Feeds

Million-busting road pricing petition draws UK.gov shrug

Debate is good, dribbles transport secretary

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated Tony Blair's latest online inclusion experiment may be in the process of backfiring*, with more than one million people signing onto his nascent petitions website to protest against the mooted introduction of road pricing.

At time of writing a petition, entitled "Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy", had garnered support from 1.15 million punters. It closes next Tuesday.

The campaign aims to scupper moves to install tracking devices in all road vehicles and price use of the national road network by the mile. It was initiated by Shropshireman Peter Roberts who believes the scheme would introduce an unfair barrier to transport to the less well-off and infringe civil liberties.

A Register reader wrote: "I, for one, would like to see this petition spectacularly crash the server and thereby get some additional publicity!" He might feel that way, but we couldn't possibly comment. We do note, however, that the petitions website was behaving in a somewhat wobbly manner today.

The BBC hauled transport secretary Douglas Alexander out of bed early for this morning's Today to non-respond to the upwelling of opposition to the road pricing scheme, which was proposed by his predecessor Alistair Darling in 2005. He said: "Ultimately, it will be a matter for parliament to make decisions but it is important that people have the chance to have their say and no doubt people will offer a range of opinions during that debate."

Alexander further summed up democracy with the Plato-esque dictum that it is important to "deliberate, discuss" and then take a decision.

The BBC is reporting the secretary's comments as a pledge for a debate in response to the petition. The vapid "pledge" will unlikely put campaigners' minds at ease, who are aware of that no legislation reaches statute without a some sort - however pointless - of debate.

Tellingly meanwhile, a Number 10 spokesman said: "Debate in itself does not produce policy". ®

*Update

Oh dear. Make that has backfired. The Evening Standard reports "senior government ministers" spitting that the communications whelp who came up with the idea was a "prat", and had caused a PR disaster.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.