World: lobbyists persist despite public concern

Do pressure groups and media with direct access to the Corridors Of Power add value, or are they a dangerous phenomenon?

It's always appeared anomalous to me that special interest groups, media correspondents or self-proclaimed experts can gain access to government officials when members of the general public cannot. 

I've heard from politicians that such experts can provide insight, but doesn't that just highlight research weaknesses in the party being lobbied? 

And journalists - let's face it, we've heard of their exploits from the UK hacking scandal - have far too much influence. It appears media people believe they have a right to access where others have none, on the grounds that democracy dictates that press freedom demands information is provided to them for dissemination to their readership. Yet concurrently, the media whip up, and even in certain cases invent, stories to boost circulation, so how does that square?

There was a time when the powerful were accessed by only those with a genuine reason to be there. Bit by bit that premise has been eroded. You're never going to halt the cunning or greedy from weedling there way into places of influence. But private press briefings should be stopped right away, replaced by public and scrutinisable discussions in press rooms. And lobbyists should be a thing of the past, so that interested parties can no longer manipulate government agendas.

Justifiably, people are sick of watching helplesslessly as the unscrupulous, or plain mighty, fiddle with the futures of the masses to the benefit of their own.

Is this is in part what lies behind the Occupy Wall Street demos in America against corporate greed and the protests of the 15-M Movement in Spain, perhaps?  It could be only partially, but any sensitive government would spot the recent change in ground-level temperature, as the powerful really do ignore this at their peril.

Check out all commentaries here.   

No comments:

Post a Comment