Friday, 17 August 2018

Lobbying part five of five.

This is the fifth set of  names from the Cusick/Milmo article of 2011 referred to on Monday. These firms are still listed by the ORCL. Links are to Powerbase entries, where these exist.

Cicero Communications is now Cicero Consulting. Director Iain Anderson had worked for several Conservatives, including Kenneth Clarke.
Clients in 2011 included HSBC, Fidelity, RBS, GE, Aegon, Invesco, Prudential, PWC, Goldman Sachs, AXA, Scottish Widows, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays

Global Government Relations Seemingly, the most EU-friendly firm in this survey, it is the lobbying arm of multi-national law firm DLA Piper. Tim Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat peer, founded the firm and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, who had worked for EU commissioners, was a partner until she left for the US law firm Dechert in October 2011.  The head of media was Eben Black, a former political correspondent for the Press Association and thereafter various newspapers in the Murdoch empire. He moved on to Newgate in 2013.
No public list of clients in 2011

Politics Direct;is now Brevia Consulting. The managing director was David Beamer, former advisor to the Conservative party, who had worked with 8 Secretaries of State. He was assisted by
Clients included British Energy, EDF, Nokia, T-Mobile, Lilly, Alliance and Leicester and Allied Domecq.

Portland Managing Director Tim Allen worked for Tony Blair in opposition and in Downing Street. George Eustice MP had worked there as well as Henry de Zoete, adviser to Michael Gove, Education Secretary at the time.
Clients included Apple, Association of British Bookmakers, British Bankers Association, Cable and Wireless, Gazprom, Google, McDonald's, NSPCC, Tesco, Government of Russia, Virgin Media and Vodafone.


What has emerged from this exercise? Firstly, the amorality of most of these firms. Lobbyists are happy to work for charities and companies with a high public reputation as well as tax-dodgers, would-be monopolists and oppressive governments. Most are equipped to work both sides of the political street, government and opposition. The detailed Powerbase entries show that nothing has changed in seven years.

Secondly, the revolving door, drawn attention to by both Powerbase and Private Eye, spins merrily in spite of the supposed oversight of ACoBA. It seems to this cynical observer that the more senior the MP, civil servant, Special Advisor or company director, the fewer obstacles are placed in his or her way in or out of government circles and related areas of vested interest.

Thirdly, either firms exaggerated the strength of their client list (what, lobbying and PR organisations stretching the truth??) or the big corporations hedge their bets by employing several lobbyists at the same time.

So the next time that government resists a progressive proposal or takes a controversial decision favouring a particular industry or company, it is worth looking for possible lobbying links.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Henry de Zoete turned up on Dragon's Den the other night, it seems. Guido has more.