Sunday, September 11, 2011

the good news is that the No.1 lobby is no longer a bank...

OK, I've added hundreds more government meetings to the Lobster Project webscraper and run the analytics script. We're up to 3,825 lobbying events between 2,725 entities, which reports processing in 4.63 seconds.

Here are two depressing findings. First of all, Francis Maude is still the fourth most lobbied minister, although his gatekeepership has dropped somewhat. We retain our Strong Buy rating on him and also on Oliver Letwin. Second, there's been a shakeup of the lobbies - Facebook has dropped out of the top 20 but the lobbying star is BAE Systems, which has surged into the top 5, scrabbling above Barclays Bank to become the UK's biggest single private lobby. That's right, banking has fallen behind armaments.

Is the government considering ordering the Type 26 frigates? Or backing out of the F-35? Or switching to the Sea Gripen fighter, which the Bungling Baron of British Waste O'Space has a 30-odd% finger in? Who knows...

Actually, this is probably just an artefact of the MOD being unusually conscientious about disclosing lobbying information and that theirs comes in a sensible format rather than in a locked filing cabinet, behind a door marked Beware of the Leopard...sorry, in a mangled PDF file.

Lobster Project tip of the day is probably Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, Education PUSS. With a gatekeepership of 1.228 (i.e. a 23% uplift in influence from lobbying him) he's significantly underlobbied at a network degree of 0.075. Somebody, buy him an intern.

Although Nick Clegg is in third place overall, I note that his gatekeepership is down to 0.34 and that therefore, there's little hope of getting access to the prime minister through him.

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