Friday, 8 November 2013

Unlock Democracy: Pause The Bill Not The Pressure

Facing the prospect of defeat the government has hit pause on the controversial gagging bill!, The pressure from people like you, supporters of campaigning groups and charities up and down the country, meant that the government had no choice but to respond to the ever growing concerns surrounding the bill.

This rushed bill, that could seriously damage grassroots campaigning, will now face some much needed scrutiny. Sadly they have only conceded to pausing the bill for 5 weeks, much less than the 3 months required! Whilst we should take a brief moment to celebrate that the government is finally listening, we cannot ignore the fundamental flaws that riddled the bill.

We need the government to not just pause, but actively listen and engage in giving it the full scrutiny any bill deserves. We now have a tiny window of opportunity to really influence this bill. This cannot wait: we need to put pressure on.


This bill was meant to be about getting big money out of politics. But despite the small concessions the government has made, it is still set have a chilling effect on campaigns up and down the country. Every single part of the bill needs to be radically rethought. One small change is not enough to fix this bill. The changes must come as a package. We need to get this message across to Andrew Lansley the minister in charge of this bill.

It is great to see our work with over 60 NGOs to put the peer pressure on, succeed. Together we emailed, rang and tweeted at the Lords asking for a pause to make time for scrutiny. This just shows with enough pressure we can have an impact. You can also check out what else we’ve been doing to campaign for open up lobbying and to stop campaigners being gagged here.

We support the government’s goal to take big money out of politics, but not at the cost of grassroots campaigning or at the expense of democracy. There are already enough reasons for people to opt out of politics , we can’t let this bill be another reason. Please help us keep the pressure on Andrew Lansley and donate today.

Best wishes,

Alexandra Runswick,

P.S. Getting your head round yesterday’s debate? Here is our guide to pausing the bill and the government’s promises.