The Lobbying Bill being debated at Westminster will do nothing to expose corporate lobbying, says Tamasin Cave, a director of SpinWatch, author, and leader of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency coalition. If we are going to diminish corporate commercial influence in government, we need to understand its tactics better and call them out.
As a teetotal Christian, I would not want to sell alcohol. If I worked at Marks & Spencer, and had politely asked a customer to pay another member of staff for her champagne, I doubt that it would have led to a national media story. Marks & Spencer’s policy on this issue has hit the headlines because of a staff member who made such a request – and who is a Muslim. This conveniently suits the agenda of the right-wing media, obsessed as they are with portraying Muslims as weird.
Alcohol is the most dangerous drug in our society, and present UK drug classification systems bear little relation to the evidence of harm, according to a drugs expert sacked by the last government. Bob Carling probes behind the headlines and politics to look at the science policy issues and human concerns.
There might not have been anywhere for expectant Mary and her husband Joseph two thousand years ago, but a minister in Lanark, Scotland, says there is plenty of room at the inn this Christmas. At least, at the one to which he is going.