Friday, 18 March 2016

Lobbyists lobbied for "lobbying" ban

The UK government has passed rules banning academics who receive public funding from "lobbying" ministers and MPs about their research, meaning that the people whom the government pays to acquire expertise in matters of public policy aren't allowed to speak to policy-makers anymore.

The problem, from the UK government's perspective, is that it wants to do things that scientists understand to be stupid: impose austerity as a means of stimulating the economy, give tax breaks to the rich as a means of stimulating the economy, limit migration as a means of stimulating the economy, and, of course, deny climate change. 
Put like that, it like sounds like a daft idea. Then you realise who first came up with this notion and your head explodes:
Ironically, the rules derive from lobbying by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA)– a right-wing think tank that does not declare the source of its funding – and were explicitly directed at charities and NGOs like Save the Children, Action on Smoking and Health and Alcohol Concern.