Unlike political parties, pressuregroups do not aspire to govern the country and
are concerned with a relatively narrow range of issues. Much of their work is nonpolitical, but in as much as their concerns and aspirations are affected by
government they seek to acquire an influence over the conduct of public policy.
In this chapter, we are concerned with examining the range of groups in Britain
and the United States, the ways in which they operate and their effectiveness. In
addition, we consider the
For all its vocal populism, the anti-Market campaign lacked a unified
crusade structure. The Express supplied flags and slogans but did so
on its own terms, with its own agenda. Pundits fed rather than led the
cause, generally preferring forums of political expression to organisations
for political pressure. Conservative anti-Market MPs avoided formal
affiliation with extra-parliamentary groups devoted to overturning
Government policy. Meanwhile Labour MPs organised their own protest
body for the purpose of converting fellow members of the
The theory of democracy inherited from nineteenth-century Britain tends to focus on individual voters or MPs rather than groups of any kind. In practice, groups figure very highly in the politics of modern democratic states and may be seen as providing a form of ‘functional’ representation (of social groups or blocks of voters) that is especially important between elections.
Pressuregroups are organised associations that seek to influence policy though not to exercise power. There are two main kinds: economic and cause groups.
This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the opponents of Britain's first attempt to join the European Economic Community (EEC) between the announcement of Harold Macmillan's new policy initiative in July 1961 and General de Gaulle's veto of Britain's application for membership in January 1963. In particular, it examines the role of national identity in shaping both the formulation and articulation of arguments put forward by these opponents of Britain's policy. To date, studies of Britain's unsuccessful bid for entry have focused on high political analysis of diplomacy and policy formulation. In most accounts, only passing reference is made to domestic opposition. This book redresses the balance, providing a complete depiction of the opposition movement and a distinctive approach that proceeds from a ‘low-political’ viewpoint. As such, it emphasizes protest and populism of the kind exercised by, among others, Fleet Street crusaders at the Daily Express, pressure groups such as the Anti-Common Market League and Forward Britain Movement, expert pundits like A.J.P. Taylor, Sir Arthur Bryant and William Pickles, as well as constituency activists, independent parliamentary candidates, pamphleteers, letter writers and maverick MPs. In its consideration of a group largely overlooked in previous accounts, the book provides essential insights into the intellectual, structural, populist and nationalist dimensions of early Euroscepticism.
Whether called pressure groups, NGOs, social movement organisations or organised civil society, the value of ‘groups’ to the policy process, to economic growth, to governance, to political representation and to democracy has always been contested. However, there seems to be a contemporary resurgence in this debate, largely centred on their democratising potential: can groups effectively link citizens to political institutions and policy processes? Are groups an antidote to emerging democratic deficits? Or do they themselves face challenges in demonstrating their legitimacy and representativeness? This book debates the democratic potential and practice of groups, focusing on the vibrancy of internal democracies, and modes of accountability with those who join such groups and to the constituencies they advocate for. It draws on literatures covering national, European and global levels, and presents empirical material from the UK and Australia.
Issues around the policing of public order and political expression are as topical today as in the past. This book explores the origins of the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) that emerged in 1934 in protest at the policing of political extremes. It discusses the police attempts to discredit the NCCL and the use of Special Branch intelligence to perpetuate a view of the organisation as a front for the Communist Party. The book analyses the vital role played by the press and the prominent, well-connected backing for the organisation and provides a detailed discussion on the formation of the NCCL. The use of plain clothes police officers was a particularly sensitive matter and the introduction of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and subsequently Special Branch was controversial. The book examines the nature of the support for a civil liberties pressure group, the political orientation of the organisation, its place in non-party ideology and its role in a political culture. Liberal Internationalism, pacifist groups and women's organisations are also considered. The book then discusses the NCCL's networks, methods and associations through which it was able to bring complaints about legislation and police behaviour to public attention and into the parliamentary arena. Public, press, police and ministerial responses to the NCCL's activities form a focal point. Finally, it reviews the ongoing role and changing political relationships of the NCCL following Ronald Kidd's death in 1942, alongside the response of the police and Home Office to the emerging new regime.
1946. The picture which emerges for the contributory schemes is one of strategic inconsistency and marginalisation in the policy
discussions. Next, the NHS debates are viewed from the perspective of the
localities, and it is shown that while some elements supported continuation
of the status quo, other sections of the movement embraced the idea of a taxfunded NHS. Finally, the schemes’ failure to inﬂuence events is analysed in the
context of the literature of pressuregroup politics.
The BHCSA and the policy process
In the wake of Brown’s statement and the
questioning methods and political bias in the policing
of labour and public protest. The chain of events begun by Kidd’s
press intervention led to the formation in 1934 of the National
Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), a pressuregroup centred on
civil liberties and the powers of the police, with Kidd as its General
This book will consider the key part played by the NCCL in
shaping a distinct and organised critique of police behaviour in
interwar Britain. Its innovative and direct methods involved placing
observers at public demonstrations and meetings to
available to decision-makers?
The term ‘lobbying’ derives from the particular location in which the activity supposedly takes place, the parliamentary or legislative lobby. In practice, most lobbying takes place elsewhere: in government offices, in restaurants or online. An alternative term to describe the organisations involved is pressuregroups, which could imply that the application of ‘pressure’ is in some way improper or involves the misuse of sanctions. More positive terminology is found in terms such as ‘campaign group’, ‘altruistic group’ or ‘advocacy group