13 September 2011

UPDATE: See the Addendum of 13 September 2011 near the foot of the post

ORIGINAL POST 11 September 2011
Once again we have several sisyphean Cornish nationalist petitions seeking signatures and I shall note their progress from time to time. Like elections, all the nationalist petitions do is show the world and his wife how few, how very few, supporters they number. I have put at the foot previous posts about petitions and campaigns. There are about 420 00 adults in Cornwall.

St Piran’s day holiday
The petition on the Cornwall Council website for a bank holiday in Cornwall on St Piran’s day appears stalled on 308 signatures after being up for seven months. Only residents and workers in Cornwall can sign. An earlier petition in 2007-2008 for a Piran holiday got just over a thousand signatures. Earlier this week the unitary council discussed a St Piran day holiday: did anyone mention how many Cornwall residents had signed up for this?

Recognition and an assembly
The UK government has set up a new website for petitions. If a petition there gets
100 000 signatures, a committee of MPs will consider whether it should be debated in the Commons.

There are two major nationalist petitions on the government’s new site: one for recognition of the Cornish as a national minority, with 619 signatures; and one for a Cornish assembly with 115 signatures (numbers at the time of writing). After a month these are very unimpressive figures increasing very slowly.

A measure of public support
Of course a petition does not capture every supporter of the proposition; not everyone knows about it and not every supporter wishes to sign. However, petitions are a public advertisement of a cause and a measure of its support among the public and if these nationalist petitions had thousands of signatures I have no doubt we should be told that reflected reality on the ground. A few petitions on the government site have attracted substantial support and the half-million forest petition on the 38 degrees website stopped the Tory Libdem government in its tracks.

ADDENDUM 13 September 2011

I see the digitaldemocracy website is now carrying a breakdown of the petition for a Cornish assembly that ran there. This analysis is an excellent service whatever one thinks of the petition and its result; it should be offered by other petition organisations. As far as I can see 150 people in Cornwall were supporters of this petition with about half again elsewhere in Britain. Pitiful support.

Dan Rogerson, the Libdem MP for North Cornwall, introduced an unsuccessful bill in the Commons for an assembly in 2009. Interestingly the website says that only ten people in the North Cornwall constituency were supporters of this petition for an assembly. Ten. Who’s going to tell Dan?

(I got the digitaldemocracy information by way of the Cornish Republican blog)

Earlier posts on petitions and campaigns
The pm.petitions website, the predecessor to the present website, is no longer accessible.

Publish it not the streets of Askelon 27 May 2011

Tell it not in Gath 22 February 2011

Cornish tick box on 2011 census (ended 1 January 2011 with 639 of the required 1000 signatures)

Cornwall border(petitions against Devonwall) 24 November 2010

The tailors of Tooley Street 14 January 2008

Nationalist and other petitions 19 July 2007

Cornish fighting fund misses by miles 2 January 2009