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Posts Tagged ‘lobbying’

Poll Results: March 29th 2014

March 31st, 2014 by

Every week a random (but representative!) sample of 38 Degrees members vote on which issues our movement should prioritise and which campaigns to get behind. Here are the results for March 29th 2014.

The blue represents people answering ‘a lot’ to the question of whether 38 Degrees members should spend time on each issue, the red represents people answering ‘a little’, and the green is ‘not at all’.

Protecting the NHS by stopping the government’s dangerous plans like privatisation and closing A&E departments has come top this week! See here for a campaign to uncover links between NHS England – the body in charge of privatisation contracts in the NHS in England – and big business.

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NHS England: Give us transparency

March 27th, 2014 by

Private companies are helping to decide the future of the NHS.

It’s come to light that a lobbying outfit working for some of the biggest drug companies was paid by NHS England to write an important report. It’s claimed that this report could help shape £12bn (!) of NHS spending over the next five years.

The NHS is owned by all of us. But NHS England – the body that runs the NHS here – doesn’t have to publish conflicts of interest like this, or details of the lobbyists they meet with. We may never have even found out this was going on.

If enough of us kick up a stink, we could force NHS England to come clean about who’s deciding the future of our NHS. Let’s show them that the taxpayers who fund them expect them to be transparent about who’s advising them, especially when these people might profit from the decisions.

Private companies getting involved in NHS decision-making is exactly what we all feared would happen when the government passed the Health and Social Care Act. As well as providing local services, private companies are now being ushered in at the top of the NHS.

There’s no reason why NHS England can’t publish potential conflicts of interest or meetings with lobbying firms. Government departments regularly do this.

NHS England is less than a year old. They’re not used to being on the receiving end of a big people-powered petition. Thousands and thousands of names on a petition, delivered to their offices, could embarrass them into coming clean about who’s influencing them.

38 Degrees members have voted time and time again to ensure that protecting our NHS is at the core of what we do. It’s moments like this where we can come together and take action. Let’s fight to protect our NHS from the vultures that are circling around it – or at least, to find out which vultures are circling.

Click here to join thousands of other 38 Degrees members in demanding that NHS England come clean about the revolving door between big business and the NHS.

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Poll results: March 22nd 2014

March 24th, 2014 by

Every week a random (but representative!) sample of 38 Degrees members vote on which issues our movement should prioritise and which campaigns to get behind. Here are the results for March 22nd 2014.

The blue represents people answering ‘a lot’ to the question of whether 38 Degrees members should spend time on each issue, the red represents people answering ‘a little’, and the green is ‘not at all’.

Protecting our NHS from privatisation has come top this week! See here for a campaign to uncover links between NHS England – the body in charge of privatisation contracts in the NHS in England – and big business.

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Secret Lobbying: Petition hand in

April 20th, 2012 by

In March this year, it was revealed that the Treasurer of the Conservative party Peter Cruddas had been trying to secure private dinner dates with  David Cameron, for large political donations to the Conservative party.

Lots of 38 Degrees members were outraged to hear about the sleazy way party officials were selling influential access to the Prime Minister to big money donors. David Cameron previously said that lobbying was the next big scandal waiting to happen! 38 Degrees members have been campaigning since April 2010 for an end to secret lobbying – so when the story about Peter Cruddas trying to sell access emerged, we launched a petition immediately.

Over 65,000 38 Degrees members signed up to our petition to end cash-for-access and secret lobbying, telling Government that we want to know who politicians are meeting with, what they’re discussing, and how much money is being spent.

This morning, some of the 38 Degrees office team, met up with some of our friends from Unlock Democracy, who have collected 7000 signatures to their open letter that also calls for an end to secret lobbying.  Loads of other organisations such as SpinwatchElectoral Reform Society and the Open Rights Group have also signed up to the aims of the letter. Together, our efforts have produced a total of 74,000 responses!

It was great to go down to government offices in London today to hand them all in as submissions for the official consultation.  We’re all sending a clear message to the government: no more secret lobbying.

