We have also heard familiar arguments against the introduction of rules to increase transparency and ethical standards.
Thursday's evidence session (due to take place as PRWeek went to press), however, promises a debate on the real issues, with questions to Tesco, BAA and AstraZeneca over how they lobby decision-makers to gain commercial advantage.
Lobbying is a legitimate and healthy part of a democracy. However, with such a huge disparity between large corporations and local communities in terms of resources and access to decision-makers, it is imperative that lobbying is exposed to greater public scrutiny.
The public and politicians have most to gain from transparency, in terms of restored trust in government decision-making. But with ethical lobbying now moving up the corporate responsibility agenda, greater transparency would also benefit corporate clients.
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, a coalition of civil society groups and unions, would welcome lobbyists to join us and support our aims.
David Miller, Alliance for Lobbying Transparency