We just published a piece in Open Democracy on how if the lobbying bill passes in its current form, it will make a mockery of the UK's open government aspirations. http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/jonathan-gray/britain-shines-light-of-transparency-on-secret-lobbying-just-kidding
Stop Secret Corporate Lobbying
To: David Cameron and Nick Clegg
The government is poised to let corporate lobbyists off the hook: we have just weeks to stop them. Having been slammed for proposals that unfairly cracked down on charities, the government is now trying to pass a watered down 'register of lobbyists', which would do nothing to stop the malign influence of big corporations over our political system. For a truly democratic result, all lobbyists must be obliged to say who they’re meeting, what decisions they are seeking to influence and how much they are spending. If the government is serious about rebuilding public trust, it must rewrite its proposals for a lobbying register now, and keep its promise to citizens.
Why is this important?
The UK has a £2 billion commercial lobbying industry - the third largest in the world - that is embedded in our political system. But the government’s current proposal would exclude the vast majority of commercial lobbyists and give the rest an easy ride. The new rules would apply to as little as 5% of all lobbying activity, and those they did affect would hardly have to provide any information at all. David Cameron and Nick Clegg promised they would run the ‘the most open and transparent government in the world’ but they have yet to deliver on their promise to shine a light on secret corporate lobbying, which advances the interests of the few at the expense of the many. This is their last chance to propose a register that covers all lobbyists and includes meaningful information about their activities. This petition is coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and endorsed by Access Info, the Campaign for Freedom of Information, Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, Corporate Europe Observatory, Corporate Watch, Democracy Matters, Greenpeace, Integrity Action, Involve, the Open Rights Group, Spinwatch, the Sunlight Foundation, Unlock Democracy, War on Want and World Development Movement. If your organisation would like to endorse the petition, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We just posted a piece called "5 Reasons To Stop Secret Corporate Lobbying" on BuzzFeed. Please help us to share this! http://www.buzzfeed.com/okfn/5-reasons-to-stop-secret-corporate-lobbying-hhyu
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