. Simple! And your name and details are not listed publicly.
    So please sign it, then send it to all your friends to sign. AND get your local party secretary to email it to all your local members urging them to sign too.
    [And before someone says, “No point, it won’t achieve anything,” the point here is to show how many of the public are outraged about this. We all know the petition won’t convince the government to change its mind, but it’s not about that – It’s about showing defiance].

  • Yeovil Yokel 28th Aug '19 - 8:14pm

    I signed it earlier today. However, although it will serve as a gauge of public opinion and a means to vent one’s outrage, I doubt it will have much effect on the Govt. After all, they ignored the Revoke Article 50 petition which has just closed with a record 6.1m signatures.

  • If there is a vote of no confidence and a government could be assembled what if Boris refuses to go? The civil service may need to determine who runs the country…

  • Adrian Mann 28th Aug '19 - 8:42pm

    I want to sign up to remain

  • Yeovil Yokel 28th Aug '19 - 9:05pm

    No. 10 Downing Street is a tied cottage, Christian, so presumably if Johnson refused to leave the bailiffs would have to be sent in. Sorry, couldn’t resist, it’s been a long day.

  • Diane Tancock 28th Aug '19 - 9:27pm

    Fight til the end

  • nigel hunter 28th Aug '19 - 9:42pm

    Yes, the 6.1 million were ignored ,this could end the same way if it is not widely published. The only way out is a GE where those who did not vote in the referendum and those who have come round to the reality of the situation vote Johnson out However here is the problem ,he would allow it if it was to his advantage ,never mind the country and its people.

  • By now, even Larry, the No. 10 cat, must know these online ’petitions’ are largely fake…

    ‘The Article 50 Petition HAS been hijacked by bots. We know, because we did it!’ [March 2019]:
    https://www.kent.house/uk-petition-article-50-hijacked-by-bots/

    The petition to revoke Article 50 has received millions of signatures. It looked pretty obvious to us that it was being gamed by bots to make false political capital, thereby seriously devaluing the UK Government’s platform for digital democracy. So we tested it for ourselves. In a single weekend, using just one spare server and with a budget of £22, we were able to make 72,000 confirmed robotic entries. Imagine if we’d put any real effort and resources into it!
    […]

    The equivalent petition calling for a “Second Referendum” just after the real referendum result also received millions of questionable signatures. After investigation, government admitted that it had indeed been hit by huge levels of fraudulent bot activity. Action was promised to prevent recurrence. Yet, a couple of years later, the same thing seemed to be happening with a petition on the same subject and on an even greater scale. That suggested a failure to address known problems.
    […]

    What happened?

    Over the weekend we managed to get just over 72,000 ‘signatures’ submitted successfully to the service. These all had unique names, email addresses, and valid UK postcodes. All submissions were verified by email.

  • It doesn’t matter what the government response is – the media pick up on it and then Donald Tusk and Guy Verhofstadt keep fighting with/for us.

  • Jeff – if you want to boost these anti-Brexit petitions by 72,000 signatures, that’s fine by me! Fill your boots mon ami! Everyone else, don’t let him put you off. Sign it, and pass it on! (the link is in Paul’s original story).

  • Mike Harrison 28th Aug '19 - 11:26pm

    37.3% of the electorate expressed an ill informed preference for Brexit.We are in danger of aPrime Minister appointed by about 250 Conservative MPs suspending parliament disolving the UK gambling the future of what is left on a sweetheart deal sort of promised by a compulsive liar .GMFS.

  • More is needed than petitions. What’s needed is for the MPs themselves to declare that they will not allow their sittings to be determined by the government; that they will reconvene in the Houses of Parliament unless they are forcibly prevented from doing so, and if they are, that they will reconvene in any other place they may agree on; but that, wherever they are, they are still the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and no minority government can deny them the right to sit. It’s time to revive the spirit of ’41—1641, that is.

  • Andrew Melmoth 28th Aug '19 - 11:31pm

    @Jeff
    I’ve been a professional software engineer for over 20 years and I can assure you the article you cite is total garbage from start to finish.

  • Andrew McCaig 29th Aug '19 - 12:06am

    Andrew Melmoth,

    It would be really helpful if you could expand on why the petition fixing is not believable

  • Andrew McCaig 29th Aug '19 - 12:11am

    Just to expand, I know the originator of the Revoke petition and I think she would be very interested in chapter and verse on this. I work at Leeds University so you can easily find my email if you wish

  • proroguing of parliament is a blatant attempt to stop parliament discussing it’s position on Brexit.
    We must have a peoples vote as there are over 2 million people dead who probably voted in the referendum of 2016 and we now have over 2 million young peoples now on the register who have not had the opportunity to vote.

