Last night Parliament withdrew the passes of over 80 All Party Parliamentary Group co-ordinators because some of them could be lobbying for big business.
This was no surprise as the often quoted joke that Parliament is the largest concentration of criminal minds in the country, and that it is the largest school playground in the country are not without a certain amount of truth.
Frustratingly, I am being tarred with the same brush as those that lobby for the likes of the tobacco industry and have had my pass withdrawn too.
For the past two years I have been lobbying on behalf of the humanitarian landmine clearance organisations. I have the full support of three government departments, four major NGOs and the United Nations.
The government is also calling for the creation of a statutory register of lobbyists – I am already a member of the UK Public Affairs Council – which is a voluntary register, and means that everything I do is open to public scrutiny
No parliamentarian and no businessmen have recieved any financial benefit from what I’ve been doing. Withdrawing all passes is a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop the unscrupulous, but will make life difficult for those of us who lobby for humanitarian causes.
Losing my pass won’t stop what I’m doing, but it adds another layer of tedium and red tape. Leaving me less time for car restoration.
In twitter speak I am @notbloodyhappy.