Even with the changes agreed as result of the Report Stage in the House of Lords this week, the UK government's Lobbying Bill remains a huge restriction on civil society campaigning compared to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
There has been a united, determined campaign against the gagging impact of the Lobbying Bill on the part of voluntary groups and NGOs. Some will therefore think it a shame that a minority of charities, and the Charities Aid Foundation, have at this late stage chosen the path of seeking exemptions for themselves rather than focussing on the wider considerations.
As the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill comes up for the final votes at Westminster this week, an advert is appearing in The Times newspaper – supported by Ekklesia and 100 other civil society organisations – drawing parliamentarians' attention to the huge concern about this bill across the voluntary sector, and highlighting the 164,000+ members of the public who have signed it in just a few days.
It's time to talk about, and talk up, monetary reform – to ensure that the public good that is our money system once again serves the interests of wider society, not just those of private wealth. So says groundbreaking political economist Ann Pettifor, whose new book 'Just Money' demystifies the nature of money and the finance system, showing how and why it needs to be reconstructed.