The subject of the first e-petition to prompt a Parliamentary debate has been ignored by MPs when the debate took place.The online petition - signed by more than 240,000 people - called for those convicted of involvement in the summer riots to be stripped of their benefits.
The three-hour debate in Westminster Hall covered the wider response to the riots, but did not touch on benefits.
To me this is less about ignoring the issue and more about confusing it; the prediliction for public outcries to incite "something-must-be-doneism" in our politicians has probably done more to allowing the destructive behaviour of the last 15 years than anything else; if it wasn't Diana shrines popping up to appease Daily Fail readers it was Blair's law-a-minute approach whilst ignoring perfectly good but unenforced laws or Brown's purple banana's.
During the hearing, MPs shared their views on the causes of the riots, the police response and the impact on their constituencies
Nick Raynsford, Labour MP, said eviction should not be used as a secondary means to punish people who should have already been punished by the law.
Conservative MP Gavin Barwell said when one person in a family was repeatedly antisocial, this could be considered a proportionate response.
And both are right - in general it is unlikely that many of the rioters were not indulging in their first offence and fewer still are probably recidivists who belong in jail; it is these few that add nothing to society who need their benefits stopping and the largesse of an increasingly pressed and tired society curbing, preferably following a period in jail.Do not get me wrong - the e-petitions website is a good thing but it is not, should not, be there so that the public at large dictate the nitty gritty of the law making process - that is what we pay MP's for; remember: Blair's pandering to the masses allowed him to bypass in a multitude not only the rule of law for himself and his crony capitalist buddies but also damage the spirit of the law too: we have judges who rule against parliamentary law in favour of alien authorities like the EU, statutory instruments designed to fine tune ancient acts of parliament steam-rolling over it's mechanisms of introducing new laws or putting them in front of elected representatives and a political clique so disconnected from the boring job of ensuring a simple, enforcable system of law is suitable for it's time that it concerns itself with trivialities.
We need to keep pushing for e-petitions like this, don't get me wrong; but more importantly if we feel we are capable of writing the law we should be standing for parliament - at the very least asking our elected representative for their views on this and making it known that without their support for reform of our dessicated government, the state and the systems we have for "dealing" with these kinds of problems they will not see our votes or that of anyone else we will be actively convincing.
Incidentally if you want to support a petition I think we can all believe in click here.