Personalising Petitions – How, Why and Some Examples

On-line petitions have become quite popular with the spread of digital communications and some would argue quite influential too. Petitioners are encouraged to ‘personalise their petitions’ by the petition organisers, presumably to show more commitment and so to deserve more attention and importance.

There are other reasons. Importantly we need to own the claims and sentiments of our petitions and be clear in our own minds for what we are petitioning and why. The petition expresses our position and experience, political or other, on some topic and at some point in time. However, it also constitutes the basis for the building of future positions and actions and generally helps us develop our thinking on the the subject of the petition. Personalising a petition is one way of doing all these things. It helps us say what we mean and mean what we say.

However, as per usual on this Blogsite, the proof of the pudding………….. so here are some examples. Consider whether the personalisation of the petitions achieves the goals set out above. If not how might they do better? [ ] indicates original version to be deleted and ( ) indicates personalised version to replace the original.

Others are welcome, of course, to contribute more personalised petitions to this section.

Personalised Petition 1 – Rejecting Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity Plan’ for the States of Palestine and Israel

  • Rejecting Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, and any future [deals] (proposals) not [rooted in] (based on) [recognising] (respecting) the [core] rights of the Palestinian people as recognised by international law and UN resolutions.
  • Ensuring that any future UK-Israel relations are based on the [conditionality of] upholding (of) international law and human rights.
  • Introducing legislation to ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements – following the precedent of the Irish Dail, and follow Government guidelines to implement an arms embargo with Israel in light of ongoing human rights abuses.

Dear Minister, 

I am [deeply] concerned about the Government’s decision to welcome the publication of the US “Peace to Prosperity” plan earlier this week. Peace in the Middle East must be rooted in international law and respect for the rights of all. Trump’s “deal of the century” [demonstrably] fails on both counts. 

The Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP defended the Government’s welcoming of this proposal by arguing it could be a “baby step” to reigniting negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Such a [one-sided] proposal that [completely] ignores international law – and which fails to [remotely] address Palestinian rights – can(not) [never] be the basis of future negotiations. 

It is [absurd] (implausible) to suggest that a plan, which ignores international law and the rights of one of the parties, could act as a [catalyst] (basis) for future negotiations. The proposal merely confirms Trump is not a[n honest] serious mediator, and by welcoming its publication the UK [is] (would seem) more concerned about our relationship with the US than in upholding international law. 

No people could accept a proposal that asks them to abandon their [core] collective rights, making it inevitable that Palestinians would rightly reject this [farce] (implausible proposal). 

Whilst positive that the Minister reiterated in Parliament that the UK has not endorsed the proposal – and remains committed to international law and UN resolutions – nevertheless, the welcoming of its publication is deeply concerning and contradictory to the Government’s stated commitments [to] (of) upholding [a rules-based] (the) international system of law. 

The Trump proposal is already having [very] real and dangerous consequences. [Benjamin] Netanyahu responded to the [deal] (proposal) by announcing Israel would start [proceedings] this week to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, the Northern Dead Sea, and illegal settlements in the West Bank. 

The UK Government has repeatedly stated that Israeli annexation of territory “would be contrary to international law, damaging to peace efforts, and could not pass unchallenged.” This is not compatible with the Foreign Office welcoming the publication of what Crispin Blunt MP correctly refers to as Trump’s “Annexation Plan”. 

Words of condemnation are not enough. Israel must face [real] consequences for its continued [oppression] suppression of Palestinian rights. With this in mind, I urge the UK Government to fulfil its obligation to uphold international law by: 

[ ] means delete and ( ) means substitute/add.

Personalised Petition 2 

Dear Catherine West MP,

Personalised Petition 2 – Rejecting the Government’s Proposed Changes to the BBC

What: Stop your [political] attack on [our] (the) BBC. Stop attempting to undermine the BBC and the role it plays in independently holding institutions, including)the government to account. Don’t [scrap} {
(abolish) the licence fee, don’t cut TV & radio stations, don’t cut services.
Why is this important: The government have declared war on [our] (the) BBC. It’s a [thinly veiled attempt to clamp down on] (will reduce holding institutions, including the BBC) being held to account. They’ve pledged to scrap the licence fee and cut dozens of TV & radio stations, [they want to “prune” its reach into people’s homes].

[Our] (The) BBC is a world leading public service. The way that it is funded means that it’s independent of government and corporate pressure. At a time when fake news can spread [like wildfire] and when so much is at stake, this [is] (constitutes) a dangerous attack on democracy. 

We need to protect the BBC from this political attack. The Prime Minister has already tried to ban journalists he doesn’t like from No.10 briefings, now he and his close advisers are going after [our] public broadcasters. [This is a move straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook]. 

Already MPs from all parties are up in arms about this attack, but to stop it, it’s going to take a huge amount of public pressure. Please sign and share this petition.

This was possible because newspapers and their websites are not independently regulated.  They are members of “IPSO”, a complaints-handler run by newspaper editors, executives, and compliant politicians.  IPSO does nothing to protect people from media abuse, intrusion and intimidation.

Personalised Petition 3
The tragic death of Caroline Flack followed months of relentless attacks on her in national newspapers and their websites.

Every other industry in the UK is properly regulated, from broadcast media, to legal services, to finance.  Yet newspaper websites read by millions of people every day can aggressively attack and intimidate members of the public with impunity.

Caroline Flack was “monstered” in the press, as it is called in the industry.  What happened to her will happen to vulnerable people again and again, until Parliamentarians find the courage to act.

