lobbying

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant – Green Hypocrites Outed

I blogged last week about Green MPs and their blubbing over lobbying. I alluded to there being two MPs who enjoyed the company of a lobbyist and her client at parliament despite the calls from their leader to unleash the disinfecting powers of sunlight.

Yesterday Holly Walker blogged again about lobbyists without any mention of the fact at least two Green MPs enjoy the company of lobbyists from time to time:

International best practice is to have a publically available register of lobbyists so that the public knows everyone – not just those who have a special swipe-card – who is seeking to influence decision makers about what.

If our parliament is really as open and accessible as everyone says, there should be no need for particular individuals to have swipe card access.  Read more »

Will Holly Walker try to do this here?

Holly Walker has a lobby bill in the house at the moment. In the UK lobbyists are under huge pressure as a scandal over their behaviour and that of MPs has erupted.

But will Holly Walker try this here?

The Speaker of the House of Commons has suspended 80 parliamentary passes in the wake of the lobbying scandal exposed by The Daily Telegraph.

Dozens of passes, which allow privileged access to the Houses of Parliament, have been withdrawn after this newspaper disclosed that Patrick Mercer, the Newark MP, was prepared to organise a pass for journalists posing as lobbyists.  Read more »

Some backbone at last

David Cameron has finally seen what John Key still fails to grasp…that unions are the enemy and are in bed with the Labour party. It is therefore best to move to cut off their funding mechanisms to the Labour party. They are no better than shameless lobbyists.

Downing Street was accused of conducting “shabby” politics by Labourafter David Cameron and Nick Clegg took a new anti-sleaze bill announced in response to the lobbying scandal and inserted last-minute plans to clamp down on union funding of election campaigns.

The surprise move was designed to reduce the impact of union support for Labour in the run-up to an election, and came as Clegg said he would introduce a bill to create a statutory register of lobbyists in time for this summer’s parliamentary recess.  Read more »

Watch the Lobbyists…they move first

Julia Gillard and Labor are stuffed in Australia, even the lobbyists have abandoned them. Julia Gillard is becoming Julia No mates.

Political lobby groups have deserted Labor and are flocking to the opposition while preparing for an expected change of government in September.

Labor-aligned firms are downsizing and those more associated with the Coalition are expanding, but even organisations that walk the middle ground have stopped knocking on the government’s door.

”There is nothing in it for us now to be in the government’s ear and in front of ministers and their staff on behalf of our clients,” one lobbying firm executive said.

”They’re not going to be in government much longer so our focus has changed. There is still a little bit of tokenistic representation to Labor, but really we don’t put much effort into it.”

Is Piers Morgan waking up from his coma?

It has been no secret that Piers Morgan is a big opponent of guns and the Second Amendment, but for a fleeting second it almost seems as though the irritable whinger ‘gets it’. Almost.

I’ve had some of the pro-gun lobbyists on here, saying to me, ‘Well, the reason we need to be armed is because of tyranny from our own government,’ and I’ve always laughed at them,” Morgan said last night. “But, actually, this is vaguely tyrannical behavior by the American government. Read more »

Greenpeace still engaging in politics

Greenpeace is trying frantically to get its charitable status back…they even went to great lengths to clan up their website of all political lobbying and brand destruction campaigns they have orchestrated.

But they just couldn’t help themselves with the TPPA negotiations…they are back at it. I just hope someone will inform the Charities Commission of their activities. They even have a political cartoon on the page.

 

A fund raising idea for Holly Walker

Holly Walker’s lobbying bill is in trouble…but here is an idea for her to consider with fundraising.

The sold-out walking tour began along the Spree River here, within sight of theReichstag’s glass dome. But the group would not visit the historic Parliament building, Checkpoint Charlie or the Brandenburg Gate. About 30 people assembled instead to spend a gray Saturday afternoon in November standing outside office buildings in a cold drizzle.

They were there to follow Timo Lange, 30, dressed all in black, with a hint of stubble on his chin, to learn how influence peddlers ply their trade in the German capital. Mr. Lange is a campaigner for the nonprofit group LobbyControl, which began giving the tours in 2009, to unexpected success for such a seemingly wonky subject.

