Up the down escalator

On Monday 17th September 2012, a landmark in British politics was reached. For the first time, Members of Parliament debated a motion as a result of an e-petition.

The call to reconsider the West Coast Mainline franchise decision gathered over 173,000 signatures. Not only is it the first e-petition to be debated but the first time the Backbench Business Committee have scheduled a debate on a Monday afternoon at Westminster Hall. They were able to do so due to new powers granted to them in July.

There hasn't been a great deal of coverage about this debate, though. Few members of the relevant committee were in attendance. Monday afternoon debates at Westminster Hall are solely for e-petition debates. And there is no mechanism for voting on a debate in Westminster Hall.

Now, where do you imagine the debate raised by the Stop the beer duty escalator will be held?

Answers on a postcard. But, please, don't send it as a e-template letter to your MP. There's already too much armchair activism with a misguided sense of achievement knocking around.