Lobbying by Thomas Barlow (Thomas) on Myspace

Lobbying

Lobbying Petitioning/Complaining to me – is a form of rule changing and opinion swaying that is a more studious and a little effective form of change.

It may come from writing letters to papers pointing out their factual inaccuracies or petitioning you MP to vote with their conscience on certain issues, or to even get the issues raised in the first place. There is high powered lobbying that includes wining and dining and presenting information at conferences and meetings to high powered people.

Its pros are that it is one of the most legitimate and recognised ways to make your voice heard and can lead to public enquiry and policy debate in the highest arenas. Its cons are that it basically panders to the people in power. They have no necessity to listen to it, no real necessity to act even if they make the right noises and are very hard to convince on the most fundamental of issues because there is an excepted belief in free market economics, private ownership of wealth or property and a necessity to maintain power with in the current structures.

It is not to say that these things are inherently bad in themselves but sadly they do seem to be the major causes of environmental destruction and inequality which in turn are causes of disease, war, famine, species extinction, sea levels rising, climate change, sexism, racism and most of the curses of modern humanity (which, to be fair, has come along some way in combating some of these things).

Most campaigning organisations have some form of lobbying arm whether its someone who reads all the papers and writes nasty letters, to petition organisers, chain mail senders, fund raisers (we shall come to this in more detail later), and governmental and intergovernmental professional lobbyists.

The final are most common amongst Big NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations), charities and campaigning groups such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Oxfam and others. These positions tend to require a certain level of expertise in some area, often legal, but also in sustainable development, economics, accountancy and other areas.

If you want to organise a lobbying group then I suggest finding out all of your local government and media contact details and starting there. If you are the right kind of person you can poor over minutes of council meetings, help organise in the parish, correct factual inaccuracies in the local paper, get on the local call in shows and petition your MP. This however is pretty time intensive and takes a vigorous knowledge and the understanding of the facts that you wish to propagate. It is often as ever easier in a group, where you could divide responsibilities and it is a good idea to sign yourself up to any and all newsletters and try and get on the circulars of some journalists (such as John Pilfer) so that you stay well informed at the cheapest possible price.

Alternately, you may wish to join a group and just ask to get stuck in on that side of things. Most single issue groups and Big NGOs will have something to do in that area and there should be local groups to get involved with with that. Thanks to the wonders of modern telecommunications, thats not even necessary but it is necessary to know what youre looking for and who you might be devoting your time to. Make sure you do good research and check newint.org for a fairly unbiased breakdown of world issue.

I think the big NGOs have got lobbying pretty nailed and tackle their issues with power and panache, within the strictures of power. So as far as they are going on there is not much to be improved. However the rest of the movement that is devoted to a rather wider set of issues and cannot afford to have correspondents in many countries and high powered presentation to the government figures could do with enough money to fund enough people to do research for all of us, write letters for us and highlight current issues and turn the press onto it as soon as maybe. This does happen across the movement, just in a very disparate fashion that provides no unanimity of information or a singularly and readily available source, nor unanimity of purpose or goal.

via Lobbying by Thomas Barlow (Thomas) on Myspace.

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