Bees 1, Paterson 0: Do on-line petitions make a difference?

A message I’m sure many of us will have received from 38 degrees ….

Thus far it seems that 322,717 people have signed the on-line petition.  A mass rally converged on Parliament Square.

Great news! The votes are in. Bee-killer pesticides are going to be suspended across Europe for the next two years. Bees can breathe a sigh of relief.

Sadly our environment minister, Owen Paterson, voted against the ban. But enough other countries voted in favour and the vote was won. ​

38 Degrees members have been working hard to protect our bees. Here are some of the highlights: ​

– Over 300,000 of us signed the petition to ban these pesticides  (see updated figure above)

– Over 40,000 of us emailed our MPs

– In the environment minister’s constituency, in North Shropshire, over 50 local 38 Degrees members came face to face with him to deliver the petition and demand he changed his mind.

– Hundreds of 38 Degrees members joined up with a host of other campaign organisations to hold a ‘March of the Beekeepers’ in Parliament Square.

I wonder, given that Owen Paterson voted against the Precautionary Pprinciple, if he will make available for analysis the scientific evidence upon which he based his vote and which went in support of chemical companies?

Conversely will he make funding available to independent science to study impacts over the two year breathing peiod?

So, is it people power?  Is it critical mass of the electorate sharing a view, the parliamentary public relations team would naturally deny such influence …. so who knows, but long may it continue to be a tool in the campaigning kit!

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Bird and other wildlife information service for Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire, UK © HMBSG 17/11/2010

Mark Avery

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a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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