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The campaign for real campaigns

Proving that nothing enervates the good folk of merry England so much as a minor irritation, an internet campaign is currently taking London by storm. Well, it's taking London by a minor squall. Some drizzle and a bit of a breeze then. Look, it made the local news, okay?

So what are our intrepid e-warriors fighting for that is garnering such a feverish response? Something hugely important such as an end to global warming, you might think. Or perhaps a cause worthy but more parochial, say, such as a campaign against knife violence, or an attempt to ban the incorrect use of the word 'solutions' in marketing materials.

No, the Music Free Buses campaign solution is gaining city-wide recognition for its brave battle against the evils of, er, young people listening to music. Specifically, young people listening to music when they are on public transport.

Now, I'm as irascible as the next man (as long the next man is Dr John Reid, and he's just sat down in a pile of Tory-supporting wasps after being doused in jam by the league against Scots belligerence), and I'm quite capable of getting riled up by inconsequential things. (You'd be taking your life in your hand's if you misused an apostrophe in my presence.) But I'm also quite happy to ask someone to turn down their music if it is too loud. Or rubbish. And I have this crazy theory that the energy to change the world is best spent on important stuff. Not raising money to send sick horses to Disneyworld.

Clearly the Music Free Buses people have touched a nerve. People care about this stuff and there's nothing wrong with that. Even the site's author has expressed his own surprise at how big his petition has become. This concerns me.

The internet can be an excellent, unrivalled and democratic way of expressing the opinions of the silent majority. But goodwill and fighting spirit are finite resources. Try raising money for a mental health charity on the same street as a campaign to keep lovely bunnies fluffy and you'll see what I mean. And are people really so apathetic that we are only concerned about oiks listening loudly to Snoopy Doggy Woof Woof and the New Seekers [note to subs: insert music references to make me sound up with the kids] disturbing our morning journey?

Come on people, join with me as I start a campaign for better internet campaigns. Sorry, better internet campaign solutions. And to keep our friends at Music Free Buses happy, keep the noise down while you're at it.

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