Richard Drax MP fighting for Portland coastguard helicopter

SOUTH Dorset MP Richard Drax is calling for people to unite to get a debate called in the House of Commons to save Portland helicopter.

Mr Drax is supporting an e-petition on the government’s e-petition website to Save the Portland Coastguard helicopter.

He urged people to sign and said that if it reached 100,000 signatures, then there was a good chance it would force a debate on the issue in Parliament.

He said that campaigners should co-ordinate their efforts and encouraged people to sign the e-petition even if they had signed others before.

He said: “While I completely support the petition that’s currently running in the constituency, can I also urge those that have signed that petition, and have access to a computer, to sign up to the government site too.”

You can sign the petition by visiting the e-petition site and searching for Save the Portland Coastguard helicopter, or go to epetitions.direct. gov.uk/petitions/ 30225.

Comments (2)

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11:08am Fri 22 Jun 12

biggestoaf says...

Whilst it's important to continue the fight to save the helicopter I don't believe the e-petition is likely to be very effective. Firstly, the total population of Weymouth + Portland, including children, is between 60,000 - 65,000. Even allowing for other people along the Jurassic Coast the prospects of raising 100,000 signatures must be very slim. Secondly, even if that figure is reached, there is no obligation for Parliament to debate the issue - it simply goes to a committee for consideration. Thirdly, a debate in Parliament featuring a small number of interested MPs is unlikely to force the government to change their policy. As our previous MP proved, the most effective tactic is to keep lobbying hard personally. Although a show of public support is helpful, success will only come about if the MP is prepared to keep pressing the case in meetings with the relevant ministers.
Whilst it's important to continue the fight to save the helicopter I don't believe the e-petition is likely to be very effective. Firstly, the total population of Weymouth + Portland, including children, is between 60,000 - 65,000. Even allowing for other people along the Jurassic Coast the prospects of raising 100,000 signatures must be very slim. Secondly, even if that figure is reached, there is no obligation for Parliament to debate the issue - it simply goes to a committee for consideration. Thirdly, a debate in Parliament featuring a small number of interested MPs is unlikely to force the government to change their policy. As our previous MP proved, the most effective tactic is to keep lobbying hard personally. Although a show of public support is helpful, success will only come about if the MP is prepared to keep pressing the case in meetings with the relevant ministers. biggestoaf

1:12pm Fri 22 Jun 12

cj07589 says...

biggestoaf, I agree ref. the effectiveness of e-petitions. Just look what happened to the Right to have a referendum on continuing to belong in the European Union. The notion was granted yet David Cameron forced the Whips to oppose it. Hows that for a taste of democracy for you? The vast majority of the population supported it, just like saving the helicopter but we were denied it because one individual (David Camoron) didnt like it. & Politicians wonder why the electorate have no faith in politicians doing the right thing by the people its the political system.....its broken/doesnt work correctly in my opinion. Also whats the point in having a House of non-elected Lords to overrule on policies and laws set out by elected MP's, its a farce really and flies in the face of real meaningful democracy.
biggestoaf, I agree ref. the effectiveness of e-petitions. Just look what happened to the Right to have a referendum on continuing to belong in the European Union. The notion was granted yet David Cameron forced the Whips to oppose it. Hows that for a taste of democracy for you? The vast majority of the population supported it, just like saving the helicopter but we were denied it because one individual (David Camoron) didnt like it. & Politicians wonder why the electorate have no faith in politicians doing the right thing by the people its the political system.....its broken/doesnt work correctly in my opinion. Also whats the point in having a House of non-elected Lords to overrule on policies and laws set out by elected MP's, its a farce really and flies in the face of real meaningful democracy. cj07589

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