Thursday, 17 November 2011


Lobbying is one subject I’d like discussed. A lack of specificity suggests the inaccurately titled Occupy LSX movement - currently occupying St. Paul’s - may well have covered this only to circle on. It tickles my imagination; a topic giving substance to claims of representing a broad section of political belief, though I don’t buy that for one moment. Nor, in all honesty, do I believe it to be the simple issue suggested, though some forms are undoubtedly a problem. In this respect the encamped libertarians and other free-marketers - if they exist - do share one characteristic in common with the more practiced protester; vagueness - something is wrong but what, and how to put it right? At least the right-of-centre have offered a “how”. Lobbying though, as described on the UK parliament website, could originate from any of the following:
  • Individual members of the public
  • Groups of constituents
  • Local businesses
  • Organised pressure groups/campaigners
  • Commercial organisations
Responding to members of the public, or groups of constituents, sounds like a job requirement; and an organised pressure group may only differ by virtue of scale. Likewise, I can imagine valid reasons for listening to the concerns of local businesses and, following from that, commercial organisations - or should government build infrastructure on a whim? It might appear we’re running out of suspects; however it’s the “professional” or paid lobbyist who most invokes our ire - thousands employed in the defence of special interests against competition; described by some as corporatism. The difficulty is one of distinction; even assuming agreement on which is which, how can we legislate to separate the good from the bad? I suspect contesting corporatism requires less fight and greater transparency - and better judgement from those we charge to oversee our interests.


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