I just happened to make a note a couple of weeks ago of the number of signatures attached to our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting and the e-petition for the non-joint non-plan. Ours stood at 17,608 signatures whereas the GWCT effort was at 10,414.
Now, we were off the mark a while before the GWCT, in fact, it looked very much as though their e-petition was a badly-judged response to ours, so we shouldn’t make too much of the manifest large gap in public support to date. And we shouldn’t make too much of the fact that the GWCT e-petition has been ‘supported’ by the Countryside Alliance, BASC and the Moorland Association too – with their large memberships – whereas no large conservation organisation has yet supported the e-petition for a ban on driven grouse shooting. But I wouldn’t bet against at least one of them seeing the light eventually.
However, in the last two weeks the non-joint, non-plan, e-petition has remained in the shallows, becalmed, picking up a mere 64 more signatures – fewer than five a day. Whereas our e-petition has the wind in its sails and is skimming along having picked up 707 extra signatures – more than 50 a day. So, a tenfold difference in signing rate at the moment.
There’s a long way to go, but our e-petition still has plenty of momentum and there are plenty of plays to come before it closes on 30 March.
Anybody like to hazard a guess at the number of signatures by Bonfire Night? Christmas? New Year’s Day? Valentine’s Day? The Cheltenham Festival? 30 March 2015? When will it get to 20,000? Will it get to 30,000?
Oooh! There’s another signature just now. How lovely!