Sunday, July 15, 2007
Booker has put his weight behind the No. 10 Downing Street petition in today's column, with the result that it has gained nearly 500 more signatures, the total now touching 12,500. That is a long way to go, and we really need to reach 100,000 plus for it to have any power, but at least the figure is respectable.
You would have thought that, with this one a runner, the Eurosceptic community would support it, giving it the maximum chance of reaching politically effective numbers, but that is to reckon without the stupidity of UKIP.
In the name of Nigel Farage MEP, they have started a rival petition which asks the prime minister "to let the people decide on the future relationship between Britain and the European Union and not pass through new treaties without consulting the voters." At the time of writing, it stood at 288 signatures.
Unlike the original petition, it does not even refer to a referendum, nor specifically to the treaty-to-be and, in a linked website, against a mug shot of Farage (pictured), we get the breathless message that, "the government has signed us up to a new EU treaty…". That, of course, is not true and if the message represents the level of political acuity in UKIP, then it is hardly surprising that the Party is floundering in the polls.