Public affairs

We must look at climate change mitigation - all indicators are that we can expect more severe weather and warmer temperatures in the coming decades. But mitigation is no substitute for actually tackling the problem.
Back to work today, and the Christmas and New Year break is already fading into memory. Like many people I took the opportunity, amongst the turkey and the tinsel, to look back at 2015, and look ahead to the Year of the Monkey. That brought into focus for me a number of issues facing the communications sector.
For those firms which misstep, fallout can be very damaging, both for the financial bottom-line and reputationally. However, for those which are pro-active and invest in their capability, the prizes -- both in terms of mitigating risk and seizing opportunity -- are potentially ever more significant.
Yesterday, the Government announced the fruits of three years of hard labour - its Transparency of Lobbying Bill. To say that it was received with rapturous applause would be a downright lie. It was received instead with a significant degree of disappointment from a surprisingly wide range of people and organisations. For those to whom lobbying is not an obsession (i.e. almost everybody), let me summarise the myths and the reality.
Nearly a week has passed since the latest 'lobbying scandal' broke; and it's taken that long for my bile to subside. Not that I'm feeling particularly bilious about the alleged miscreants. No, what made me most nauseous was the cynical response of our political masters.
The government's planned statuary register of lobbyists, announced in the wake of the latest cash for questions scandal, could
The craziness of the last few days has been remarkable. The media pose as lobbyists. A gaggle of MPs appear to break Parliament's own rules. They do so on camera. And the result? Politicians call for the urgent regulation of lobbyists. Lobbyists. Not politicians - lobbyists.
The Queen's speech was yet another wasted opportunity for the Government to make up its mind on a statutory register of lobbyists. For the past three years, this Government has told us that a register is both essential and imminent. And for the past three years, it has failed to take any of the many opportunities open to it to introduce such a register.
We recently learned that more than 100 lobbying professionals hold passes giving them access to the whole of the Parliamentary estate.
Right, I can't remember the last time I 'socialised' for my job, 80% of my time is at my desk, 20% is with my clients. As much as I would love to spend my time having liquid lunches and calling everyone 'Sweetie Darling' like Eddie, sadly - this does not happen!