March 3rd, 2011

Lobbying Register Warning Bells

Guido has to laugh at the audacity that some of the more brazen members of the lobbying community have shown in defending the new voluntary register of “political consultants”. As Spinwatch said, this is no more than a “PR stunt from PR experts”.

As the new UK PAC site with public registers went live this week just 251, out of an estimated 14,000 spinners, had  voluntarily signed up. A further 1,362 were put on the list automatically by their companies, but where are the big hitters? Search the register for power-lobbyists like Roland Rudd, Tim Bell, Alan Parker or Matthew Freud and you get “Your search did not return any results.” Francis Ingham, spinmeister for the widely discredited PRCA trade body, makes hyperbolic claims for the nascent self-regulator: “It provides a foundation on which to grow self-regulation. It is – though doubtless our detractors will dispute this – a good thing.” It is an abject failure, with an estimated 90% of lobbyists ignoring the register.

Guido is no fan of government regulation of the private sector but the political lobbying industry thwarts democracy and pollutes the body politic to such an extent something has to be done. Guido’s idea is that all politicians and civil servants should be required to transparently publish all details of meetings with lobbyists – Cameron’s government ministers and Downing Street SpAds already have to do this. The idea should be rolled out as a requirement for all those paid by taxpayers and involved in influencing legislation. Obviously this means the question of identifying political lobbyists will have to be addressed.

To avoid any confusion by ministers or civil servants when unknowingly or inadvertently meeting lobbyists socially, taking up tickets to the opera or lunching at Michelin-starred restaurants and the like, registered lobbyists should make themselves easily identifiable.  The historically tried and tested solution for just this problem springs to mind. They should be made to wear bells around their necks, like lepers…


91 Comments

  1. 1
    AngryEnglishJon says:

    Just once perhaps one of these wastrels would get a proper job

    • 11
      Lord Mandelson says:

      I couldn’t agree more, ducky.

      • 64
        Anonymous says:

        Neil Ferguson talking an immense amount of sense on sky news, putting the concept of “democracy” in it’s place in contrast with its current deification in politics and media

      • 65
        William Hague says:

        ‘appen I could use a new spadboy. That’s a reet proper job lad, ba goom!

    • 69
      Senator Bloodn' Gore, says:

      Why on earth should they want a real job when the current one pays over a £1m/year, silly boy!

    • 91
      Major Plonquer says:

      ‘They (lobbyists) should be made to wear bells around their necks, like lepers… ‘

      What’ so bad about lepers?

  2. 2
    Cameron when asked what he'd say to Gaddafi, Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin says:

    What on earth do you think you are doing? Stop it.

    • 10
      Blair when asked what he'd say to Gaddafi, Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin says:

      How can I help you help myself gentlemen?

      • 15
        Tony Blair says:

        Everybody (in my family) sing:
        We’re in the (blood) money! We’re in the (blood) money!

        • 61
          Dave 'Heir to Blair' Cameron when asked what he'd say to Blair says:

          Did you ever know that you’re my Hero Tony ?
          You’re everything I would like to be,
          I can fly higher than an eagle,
          Coz you are the wind beneath my wings.

      • 25
        from the heavily gilded office of the Prime Mincer says:

        tring

    • 18
  3. 3
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Come on Guido , if there was no corupption in politics you would be out of a blog

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    What’s Peter Lorre doing in our parliament?

  5. 5
    Electrified Balls says:
  6. 6
    Leper says:

    To be associated with the lobbyist vermin offends me greatly.

  7. 14
    Labour council says:

    Would you like free benefit money?

  8. 15
    Lord Stansted says:

    Their site is rubbish. I registered but still waiting for their email. I suggest *everybody* register:

    http://www.publicaffairscouncil.org.uk/index.php/register/member_register/

    Overload the bastards.

  9. 19

    The whole point about lobbyists is that they “lob” money your way

  10. 20
    Gove the Gimp says:

    Nothing to see here – move on.

    Just another rant from Guido –A jealous SpAd come Lobbyist wannbe……LOL

  11. 22
    Barnsley voter says:

    I like that Labour party. They look out for us regular folk.

    • 32
      Tax Payer says:

      yeah……when you’re scraping together pennies for the meter or a meal, just remember ‘your’ M.P. is on a £65k salary and at least £100k expenses, and getting obese on subsidised food and drink. Oh, and he’s spent all your children’s money as well.

      Still – at least he’s not a nasty ‘tory’. You STUPID C’UNT !!

    • 49
      Aesop o'Sardis says:

      “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

      Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005

      • 77
        sockpuppet #4 says:

        “All right now baby, it’s all right now”

        Paul Rodgers, 1949-present.

  12. 29
    Gordon Brown says:

    I’m here

  13. 31
    Douglas Bader-BSB says:

    Reach for the Sky.

