Monday, 26 July 2010

Whose Power? What Influence?

Last year we all got very angry about the corrupt expense claims of our MPs. However there is an area that is much more corrupting than the expenses - the influence of lobbying.

The scandal of lobbying was highlighted by the Sunday Times sting on three Labour ex-cabinet members earlier this year. But the reality of lobbying is far more insidious.  Companies, trade associations and other interest groups have considerable influence on Government policy ensure that decisions reflect their commercial influences rather the wider public interest.

Of course you can't see exactly who is talking to who; what deals are being made and what price is being paid for influence. But it makes you think and certainly in my case possibly a little paranoid.  So when earlier this month I saw this in the Daily Mail

I wondered what deals where being done.  Later the same day in the Guardian I came across this story

As an employer McDonald's has an appalling reputation which is largely deserved. The word McJob has even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary

Both the decision to cave in on effective regulation of the fast food industry and the appointment of bad employer McDonald's to manage the Olympics volunteering programme are likely to have been influenced by lobbying.  Neither are in the interests of ordinary people.

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