Thursday, 23 August 2012


Once again, the subject of the e-petition signatures, on the beer escalator, has been raised both on facebook and twitter. Basically, people are bemoaning the fact that CAMRA have over 140,000 members, and it should not be a problem to reach 100,000 signatures, thus forcing a debate in parliament.
Now hang on a minute! I understand your frustration that the 100,000 signatures has not been reached, but there are many reasons why less than half the members have not signed. You have to appreciate there are many older members who are just not familiar with facebook, twitter and sending emails. Some members simply are reluctant to 'move with the times'.  
I speak to members who say ''Cant be arsed with twitter, facebook or sending emails''. And you just have to respect that view to a degree. I say 'to a degree' because I will always politely try to encourage them to perhaps email their vote, as most people nowadays have sent an email, at some time.
However, it's always going to be more difficult coaxing the older members. And CAMRA has a high percentage in this bracket. Some people though do forget, it's these 'older members' who have fought tirelessly over many years, promoting real ale. And more importantly, going back to the 'dark days', some 30 odd years ago, when they were crusading against keg beer trying to replacing cask.
I myself have said on one of my blogs, that CAMRA has to move with the times and try to encourage more younger, and more women members. Promoting facebook, twitter and emailing etc, are ways of doing this. It's paramount the branches embrace these methods, or we might fizzle out in fifty years!
However, back to the opening paragraph, and we just have to accept that getting 100,000 CAMRA members to sign an e-petition, is damn near impossible. But thankfully, we should reach our target, as thousands of non members are sympathetic to our cause, and have already signed the petition.
Finally, I hope I have been fair in my assessment of the situation. And you understand the reason, in my opinion, why it's not been straightforward obtaining the six figure target.