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Pressure Groups (Politics A Level): Lobbyists and Corporations

undefinedLobbyists and Corporations

Lobbying: "Activities devoted to informing politicians of the views of various interest groups, and persuading them to draft legislation or to vote in accordance with these views. Lobbying is conducted by numerous interest groups; the methods vary greatly. Some lobbying is purely informative; no reasonable objection can be made to this, as it is clearly desirable that legislators should know about people’s problems, and how any proposed legislation will affect them. At the other extreme lobbyists can use criminal methods such as bribery and blackmail. In between are methods involving financial support for political activities, which many countries believe cannot be prohibited but need to be regulated."

Hashimzade, N., Myles, G., & Black, J. (2017). Lobbying. In A Dictionary of Economics. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 Apr. 2020, from https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780198759430.001.0001/acref-9780198759430-e-1834.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How to use this page

The resources on this page have been carefully selected to help you with your investigation, while you may choose to look at other resources there is no need to, and you should certainly start with these. The resources are divided into:

  • Specific resources for named groups (CBI, Hanbury Strategy). You may want to start here to gather some basic information on your individual group.
  • Resources for Lobbyists and Corporations in general. These resources are specifically about Lobbyists and Corporations and will be useful for developing your argument about the extent to which Lobbyists and Corporations have a positive or negative influence and how you might like this to change.
  • General resources. These resources apply to all four categories of group, and will help you to think about how the different categories of pressure group fit together and what the role of Lobbyists and Corporations is within this. There are two very good Politics Review articles in this section that are worth reading, especially if your group is the CBI.

The Planning your article box to the right is identical to the one on The Orwell Youth Prize (OYP) page, and contains the Investigative Journal and Research Organiser that you will need to fill in as you do your investigation and plan your article. Make sure you refer back to the advice on the Orwell Youth Prize (OYP) page before you start to write your article.

Specific resources for named groups

CBI LogoThe CBI's own website is a good source of factual information about features such as goals, funding, structure and methods. Clearly there will be an element of bias so it must be used in conjunction with other sources when forming judgements and opinions. Make sure you explore the links at the top of the page - particularly the ones in the dark blue bar and the ones in the What we do and how we do it menu.

References: CBI. (2020). What we do. Retrieved from CBI.org.uk: https://www.cbi.org.uk/what-we-do/


undefinedBoris Johnson steps up campaign against business lobby (Financial Times, 2020)

**You may need to log in to Access Global NewsBank using the details provided on the Subscription Databases page before clicking this link, particularly if you are not on the school network.**

The Financial Times is rated "Least Biased based on balanced reporting and High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check" by Mediabiasfactcheck.org.

Reference: Parker, G. & Thomas, D. (2020, Ferbruary 3) Boris Johnson steps up campaign against business lobby. Retrieved from The Finacial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/b61d4664-46b8-11ea-aee2-9ddbdc86190d


Dame Carolyn FairbairnOpposition hits back at 'shoddy' CBI analysis (Times, 2019)

**You may need to log in to Access Global NewsBank using the details provided on the Subscription Databases page before clicking this link, particularly if you are not on the school network.**

Media Bias/ Fact Check rates The Times and Sunday Times as "Right-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that favors the right and High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record."

Reference: Jones, C. (2019, October 19) Opposition hits back at 'shoddy' CBI analysis. Times, p. 41. Retrieved from Access Global NewsBank: https://infoweb.newsbank.com

Hanbury strategy logoHanbury strategy's own website is not as helpful as those of many larger organisations. It does give you some sense of the organisation's goals and methods, and the Polling tab gives a sense of the work that it does.  The People tab is also useful because in listing the work that each person does it gives a sense of the broader work of the company. There is little information about funding, but this is not surprising as it is a private company funded by the fees paid by clients.

Clearly there will be an element of bias on the site so it must be used in conjunction with other sources when forming judgements and opinions.

References: Hanbury Strategy. (2020). Home. Retrieved from Hanburystrategy.com: https://hanburystrategy.com/


Emily FermorPublic affairs consultancy in the spotlight: Hanbury Strategy (PR Week, 2019)

PR Week is an international PR and comms magazine, from a reasonably large publishing company. This is a profile effectively written by Hanbury strategy, so there is some obvious bias but, given that, it is a good source of basic information about the structure and aims of the business, and should be treated similarly to the organisation's own website.

