At midnight last night our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting closed at 123,075 signatures. We now move on to a period of Firm Briefing to MPs and an evidence session in front of the House of Commons Petitions Committee and a debate amongst our MPs.
But ‘thank you’ all 123,075 of you for getting us this far. I guess I have met a few thousand of you over the years. Some have become firm friends, others I’m sure would do if we ever saw each other but have become familiar names through this blog and other social media. Others I must have passed in the street, or perhaps sat next to on a train, or stood nearby on the Tube, without them knowing who I was or me knowing them at all.
When I started the first of three e-petitions on this subject I had no idea where it would lead – and was relieved and delighted when nearly 11 months later we reached 22,399 signatures. That felt like a massive achievement – and actually, I think it was.
Our second e-petition was started with trepidation for it would only last 6 months due to a change in the rules – would we even reach the previous total? We did, thanks to all of you – I should have had more faith in you and in myself.
I was fairly sure in March this year that we had the momentum to cross the 50,000 signature barrier but I thought the likelihood of getting to 100,000 signatures was low. Maybe we would almost get there, in the 80,000s, if we did really well. Again, I should have had more faith in you and the group of strong friends and supporters around me who have done so much to get us to this amazing total.
I really would like to thank each and every person who has signed this petition personally – but this will have to do;