According to a biographical note:
- Phil Parvin recently completed a PhD in political philosophy from the London School of Economics, and has since been working in political communications, public affairs, and policy research. He has taught at the LSE, Oxford, and the University of London and has spoken on issues of social justice, redistribution, and equality to audiences in Britain, Europe and the US. He has worked at the European Commission and the European Parliament. He is currently involved in a number of projects aimed at exploring the decline in political engagement and is writing a book on cultural diversity and equality.[ref]
In 2006 he undertook a study on the role of lobbying in the UK evidently intended to ensure that lobbying is not seen as a problem. In a press release from the Hansard Society, which commissioned the study, Parvin, the author of the report, said:
- “The perception of lobbying among the public and many others is that it is all about big business buying big favours. But the corporate sector is merely one group that seeks to influence parliamentarians and government: charities, think tanks, campaign groups, and NGOs are all in the business of presenting their case to decision makers in order to influence their views on certain issues. When we discuss the legitimacy of lobbying in Britain, we need to keep in mind all those who are currently engaged in it, what their motives are, and how effective they are.”
Indeed we do, but in order to muddy the waters and prevent any democratic regulation of lobbying, the lobbyists try and pretend that business is only one, possibly marginal, actor. No surprises, then that the study is funded by the industry ('supported by public affairs recruitment firm Ellwood & Atfield.') and most of the advisors to the study have lobbying industry connections.:
- Ben Atfield of the lobbying head hunters who are funding the study,
- Richard English from Oxfam an organistion very close to New labour and pro business.
- Lord Tom McNally a former lobbyist, with Hill and Knowlton from 1987 and then with Shandwick and Weber Shandwick until the end of 2004.
- Gill Morris of the APPC the lobbyists lobby group set up to ensure that lobbying is not regulated),
- Phil Parvin himself,
- Peter Riddell of The Times, one of Murdoch's finest and
- Ed Vaizey MP, close to Cameron, a former PR operative and Michael Howard speech writer who is also involved with neocon think tanks such as the Henry Jackson Society Project for Democratic Geopolitics.