The lobby group that got much more bang for its buck

15 Jul 2013

YOU’LL be familiar with the narrative. Lobbyists are quietly pulling all the strings in the political world. Deals are done behind closed doors, suspicious men in dark suits lurk in the corridors of power, and vested interests throw money at political parties to buy the influence they need to control what passes through parliament.

But what if that way of working is being turned on its head? What if those vested interests are out in the open now, using the methods pioneered by political parties to win their battles? Rather than waiting for political donations to trickle down and the lobbyists to bend the right ears, what if interest groups are setting up fully fledged political campaigns of their own and cutting out the middleman?

Public campaigns that bring together public relations and lobbying objectives have become the perfect tool in a political system with a chink in its armour. You don’t have to convince a majority of voters of your position, or even too sizeable a minority of voters. You’ve realised what the parties already know: to win certain kinds of fights you only have to convince a small group of people in marginal electorates…

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