“I believe that secret corporate lobbying, like the expenses scandal, goes to the heart of why people are so fed up with politics. It arouses people’s worst fears and suspicions about how our political system works.” Prime Minister David Cameron, MP, speaking in February 2010
Lynton Crosby is an adviser to the Government, he also owns a lobbying firm CT Group and the job of a lobbying firm is to try and influence decisions made by officials in the government. One of his customers is Phillip Morris the cigarette manufacturer.
Sounds dodgy immediately but it gets even more sleazy.
Lynton Crosby was hired by the Government as an adviser and this week the government revealed that it was overruling it's own Health Ministers to shelve plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes.
Last week it was announced that e-cigarettes are to be classed as medicines and the e-cigarette companies subject to tough new tests before they can sell their wares, a decision that benefits the tobacco companies who are seeing their profits hit by the adoption of e-cigarettes.
All very reminiscent of the Blair/Ecclestone affair when Bernie Ecclestone, then in charge of Formula 1 motor racing, 'donated' a million pound to to the Labour Party and months later, Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, changed Government policy to Mr Ecclestone's advantage: Formula 1 would be exempt from the general ban on cigarette advertising at sporting events.
Is there anybody out there in a position of authority who isn't screwing us over for a profit?