A poll of lobbyists found that only four per cent believe that the lobbying bill will increase transparency. This widely-criticised measure may block voluntary and community organisations and trade unions from flagging up public concerns. But clearly it will not achieve what is supposed to be its main purpose – making lobbying more transparent.
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.
It is not just governments and political opposition movements who are accused of violating human rights, and who need to be pressed to uphold them. The corporate world, which is increasingly dominant in a globalised society, faces major issues in this area.
The coalition can force its welfare changes through using procedural measures, minor concessions and ‘financial privilege’ to do so. But the long-term political fall-out from all of this could be immense, says Simon Barrow. The warfare over welfare has shown just how powerful citizens’ action and web-based crowd sourcing can be.