Bad Influence is a blog about lobbying and the privatisation of schools and healthcare.
I write about corporate lobbying. For this I've been called a 'conspiracy theorist', but also 'generally right'.
For the last couple of years, I've looked into the influence of the for-profit healthcare industry on the privatisation of the UK's beloved National Health Service. I've since researched lobbying efforts by companies to make inroads into schools. There are lots of parallels between the two sectors – both the reforms and the lobbyists. Big Tech is across both. And you can see it happening all around the world.
These companies employ the same tactics as other industries – cosying up to politicians, reams of PR, troops of think tanks, academics, 'innovation intermediaries' – to push their reform plans on politicians and the public. Some of it's obvious and visible, some of it isn't.
This blog is an attempt to shine a light on some of this lobbying activity so that we – the public, whose services these are – can see what is being done and where it might lead.
About me, Tamasin Cave:
I sometimes work for Spinwatch.org and have done for a decade. This is where you need to go to find out about lobbying by other industries – tobacco, fracking, bankers etc.
Powerbase.info is Spinwatch's wiki that contains thousands of profiles of lobbyists, lobbying firms, companies that lobby, the politicians they lobby, the think tanks they hire and the front groups they create to bend and shape public debate. I've created a 'schools portal' and a 'health portal' on the wiki, which might help if you are a researcher too.
If you'd like the information offline and digested, I've written a book on lobbying in the UK with my brilliant colleague, Andy Rowell. A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain (Vintage, 2015) is "a timely account of how voters are conceding power to a silent industry" according to the Mail on Sunday. Read Open Democracy's review. You can order it here.
To contact me: tamasin AT Spinwatch DOT org