Monday, December 05, 2011

Lobbyists boast of influence over David Cameron and aid to foreign dictators

Tomorrow's Independent has a terrific front page. The have caught executives from the lobbyists Bell Pottinger boasting of their contacts with leading Conservative ministers and of their success in suppressing criticism of foreign dictators.

You can watch a video of the exchanges on the newspaper's website or read a fuller transcript:
TC [Tim Collins]: "And where we want to get to – and this will take time, this is where David's team are magical – is you get to the point where even if they type in 'Uzbek child labour' or 'Uzbek human rights violation', some of the first results that come up are sites talking about what you guys are doing to address and improve that, not just the critical voices saying how terrible this all is."
One point of interest is the presence of Tim Collins, Conservative MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale between 1997 and 2005, when he was defeated by our own Tim Farron.

Some years before that Collins was John Major's spin doctor. After Major had made his "back to basics" speech about teaching children to read and write. It was Collins who went around afterwards telling journalists that it was really about personal morality.

With hilarious consequences.

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