|The Bishop of Rochester|
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
Celebrating 50 years and lobbying.....
Did you spot the irony of that full page advert from business leaders supporting the Tory party to win the election?
I wonder whether the Lobbying Act prohibitions against 'non-party organisations and individuals' trying to influence public votes during the election period shouldn't also apply to those 100 company CEOs who released their overtly partisan letter in the Telegraph?
I suspect many of them have spent far more than the registration threshold on supporting party election campaigning too? I wonder how much tobacco companies are spending in fighting against plain packaging and who they are supporting? What would have happened if charity leaders had done the same? This is yet another instance of the outrage of the Lobbying act and how it doesn't affect Lobbying but does gag charities. It has had an insidious effect on charity campaigning. There is no doubt that the act has quietening our voice. This Act has to be repealed and ACEVO will continue its campaign for this after the election.
Hopefully you all had a great Easter. I was down in Kent with family celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consecration of St Matthews, Wigmore. I was one of the first to be confirmed in the new church so a double celebration for me. Some photos from the event. Myself with my mother and father and two sisters Lucy and Sara.
The Bishop of Rochester gave the sermon and I had a long chat with him afterwards about ACEVO and our work, which he had heard a lot about. He was interested in the whole issue of rehabilitation because he holds the brief for prisons amongst the Bishops. We will follow up that conversation.