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Pressure Groups

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Distinguish between insider and outsider pressure groups An "insider pressure group" is one literally inside the policy making circle and thus generally has more political clout due to their relations with those who have the ability to act within parliament on the pressure groups behalf. An example of this is the NFU (national farmers union) who as an insider group have to, by law, be consulted before any bill is passed regarding agriculture. An outsider group is the opposite, and as its name suggests is "outside" the policy making circle. Most pressure groups fall into this category, and as a result of not being in a direct position to influence government policy, have to advertise their cause with other methods, such as demonstrations and TV campaigns. An example of an outside group would be PlaneStupid, a relatively small environmentalist group opposed to further aviation expansion in the UK. They are most famed for their opposition to the new runway at Heathrow airport. What methods do pressure groups employ to influence the political process? ...read more.


Another controversial example was when members of Fathers4Justice climbed onto the roof of Buckingham palace and displayed a banner promoting their cause. Such methods are often criticised by the public and the authorities, but are usually successful in achieving awareness. Why are some pressure groups more successful than others "The politics of pressure" contains many factors which influence the success or failure of Pressure Groups. At the forefront of such factors is simple size. Simply a larger pressure group with more members is more likely to be successful due to the bigger influence more people will have, as well as the extra funding the group will receive to help in its operation from subscriptions etc. For example the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has over 1million members who all pay a yearly subscription. Such large amounts of money at the pressure groups disposal helps them fund expensive advertising campaigns and the like the even further raise awareness for their cause. On the flip side is the size and strength of opposition. ...read more.


Heavy funding can help pay for expensive media advertising campaigns which rally support, which is almost always needed for a cause to be addressed. Also extremely important is the issue of access points. Insider groups tend to have an easier job and thus can more swiftly address their needs due to their proximity to the policy making circle, while outsider groups will often take massive amounts of time and money to make enough of a stir amongst the public consciousness to have any effect. It is not just access to MP's that is important, but also other leading figures such as members of the EU parliament and perhaps even members of bigger pressure groups with more public clout. The most important access point is that to the public, so the ability to run effective internet campaigns etc is essential. Overall there are many reasons some pressure groups are more popular than others, but they all essentially boil down to those who have the ability to stir up enough public support and then get those in the position to do something about it to act. ...read more.

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