The stench of lobbying and corruption
December 9, 2011 2:09 AM   Subscribe

Britain’s secretive lobbying system - one company, Bell Pottinger which has had several more than slightly controversial clients has been exposed boasting that they can influence the British Prime Minister.
Among other briefs they have been advising the despotic Uzbekistan Government - reforms need not be fast. They have also been found to have been editing wiikipedia using up to 20 different accounts.
More on lobbying and a list of relevant related links
posted by adamvasco (13 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
See also the superb Sarawak Report on Bell Pottinger helping out one of Malaysia's richest warlords.
posted by niceness at 2:16 AM on December 9, 2011

I wouldn't take the claims of a PR company during a new business meeting at face value.
posted by Summer at 2:19 AM on December 9, 2011

Not that BP aren't scum bags.
posted by Summer at 2:19 AM on December 9, 2011

I don't think they were advising the government of Uzbekistan as much as journalists pretending to be them.

So, you know, evil and daft.
posted by pompomtom at 2:26 AM on December 9, 2011

That's nothing; everyone knows all you need to influence David Cameron is a heat rock and a live foal.
posted by emmtee at 2:32 AM on December 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is the post by Tim Ireland which The Independent just about skips over.
posted by episodic at 2:35 AM on December 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

I think your uncorrected version worked too, pompomtom - a kind of rhetorical j'accuse. I sort of liked it.

I have nothing good to say for lobbyists, but it would be regrettable if justifiable concern led us into thinking there was something inherently wrong about the PM listening to people (even scumbags) now and then.
posted by Segundus at 2:51 AM on December 9, 2011

In a way I'm less concerned about politicians being swayed by this sort of direct influence-peddling l of this sort than I am about the more subtle kinds of influence. The politics of Britain is essentially the politics of London, specifically the City of London.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:18 AM on December 9, 2011 [7 favorites]

Having worked at the regional level for the past few years and seen the way the London-centric policy and guidance process works, to the clear detriment of other parts of the country, I couldn't agree more.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 4:18 AM on December 9, 2011

Yes. More such things need to be shared openly with anyone who can find out more and read about these hitherto opaque happenings. Thanks for the FPP
posted by infini at 5:07 AM on December 9, 2011

The politics of Britain is essentially the politics of London, specifically the City of London.

No other country has made their oligarchy quite as explicit as the UK with the way the City is separate and insulated from the citizenry while at the same time ruling them. The police sitting on bags of evidence for 5 years in the phone hacking case while doing nothing is small potato corruption compared to what The City gets to do legally.

This isn't the usual ranting about a big city running a country either. 'The City' isn't London. It's a small self-governing corporate city state parasite within London. This isn't regionalism like Canadians complaining about Toronto or American's complaining about Washington. It's more like ....

The Aristocrats!
posted by srboisvert at 11:11 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Entertainingly vicious piece from Matthew Norman at the Indie on Lord Bell, the Bell of Bell Pottinger, former image guru to Margaret Thatcher.
posted by reynir at 11:36 AM on December 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Good Lord, next they'll be telling us that bankers are greedy bastards, politicians are self-serving liars and marketers are heartless, superficial, moneygrubbing filth. I don't think my aged heart can bear it.
posted by Decani at 12:23 PM on December 9, 2011

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