• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


Pressure groups can be described as an organised group that do not put candidates up for election in general elections; they do try to influence government legislation and their policies that they are trying to implement. The aim of this assignment is to examine how important pressure groups can be within Britain's political policy process. Every pressure group consists of individuals who share a common interest, whilst using whatever resources are available as a direct result of their unity of interest to influence and apply pressure on various agencies to have their views adopted, such as government, ministers of parliament, local government or officials. Their aim is to use different tactics to highlight their cause, putting pressure on politicians, such as lobbying that is pressurising and becoming part of the democratic process. The lobbying activities are achieved through meetings with those in power and presenting them with their points of view and writing letters. This is aimed to persuade those in power to take notice and relevant action in anyone group's particular issue. Pressure groups do not seek to gain possession of power or to employ power. They serve to have an effect on power whilst remaining separated from it by applying pressure on it. ...read more.


There are very few interest groups that are known as insider groups who have easy access to ministers and civil servants. Publicity through the mass media is another method that pressure groups can utilize in the hope of influencing society's opinion, such as an organised march, demonstration and public meetings. The notion being that, if they can sway public opinion to support their cause, which in turn could influence the government as political parties occasionally do listen to public opinion if they want to be re-elected or elected. Some pressure groups use this direct action; such as strikes by trade unions, blockading of ports to prevent animal exports, although extreme there are getting their opinions and the plight of their cause across to the public and government. If the public support these methods they can be very successful in changing government policy. The threat to government MPs is that they may lose their Parliamentary seat, which is the most effective and efficient weapon any pressure group can possess. If public opinion brings pressure to bear on MPs through their local constituency parties so that they come to believe that their constituents would vote against them, then MPs will pass on that concern to their party at Westminster. ...read more.


The conservative party lost the general election and the labour party became the new government of the UK on 1st may 1997. "On 27 may 1997, a bill was given its first reading in parliament to ban all handguns including those .22 calibres and smaller that had been exempted under the previous legislation, as well as to revoke the possibility of owners holding their guns on club premises. The new law gained Royal assent on 27 November 1997, and came into force on 26th January 1998"{Parliamentary affairs: pg 329). The snowdrop pressure group highlighted the various tools that a pressure group requires if it is to be successful. However it is worthwhile noting that the media played a huge role in gaining public opinion over an already heartfelt issue. Some may well argue that parliament was already aware of the issue surrounding firearms legislation and that Dunblane had acted as a catalyst to push forward changes in the law, suggesting that the snowdrop campaign was less effective that it appeared. It can take a tragedy like Dunblane to spur a government into action. The forthcoming general election also put pressure on the conservative government and opposing the labour party hoping to become government, to take notice of the Snowdrop campaign. ...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

    Terrorist groups such as Al'queda are on the margins. However there are groups who don't go to such extremes as those deemed terrorists. Father's For Justice is a prime example. They use attention seeking stunts; although extreme they are not to the same extremes of terrorist organisations. They are, however, deemed an outsider groups for their "extreme" measures to capture the attention of the public.

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

    Sometimes interest groups can publicise a candidate's record in a way that will either assist or damage that candidate's electoral prospects, for example, by using issue advertisements. Some groups also publish ratings of Congressional candidates to highlight his views over an important issue such as abortion.

  1. Sharpeville Massacre Sources Question

    or placed under house arrest or immediately re-detained. How long can a people do you think bear such blatant injustice and suffering?"

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

    was sidelined in the early eighties on similar grounds. For details see: - Air Commodore Sajjad Haider (PAF, Ret.) interviewed by Anjum Niaz in Dawn Magazine, February 14, 1997 - Major General Rafi Alam (Ret.) interviewed by Moni Mohsin in The Friday Times March 31 - April 6, p.24 -

  1. personal exercis programme

    You can overload using any of the FITT principles. 'Reversibility' is when the body looses shape, tone and skill without training. This can happen if you train and then stop; leading to muscles atrophying. It is easier to loose fitness than to gain it therefore, if you stop training, your body will loose all the things it gained, as a result of training, quickly.

  2. "Critically evaluate the relationship between Members of Parliament, political parties and pressure groups in ...

    The 20 successful members stand at the front of the private members queue in the order in which they were drawn. They now have a big advantage over the other private members who also wish to introduce bills of their own.

  1. How significant is the influence which pressure groups have on government? Is there any ...

    Insider groups will regularly be consulted by the government. This consultative role is built up if a group has demonstrated a number of features: Authority - the ability of the group to speak on behalf of all of its members. Information - the group has expertise and information on a specific subject.

  2. The position of the New Labour government with Tony Blair ahead of that government.

    greatly reduced their industrial and political power. Finally, the concept of equality is another difference between Thatcherism and Consensus Conservatism. So, Consensus Conservatism was in favour of equality, as progressive income taxes were retained and an excess profit tax was introduced. In comparison, Thatcher preferred a 'stimulating inequality', believing that "intervention by state distorts the operation of the free market".

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