A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain by Tamasin Cave & Andy Rowell; Democracy Ltd: How Money and Donations Corrupted British Politics by Bobby Friedman - review by Andy McSmith

Andy McSmith

Politics for Sale

A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain

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The Bodley Head 385pp £20 order from our bookshop

Democracy Ltd: How Money and Donations Corrupted British Politics

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Oneworld 242pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

Lobbying works best when the people doing it are ‘out of the spotlight’, working ‘quietly and in private’, Tamasin Cave and Andy Rowell point out. It brings to mind the old joke about poisoners – that there are famous poisoners, and there are successful poisoners, but there are no famous successful poisoners. There are some famous people in the lobbying industry, such as Sir Tim Bell, but they have not made their names lobbying. Sir Tim won renown because of his connection with Margaret Thatcher. Others have recognition because they used to be eminent political advisers or journalists.

One person who undoubtedly became a famous lobbyist was Ian Greer, whose company rashly took on the task of repairing the reputation of Mohamed al-Fayed, the then-owner of Harrods, who was accused in a Department of Trade and Industry report leaked in 1989 of lying about the source of his

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