Methods of Pressure groups

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  • Methods of PGs
    • Ministers & Civil Ministers
      • These work at the heart of the 'core executive' which develops and makes govt policy.
      • Govts want to consult groups: to advice on policy process, desire to gain the cooperation of important groups and inform the affected groups of proposed policies or govt measures.
      • It is strange to think economic, industrial and trade policies would be developed without consulting major corporations, trade associations and business groups.
      • The PGs will have to attend formal meetings with civil servants and policy committees,
        • This is the most important way of exerting influence on the govt.
    • Parliament
      • PGs may use Parliamentary lobbying to get contacts with ministers and civil servants.
        • Lobbyists also aim to make contacts with sympathetic MPs and Peers who can provide them with expensively produced briefing and information packs.
          • Lobbyists are important because they are independently minded backbenchers and they are the introduction of the departmental select committees.
      • PGs can have influence through Private Members' Bills, Parliamentary Questions and select committee inquiries.
    • Political Parties
      • Influencing political parties can lead to influencing govt policy.
        • They do this through funding and donations. e.g the trade unions provided funding for Labour and controlled most of the votes at the party's conference,
      • Labour and the Conservatives now rely on business and wealthy individuals for their main source of funding.
        • They do this through funding and donations. e.g the trade unions provided funding for Labour and controlled most of the votes at the party's conference,
    • Public Opinion
      • This is adopted usually by outsider groups but insider groups also engage in public opinion.
      • The purpose of direct action is to influence the govt indirectly by pushing issues up the political agenda and demonstrating the strength of commitment of the public for a particular cause.
      • The hope is that the govt will pay attention through fear of suffering electoral consequences.
        • The purpose of direct action is to influence the govt indirectly by pushing issues up the political agenda and demonstrating the strength of commitment of the public for a particular cause.
      • Public campaigns, petitions and demonstrations aims to get lots of media attention and gain wider influence e,g anti-fees protests by students.
      • PGs can damage the image of a govt or the PM by influencing public opinion.
    • Direct Action
      • This overlaps with some forms of the public opinion.
      • direct action aims to cause disruption or inconvenience e.g strikes blockades etc.
        • However non violent direct actions sometimes takes the form of civil disobedience e,g Greenham Common Women's Peace camp in the 1980s.

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