Public Affairs: Soap Box

The next six months are going to be frantic for the public affairs industry.

At times like this, the industry fulfils its most important role in the body politic. It is, therefore, essential that we are not distracted by internal arguments and debates.

For the past three years, we have become experts at navel gazing. The time has come to move on.

The expenses scandal has taken a huge toll on morale at Westminster.

I hope that the election will enable the new Parliament to restore its self-respect. The public affairs industry has an important role in this process.

I have always made the case for self-regulation. It was a much more important issue at the time than membership of an association. I fear the battle is gradually being lost, but that does not mean the fight must stop.

Bell Pottinger Public Affairs' decision to join the PRCA (prweek.com/uk,1 April) is, therefore, a huge boost for self-regulation and should be welcomed by the entire industry.

BPPA's clients are very content with the news. Like every other member of the PRCA, we will abide by the rules. Some people will try to make mischief. Let them.

At times like this, with a new government only a month away, the industry needs to grow up.

Each of the three associations (PRCA, CIPR and APPC) needs to play its part and the same is true for the leading members of the industry. The winner will be the body politic.

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