Luke Samuel questions the validity of the online petition supporting the platform, while other readers worry about the way companies like Uber and Ryanair treat their staff

On Friday Uber was stripped of its licence to operate in London due to repeated infractions of regulations around safety (Uber loses licence to operate in London, 23 September). This follows the long-standing concerns about how Uber operates – its dubious taxation arrangements, its corporate model (loss-making, then raising costs and reducing driver pay) and its non-recognition of any worker benefits (sick pay, contracts, holiday etc). The company will appeal anyway, meaning the service will continue potentially for months or potentially even years, irrespective of outcome.

The firm immediately took to the public petitions site, reproducing its own press release in the form of a petition to “Save your Uber in London”. Have I misunderstood the meaning of a public petition, or is a company producing a petition to protect its own profits something of a confused perversion of this long-standing mode of political participation?

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