We’ve had plenty of people get in touch over the last couple of weeks, concerned that London’s original city farm is threatened with imminent closure.
The root of the story – as you’ll doubtless be aware by now – was an e-petition on the website 38degrees. Set up by a well-meaning local, it has pulled in over 7k signatures (and counting) within the space of a fortnight.
Did you sign it? How could you not, right? We all love the farm. The problem, as was swiftly pointed out by Camden Council’s Theo Blackwell, is that although budgets are being tightened – and where aren’t they? – neither the farm nor those who continue to fund it have even so much as mooted the potential of closure.Yet still thousands of well-intentioned e-protestors willingly gave up their email addresses to this ‘cause’ without a second thought as to its validity. I’d wager many of those are regularly also up in arms about Facebook privacy, pornography filters, Twitter trolling and the rest of today’s hot internet related news topics, but the click-to-support culture of e-petitions is also becoming a problem.
The impressive power that sites like 38degrees have enabled is being rapidly devalued by just how easy and brainless it is to throw one’s support behind all manner of worthy campaigns, with no real investment or understanding in what is really going on.
Of course it’s heartening to see such passion for Kentish Town’s groundbreaking city farm, but in its 40th anniversary year, we already know there’s bucketloads of that. What the petition furore has achieved is to reveal the squeezed financial situation there. So rather than adding a name to list and shouting #savekentishtowncityfarm, we suggest everyone who cares does the one thing that really can make a difference, and donates directly to the farm.
You can do it here. Go on. And as with crossing the road, remember the mantra of all online action: think before you click.