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Getting the minister to say yes

The IFAP decision raises the question of what a new chief executive will

have to do if polarisation comes under direct attack.

There are rules of engagement which greatly facilitate the way in which

they can be heard in the most constructive manner.

Political consultants say the golden rule when it comes to lobbying is to

get in early and get in often.

Talking to MPs who have a vested interest in the issue helps. The easiest

way to identify these is that they will often be on a standing or select

committee that deals with the area.

The two committees that have direct impact on financial services are the

Treasury select committee and Finance Bill committee

Approaching the minister is effective although it is often difficult as

ministers tend to keep their distance. It is easier to get to know the

corresponding civil servant and more useful, perhaps, given the important

role they play in deciding policy.

Building up allies who have the same attitude towards an issue is helpful.

A coalition of trade bodies is more likely to draw attention to itself than

groups acting on their own accord.

One political consultant says: “One of the most important things to keep

in mind is the wider public policy implications of an issue, not just how

it will affect you.”

Whatever the issue, speaking as often as you can to whoever is willing to

listen is a sure way to be heard. Adopting long-term strategies is

important.

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