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Lobbying and the Financial Crisis

About the author
Tom Griffin is freelance journalist and researcher. He holds a Ph.D in social and policy sciences from the University of Bath, and is a former Executive Editor of the Irish World.

Tom Griffin (London, OK): The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency hosts a meeting at Westminster this evening which looks at the role of corporate spin in paving the way for the credit crunch:

It is widely accepted that the current financial crisis has been exacerbated by a lack of regulatory oversight. To what extent has this been caused by sustained lobbying and high level access to Government by the financial industry? In the context of this and other current political issues, such as airport expansion, nuclear and food policy, the debate will ask: Do we have a right to know who is lobbying Government? Would greater transparency in lobbying lead to more Government accountability? And should Parliamentarians have financial interests in lobbying firms? Come and share your views on these and other timely questions.

Among the speakers (in committee room 6 from 6pm) are Guido Fawkes, Peter Facey of Unlock Democracy and Professor David Miller of Spinwatch, who highlighted the issue underlying the Oleg Deripaska imbroglio in a recent Comment is Free article:

Thanks to the recent insight into the affairs of the rich and powerful, we should be under no illusion in Britain that undue influence is also being exerted on our policy-makers. Our lobbying industry, which today includes law and accountancy firms, management consultancies, think tanks, charities and others, has grown to be worth an estimated £1.9bn. It is embedded in our political system, and, as in Brussels, it operates away from the public gaze.

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