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6 Jun, 2013

Corporate power has turned Britain into a corrupt state | The Guardian

The truth is that parliamentary sleaze merchants are small fry in the corporate lobbying game. Before he became prime minister, Cameron predicted that secret corporate lobbying was “the next big scandal waiting to happen”, adding: “We all know how it works.” As a former lobbyist himself, he certainly did – and still does.

Cameron’s own election adviser, the Australian Lynton Crosby, is a lobbyist – for tobacco, alcohol, oil and gas companies. Which is why the prime minister came under attack for dropping curbs on cigarette packaging and alcohol pricing. His party treasurer Peter Cruddas resigned after offering access to Cameron for a £250,000 party donation. His defence secretary, Liam Fox, resigned over his relationship with the lobbyist Adam Werritty.

But lobbying doesn’t begin to cover the extent of corporate influence. More than ever the Tory party is in thrall to the City, with over half its income from bankers and hedge fund and private equity financiers. Peers who have made six-figure donations have been rewarded with government jobs.

Read the rest: Corporate power has turned Britain into a corrupt state | The Guardian.