Labour’s attempt to sabotage the Lobbying Disclosure Bill is bad enough, it’s reasons for doing so are even worse:
The Labour Party wants to exempt trade unions from a bill to regulate lobbyists, saying unions are “less sinister” than professional lobbyists and corporates.
That is very much a matter of opinion.
The bill would cover anybody paid to lobby MPs, whether it was for an organisation such as Greenpeace or a trade union, a company such as SkyCity or as a professional lobbyist.
However, Mr Chauvel said it was too broad and the exemption was being sought because Labour believed it should apply only to groups or people who lobbied for a commercial purpose rather than not-for-profit groups. . .
“When trade unions came up, it seemed to me that they fell on the not- quite-so-sinister-and-behind-the-scenes side of things.”
He said corporate lobbying had the power to change policy, and was often done on the quiet.
“There is a big public interest in knowing what corporates are doing because they can afford heft lobbying and hospitality, and research and all the rest,” Mr Chauvel said.
And unions which donate at least tens of thousands of dollars to Labour, to which some of them are affiliated, have no heft and don’t do anything which some might regard as sinister and behind the scenes? They have no influence on policy and do nothing on the quiet?
Is it really that simple on Planet Labour – unions good, commerce bad?
Oh dear, that someone would give Chauvel the gift to see himself – and unions as others see them.