6 Far More Worthy Petitions That Have Received Far Less Support Than “Bring Back Clarkson”.

By now you have no doubt heard the news that ageing, casually racist millionaire Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended from the BBC pending an investigation into whether he hit a co-worker.

The incident allegedly occurred on the set of Top Gear and was allegedly the result of a producer on the show telling Clarkson that there would be no hot food served at the end of the day’s filming.

The news has not gone down with fans of the show and, as of writing, over 600,000 people have signed an online petition urging the BBC to reinstate the disgraced Top Gear presenter. Over 100,000 new signatures during the writing of this post were added to the petition, making it the fastest growing petition ever on Change.org.

So many Jeremy Clarkson fans have swarmed to the Change.org website (a website devoted to rectifying social injustices) that the website repeatedly crashed throughout Wednesday evening.

Bring Back Clarkson petition crashes change.org website.

Something about that seems a bit out of kilter, so we’ve dug through the archives to see what other causes on Change.org have received less support that the Bring Back Clarkson petition.

From tens of thousands of men who died as criminals in the UK for being gay, to preventing MPs from lying in parliament, to imploring some of the UK’s most profitable retailers to pay their staff a living wage, we’ve found incredibly vital causes that are getting a scandalously low level of public attention compared to Bring Back Clarkson.

1. This petition, imploring the Premier League to pay it’s staff a living wage.

change org petition to pay all staff a living wage

Number of signatures: 69,593

That’s right – in spite of the fact the the Premier League has just secured a record-breaking £5.1 BILLION in revenue from selling television rights, the staggeringly wealthy football clubs still pay some of their employees less than the minimum amount needed to cover their cost of living in the UK. Currently, this is agreed to be £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 outside of London.

As the petition creator points out, it would take these members of staff 13 years to earn as much as some of the players that they’re supporting earn in a week.

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2. This petition to stop a multinational corporation trebling social housing rents and forcing families onto the street.

new era housing estate change org petition less support than jeremy clarkson

Number of signatures: 349,274

A multinational property development company snapped up a social housing development in London and threatened to treble the rents some of the families paid, risking homelessness for many of the long term tenants.

After a public campaign – including involvement from Russel Brand – the UK property company Benyon Estate, who had 10% in the estate, withdrew and bowed to public pressure thanks to this petition. However, the petition never received more than 350k signatures, in spite of it’s vital social impact and celebrity backing.

3. This petition, urging the UK government to pardon 49,000 men convicted for being gay.

alan turning pardon gay men petition

Number of signatures: 597,192

In a piece of good news, it was announced in December of 2013 that wartime codebreaker Alan Turing was to be given a posthumous royal pardon for his 1952 conviction of gross indecency which resulted in him being sentenced to chemical castration. His crime: having an affair with a 19 year old man.

While we can’t fault the government for finally coming to it’s senses and pardoning Turing, they have yet to do the same for the 49,000 other men who were convicted under the same laws and whose convictions still stand.

Even Nick Clegg has responded directly to the petition, saying:

Alan Turing and the thousands of other men should never have been prosecuted. It is utterly wrong that so many people were convicted simply for being who they are.

The Liberal Democrats and I will work to make sure those with convictions for consensual homosexual activity between adults are pardoned. It should never have been a crime in the first place.

However, none of this has been enough so far to secure their pardons or to gain as much support as Jeremy Clarkson has.

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4. This petition to get hugely profitable John Lewis to pay their cleaners a living wage.

John Lewis living wage petition

Number of signatures: 143,264

John Lewis is one of the UK’s leading high street and online retailers and reported £329 million in profit for the last financial year. As a result of this, John Lewis staff were entitled to a 14% bonus.

John Lewis brands itself as a company that is committed to treating its suppliers, customers and partners with fairness. But it has contracted out its cleaning services. Its cleaners receive less than the living wage and are not entitled to the bonus payments paid to directly employed staff.

There is growing concern that increasing inequality in UK is damaging to the whole of society. Given John Lewis’s impressive profit levels, it is very troubling that it refuses to show moral leadership and pay its cleaners the living wage.

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5. This petition calling on the government to prevent paedophiles from being able to move next door to their victims once they’ve served their sentence.

paedophile living next door petition

Number of signatures: 132,178

A mother was horrified to learn that when the man convicted of molesting her daughter had served his sentence, there was nothing she could legally do to prevent him from moving into the house across the road from their family home. As a result, her daughter was under an enormous amount of stress and had to ultimately move away.

She is calling on the government to tighten the rules around applying to convicted paedophiles, so that victims don’t have to uproot their lives and run away, leaving their friends and family behind.

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6. This petition to prevent our elected representatives from lying in parliament.

Number of signatures: 122,435

If I were to lie in a court of law, I would go to jail. But it’s entirely legal for an MP to lie to Parliament. Doesn’t sound right, does it?

Jolyon Rubinstein has been highlighting the corruption, greed and hypocrisy in our system for his TV show “The Revolution Will Be Televised” for years. But right now, he’s making a documentary for the BBC about why young people aren’t interested in Westminster politics. We should be able to trust our MPs – but what’s clear in making this documentary is that too many people just don’t.

I’m not launching it as part of a campaign to have this law passed. I want to start a debate about the importance of the truth in politics. If enough of you sign, it will send a message that we have had enough of broken promises, massaged statistics and the double

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