Labour MP Paul Flynn has been criticising this. One of his loquacious gems was:
The blogosphere is not an area that is open to sensible debate; it is dominated by the obsessed and the fanatical and we will get crazy ideas coming forward.
Well, that's certainly put me in my place. After all, here I am, sitting in my parent's basement (actually I'm in a living room in front of a log fire), frothing at the mouth (as if I ever would) and furiously typing (languidly is probably a better verb) my insane ramblings, blaming everyone and everything from socialists to fascists to the New World Order for my own miserable life (actually I'm rather happy with my life but I'd be a poor sport to try and escape the stereotype).
After all, it's not like bloggers routinely offer insightful commentary on current events, report stories which the main media ignores or call journalists and politicians out on lies and deceit. It's not like ordinary people ever have the temerity to go online and voice their opinions on matters which they feel politicians ignore.
Now, I'll be frank, some of the petitions on the No. 10 website have been insane - such as one protesting the application to build a "Megamosque" in Birmingham when there was no such application at all. However, there have also been petitions on such irrelevant issues as civil liberties, child detention and more. Quite clearly the public are not to be trusted with having their say - apart from election times of course, when I'm sure that Mr Flynn suddenly becomes a staunch man of the people, willing to listen to anyone and take their concerns seriously.
Look, the proposals are to include the introduction of certain criteria before a petition can be discussed - and I'd imagine such criteria would include something on making sure that the petition was actually about something that had really happened - so come on, give us some credit Mr Flynn. If you want to go and show your ignorance over a part of the internet which you clearly know nothing about then go ahead. But I'd like to think that the British people are slightly more intelligent than you give them credit for and certainly more intelligent than you.