Reference: Jackson, J. (2019, October 7). Public affairs consultancy in the spotlight: Hanbury Strategy. Retrieved from PR Week: https://www.prweek.com/article/1661691/public-affairs-consultancy-spotlight-hanbury-strategy


Barclays logoBarclays joins clients of elite, secretive political strategy firm (Financial News, 2017)

Financial News is owned by Dow Jones, which also owns The Wall Street Journal (Right-centre, mostly factual), Barron's Magazine (Right-centre, highly factual) and Marketwatch (Right-centre, highly factual), so it is likely to be a Right-centre and reasonably factual source.

Reference: McNulty, L. (2017, June 14). Barclays joins clients of elite, secretive political strategy firm. Retrieved from Financial News: https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/barclays-joins-clients-of-elite-secretive-political-strategy-firm-20170613


undefinedNo 10 hires lobbying firm to recruit special advisers (The Times, 2020)

**You may need to log in to Access Global NewsBank using the details provided on the Subscription Databases page before clicking this link, particularly if you are not on the school network.**

Media Bias/ Fact Check rates The Times and Sunday Times as "Right-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that favors the right and High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record."

Reference: Swinford, S. & Wright, O. (2020, February 28) No 10 hires lobbying firm to recruit special advisers. Times, p. 17. Retrieved from Access Global Newsbank: https://infoweb.newsbank.com

See also the Politico article in the General resources for Lobbyists and Corporations box below. While being a more general article about Lobbying, it has a short profile of Hanbury Strategy at the end.

General resources for Lobbyists and Corporations


Ruth DavidsonDavidson quits role at lobbying firm after political backlash (The Times, 2019)

**You may need to log in to Access Global NewsBank using the details provided on the Subscription Databases page before clicking this link, particularly if you are not on the school network.**

Media Bias/ Fact Check rates The Times and Sunday Times as "Right-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that favors the right and High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record."

Reference: McLaughlin, M. (2019, October 30) Davidson quits role at lobbying firm after political backlash. Times, p. 13. Retrieved from Access Global NewsBank: https://infoweb.newsbank.com


Cigarette packagingThe truth about lobbying: 10 ways big business controls government (Guardian, 2014)

The Guardian is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com.

This article is six years old, but gives a helpful 10-step breakdown of how lobbying works. Step 5 is "Sponsor a Think Tank".

Reference: Cave, T. & Rowell, A. (2014, March 12). The truth about lobbying: 10 ways big business controls government. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/12/lobbying-10-ways-corprations-influence-government

General resources


undefinedPressure Groups: Do they strengthen pluralist democracy? (Politics Review, 2015)

This article has case studies of the CBI and 38 degrees specifically, but is also a good general discussion of pressure groups and democracy.

Politics Review is a magazine aimed at A-Level students, usually accessed through our Subscription Databases page. It should be regarded as a reliable source. Note that this article is more than 5 years old.

Reference: Rathbone, M. (2015, November). Pressure groups: Do they strengthen pluralist democracy? Politics Review, 25(2), pp. 2-5.


Politics ReviewUK pressure groups and democracy (Politics Review, 2019)

Politics Review is a magazine aimed at A-Level students, usually accessed through our Subscription Databases page. It should be regarded as a reliable source.

Reference: Tomes, A. (2019, April). UK pressure groups and democracy. Politics Review, 28(4), pp. 6-9.

 

 


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The UK's changing democracy (Democratic Audit, 2018)

This is a long report, but you only need to look at the chapter on The Interest Group Process (pages 112-121). You could also search within the publication (using the shortcut "ctrl+F" as usual) for particular phrases such as Think Tank, Trade Union or Lobbyists. This document is least relevant for Cyberactivist groups.

Democratic Audit describes itself as "an independent research organisation based at the London School of Economics.", having moved there from the University of Essex. It is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Its attachment to a well-respected University gives it credibility and it has a generally good reputation online with other credible organisations.

Reference: Dunleavy, P., Park, A. and Taylor, R. (eds) (2018) The UK's Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit. London: LSE Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31389/book1

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