    A peoples vote now will settle the debate about a deal, no deal, or remain in EU
    and the outcome will settle the matter.

    Are the brexiteers afraid that the new young voters will change the outcome?

  • Signing the petition is essential, but every person who signs it has to realise that they have to do much, much more than that if we are going to turn back the tide on this evil that has been unleashed on our country over the last few years.

    David Cameron should be hanging his head in shame. It is noticeable that he has said nothing on this, the result of the disastrous course he set the Conservatives on when he turned his dogs of war on the Lib Dems in 2011.

  • “More is needed than petitions.”

    Yes – and it’s time to think about civil disobedience, isn’t it?

    If Guardian below-the-line comments tell us anything, the clamour is for a general strike. That would be disastrous. It would play Johnson on-side. It would turn opinion against Remain, because it would hurt ordinary non-political people going about their everyday business.

    But – when the Prime Minister acts like a Mafia don, it’s wrong for his opponents to act as if bound by Queensbury rules. If civil disobedience could work, then arguably, it is morally wrong not to consider it.

    What about picketing Government buildings, which would hurt the Government, but nobody else? Can anyone suggest some alternative ideas?

    When tyrants suspend democracy in non-Western countries, from Egypt to Venezuela to the Phillipines, people respond with more than petitions and marches. We might have thought we were better than that. We might have thought that our democracy was more soundly based, and that no jumped-up tyrant would dare to traduce it. If we thought those things, we now know that we were wrong.

  • Peter Watson 29th Aug '19 - 1:51am

    As far as I can tell, Parliament is still on its summer holidays and Johnson’s proroguing involves shutting up shop on 10 September instead of Parliament going into recess on 14 September for the party conference season. If that is the case then it’s surprising and disappointing that MPs are so outraged about losing a few days to stop a No Deal Brexit but seemed happy to squander several weeks! 🙁

  • Where is the campaign giving the truth about the EU? Why do we always allow those who want to leave the EU to set the agenda and grab the headlines?

  • Stratford-Little 29th Aug '19 - 6:22am

    The proroguing of Parliament at this time is an outrage against democracy.
    This is the behaviour of a Prime Minister without integrity.

  • John Peters 29th Aug '19 - 6:27am

    @Jeff

    It is trivial to game these on-line petitions. I just signed as The Queen, SW1 1AA.

    There is not even a captcha to slow bots down.

    Anyone who owns their own domain can sign multiple times.

    The Governments only defence against on-line voting fraud seems to be complacency.

  • Andrew McCaig 29th Aug '19 - 7:14am

    Just a couple of facts for the Johnson apologists on here
    1) prorogation is only done so that Parliament can be reopened. The normal period is just over a week, the longest ever before for this purpose 3 weeks, which included a Euro election and a recess, and was not controversial. A government keen to get on with business as Johnson claims would have minimised the period to the normal conference recess at most. This year the last conference is the Greens ending on 6th Oct so they could have reopened on the 7th no problem
    2) The dates of the conference recess had not even been called this year yet – again unprecedented. But it looked like MPs were going to vote to shorten it
    3) The prorogation removes up to 7 working days from Parliament before Halloween compared to the conventional conference recess. From Johnson’s letter it looks like 6 are planned, leaving only 15, a big reduction
    4) in addition at least 6 days of new business debating and voting on the Queen’s Speech have been added
    5) things started before prorogation and not finished are abandoned, giving no time for some actions being planned by MPs

    So, this is a blatant and umprecedented abuse of Parliamentary procedure, designed to stop Parliament doing what it wishes, which is to stop a no deal Brexit. Under our foolish Parliamentary procedures rooted in the days of rotten boroughs it is probably perfectly legal however.

  • Victor Horne 29th Aug '19 - 7:15am

    I live in France ,and the govt has not made any attempt to protect ex pats.
    Letting Johnsons cronys run the UK ,whilst feathering their own nests is an affront to democracy,and will leave long lasting mis trust of the UK govt for many years.

  • Cheryl Gaye Hill 29th Aug '19 - 8:01am

    I am now CNL (conservative no longer)

  • John allison 29th Aug '19 - 8:13am

    Not a dictatorship

  • John allison 29th Aug '19 - 8:13am

    Not a dictatorship we live I hope in a democracy

  • Kevin Maher 29th Aug '19 - 8:24am

    If we don’t have a monarch who can stop this abuse of power, then we should have a head of state who can guarantee the constitution.

  • Roger Billins 29th Aug '19 - 8:25am

    Changing subject slightly. Any theories why we are down at 17% in the pollsand have lost 7% since the Euros and some observers forecasting us to lose Orkney and Shetland Scottish Assembly seat to the SNP. There appears to be bounce from the Brecon by-election or the election of Jo as leader but rather the reverse. Was her attitude to Corbyn to blame ? Just saying.