  14. 33
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Aint we all Lobbyists?

  15. 40
    Ed Miliband says:

    Nobody ever lobbies me. ‘snot fair.

  16. 42
    The BBC says:

    Eastenders is worth the licence fee alone.

  17. 44

    It’s a poor day when politicians cannot use taxpayers’ money in any way they see fit. Then, on top of this, you get bloggers asking all sorts of impertinent questions about who pays for my lunch and theatre tickets. Perhaps we ought to regulate them …

  18. 50
    Gove the Gimp says:

    The Scum and The Daily Wail, today, have been found guilty of “Contempt of Court”

    Oh Deary Me.

  19. 51
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    How would you deal with the unions? They fund the Labour party and get accses to the top of the labour party, Surely they have influenced laws passed?

    • 54
      PD77 says:

      Insightful and probing, where’s Billy and what have you done to him?

      • 57
        streamfisher says:

        It is the mark 3 version of an experimental ‘sentient’ blog Robot, but no spell checker installed yet.

      • 72
        Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

        More than half of Conservative donors ‘from the City’

        The research found the majority of big City donors were hedge fund managers and brokers
        More than half of donations to the Conservative Party last year came from the City of London, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

        Firms and individuals donated £11.4m in 2010, the bureau said, bringing the total from the City since David Cameron became leader to more than £42m

        • 83
          PD77 says:

          Perhaps if Labour were more popular with the private sector instead of bashing it to cover their incompetence, they might get their greasy mitts on some of that capitalist wonga.

          And it’s still not Billy!

  20. 53
    Steve Miliband says:

    Jeremy Vine is interviewing Duffelbag – the whole episode being replayed. Is this in Sarah’s diaries

  21. 55
    stun says:

    Re Mark Hanson (see twitter etc). No idea who he is, but how do you die of depression? Or is the PC left unable to say the ‘S’ word?

    • 59
      sockpuppet #4 says:

      Idle speculation really: but answers include, high blood pressure leading to stroke/heart attack, complications from drnkng etc.

    • 67
      South of the M4 says:

      Try Ed Balls as PM. That should just about do it.

    • 68
      Fuck off says:

      For once put partisanship aside. A person has lost his life for fuck’s sake. The circumstances are irrelevant. I’m reminded of the time a bunch of morons made light of Stephen Timms being stabbed. Not everything has to be reduced to jokes and piss taking.

  22. 60
    Gordon Brown says:

    I’m a rainforest.

  23. 66
    the last quango in paris says:

    i see miliband is defecit denying on twatter today

    • 71
      Ed Miliband says:

      The UK has no deficit.

      • 74
        the last quango in paris says:

        ” Don’t buy the deceit that it was Labour. This gov’t inherited a growing economy after bank crisis. “

      • 75
        Dave Camoron says:

        We agreed to match Labour spending so we didn’t give a fuck about the deficit.

  24. 76
    The Guardian says:

    We are old
    We run green
    Keep our thoughts
    Nice and clean
    See our friends
    Over lunch
    Feel all right
    We wake up
    Write some trash
    We go out
    Smoke some hash
    We are Left
    Quite bereft
    Of some sense
    Our self-worth
    Is imense
    Feel all right
    Are we like you?

  25. 78
    Wavy Davy, U-Turn baby says:

    I talk to the trees
    But they don’t listen to me
    I talk to the stars
    But they never hear me
    The breeze hasn’t time
    To stop and hear what I say
    I talk to them all in vain

  26. 79
    Senator Bloodn' Gore, says:

    Dear Guido,

    Lord Tim would like to thank you for his ‘media mention’. Please continue, he was a tad short when last year’s stats were compiled. Mr. Bingle would also appreciate a mention too if you’re up for it?

    Love and happy influencing etc…..

  27. 89
    Anonymous says:

    bring in alternative vote make politicians sweat more for their votes the corpses in house of lords are surviving better than ordinary folk in the land of the living. thats the best reason for bringing it it in. the house of lords should be made to sweat more for their votes also in ireland and united kingdom with many different people and many different languages people have so many different ways of saying how they screwed plus it would take a very brave person with nose of a skunk to use the toilet after blair brown balls left country in unholy messy economic damage left behind the lib dems are right bring in fixed term parliaments like america and bring in alternative votes if you have brains you ll agree make them sweat for votes.

  28. 90
    John says:

    The FDA has already launched the Sunshine act which effectively does just what we need. It requires ALL US based Health Care Practitioners to have any gift/ fund paid to them by a pharma published on a publicly searchable database…

    It’s a bit of a mission to do but we’ve managed to do it..

    We could do this for the politicians receiving “perks”, all of which will have to be recorded and published so we know exactly who is influencing who..


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It’s money innit.


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