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Friday, September 25, 2009

Same old same old

Revelations in today's Times that 28 Conservative prospective candidates, who have a good chance of becoming Tory MPs, are working as lobbyists or public relations consultants on behalf of businesses and other interests, and that more than a quarter got their jobs after being selected to fight seats, indicate that Cameron's promises of a brave new world after the next election look like a distant fantasy.

The paper says that several acknowledged that they had set up meetings for clients with Shadow ministers, MPs and officials and that more said that they had been asked to provide advice on the party’s direction. A few admitted to having pressed clients’ cases to Tory frontbenchers:

The disclosure challenges David Cameron’s promise to usher in a “new politics”. More than a fifth of his 150 candidates most likely to win seats for the first time will have done public affairs work, although a handful have since left the industry. By contrast, only seven Labour and three Liberal Democrat prospective candidates with realistic hopes of victory have jobs in public affairs or communications.

The influence of paid consultants was thrown into sharp relief this year when President Obama announced that he would block the revolving door through which lobbyists moved in and out of US administrations. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have issued any such edict.

Francis Maude, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said last week that lobbyists could face statutory regulation if they did not volunteer more information on clients and consultants. “Greater openness and transparency is needed to help ensure high standards in public life,” he said.

However, that openness and transparency appears to be missing in Conservative ranks already and they have not even won an election yet.
Considering there are far more Conservative prospective MPs "with realistic hopes of victory" than Labour and the Lib Dems, I am not surprised there is a difference in the figures. Hee! Hee! Hee!

Anyway, "a handful have since left the industry". At this rate, by the next election, the Tories shall have the same number as Labour and the Lib Dems have now. For we all appear to be at it.

"Cameron's promises of a brave new world after the next election look like a distant fantasy." This is because it is. Have you seen how many seats he needs to win (and the swing required) to take power? It would be amazing if he did it. All thanks to Labour incompetence of course. Thank you Labour.
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