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Deborah Ross: The policies I want to influence


I am excited about the Government's launch of"e-petitions" which gives us, the public, the chance to actually influence policy instead of lying in bed until lunchtime, which can be tempting if you have no policy to influence. Even those who occasionally feel like shooting out of bed early are soon brought up short by the thought: "Hang on, I have no policy to influence. I am wholly impotent in this regard. What's the point?"

And it couldn't be easier. All you have to do is visit the website, create an e-petition, and if it receives 100,000 signatures, it is eligible for debate in the House of Commons. I have already been to the site, and have created the following e-petitions, which I hope you will sign:

* Deborah Meaden will be forbidden from introducing herself with: "Hello, I'm Deborah ..." to every new entrant to the Dragon's Den. (Deborah, we know you are Deborah. It is no surprise. It is not even an attractive name, or one that fares well with constant repetition. I, for example, would prefer to be called Julia. Or Katie.)

* Looters will be required to break up that top-to-toe adidas look with statement pieces from Zara, Gap or Uniqlo, if only to give us something a little different to gaze at when we're watching Sky News at 3am.

* To make the streets safer, there will be zero tolerance shown towards teenagers in general and, in particular, those who, for example, are 16 one year and 17 the next. (This sounds harsh, but how are they going to learn otherwise?)

* All cold callers must leave a home number so you can call them back when they are having their dinner.

* All cinemas must offer a special "squeamish discount". For example, I have only ever seen 10 per cent of a Quentin Tarantino film, and yet am always expected to pay the full price. How can this be fair?

* Bendy buses should all become even bendier, if only to annoy Boris.

* Any person who steals your parking spot can be taken to the nearest open space and beaten with a branch that can be a lot wider than your thumb, if you so fancy.

Actually, I do not know how offenders in any of the above instances will be punished, but how about hanging? Only kidding. No one in their right mind would put their signature to that. Don't be silly. Are you mad?