Oh, and another thing...
Second (sixth?) gripe of the day is an e-mail I got earlier, stating:
"Please forgive me for sending this as I am usually a
binner of "worthwhile" but unsolicited email circulars. I don't think I have ever forwarded one in the past but I felt, as a UK resident
and voter, that my government had misrepresented our national and world interests by attacking Iraq at the time and on the basis that we did. Consequently I draw your attention to the following letter which affords some small right of reply to the disenfranchised. The Our World Our Say campaign seeks to ensure that politicians are made accountable to us for their actions."
It then asks you to sign a petition. A petition?? Do these people realise just how much bureaucracy there probably was to get just the Hutton Inquiry? (Probably not, considering they don't even link to the site...)
These people want change, but they want to do it through petitions. Lists of names does nothing (ok, very little) apart from letting you know who can write their own name. If you want change, then you need people to be interested in all aspects of a nation's politics - just sitting up and shouting a bit when somebody else prods you is pointless (although I'm sure there are a few backbenchers like that...)
This is where a "communication revolution" helps - government has evolved over hundreds of years into a big mish-mash of information and process. Without technology, this monolithic structure would remain inaccessible to the public. What we are seeing now is a real move towards everyone being able to participate. It is far more important to realise this potential, than to get people to sign a bleedin' petition.