• 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. to what extent do pressure groups influence government

    Some pressure groups such as the British medical association have a lot of specialist, professional expertise viewed by the government as stakeholders. For example, if the government was planning to reform the health systems, it would be harmful if the BMI did not support their decision.

  2. 'Nationalist Groups in the Sub-Continent played the most significant role in Britain's decision to ...

    British would come across as bullies enforcing their rule on the bullied. However, there were those in India who wanted to use more extreme measures. Ghandi was another headache for the British, as he replied to British charges with his 'Quit India' campaign.

  1. 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

  2. How successful were the Labour governments of 1924 and of 1929-31?

    MacDonald was furthermore a strong supporter of the League of Nations and he spoke at the assembly. He also sought to negotiate the Geneva Protocol in order to strengthen the pledges of collective security amongst the European powers. However on the negative side, there was the problem with the leading ministers, and these can include MacDonald.

  1. What tactics do US pressure groups use, and why are some more successful than ...

    They can also target the executive branch and the judicial branch. Several US presidents have been accused of having close associations with interest groups. However, this is not completely true. This is because interest groups seek to establish close ties with sections of the federal bureaucracy.

  2. It is not enough for governments to have power, they must also have authority

    However, this has been effectively blocked as there has never been a referendum for it. Bachrach and Baratz argued that decisions not made by politicians were just as important as those made and that those in power can marginalise an issue by ignoring it, this is clearly not a 'right'

  1. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    Zia took over the country as the CMLA and suspended the constitution. It was the starting of the longest martial law in Pakistan. 5. ZIA: Zia, who came in power in July 1977 as a result of military coup, in order to justify his coup in terms of religious basis

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

    * Crime and Punishment 'tough on crime tough on the causes of crime' Tony Blair. * Community and how individuals should act. * Taxation and redistribution. * Educational system - Equality or Elitism. 2.3 New labour and other political thinking * Social democracy- a capitalist economy which is partly nationalised and fairly planned.

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