• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

How significant is the influence which pressure groups have on government? Is there any evidence that they have fared better under New Labour governments?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How significant is the influence which pressure groups have on government? Is there any evidence that they have fared better under New Labour governments? Name: Jennifer Moore Matric No: 200314353 Date: 27 November 2005 Programme: BA Social Science Module: SOCP226 - Introduction to British Politics Module Leader: Peter Liddell This essay will outline the significance to which pressure groups have an influence on government and explain how they have fared under New Labour governments. Whilst the term 'pressure groups' may be relatively new, the concept itself dates back as far as 1787. The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was led by William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson and successfully campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade. (Jones, 2004, p233) Pressure groups are formed by a group of people who share a common interest or goal. The intention of the group is to raise the profile or the cause and/or advance it. Unlike political parties, they rarely have a manifesto on a range of policies. Instead they campaign only on specific policies in order to influence public policy formulated by the likes of central or local government. (Grant, 1995, p3) There are generally two types of group: sectional and cause groups. ...read more.

Middle

The institutional links a group may have to a particular party i.e in the 1970s, the trade unions caused serious disruption in the UK. (Heywood, 2002, p280) The methods used by groups to exert influence can be said to run on a continuum from low cost, low level, non-violent activities through to high cost, high level, violent activities. (Jones, 2004, p240) Smaller, less well-financed groups may begin with activities such as petitioning which are then submitted to a local or central government. For example, if a local authority wanted to close a school, the parents may get together to produce a petition that would be presented to the local education authority. At the opposite end of the spectrum lie more extreme versions of direct action. For example, in recent years pro-life and animal rights campaigners have targeted high profile figures from that area for assassination or to inflict serious injury upon them. Some groups will use a combination of tactics to optimise their impact. (Smith, 1995, p17) Mid-way on the scale is the lobbying and involves contacting MPs with a view to getting a particular item on the agenda or publicising a particular point of view. Nowadays, whilst hanging around the House is seen less, groups do still lobby MPs in order to try to advance their cause or group. ...read more.

Conclusion

This occurred around the time of the G8 summit at Gleneagles, which attracted large numbers of people fighting under the anti-Capitalism banner. The existence and increased support of these movements is a symptom of the highly influential political culture that exists in Britain, and globally, today. In the last two decades of the 20th century, the influence of the traditional pressure groups, including trade unions has decreased. It could be argued that this decrease has been accelerated during the period of government under New Labour since 1997. However, this acceleration period appears to now be being challenged by an increasingly politically aware electorate. Whilst they may be more likely not to turn out and cast their vote in an organised election, they are much more willing to belong to social movements to ensure their voice is heard. Failure to listen to this voice will have serious ramifications for New Labour. BIBLIOGRPAHY Books Grant, W (1995) Pressure Groups, Politics and Democracy in Britain, Harvester Wheatsheaf Heywood (2002) Politics, Second Edition, Palgrave House of Commons (1985), First Report from the Select Committee on Members' Interests, 1984/85, HMSO Jones et al (2004) Politics UK, Fifth Edition, Pearson Longman Smith, M (1995) Pressure Politics, Baseline Journals Jackson, N (2004) Pressure Group Politics, Politics Review, September Websites http://www.unison.org.uk/about/about.asp, 27 November 2005 http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/emar/tradeunion_membership2004.pdf 27 November 2005 ?? ?? ?? ?? Jennifer Moore 200314353 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Were the policy intentions of the Thatcher governments assisted or hindered by the structure ...

    expenditure, privatisation and deregulation, and to effect a long-term shift in the social structure. The lack of a single focus and the fundamental liberal-conservative split within the Conservative party has meant that some of these policies had to be compromised or postponed due to their conflicting nature.

  2. How significant was The First World War in the Labour Party's rise to second-party ...

    Historians Matthew, McKibbin and Kay see the Fourth Reform Act as crucial to the rapid rise of the Labour Party, but Laybourn points out that timing was the key stating "it is simply nonsense to assume that all those male voters who were disfranchised before 1914 would have voted labour

  1. The history of pressure groups is a long one. Before the term "pressure group" ...

    An example of this is the British Field Sports Society, who in 1995, had approximately 80,000 active members, forming their vocal minority. In addition to this, they claimed a silent majority of 5.5million affiliated sportsmen and women nationwide, forming their potential membership.

  2. How does the structure of government affect pressure group politics in the UK and ...

    In the UK, campaigns are less candidate centred and party labels are more important than any individual candidate. As a result, some wealthy individuals and interest groups donate money to the party, but it is neither easy or worthwhile to target any one candidate.

  1. An Essay Plan on: 'To what extent, if at all, is New Labour new'.

    * The Third Way - is there such a thing * Bill Clinton's New Democrats and whether Tony Blair has copied theirre line of thinking. * Christian socialism- Christianity and socialism share certain moral values, and that Christians should therefore give political expression to their religious beliefs by supporting a certain type of socialism (Robertson 1993, 57).

  2. Analyse the transition from 'Old' Labour to 'New' Labour.

    In 1995 at a special conference he won vast support for the updating of Clause IV that had kept the party centred around Nationalisation for the majority of its political life. The draft manifesto New Labour, New Life for Britain won widespread support in 1996 and was based around 5 key pledges; Education, Crime, Health, Jobs and Economic stability.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of methods other than direct action which a pressure group may ...

    The next most important tactic is the use of a celebrity or well known figure to lead or be an important member of your group. This is very good at raising awareness for the groups as the followers of the celebrity will become apparent to their cause.

  2. "Tony Blair has been criticised by some for being a Tory Prime Minister leading ...

    In 1945 and for two decade afterwards it seemed as if ideology as a feature in British politics was on the way out. This was due to the war and in this time the conservative government had accepted that labour would expand welfare services and nationalise a significant sector of the economy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work