Cash-for-access: time to change this undemocratic and corrupt corporate-political setup – or pay the price
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At the Conservative Party conference last week, scores of company executives were allotted 20 minutes to chat up a senior member of the Government at one table and then passed on to the neighbouring table where the next minister was waiting to be charmed.
Delegates from banks, oil companies and management consultancy firms paid £1,500 a ticket in a deal.
This is the rule for Labour party conferences as well.
Another way of winning friends and influencing people is to sponsor lavish `workshops` – for want of a more fitting word.
Wonga – the recession baby
New kid on the block was Wonga, the payday loan company. Flourishing in recession, its revenue has exceeded £184 million. Millions of people are taking out loans — in many cases to pay for essentials such as food and heating — charmed by the reassuring grey-haired old ladies in the multi-million pound advertisements on TV which have been criticised by the Office of Fair Trading. When debts to Wonga are not paid on time the grey-haired ladies are no longer in charge – and Wonga is no longer reassuring.
As Aesop said . . . “You are known by the company you keep”