Transparency of Lobbying Bill

Lord Hodgson

The Transparency of Lobbying Bill has given rise to concerns in the charity sector as to the impact this may have on their ability to influence policy development particularly in the run up to future General Elections.

At its heart this issue is about where policy work crosses over into campaigning. The charity sector enjoys a very high reputation with the public. In large part this is because the sector is simultaneously takes in all political parties and yet belongs to none.

In recent years some charities have tested the campaigning “boundaries” and there is a risk that beyond a certain point public trust and confidence could be lost.

The Bill certainly needs improvement during its passage through the House of Lords – the financial limits are too low, the guidance of the Electoral Commission and the Charity Commission needs to be integrated into one and the wording of various clauses needs to be tightened up.

But, at its heart, the central theme of the Bill – that everyone should know who is pushing for what and that the influence of big money that has disfigured US politics should not become part of our political life – are worthy objectives.

3 comments for “Transparency of Lobbying Bill

  1. maude elwes
    04/11/2013 at 2:04 pm

    Lobbying and all its contingent parts is a far bigger issue than is room here to address. And the way it is now is an outrage. It is a trading game. And it removes the power of the people.

    Charities lobbying government is a total enigma. These groups set themselves up, with other peoples money, in a dark and sinister hidden corner of secrecy. Who are they and what are they pushing for? How much are they using to bribe their way through the halls of power and to whom are they colluding with and for what?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoYfeJvgWEA

    This is a costly, to the tax payer, dupe. Charities are big business and the majority of funds raised does not reach those it is donated to help. And government is in the know and yet stays quiet to accommodate the entire scam.

    Lobbying needs a huge overhaul and far more exposure of the aims of the lobbyists. What is the favours they are looking for. And how much are they paying to get it.

  2. LordBlagger
    04/11/2013 at 5:18 pm

    These groups set themselves up, with other peoples money, in a dark and sinister hidden corner of secrecy. Who are they and what are they pushing for?
    ===========
    Taxpayer’s money. No different than any other lobby. They are after other people’s money.

    e.g Charities to running schemes to get people back to work. Give us lots of cash, we cream off a percentage into our pockets, and the results? Who cares. We’ve meet the brief, we’ve been employed.

  3. Honoris Causa
    04/11/2013 at 8:10 pm

    The secrecy with which the International Chartered Accountants Association
    lobbied both the European parliament and then secretly the house of lords who scrutinized the new law, has almost put an end to the Cooperative movement as it has been run by the Coop Group Manchester over the last 150 years. The cooperative difference in accounting procedures has been abolished, even though it is a democractic movement supported by millions of members.

    I attempted to attend the HoL deliberations but they were held in private,
    and no Lab+Coop member became involved in the deliberations as far as I know, not even the redoubtable Louise Ellman. Considering there were at the time about 20 members sporting the name Co-op after/with their party name, it is surprising that none of them endeavored to prevent the wrong(in my opinion) change in the law that consequently took place.

    If a member of parliament can not campaign as effectively as lobbyists, and lose a good deal of their party identity because of it, there is little purpose in having MPs at all.

    Is it the end of the Coop group and movement for some time to come, thanks to futures traders, accountants, arbitrageurs, in Chicago, intent on making fast bucks out of the misfortune of co-operative customers throughout the UK?

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