Lobbying of politicians has acquired a dirty name, and that’s a pity. In fact, I find it rather irritating. Lobbying means campaigning, providing expert analysis and briefing to politicians, who are usually generalists and need that guidance from experts. Good politicians even come looking for it, to gain a better understanding of complex problems.
That’s when lobbying is being done well and responsibly. Some of my recent work counts as lobbying, related to the law of evidence in England and the Post Office Horizon scandal. I’m proud of that. It is a worthwhile activity and can help the political process work better.
Lobbying is quite different from schmoozing old pals to give other chums contracts without the tedious bureaucracy of open tenders. It’s different from offering politicians highly paid sinecures in the hope they’ll work on behalf of you rather than their constituents. It is certainly different from handing out bribes. Lobbying is not the same as corruption, and that is what we’ve been seeing lately in the UK.