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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That Petition!

A petition is not a campaign. It is a start - no more than that. Andy Howell expands on this point on his own excellent 'Must be This Way' blog - clearly the views of a seasoned campaigner who has padded along the corridors of power in his time.

So where are we now? 2000 signatures on a petition proves what? Only that 2000 people (out of a population of around 60,000,000) support the proposal. So in essence, we have demonstrated that 0.003% of the UK population support the wildcamping petition, or in terms of votes (there were 44,401,238 registered voters in 2001) 0.005% of the electorate.

Hardly going to get the government quaking in their boots, is it? No. Twenty times as many people (41,000) petitioned to have Jeremy Clarkson as Prime Minister (a considerable improvement perhaps, but, sadly, that hasn’t happened either).

So, this is the just the beginning of winning hearts and minds. If you wrote to, or emailed your MP, he might just have had a peek at your website, so construct your arguments with due care. A measured and credible approach is required - Oh, alright, no ranting - OK?

My MP, Richard Spring, wrote to Hilary Benn on my behalf, and received a letter from Jonathan Shaw who rejoices in the title "Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs and Minister for the South East" (no, I’ve never heard of him either) so I was acquainted with the official position some time ago. I regarded it as a neutral stance, which I found both surprising and vaguely encouraging.

What is needed now is a steady campaign, gaining publicity and building support. Eventually it will gain the same currency and credence as the CRoW legislation did. Yes, it will take time. Maybe a long time. There really are problems peculiar to England, Wales and Northern Ireland that need to be addressed. Much of the land is managed very differently to Scotland. The new Marine Bill is the current government access project, and one can see that suddenly advocating free access to wild camping on top might considerably increase opposition to the access proposals in this bill, limited as they are.

So I say let the Marine Bill pass. Keep up the publicity – let’s at least out Clarkson Clarkson!

We haven't really lit the touchpaper yet.

Softly, softly catchee monkey.

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Blogger BG! said...

I got a letter from Jonathan Shaw as well - is the wording of yours the same as that in mine? )I posted a pic of mine at http://beardedgit.com/?p=445)

June 25, 2008 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Almost word for word, Stefan. Quelle surprise!!

Mind you, most of the letters from our side were probably somewhat similar...

June 25, 2008 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

No ranting?

I shall have to shut down my blog then...

My whole life is one long desperate rant, from waking in the morning and hearing the BBC mangle the English language on BBC Breakfast to 'Look East' last thing at night watching totally incompetant blonde bimbos grinning inanely whilst reading (badly) a story of a fatal stabbing.

June 25, 2008 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Ah, well, not no ranting ever - that would be no fun at all!

No, sir.

I was only suggesting moderation in conducting the wild camping campaign.

p.s. Al - I think watching TV is very bad for you...

June 25, 2008 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger BG! said...



We've been introduced. You can call me "Stef".


June 26, 2008 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hello Stef!

June 27, 2008 at 1:20 PM  

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