Skip to main content

To: Nick Clegg MP, Deputy P.M., The Committee on standards in public life, Margaret Hodge MP, Chair, Commons Public Accounts Committee, Lords and MPs

OUTLAW CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITHIN GOVERNMENT #fracking #fossilfuels #BigSix #NHS privatization

OUTLAW CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITHIN GOVERNMENT #fracking #fossilfuels #BigSix #NHS privatization

We call on you to add or give full support for an amendment to the ‘Lobbying Act’ to prevent conflicts of interest within government. At the very least, this should outlaw those in government from influencing matters with which they have a vested interest, especially if they stand to gain financially from the outcome.

Rules for procedures aiming to prevent this from happening currently apply to local government, thus why not also in central government?

Conflicts of interest can range from individual self-interest through to corporate interest for increasing profit and power, including via the many industry employees embedded within departments. Conflicts of interest provide scope for vested ‘internal lobbying’ (as distinct from the types of lobbying that usually come to mind which come from outside government). A lobbying bill should cover both internal and external lobbying.

EXAMPLES:
One example of many such conflicts of interest is the Chairman of fracking company Cuadrilla Lord Browne, who is also in the Cabinet Office, and part of a web of fracking connections at the heart of government (see infographics to left). Other examples include numerous people from the fossil fuel industry within government and its departments, with a profit motive to hinder action on climate change.
This embedding is also true for the Big Six (very topical!), the Big Four accountancy firms (with Treasury/HMRC secondments and revolving door employees ‘legalising’ tax dodging for their multinational and wealthy clients, thereby creating an uneven playing field for SMEs and a “false-need” for cuts), and MPs who are future beneficiaries of NHS privatization, etc.

Why is this important?

Without such rules, and with increasing examples of such conflicts of interest, how can we trust government to give first priority to a long-term and equitable regard to public interest, such as for our health, environment and climate, rather than to the short-term power and profit interests of the already over-powerful big multinational corporations, and the self-enrichment of the wealthiest minority? Democracy must be restored before a corporatocracy or the overbearing power of a wealthy “elite” minority, becomes further entrenched (as in the USA and petrostate Canada), or we (and the climate) will continue on an increasingly self-destructive trajectory.

For more information on this topic, please visit www.dragonfly1.plus.com/Outlaw-Internal-Lobbying.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS OPTIONAL EXTRA READING - FOR THOSE WHO WANT MORE DETAIL BEFORE SIGNING THE PETITION

The above examples more fully explained:

1. FRACKING interests are at the heart of government, as shown clearly on the 2 full sized infographics which can be seen via the links below. How can we possibly trust our government to have a credible regard to the pollution risks of fracking on our health, food production, water supplies, environment and climate with such pro-fracking conflicts of interest within government and departments, especially as we are now seeing the removal of both local democracy and air pollution monitoring from our influence via local government.

2. FOSSIL FUEL interests and CLIMATE CHANGE
The embedding of fossil fuels interests within the UK government, which is pervasive through many of its departments, is one of the main obstructive forces to action on climate change by the UK. This is shown well by WDM’s infographic ‘THE FOSSIL FUEL WEB OF POWER’ (via link below), which reveals that “a third of UK government ministers are embroiled in a web of influence” with the fossil fuel industry and the finance sector which bankrolls it, and consequently also “bank-rolling climate change”. Also “executives at big finance and energy firms are often appointed to serve on government committees or regulatory bodies.”

Caroline Lucas MP revealed that at least 50 employees of energy/gas/oil companies are working within government.

We thus have both ‘internal lobbying’ as well as the more widely debated external lobbying. The “lobbying bill” aka “gagging bill” for its dangerous Part 2, pretends to regulate external lobbying but does not even address internal lobbying (the “elephant in the room”).

3. OTHER CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: see website link below or to the left.

LINKS:

I have created a web-page that both clarifies and broadens on the above examples of conflicts of interest, backing them up with reference links and links to the infographics - including those on the WDM website:
www.dragonfly1.plus.com/Outlaw-Internal-Lobbying.html

The above web-page links to all the following:

Fracking web of power infographic usable as a poster: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/NexusForFrackingA4.pdf

WDM is the World Development Movement:

WDM Fracking web of power interactive infographic:
http://www.wdm.org.uk/fracking/index.html

WDM Fossil Fuel Web of Power interactive infographic: http://www.wdm.org.uk/carbon-capital/nexus

My web-page url for information and action against fracking web of power: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/FRACKING.html#action

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This petition is written by a member of both the South Lakes WDM group aka South Lakeland WDM as part of national WDM, and SLACC-TT (South Lakes Action on Climate Change Towards Transition). Both these groups are campaigning on climate change and I have written this petition partly as a contribution to the aims of both these groups and also with their help.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Some keywords with twitter hashtags where applicable: #conflictofinterest #fracking #fossilfuels #climatechange #bigsix #bigfour #nhs privatization

How it will be delivered

I plan to at least email the signatures. Depending on the response and support, it may be possible to deliver the petition in a more publicized manner.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • Critical issue in maintaining true democracy, transparency and improving public trust in politics. Please sign my related Parliament Petition: "Independent, more stringent scrutiny of MPs' interests, influences & conflicts" https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/127247 Thanks.
  • The Government used to be very strict on conflict of interest or was that just about the employees not being allowed to accept gifts from tenderers.
  • The conflicts of interest from lobbyists should be properly addressed, not the farce we have ina blatant attempt at gagging us carried out in a recent bill.

Updates

2016-02-19 08:09:53 +0000

500 signatures reached

2013-10-27 09:18:46 +0000

100 signatures reached

2013-10-23 11:06:21 +0100

50 signatures reached

2013-10-22 15:09:36 +0100

25 signatures reached

2013-10-21 22:14:01 +0100

10 signatures reached