People interested in politics may have worked in Public Affairs shocker!

On a scale of poor articles just designed to essentially try to attack the Conservatives, this ranks with the best.

Shock horror that some people with a passion for politics may have worked in public affairs! Where the article slips up is there firstly is no clear distinction between Public Affairs and other strands of communication. Now perhaps Nick Mathiason knows better than me. I have only worked in house in a public affairs capacity for two large organisations – one in the public sector and one private, and then headed up the Public Affairs practice for one of the leading recruiters in the communications industry, but what do I know?

So firstly you can work for a company that has a lobbying arm, but not actually do public affairs.

Well lets take the public affairs issue first. I lobbied on behalf of Royal Mail. Should I be criticised if I want to stand for Parliament having lobbied for an organisation sometimes against the Government in order to offer a better service? Is that something bad to do? Does Nick also think that “lobbyists” who work for charities should not have a career in politics? They may call them campaigners – but they are lobbyists.

Then we can look at the “embarrassment for David Cameron” issue. There are people who have worked in Public Affairs on all sides of the political spectrum. Tamora Langley – PPC for the Lib Dems in Lewisham. Ben Abbots another Lib Dem stood in the by-election won by Bob Neill. Even well known blogger and lobbyist Luke Akehurst has been a parliamentary candidate. Is that wrong? Not in my view! Shall I go on? I can….. So is it also embarassment for Clegg and Brown too?

You could of course say that by having a candidate who knows the political system they may be well placed to represent their constituents to the best of their ability and get things done. Lobbying is not bad.  Everyone does it. Be it pushing for a new job (you may lobby your boss), or trying to get something that you want through persuasive argument. That is a form of lobbying. What is bad, is bad lobbying. What is bad is lobbying that is secretive. Persuasion, debate and public affairs are not in themselves a bad thing.

One Response to People interested in politics may have worked in Public Affairs shocker!

  1. Pingback: First Class posts on Monday | Letters From A Tory

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