  • Alex Macfie 29th Aug '19 - 8:52am

    Roger Billins: Only outliers had us at 24% in the opinion polls. Our average poll rating hit 20% in late june / early July, and has been stable at 18-19% since then. Elections and opinion polls are apples & oranges, but we got 19.6% in the European election.
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know we have not achieved 24% in any nationwide election recently.

  • @ Roger Billins. It’s the Scottish Parliament. It’s the Shetland constituency. As far as I know Mr Carmichael is still doing his whiskey evenings when not appearing in Westminster.

  • @ Andrew McCaig. Be interesting to have your take on fracking some time, Andrew.

  • Yeovil Yokel 29th Aug '19 - 9:36am

    I agree, Kevin Maher, what is the point of our Head of State at a time like this?

    On a lighter note, there is a joke currently doing the rounds on doctor.net: “Good day to bury bad news – Queen diverts attention from Prince Andrew by suspending democracy”.

  • Roger Billings
    Yes. I have a theory. Not many people bother voting in the Euros . It distorts the results because it effectively becomes a platform for a protest vote. A lot of people (including) me stayed at home. Both sides over estimate their appeal and the divisions in society because they’re shouting at each other on various social media platforms. The thing about loud angry mobs is the amplified noise tends to obscure the reality that they also tend to reflect minority obsessions with a particular hobby horse, but single issues politics are not usually election winners.

  • nigel hunter 29th Aug '19 - 10:14am

    JEFF-Of Kent House adv. you ‘fiddled’ the numbers on the sight!? That BBC report was 2016. Also you admit to being of the Brexit persuasion so it is of interest to you of confusing the result. It also says that the Govnt checks the respondents. Yes. their will be false entries but not millions. To make these petitions more accurate, yes, a ‘captcha’ system should be involved.

  • nigel hunter 29th Aug '19 - 10:23am

    The Govnt will ignore petitions cos it is not to their liking. Javid et al are sending out ‘carrots’ to the electorate (with high pol l ratings) to entice people to vote for them at the election they are planning. The strategy could also be used to ‘test the water’ for that election.They then get a majority to do whatever they want. Knowing their inclinations it will not end well for most people.

  • Yes sign the petition (ignore the Trumpesque cries of ‘the numbers are wrong that will follow) and then, well, what? The Tory war over Brexit has consumed virtually all of our body politic, and in time they will pay a price for Johnson’s quiet coup.

    Now, what to do about bare-faced liars who appear to be backed by the right wing press? I’ve just seen Jacob Rees Mogg intone that nothing has happened and that anyway the majority of the electorate voted for Brexit. This is untrue, 37.5% voted to leave the EU. No one knows what subset of this wanted to leave with a no deal, destroying the UK’s international standing for decades to come.

    I’m afraid too we must not be afraid to say that the head of state does not emerge well from this. Imagine if Corbyn had gone to her to say, I can form a government! Yet that’s exactly what she let Johnson do, even though his ability to command a majority is as unlikely as Corbyn’s. This is not a transfer of power as Thatcher to Cameron, Blair to Brown or Cameron to May, when each obviously had the support of their party which itself had a majority under the Westminster system. Johnson had a notional majority of one, including the DUP, and various of his own backbencher saying that they would not support him. The Queen’s error in not asking him to go back to the Commons and demonstrate this has led to another, the first propagation of parliament for political ends since the Lotd protectorate.

  • Andrew McCaig 29th Aug '19 - 11:13am

    David Raw,
    I am not sure this is the place for a debate on fracking. However to summarise, I am not impressed by the seismic risk and local environmental arguments against it. So it comes down to whether we need the gas or not, just like conventional hydrocarbons. Leaving it in the ground (where it has been safely stored for many millions of years) just in case we need a home based supply of energy in the future seems like a good plan.

    What we do seem to have at the moment is a potential crisis in electricity generation (eg the recent outage) , with a great deal of heating currently relying on gas, and a government cutting support for renewables and going instead for huge long term nuclear projects where there are genuine unsolved problems of waste disposal…

    Considering the government has completely failed to even roll out smart meters effectively, I have no idea how we they plan to convert the majority of homes in Britain to electric heating, or deliver the electricity required for that and for electric cars…

  • Trump is leading a global drive to sideline democracy and promote rule by far-right “strong men” – Trump, Putin, Bolsonaro, Johnson. Now more than ever, the UK needs the democratic discipline which EU membership has given us.

  • Malcolm Todd 29th Aug '19 - 12:18pm

    David Allen 29th Aug ’19 – 11:42am
    “Now more than ever, the UK needs the democratic discipline which EU membership has given us.”

