Once again lobbying finds itself at the centre of a media storm, and once again the media's ire is misdirected.
Adam Werritty may have been lobbying, but that does not make him a lobbyist in the accepted sense of the term. As far as I am aware he has not a member of the CIPR, and his organisation is not signed up to the APPC or the PRCA. The fact that the media find it easy to hang the label 'lobbyist' around his neck does not make him a member of the industry which I - along with many others - am proud to work for. As in the previous 'cash for questions' and 'taxi for hire' affairs, the level of lobbyist involvement is minimal or non-existent.
I genuinely believe that lobbying is legitimate and an integral part of the democratic process. Lobbying has always gone on, going back to the days of Magna Carta and the drafting of the US constitution and beyond. Both of these documents guarantee the right to petition, and that is what lobbying is all about. Everyone has the right to lobby, and pretty well everybody does. Local people and voluntary organisations lobby through their councillors and MPs. Charities and NGOs lobby just as much as business - perhaps even more. Government's lobby each other, and they also lobby supra-national organisations such as the EU, UN and WTO.