Cameron, Greensill and Insider Lobbying

What this scenario has given us, is not an excuse to wrongly vilify Cameron, but a chance to evaluate just how much influence lobbyist groups have.

Lobbying is one of the most vital aspects of our civil democracy, and yet it is one of the most mysterious. We all know it exists, and yet we don’t always understand the extent to which our lives are impacted by it. When David Cameron told the world in 2013 that he would “clean up lobbying” we might have expected a change to the insider lobbying rules, instead, we got a mismatched, ill-thought-out change to how pressure groups can operate in this country. So why has Cameron become the very thing he sought to eradicate, and why are people stating that he has committed an offence?

Lobbying has always been a shady business, and yet it is a heavily regulated apparatus within the legislative process. There are do’s and do not’s and, as long as a body works within the spirit of the rules, there should be no issue. Therefore, we must ask ourselves the question: Why are the media making Cameron out to be a criminal, when he is doing what so many more have already done?

Lobbying allows businesses more direct access to governments and helps elected officials to arrange the many competing priorities of our lives. Typically, Labour is funded by trade unions and some other businesses, and the Conservatives by businesses and individual donors. In the 2019 election, Labour received £5 million of their required funding from trade unions, according to the Commons’ library (UK Parliament, 2020). And there’s no uproar from the recess of Twitter about this because it is perfectly ordinary, even though any trade union or business conglomerate is bound to have their own agenda.

But when Cameron sent numerous texts to his former colleagues, this was outside the norm enough to be deemed worthy of a mass investigation. Every time you send a letter to your local MP, elected mayor, or councillor, you are using some form of connections to gain access to an official. Granted, this is not the same as how David Cameron used political power, but is it wrong not to expect former politicians to use their position at all?