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Lobbying and the Financial Crisis

Tom Griffin
5 November 2008

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.

Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

Join us for a journey through a shadowy world of dark money and disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

Sign up to take part in a free live discussion on Thursday 13 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET

In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.

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