Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

Secrets Of The Lobbying Process

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 15.

The effectiveness of recommendations made by the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life was clearly shown by a lobbying seminar given by a senior professional lobbyist in October.

A journalist from the Independent newspaper, managed to gain entry to a secret seminar given by Michael Burrell, managing director of top professional lobbyist’s Westminster Strategy. The advice given at the seminar was that lobbyists should encourage friendly MPs to take certain standpoints in the House of Commons to ensure they gained places on powerful standing committees and then once in place, could effect legislation according to the wishes of lobbyists clients. Burrell said the idea was “to get your supporters to speak but not support you. Then they might get on to the standing committee. It’s a bit Machiavellian.” The use of the word “supporters”, acknowledges the fact that MPs are voluntarily manipulated by professional lobby groups.

Westminster Strategies’ clients include the National Westminster Bank and the Corporation of London. Present at the seminar were representatives of British Aerospace and Cable and Wireless.