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Pressure group methods

Monday, September 08, 2008
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Some good early examples from the TUC conference this month

The autumn conference season kicks off, as is traditionally the case, with the TUC Congress - which this year is being held in Brighton.  I don’t know if it’s something to do with the media expecting conflict to flare up between the unions and the government, but there does seem to be more news coverage than has been the case over the past few years.  Whatever, this event gives students a chance to consider how pressure groups operate, and it works as a good case study so early in the AS course.

According to the BBC website:

‘The TUC is facing increasing pressure to organise a major protest campaign against the government’s public sector pay policy.

Seven unions are supporting the motion which will be debated at the TUC’s annual conference in Brighton later.

They say expecting workers to accept 2% pay rises at a time of rapidly rising inflation is “unfair and unjust”.

One controversial amendment calls on the TUC to go further and organise a public sector-wide national strike.’

It’s possible to identify at least two methods pressure groups use in attempting to influence the government – public protest, and the springboard offered by holding the conference offers them extra media coverage.

A further method is producing information and reports.  This week the TUC have published a report calling for a tax on the super rich.

‘In a pamphlet published on the eve of its annual conference, the TUC calls for an increased level of taxation for all those earning over £100,000.
In a new report, “Do the Super-rich Matter?,” the TUC says that the wealth gap in the UK is as big as in Victorian Britain 100 years ago.’

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