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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

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Edmund, a child who goes onto the internet is very unlikely to visit this website, their favourite websites are usually games websites, or the website of their football club. The point of this pledge is not to get kids to read it but to get them involved when a public figure is a patron of a local sports club, and the likes of Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone are very unlikely to attract children, if David Beckham or Thierry Henry signed it might get a few children on this site but not many. I bet the majority of children under 11 (in inner city london at least) don't even know what Tony Blair's job is. If they know who he is in the first place.
Furthermore, negative comments will not "kill this pledge", most of the people who look at a pledge don't read the comments anyway, and even if they did, most of the people who visit won't be public figures and will have no interest in the pledge anyway, apart from perhaps to note, "oh, what a nice guy Tony is", which I maintain is the primary objective of this pledge.
If a public figure really wants to do something good like this, no amount of negative comments will put them off, maybe it will discourage the half-hearted ones, the ones who will give up after a couple of years, potentially disappointing or disheartening the kids so maybe it's better that they are discouraged.

Now "Who will lose in the end.The Sports centres and the rest of us." No, if the sports centres could survive on their own, they should be fine and with all the extra funding they've been promised they should go from strength to strength. Personally I think the chance of appearing in the olympics should be motivation enough, if they need a celebrity to make them participate then their heart isn't really in it and they won't have a hope of appearing in the games. As the host country gets a competitor in every sport whether they are any good or not, your assertion that "The athletes have won when they are selected to compete and represent our great country." will not be affected by the success or failure of this pledge.

"if you want to debate with Tony Blair about the liberation of Iraq
then go to the Downing street website."
Well, I doubt that Tony Blair actually has anything to do with the downing street website, and you are unlikely to get a debate about any government policy there, everthing is spun out of recognition.

The thing is this pledge is the result of a political act, Tony Blair freely admits he can do little more than turn on a computer. Tony Blair did not come up with this idea, he had probably never heard of pledgebank until the pledge was created.
I imagine that while coming up with ideas for the local election campaign, there was a brainwave, "as most of the elections are in london, lets launch with a speech about the legacy of the olympics, about making london the best city in the world" and someone else mentioned pledgebank, and the rest is history. In short, Tony Blair did not come up with this idea, a labour party member/employee did, purely to improve Blair's image, that makes this pledge a political act and the perfect platform for a little political debate.

Any more thoughts on those questions I asked you?
Sam Hayes, 13 years ago.

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