The Leveson reforms for independent regulation were made over seven years ago, and endorsed by all parties at the time.  They have been proven to uphold and enhance the freedom of the press, while protecting people like Caroline. Successive Parliaments have failed to bring into force.

It’s time for the Government to stop talking and take action: make independent Leveson-standard regulation compulsory now.

–        Will you support independent media regulation, to protect people like Caroline?

–        Will you write to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and call for him to meet with representatives of press intrusion represented by Hacked Off to discuss changes in the law to ensure all newspapers and their websites are independently regulated?

The first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Gaza this week. While the virus has had a devastating impact globally, the 1.8 million citizens of Gaza are especially vulnerable. It is critical that Israel ends the siege on Gaza NOW.

Gaza’s fragile healthcare system is already stretched to breaking point. Thirteen years of an illegally imposed blockade, repeated Israeli bombings, and the deliberate maiming of Great March of Return protesters, have placed unbearable strain on the system. 

Personalised Petition 4

Dear Dominic Raab, 

Officials warn that containment and treatment of COVID-19 under the current Israeli siege will be impossible. Allowing the blockade to continue will mean certain and unnecessary death for countless Palestinians.

Israel has restricted testing kits to the densely populated strip, and there are only 60 working ventilators and 2,800 hospital beds. Palestinians must be able to access health treatment, and we have a responsibility in the UK to support them by bringing an end to Israeli restrictions. 

Eight years ago the UN warned Gaza would become uninhabitable by 2020. The crisis in Gaza is not new, but constructed through the intolerable restrictions placed on the coastal strip by Israel. Denying the population access to basic resources – including medicines – is a form of collective punishment that we have a responsibility to end. 

We have the power to save thousands of lives, but this requires you to take immediate action by insisting Israel ends its illegal blockade of Gaza. The UK must ensure Palestinians have access to the medical care they need.

Personalised Petition 5

Dear Catherine West MP, 

I write to you with a sense of urgency as the first cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Gaza. Only immediate international support can avert catastrophe for Palestinians. Please take action by forwarding this message to the Foreign Office.

A widespread outbreak among Gaza’s two million inhabitants will cause untold humanitarian suffering, which only immediate international support can prevent. In these times of crisis we have a moral duty to support the most vulnerable and ensure they get the help they need.

In one of the most densely populated places in the world, effective self-isolation is nearly impossible. With limited clean water, essential hygiene and infection control is a monumental challenge. Yet thirteen years of illegal closure and blockade has left Gaza’s health system woefully unprepared for the challenge ahead should containment fail. Gaza lacks the infrastructure, essential equipment, drugs, supplies and human resources needed to treat a widespread outbreak of coronavirus. 

The illegal blockade of Gaza means the healthcare system cannot meet the needs of the population even under ‘normal’ circumstances – nevermind during a pandemic crisis. Allowing the blockade to continue will mean certain and unnecessary death for countless Palestinians.

Eight years ago the UN warned Gaza would become uninhabitable by 2020. The crisis in Gaza is not new, but constructed through the intolerable restrictions placed on the coastal strip by Israel. The Ministry of Health in Gaza is prevented from importing vital medical devices and even parts to repair malfunctioning ones. There are only 40 ICU beds in Gaza and there is an urgent need for medicines, respirators, PPE and ICU capacity, and, crucially, COVID 19 testing kits. 

Denying the population access to basic resources – including medicines – is a form of collective punishment that we have a responsibility to end. 

It is critical that Israel ends the siege of Gaza NOW, and that Palestinians get the medical resources they desperately need. Please raise this with the UK Foreign Office without delay.

We have the power to save thousands of lives, but it requires you to take immediate action.

Personalise Petition 6

Dear Catherine West MP, 

I write to you with a sense of urgency as the first cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Gaza. Only immediate international support can avert catastrophe for Palestinians. Please take action by forwarding this message to the Foreign Office.

A widespread outbreak among Gaza’s two million inhabitants will cause untold humanitarian suffering, which only immediate international support can prevent. In these times of crisis we have a moral duty to support the most vulnerable and ensure they get the help they need.

In one of the most densely populated places in the world, effective self-isolation is nearly impossible. With limited clean water, essential hygiene and infection control is a monumental challenge. Yet thirteen years of illegal closure and blockade has left Gaza’s health system woefully unprepared for the challenge ahead should containment fail. Gaza lacks the infrastructure, essential equipment, drugs, supplies and human resources needed to treat a widespread outbreak of coronavirus. 

The illegal blockade of Gaza means the healthcare system cannot meet the needs of the population even under ‘normal’ circumstances – nevermind during a pandemic crisis. Allowing the blockade to continue will mean certain and unnecessary death for countless Palestinians.

Eight years ago the UN warned Gaza would become uninhabitable by 2020. The crisis in Gaza is not new, but constructed through the intolerable restrictions placed on the coastal strip by Israel. The Ministry of Health in Gaza is prevented from importing vital medical devices and even parts to repair malfunctioning ones. There are only 40 ICU beds in Gaza and there is an urgent need for medicines, respirators, PPE and ICU capacity, and, crucially, COVID 19 testing kits. 

Denying the population access to basic resources – including medicines – is a form of collective punishment that we have a responsibility to end. 

It is critical that Israel ends the siege of Gaza NOW, and that Palestinians get the medical resources they desperately need. Please raise this with the UK Foreign Office without delay.

We have the power to save thousands of lives, but it requires you to take immediate action.

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