Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power

John Cryer MP points out that the crisis of lobbying is inextricably linked with a system that reinforces the power of an elite who went to the same schools, universities and drinking clubs

 

By John Cryer MP (Labour, Leyton and Wanstead)

The revelations by the Independent earlier this week about lobbyists and government make pretty shocking reading but I doubt that many voters will have had their socks knocked off by the shock.

For many people, the story simply reinforces the impression that there is a cosy cabal at the apex of British politics who know one another, went to the same schools and universities and socialise together.

The question is this: are the claims of Tim Collins, among others, that he has access to Cameron, Osborne and Hague and their closest advisers, true or untrue?

If they are true, some pretty stringent action is needed. If untrue, then the lobbyists are charlatans and all those Tory MPs who used to be lobbyists and those lobbyists who used to be MPs are conning clients out of large sums of cash.

I agree with the prime minister that lobbying could be the next big scandal to hit British politics. But he seems to have changed his mind about the need to do anything about it.

There was supposed to be a consultation paper issued on future legislation by the end of last month but nothing has appeared. I presented a Bill on the issue to parliament last week which would force those lobbying for commercial gain to register and to provide certain information such as details of meeting with ministers and expenditure.

This would not solve all the problems but it would bring some transparency to the system. Also, it would not prevent constituents, NGOs, co-operatives and trade unionists from lobbying their MPs or parliament.

We all have the right to lobby and it is a vital part of democracy. But big business can pay for professionals who know their way around parliament and who can get the sort of access not available to the rest of us.

They should not have the capacity to trample on the interests of ordinary citizens simply because they have cash – and went to the right school.

See also:

Bell Pottinger is sleazy, but lobbying can be so much moreJonny Mulligan, December 7th 2011

Latest lobbying scandal leads right to Cameron’s doorTamasin Cave, December 6th 2011

Safe in their hands? Tory peers, private health and the threat to our NHSShamik Das, November 2nd 2011

Exposed: The lobbyist who said “the public has no right to know who our clients are”Tamasin Cave, October 18th 2011

Fox’s sliminess shows how much we need lobbying regulationTamasin Cave, October 10th 2011

17 Responses to “Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power”

  1. Janet Graham

    Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power, writes John Cryer MP: http://t.co/AYYrj5oZ

  2. neilrfoster

    Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power, writes John Cryer MP: http://t.co/AYYrj5oZ

  3. Anonymous

    This is from a former Union man who belongs to a party paid for and owned by bullying lobbyists… Classic.

    When will Labour dump the unions and become a serious political party rather than the political wing of a small subset of society?

  4. Political Planet

    Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power: John Cryer MP points out that the crisis … http://t.co/7txj4oL8

  5. Karen

    Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power: John Cryer MP points out that the crisis … http://t.co/7txj4oL8

  6. Rachel oldroyd

    Why TBIJ's investigation into Bell Pottinger DOES matter by John Cryer MP. http://t.co/SKXkvXWE

  7. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power http://t.co/RixaJeYj

  8. 45apl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power, writes John Cryer MP: http://t.co/UKjsl4mZ #NewsClub

  9. jamie pritchard

    Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power, writes John Cryer MP: http://t.co/AYYrj5oZ

  10. Anonymous

    Quite right. The unions are just another lobby organisation.

    What’s the common feature?

    Rent seeking. Getting the government to give you special perks at the expense of the public.

    Unions, Greens, Coporates they are all at it. From Feed in Tariffs to PFI, the common factor in all of it is government and MPs.

    Just like their expenses.

  11. Anonymous

    Small subset of society, mmm. That will be the 23% of the electorate that voted Tory at the last election then.

  12. Tim Easton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power http://t.co/eZc1a8C4

  13. A personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales – to sleazebag lobbyists | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power – John Cryer MP, December 8th […]

  14. Newsbot9

    Oh yes, because ground-up organisations like Unions are like the Lobbyists hired by corporations to fight those same ground-up organizations and their workers.

    No, wait, you just hate the workers.

  15. Baroness Wrenthorpe

    Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power, writes John Cryer MP: http://t.co/AYYrj5oZ

  16. Look Left – Europe 26-1 Cameron: Britain isolated like never before | Left Foot Forward

    […] Labour’s John Cryer, who is putting forward a bill to regulate the industry, wrote: “The question is this: are the claims of Tim Collins, among others, that he has access to […]

  17. The government’s ‘transparency’ is clear as mud | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Lobbying is just the latest way the Bully boys are monopolising power – John Cryer MP, December 8th […]

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