So now we just have to wait and see what plans the government brings forward to tackle the problem – will they be good enough?

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The latest reason for supporting forest selloffs?

February 11th, 2011 by

Several 38 Degrees members have been in touch to say that their MP has replied to them about the forest sell-off – not only saying they do support selling the forests but also describing 38 Degrees as “the Labour campaign website 38 Degrees”.  So I am pasting below a copy of an email I just sent to Charlotte Leslie MP, one of the MPs to make this allegation.

It’s worrying that this seems to bepart of a firm response used by several different Conservative MPs – does that mean it’s a coordinated smear? Or do some MPs just seriously believe that the only reason to oppose forest selloffs is being part of the Labour Party? In any case, just to be clear – 38 Degrees is independent of all political parties.

If your MP has been in touch to claim that 38 Degrees is part of the Labour Party, please let us know and please get back to them to set them straight.

Dear Charlotte,

Several 38 Degrees members have forwarded emails from you in which you describe 38 Degrees as an “Labour campaign website”.

38 Degrees is independent of all political parties. 38 Degrees members are supporters of many different political parties, or none at all. The reason we are running a campaign against the government’s proposals to sell off public forests is because 38 Degrees members asked us to when we consulted them.  You can read a lot more about 38 Degrees here: http://38degrees.org.uk/pages/about/

I understand that you strongly disagree with our stance on the issue of forests office, but I hope you will accept that it is possible to disagree with government policy without being part of the Labour Party. 38 Degrees has in the past campaigned against plenty of Labour Party policies – for example, when the Conservatives were in opposition, 38 Degrees members contacted their MPs asking them to vote in favour of a Conservative Opposition Day Motion calling for Parliament to support the 10:10 campaign. On that occasion, a couple Labour MPs accused 38 Degrees of being a Conservative organisation – I sent those MPs a message rather similar to this one!

I hope now I’ve been in touch to explain you will avoid sending inaccurate information about 38 Degrees to your constituents in the future. I’d be very happy to chat further about 38 Degrees if you would like to do so — my number is below.

Yours sincerely,

David Babbs

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How healthcare lobbyists could change our NHS

January 21st, 2011 by

Here’s a video made by Spinwatch that shows how big healthcare companies’ lobbysits are influencing government on the future of our NHS:

The film asks whether Andrew Lansley’s planned reforms for the NHS are being shaped by big healthcare companies’ lobbyists.

It explains that big businesses can influence government in three main ways:

    • Funding think tanks to put together ‘evidence’ to support the view of big business
    • Pay lobbyists to put pressure on government to adopt certain policies
    • Help their employees become MPs, or advisors to government

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Don’t let Hunt get away with Murdoch

January 20th, 2011 by

Last week we discovered that Jeremy Hunt had entered into confidential meetings with Rupert Murdoch over the future of Murdoch’s BSkyB bid.

In November 38 Degrees handed in 60,000 messages to Ofcom asking them to get the bid in front of the Competition Commission. At Christmas an Emergency Petition was put forward pointing out that Jeremy Hunt would not make an impartial judge. On New Year’s Eve Hunt got Ofcom’s report and has been sitting on it ever since.

Murdoch in meetings with Hunt

It has now emerged that Hunt has been having meetings with Murdoch’s people. He could be trying to find ways to make a deal with Murdoch’s advisers.

Now it’s our turn to get involved. Together we can get in touch with our MPs and ask them to put pressure on Hunt to ensure the report goes public and into the hands of the Competition Commission. But we don’t have long.

This is a fast moving campaign that needs quick responses. We’ve already had success in standing up to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB power grab and now we need to do it again. To take action click here:

Here’s Robert Peston’s blog outlining more of the details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2011/01/ofcom_says_news_corps_sky_bid.html

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EU worst lobbying awards

November 3rd, 2010 by

Image by Worst EU Lobby Awards

38 Degrees members have campaigned against secret lobbying in the UK parliament. Earlier this year we had a big campaign win when the new government pledged to introduce tighter rules. However shady lobbyists also work in Brussels.  Here you can read about and vote for the EU’s Worst Lobbyist 2010.

