Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PRATS - Petersfield's vocal locals

Cam Payne, Petersfield's biggest PRAT

A new website has been launched to enable Petersfield residents to object to the many things they object to “in a more organised manner”.

The man behind the website, Cam Payne, chairman of the vocal local organisation Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS), believes this is a major step forward in the town’s ability to complain irrationally about all manner of topics.

He said: “Petersfield residents are renowned for objecting – whether it’s against planning applications, the closure of the Town Square, car parking, pavements, the lack of organic five-a-day vegetables, the increasing appearance of fog or a failure to increase oxygen levels for old people.

“While these are all valid objections, as a town we need to have a more co-ordinated approach. Too often the protests are limited to individuals posting leaflets on telegraph poles or somebody writing a letter of ill-informed complaint to the local newspaper.

“The launch of the new website will enable us to protest in a more organised manner. And it will also lead to more concerted and visible campaigns. For a start, this week, following on from the much publicised ‘Occupy’ protests in New York and London , we are holding an Occupy Cloisters march.

“It will start at the statue in the centre of the square and culminate at the Cloisters coffee bar where protesters will occupy all the tables, pausing only to order the occasional latte and eggs Benedict.

“And if, as expected, the protest gathers momentum we will be able to nip across the square to Milletts and purchase some thick socks or even a tent. For most people this will only differ from their normal day in that they will be ordering eggs Benedict instead of a smoked salmon bagel – but the important thing is we have to start somewhere. And the website has enabled us to do that.”

The website comprises a simple content management system into which visitors add in relevant information in order to generate a campaign. These include ‘cause of ire’; ‘action required’; ‘how many angry residents do you require?’; and a multiple-choice section for ‘required action’, which includes tick-boxes for ‘angry letter to the paper’; ‘angry photograph in the paper’; ‘poster pinned up angrily in the library’; or ‘angry stall in town square at next event organised by an angry Ben Errey.