I may have mentioned before that petitions are generally a waste of time, but that didn’t stop me from signing the one about Donald Trump not making a state visit to the UK.
I did not sign it because I thought it would actually stop a state visit. I imagine that once the PM has announced it publicly it would be politically impossible to cancel it. I didn’t sign it because I am worried about the Queen getting embarrassed either partly because if she can cope with visits from Caucescu and the like she can put up with Trump, and partly because I wouldn’t much care if she was embarrassed.No I signed it for the very simple reason that I know it will wind Trump up. There is no way he is not aware of it, and he is obsessed with numbers. I can imagine him checking the website every few minutes, desparately resisting the urge to tweet about it. Over the weekend, when it was clocking up thousands of extra signatures every few minutes it was quite hypnotic to watch it.
There is now also another petition that he should make a state visit, which has far fewer signatures, and a blatant spelling mistake in it, which makes it more fun.
The interesting thing is that you can go look at the results in a map which shows where the signatures are coming from. For example, right now the petition for Trump to come has 384 signatures from Crawley, while the original petition to stop a state visit has 2481.
Although interesting, there are not too many surprises in the maps.. Notoriously racist places like Basildon and Harlow have the fewest votes in the original petition, while city areas in London, Bristol, Manchester, Brighton or Liverpool have the most.
But now it turns out that Parliament is actually going to debate the petition, which will be fun. In these depressing time we have to grab our entertainment where we can find it.