Lobbying Bill rethink – another Tory ‘bait-and-switch’?

Lobbying Bill rethink – another Tory ‘bait-and-switch’?

If there's one thing that points the way to what's wrong with government it's Lobbying. But when the UK government raised a Bill to combat lobbying by making it transparent, the public where surprised and at first thought our government was turning over a new leaf. Imagine our disappointment when the Bill failed to include most types of Lobbying.

It seems we have all been victims of a Parliamentary stitch-up.

This Bill still does not do what it is supposed to do. A register of consultant lobbyists is not adequate to the task and would not have prevented any of the major lobbying scandals in which David Cameron has been embroiled.

Practically all forms of lobbying, including direct donations to political parties by corporate and private interests, will remain totally unaffected by the legislation and corporations could sidestep it easily, simply by bringing their lobbying operations “in house”.

No less than 80 per cent of lobbying activity will not be covered by the bill– and it must be amended to cover this percentage. The only lobbyists that will be affected are registered lobbying agencies, who will presumably suffer large losses as their clients leave. Perhaps the real aim of this part of the bill is to stop lobbying from organisations that don’t have enough money to make it worth the government’s while?

How does this bill prevent wealthy individuals and corporations from buying political influence through party political donations – direct donations to MPs who then coincidentally vote in ways beneficial to their donors – or directly to political parties, such as David Cameron’s “The Leaders Group”?

How will it stop paid lobbyists like David Cameron’s election adviser Lynton Crosby from having influential roles in politics?

Read the full article.

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Wednesday, 27 January 2021

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