- A pressure group is a group of people who campaign for a change in the law. Examples are: GreenPeace, Fathers 4 Justice, Camp Bling, NSPCC, RSPCA and WWF.
- Only need 1 member in a pressure group.
- The methods they use are: lobbying MPs, meeting MPs, sit-in, strikes, boycott, petition, and stunts.
Sectional Pressure Groups
- They further the interest of a section of well organised, wealthy groups e.g. NUT, B.M.A.
- They provide direct access to ministers.
Cause Pressure Groups
- Provide a particular belief or cause.
- Not as well funded as sectional pressure groups.
- Usually small and not as well influenced.
Snowdrop Campaign - cause group. The campaign was set us as Thomas Hamilton killed 16 young children, teachers and injured 13 other children and 3 other teachers. This cause only represented the people affected by what happens.
The Snowdrop Campaign wanted to ban all guns, but when the legislation was introduced the Conservative Government still allowed 22 Caliber.
All guns were then completely banned by the Labour Party when they came into power.
Advantages of Pressure Groups
1) Can bring about a change in the law to make it better.
2) Can highlight important issues.
3) They can address a range of issues e.g. from Child Abuse to the Rainforest.
4) Government is made aware of these issues.
5) It can bind people together as they agree with the same issues.
Disadvantages of Pressure Groups
1) Some causes are inappropriate of trivial - only interest a minority.
2) Some groups break the law e.g. Fathers 4 Justice, Animal Rights, Student Finance, LDN Riots.
3) Some groups aim to impose their beliefs upon others.
4) Some groups have conflicting issues.
5) It costs the Government a lot of money to investigate and take action on the issues raised.