Who will you vote for?

> Will you go forGoldman Sachs who lobbied against tighter regulations after the financial crises caused by banks?

> How about the hedge funds who fought against EU laws that would  control their tactics which have destabilised economies in the past?

> Or why not vote for Britain’s favourite bank-the Royal Bank of Scotland? RBS have purposely kept their lobbying secretive and have recently employed a former EU Industry Commissioner as an ‘advisor’.

Or you could go for one of the three energy companies who consistently lobbied against effective climate change laws?

Its your choice!

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Who’s really behind the NHS whitepaper?

October 13th, 2010 by

Health Minister Andrew Lansley: have private healthcare lobbyists been helping him write the NHS Whitepaper?

38 degrees teamed up with Spinwatch last year to demand tougher rules on lobbying – a hugely successful campaign which had a huge breakthrough back in May when government agreed to tougher rules to ban secret lobbying. They’re yet to implement these – it is likely we’ll need to put further pressure on next year.

Now Spinwatch have started looking into the links between the health minister, Andrew Lansley, and private health companies who would stand to gain from his proposals to change the NHS.

Maybe this research sheds a bit of light on where the government’s quite extreme new NHS plans have come from – plans which didn’t feature in anyone’s election manifesto.

38 Degrees members know a thing or two about challenging these kind of links between lobbying interests and government. With over 25,000 of us already involved in our campaign to protect the NHS we could play an important role in exposing any dodgy links between private health care lobbyists and the government’s NHS plans.

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Lobbying – we’ve nearly won

May 17th, 2010 by

Last week the coalition government announced that they’re planning to bring in a statutory register of lobbying interests - a ban of secret lobbying.  This is a big breakthrough for the thousands of 38 Degrees members tbhat have been campaigning for this for the last few months. If it’s introduced big business will be forced to be more transparent about lobbying. We’ll be able to see who is meeting whom, who they’re working for and how much they’re being paid.

Our friends at SpinWatch have been in touch to say “this would not have been possible without the thousands of 38 Degrees members across the country who campaigned for the register”. There are still some big risks that the register won’t be introduced (see the Guardian article here) but here’s a rundown of everything 38 Degrees members have done to get us to this point.

* Nearly 10,000 of us signed petitions to key decision makers. During the expenses scandal thousands of us signed a petition to Angela Smith, Cabinet Office minister urging the Labour Government to clean up politics by introducing a compulsory register of lobbyists. Thousands of us also signed a petition to Cameron.

* We’ve sent over 15,000 emails to party leaders, election candidates and minsters urging them to bring in the ban. In March thosuands of 38 Degrees members sent emails to election candidates, as part of a campaign with the Alliance for Lobbying Transparancy and SpinWatch, urging them to come clean on their links to lobbying companies.

*38 Degrees members launched local campaigns targeting individual election candidates who wouldn’t back a ban of secret lobbying. Pritti Patel, Conservative Candidate (and now MP) for Witham faced a local campaign after she was the only local candidate to refuse to back the ban – in the face of growing pressure she changed position and backed the ban. George Eustice, Conservative candidate (and now MP) for Camborne and Redruth faced big pressure from a local campaign that highlighted the fact that he was the only candidate who was refusing to back a ban.

* Our friends at Spinwatch teamed up with Don’t Panic to expose lobbying links of local election candidates, see the video below

We’ve nearly won – but there are two problems left:
*The timescale to introduce the ban hasn’t been announced. Right now big business is still allowed to lobby in secret. We need the rules passed into law quickly.
*Big business pressure could change the government’s mind again. Hours after the plans were announced a powerful group of lobbying firms vowed to fight it. [2]

Take action now. People power is needed to make sure we ban secret lobbying this year. Please e-mail David Cameron and Nick Clegg now and urge them to introduce the new rules as soon as possible. Just click the link below to get started:


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