Ludgate public affairs is showing two fingers to the prudish
lobbying community by daring to host two fringe meetings in its own name
at the Labour Party conference next week.
This may sound tame, but afficionados of the public affairs scene will
know that, ever since the fall of Ian Greer, lobbyists have been
competing for the most self-effacing fringe meeting host award, flagging
up their clients’ names as hosts, rather than their own.
Hence mental health charity Scope is holding a meeting next week with
the ’help’ of Fishburn Hedges’ public affairs team and Shandwick public
affairs is playing the same role with VSO. Very worthy.
Meanwhile, the Ludgate boys are turning this mealy-mouthed logic on its
head. They are fronting a debate on carbon emission trading and another
on the social cost of credit-scoring - both issues of burning
topicality, I am told.
They have even pulled off the impressive coup of getting Greg Palast -
Observer journalist and scourge of lobbying companies since he caught
Dolly Draper red-handed last year - to speak at one of the meetings.
Ludgate public affairs managing director Stephen Lock notes: ’I imagine
a lot of people, including our competitors, will not approve, but I’ve
become immune to the ’old school’ calling me brash.’