Cameron affair: how much lobbying can politics bear?
Details keep emerging in the UK about a lobbying affair involving ex-prime minister David Cameron, sparking a debate about the relations between politics and business. Cameron brought entrepreneur Lex Greensill into the government as an advisor in 2012. After resigning as prime minister Cameron became an advisor to financial services company Greensill, which went bankrupt in March.
The Daily Telegraph believes that close ties between the political leadership and the private sector are important:
“There are good reasons why government seeks connection with business. Business tends to execute things better than government and is a better school of economic reality than Whitehall. When governments wrestle with problems like IT, they rightly draw on skills from the private sector. Sometimes these involve secondments, appointing special advisers, or bringing business people into the Civil Service longer-term.”
Lack of regulation
The Guardian rejects this line of argument:
“A lack of transparency and regulation makes it far too easy for people with the right contacts to get privileged access to policymaking in a way that swings outcomes in their favour. ... There is almost no meaningful policing of the revolving door that sees special advisers, former ministers - and prime ministers - take lucrative jobs ... . All of this has been compounded in the past decade by a naively starry-eyed approach to bringing private-sector experience into government policymaking and delivery.”