Feeds

Death haunts government petitions site

Bring me the head of the sysadmin

The Coalition government's epetitions site has limped online this lunchtime but is struggling to stay up.

The site was down this morning, despite a message promising its imminent availability. A spinner at Ten Downing Street promised to get back to us.

In the mean time, a bit of repeated clicking reveals over 40 petitions in favour of the death penalty – but only two have more than one vote each and even they can only claim four supporters.

This is likely to change once the site is fixed, and Daily Mail readers get involved.

The paper's front page this morning predicted restoring the death penalty would be the first issue debated by Parliament – the Coalition has promised to debate any issue which secures more than 100,000 votes.

Guido Fawkes, and other bloggers, have been pre-collecting support on the issue. Why a libertarian, small government blogger supports the right of the government to kill people is beyond the scope of this piece.

There is no doubt that Parliament exists to represent the British public.

But government by Wiki will be difficult if the bar is set so low.

It would be a weak argument that could not find 100,000 people online willing to click a link and tick box on a website in its support.

Parliament will need to set aside a lot of time to debate every petition in favour of bringing back Roobarb and Custard along with slightly weightier matters such as leaving the European Union or investigating Prince Phillip's role in the 9/11 attacks.

But before getting too excited at the thought of restoring public executions to Oxford Street, we should probably remember Clegg's previous loon-magnet sites yourfreedom.gov.uk and the Treasury's Spending Review site.

Both collected thousands of responses, many about Raoul Moat, and both were widely ignored by Whitehall before being shut.

The site is here, but don't all go there at once.

A Direct Gov spokesman said:“We apologise for any inconvenience experienced as people try to access ePetitions – this is a result of greater then expected demand.

“We are getting 1000 unique visits a minute – this is equivalent to nearly 1.5 million visits a day and is far more then the old ePetitions site on Number 10 ever received.

”The main Directgov site is unaffected and running normally.”

We've asked why this happens every, single time the government launches a website and why they can't use load balancing. We'll update the story should they reply. ®

More from The Register

next story
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.