Ed Miliband: against lobbying reform before he was for it

Via Paul Wild and Jason Hunter:

It should be noted that 100% of Conservative MPs who took part in the lobbying reform vote also opposed lobbying reform, though that was only one MP.

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14 Comments

  • Do you want a reform of lobbying or not? If you do then launching party political attacks against a party who now want restrictions on lobbying seems short sighted to say the least.

    Oh, and Tris, Labour’s polls have been going up since the election, the Lib Dems have collapsed by more than half. It’s not Labour that should be worrying about their future as a viable party.

  • What rubbish. Labour and the Tories voted against a Lib Dem amendment to the Companies Bill. Nothing to do with a register of lobbyists.

  • Not sure that there’s much mileage in drawing attention to this volte face from a position held to 5 years ago, especially when there’s a parallel with, say, signing a pledge immediately before the election to personally oppose tuition fees, then, er doing the opposite, immediately after the election.

    If the LDs best line of attack is now essentially “Labour’s kettle is just as black than our pot” then I can quite understand why they’ll struggle to motivate their current and former voters. Or is the point that the reds take 5 years to do a U turn when the LDs can more efficiently do one at the slam of a ballot box?

  • Daniel Henry 17th Oct '11 - 10:05pm

    I dunno, despite their antics they seem to be doing quite well at the polls…

    It seems that the Labour brand just has this really powerful “good guy” image attached to it, one so powerful that it takes a hugely unpopular illegal war and an accompanied assault on civil liberties to temporarily rock it.

  • davifd thorpe 17th Oct '11 - 10:23pm

    ” daniel relatrive;ly speaking there arennt doing well at the polls and in the lst local elections while they gained it was nothing like the gains ythey thought they would amek

  • Evan Harris 18th Oct '11 - 8:07am

    1) This was an amendment to provide for an expenditure limit on companies using lobbyists not a “bill for a compulsory register of lobbyists” as the “article” suggests.

    2) Labour (and the Tories who as an opposition party in 2006 did no0t need to vote against when opposed to the measure) may or may not have been opposed to a compulsory register of lobbyists but yoiu cant trell from this vote. It is much better to identiofy their position by looking at what their front bench siad at the time..

    3) Even in respect of the issue of whathere the 2006 legilsation shopuld contain the amendnment to “provide for an expenditure limit on companies using lobbyists” it is not clear from the article or the link whether Labour opposed the proposal or just this particular amendment.

    All that can be said, I suspect, is that Labour never dealt with the issue of a lobbyist register when in power. No more or less.

    Why were readers of LDV subjected to innaccurate and misleading stuff like this? Is their an editorial process?

  • This is usually the sort of nonsense you get on Guido Fawkes…

  • david thorpe 18th Oct '11 - 11:30am

    @ Rob I think the point is it shows us leadingt he way and Labour following and shows we cant be that regressive if Labour keep agreeing with us…

    Labour agree with us on…

    Pension Refrom(Labour Mnaifesto 2010)
    Tuition Fees Increasing(Lbaour introduced and increased them and now say they would increase rthem if they were in power tomorrow)
    Energy market being rigged(Labour spokesperson sasid it yesterday on the TOday programme, agreeingw ith Chris Huhne, the quiestion asked by James Nuaghtie was ‘well when Ed milliband was ebnergy secre=retary why didnt he do something about it…to that there was no answer)#
    Lobbying reform(LiB Dems proposed it in 2006, Lbaoru agree with it now…)
    Free Schools and academies(Laborue ducation spokesperson sadi yesterday they agree with academies and free schools)
    Abolition of ID Cards(the coalitionr eversed the labour itnroduction of ID Cards Milliband says hes against them)

    Can we take it that at the next Prime Minsiterial debate Ed Milliband will follow his mentor Gordon Brown in saying he agrees with Nick?

  • Dave Eastham 18th Oct '11 - 1:22pm

    All good knock about fun closely orbiting the yah boo genre of politics methinks. Thought we Lib Dems were against that sort of thing, me.

    If you however, actually look at what is being proposed by the Lib Dem amendment, it is as Evan Harris says, more akin to the expenditure of company funds in pursuit of political lobbying rather than a register of interests. Which, at least to me, are two very different beasts.

    If Lib Dem voice is going to expose political hypocrisy from the People’s Party, then at the very least compare apples with apples and pears with pears. You know like with like?.

    I also think it is worth remembering, that this was against a background of the Funding of Political Parties issue and the commission set up under the former senior civil servant Sir Hayden Phillips, in March 2006, to come up with proposals for reform which was bubbling along at the time and which was due to report in March 2007. I rather think that both the Tories and the Labour party saw this amendment as a Trojan Horse, aimed at both their traditional sources of funding and if allowed, it would have a been but a small step to extend the principle to Political donations. I’m not sure that the ammendment itself was robust enough and aprropriate for the lobbying industry at the time and certainly as a model for political funding, it would have been crass.

    In truth it really was not one of the better Lib Dem contributions to the debate and perhaps Lib Dem Voice might like to be a little less keen to descend to yah booery in future. Or at least make sure it has it’s fruit identification software properly calibrated!

    It may have been great fun on a few internal Lib Dem blogs but really, not the best item to be raised on the public face of the Lib Dem activist base.

  • jasonjhunter 18th Oct '11 - 4:43pm

    You folks are totally missing the point.

    The fact is that Labour had 13 YEARS to implement a register of lobbyists with MAJORITY governments. If they wanted it, they could have had it years ago.

    Instead, they complain that its not been implemented in 16 months of a coalition gvmnt.

    Oh dearie me, why are some people a) so pedantic and b) so ignorant.

  • None of the parties has clean hands on this one. The Liberal democrat Conference repeatedly passed resolutions opposing LibDem peers being involved with lobbying companies, and Donnachah McCarthy was thwarted time and again in his attempts to get that policy implemented. There are huge sums of money involved in political lobbying and those who pay the lobbyists are important indirect contributors to cash-strapped political parties. That may not be how it should be, or how we would like it to be, but to imagine that by setting up a register of lobbyists we will be doing something significant is fantasy, or in the case of Cameron’s proposals cynical political expediency.

  • And where is said Donnachadh McCarthy now? Oh yes, resigned a number of years ago, when he gave up the unequal struggle trying to get radical policies implemented in the party!

  • I’d like to see more of the political classes rubbishing Fox’s absurd claims that Werritty was just a friend and they blurred the relationship between friendship and Fox’s publicly funded role. The 8 page report is pretty much just a damage limitation exercise that doesn’t even identify all the people that were paying Werritty. Fox should be kicked out of the Commons, how can anyone claim they just took along a friend to a meeting with the head of Mossad as the Telegraph are reporting? The reason that Labour and I assume Lib Dems are not doing this is that our political classes are all highly corrupted by the lobbying and they are all thinking “there but the grace of God…”. Labour didn’t even call for Fox to resign.

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