The Independent View: To sign or not to sign?

Last week, Alix Mortimer suggested that we shouldn’t sign the infamous petition calling for Gordon Brown to resign. Here Kalvis Jansons, the man behind the petition, explains why he created it and what he hopes it will do…

I believe there are two questions, regarding this petition, that everyone in the UK should consider:

(1) Should you sign the petition?

(2) Should you tell others about the petition (whether or not you sign)?

It might surprise many readers to know that, although I believe signing the petition was right for me, I do not have strong reasons in mind as to why other people should sign. I merely ask them to think carefully about all aspects of the issue, and to do what feels right for them.

I think most will agree that Mr Brown is a disaster, but, as Alix pointed out, that does not necessarily mean that you should sign. This involves weighing up the likely consequence of signing the petition for Mr Brown, the Labour party, and the future of the UK. Not easy at all.

However, I believe the existence of the petition at the number 1 position on the Number 10 petition website makes a powerful statement, which even Mr Brown will have noticed. So thank you to all who made that possible. I also believe it is important to keep it in the number 1 position for its duration. So thank you to all of you who will help in this. The petition itself will not force Mr Brown to do anything, but it does provide a useful stick to beat him with, which may have a significant impact in ways which might be hard to quantify.

I have been told by many who have signed the petition how much better they feel for having had a chance to express their feelings to Mr Brown in this way. The number of reasons people have had for signing it is certainly more than I had expected, but I knew for sure it would be large. I will not give these reasons here, but urge you all to google for them and see them in their original forms.

This is partly why no reason for the request for Mr Brown to resign was given in the petition. It was my hope and expectation that many would fill the web with their reasons (both for and against the petition). This has worked out wonderfully well, and I thank all the contributors. I have enjoyed reading 99% of the contributions, and Alix’s contribution is one of the best I have seen so far.

One problem with Mr Brown, which is confirmed by nearly all who know him, is that he is very bad at taking feedback, so the intention of the petition was to make that feedback strong enough for even Mr Brown to notice. What he does with the message is yet to be determined, but I personally feel better for having the opportunity to send the message, multiplied by all who signed. Once you sign the petition, it is yours as much as it is mine.

I hope that Mr Brown reads the reasons that are now scattered over the web, but I also hope that future leaders read them too. In a sense the web is covered with a snapshot of what the UK population think about leadership, the mistakes of the past, and the hopes for the future. I hope that most of this will be recorded in some form, as the danger with the web is that information
can be lost as quickly as it is created.

Now back to the two questions at the beginning:

(1) Should you sign? It is up to you.

(2) Should you tell others? Yes.

Mr Brown, the writing is on the web; read it.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in The Independent View.


  • Phyllis Jayaratne 17th May '09 - 4:15pm

    Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Andrew Slaughter my MP, refused to help me get House of Lords my former employer who are unlawfully withholding my salary and made me homeless. I know now why they ignored to remedy this injustice because they are too busy lining their pockets for unnecessary luxuries. Mr Brown and his fraudulent MPs must resign. We want a new Government.

  • david wilson 19th May '09 - 6:43pm

    do you think that someone is stopping any more signatures being put on the downing street website? for brown to resign? i cant believe it is only 60 k when hannons youtube hits are 2 miliion?
    thanks dave cumbria

  • what is happening on the petition
    on saturday morning only 6 signatures were added in 5 hours it has been slow all this week who is blocking it

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