    How has EU membership given us that? A case could be made for saying that of Spain, or Greece, or indeed the Eastern bloc countries, given their recent history at the point of joining; but in what ways has EU membership strengthened our democracy?

  • @Malcolm Todd “in what ways has EU membership strengthened our democracy?”

    I suppose you could say that it introduced proportional voting to the whole UK.

  • Malcolm,

    Perhaps I should have said that what the EU has done for Spain, Greece and the Eastern bloc is what we now desperately need for Britain!

  • It seems that a group of questionable characters have talked a 90 year old woman into signing a dodgy agreement.

    As it was signed in her own home shouldn’t the compulsory 14 day ‘cooling off’ period be enforced?

  • Malcolm Todd 29th Aug '19 - 1:20pm

    TCO 29th Aug ’19 – 12:24pm
    “I suppose you could say that it introduced proportional voting to the whole UK.”

    Bit lame, to be honest. I don’t think it’s true, either. I don’t think the EU forced us to do it, though I don’t think they would have allowed us to change back to the old system once we had abandoned FPTP. Anyway, I’m not sure it’s a particularly significant innovation; electing the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and London Assembly by PR (not to mention Scottish local government) are much more significant, and that was brought about by purely British politics.

  • nvelope2003 29th Aug '19 - 3:19pm

    Strange that people can post every day about politics but cannot be bothered to vote.

    Perhaps we should require the Queen to take the advice of the elected Speaker of the House of Commons when asked to Prorogue Parliament. It would be a simple change and less contentious than abolishing the monarchy which would probably keep Parliament busy for the next 5 years and upset many people.

  • Richard Underhill 29th Aug '19 - 5:48pm

    STV campaigner Enid Lakeman told me that the West German Foreign Secretary
    Hans-Dietrich Genscher (FDP, Die Liberalen) had advised Jim Callaghan (Labour)
    to protect minorities in Northern Ireland by introducing electoral reform.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enid_Lakeman
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_Reform_Society

  • Paul Barker 29th Aug '19 - 6:43pm

    I had high hopes of this Petition yesterday when people were signing at a rate of 80,000 an Hour but now its fallen to 12,000 an Hour. It seems to have run our of steam much faster than The Revoke vote did & at a much lower level. Of course it could flare-up again.
    I think this issue is much more complex than the question of whether to revoke or not & seems to have less direct effect on Voters lives.
    Of course, if it has the effect of pushing “Tory Rebels” into doing some actual Rebelling then it won’t look so clever.

  • David Allen 29th Aug '19 - 6:51pm

    “The petition is also an opinion poll … Compared with the Revoke petition two things stand out; 1) the Leave areas seem to be shrinking – note the relative signature increase in east Kent seats and the west country”

    There are two other very plausible explanations:
    (1) Many Leave voters, as well as Remain voters, are rightly appalled at what Johnson has done. Cheating won’t pay.
    (2) The losers from No Deal Brexit – East Kent (gridlock on the roads) and the West Country (bankruptcy on the farms and new conflicts over fishing) – are beginning to wake up to what is coming their way if No Deal Brexit is not stopped.

  • David Allen
    Or a lot of people are grateful for some sort of sense of movement after three years of stuck record politics and Remainists are misreading public opinion yet again.

  • Glenn 29th Aug ’19 – 7:46pm………………Or a lot of people are grateful for some sort of sense of movement after three years of stuck record politics and Remainists are misreading public opinion yet again………………….

    In that case why not accept a confirmatory vote now that most of the ‘easiest deal ever’, etc. promises are history?

  • Expats
    Because Britain doesn’t have a written constitution thus there is no mandatory requirement for a confirmatory vote. If there had been then there would have been public votes on Maastricht and Lisbon. I note Pan-Europeanist were rather less keen on giving the electorate a say in the run up to 1993 and 2007.

  • I initially had some sympathy with the democratic argument behind this petition. Then I read it. It is explicitly not against proroguing parliament. It say “must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled”. In other words Remainists would probably prorogue parliament themselves to ensure their aim of forcing Britain to stay in the EU was achieved. Pot/kettle/black political manoeuvring.

  • I have tried to sign petition twice but never received email needed to confirm. I have wondered whether this is deliberate

  • Tony Hutson 30th Aug '19 - 8:54pm

    Andrew – have you checked your spam or junk folders? The emails often get sent there by mistake. Also, it sometimes takes a couple of hours for the message to come through. Keep checking.

  • Russ Brownley 3rd Sep '19 - 11:53pm

    A message from a working class person, 36, born, bread and educated in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.
    You tonight along with all the other fools in our parliament that dont seem to have any ounce of business sense have not only landed Britain in an un winnable situation with the EU but have failed democracy and failed the biggest democratic vote this country has ever seen. Shame on all of you. I will never vote again.

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