This year the group has given 144 tours for about 3,400 participants, who pay around $13 (half price for students). The tour’s success reflects an electorate that, by American standards, has a low tolerance for money in politics.

Extension because it was sh*thouse

Holly Walker has announced:

The Green Party is pleased that the Government Administration Committee will take extra time to carefully consider the Lobbying Disclosure Bill.

The committee has been granted a six month extension until July next year before reporting the Bill back to the House. This extension is to allow Ms Walker to develop further options for the committee’s consideration, taking into account the issues raised in submissions.

“This extension means the committee can really give the Bill the time it deserves to ensure that the lobbying disclosure regime is the best it can be,” said Ms Walker.

“I will prepare some options for the committee to consider to ensure we work towards a lobbying disclosure regime appropriate for New Zealand’s political context.

Oh come on, despite all the offers to help, Walker is wasting Parliament’s time for what my sources tell me will be an complete re-write of the Bill.  Select Committees are supposed to be for tweaking and reviewing a Bill not bending over backward to do a job of an incompetent MP.

Might I suggest some questions the Gallery should be asking:

  • Will Holly Walker ensure that there is another round of public submissions on the new “redrafted” Bill?
  • Will Holly Walker take up any of the offers from more qualified people to help redraft the Bill or will she continue the “pedestrian MP knows best” attitude?
  • Will Holly Walker commit to not choosing favoured/left-wing submitters and blocking oral submissions she does not like?

Is Holly Walker working for Lobbyists?

The Securities Industry Association are not the first group to warn that Holly’s bill will actually encourage the very type of professional lobbyists she supposedly wants to avoid.  Her bill creates a regulatory monopoly.  Many who lobby part time will be put off by the new law or scared that they will fall foul of it.

Maybe she’s setting up a lobbying industry so she has a job to retire into?

MP Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill could set off a lobbying boom, the Securities Industry Association (SIA) warns.

The SIA, which represents stock brokers, said it supported Walker’s objective – increased transparency around lobbying activity and increased trust in political decision-making – but the approach taken in the bill would have the unintended consequence of forcing companies and interest groups to engage the services of professional lobbyists.

The bill was incorrectly focused on the entities that should be captured or exempted, rather than on information to be disclosed and the most efficient and effective way to ensure that the information was disclosed, the SIA said.

With friends like these…

Holly Walker is taking a flogging from all sides with Dave Henderson of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa Do-Gooders Socialist Association of Aotearoa giving her a good slapping.

Ms Walker’s presentation to the select committee considering the bill contains four guiding principles:

1. Lobbying is a legitimate activity.

2. Open and accessible government and Parliament is vital.

. The public has a right to know who is lobbying MPs on which issues.

4. A lobbying disclosure regime needs to be practical, workable and fair.

No-one can disagree with these, but the bill before the House does not meet the last of the four. It is a sledgehammer for a nut.

What is being proposed doesn’t differentiate between the so-called bad lobbyists and those organisations and individuals who are participating in a democratic right to discuss and put forward a particular point of view.

No lobbying regime in the world has been able to come up with a justifiable definition of “good” vs “evil” lobbying.  Holly’s real motive to have a law that enables her to publicly target groups she doesn’t like when they meet with her political opponents.

What is being proposed doesn’t differentiate between the so-called bad lobbyists and those organisations and individuals who are participating in a democratic right to discuss and put forward a particular point of view.

This latter group accounts for 95 per cent of the lobbying that takes place in New Zealand.

These discussions are often about informing MPs and officials on the impact of particular policies and issues in our communities. These are crucial to a functioning democracy.

The bill is in danger of stifling these discussions through bureaucracy. It appears to be written around an assumption that a few unidentified suppliers of independent advice are somehow acting inappropriately and thus need to be regulated.

Even the lefties are effectively calling the Lobbying Bill undemocratic.

This bill will keep charities and community organisations from fulfilling their purpose as they spend their time, our donations and taxpayer money creating lists of all their interactions with MPs.

How can this work when many people expect to see their MP at the supermarket on a Saturday or at the school fair on a Sunday?

Interestingly, this morning the tip-line has learned that Holly has sought to block certain vocal critics of her Bill from presenting to the select committee.

More on that to come…