DIARY: Bitter experience is the best teacher of ethics

The great and the good from the public affairs community have teamed up to launch what is being claimed to be the first MA course in lobbying.

Those involved in setting up the course at Brunel University include APCO chairman Brad Staples and GCI UK director Rod Cartwright.

With a nod to such scandals as 'cash for questions' and the Observer sting that five years ago revealed exaggerated claims of influence at Beattie Media's Edinburgh operation, course director Dr Justin Fisher said: 'Business ethics is very important - it's our selling point.'

And when it comes to teaching the lobbyists of tomorrow ways to avoid the scandals of the past, Staples will be particularly well placed. He can explain to students in detail how, shortly after the Beattie scandal broke, APCO swiftly ended its alliance with the firm, thereby preserving its own reputation.

It can't be long before Brunel launches its own reputation management MA.

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