Thursday, 26 January 2017

L6 prep task: Why are pressure groups successful? Post your case study


  1. I believe that some tactics of pressure groups are effective such as; social media campaigns e.g. Viva's Veganuary campaign. Or e-petitions and demonstrations in the street. However, aggressive campaigns that spout hatred for a specific societal minority group, tend to lose public support. Also violent tactics, such as throwing at windows and damaging public property weaken the credibility of many pressure groups.

    Pressure groups are successful because they can educate the public on issues and they have the funding to get experts to support the research. Pressure groups are good at influencing policy. However, this power can become out of control as shown with the Nation Farmers Union. This is bad and undemocratic because this pressure group can essentially whisper in the ears of the government. Also they push forward legislation that favours them, because they have the expertise and agriculture is a lucrative industry.

  2. Pressure groups aim to influence government policy or legislation.
    I think that how successful a pressure group is depends on what they want to achieve and therefore their success rate is determined on how well they achieve their aims. Furthermore, the different resources that are on access to the pressure group plays a critical role in how well they are able to carry out their functions and therefore be effective and successful. Good financial resources allows for a larger chance to be successful as they are able to finance and sustain their campaigns over a longer period of time as well as being able to afford more publicity and hiring lobbyists.
    Furthermore, another way that pressure groups can be viewed as being successful is through endorsement. This is the patronage of an important public figure within a campaign, such as Joanna Lumley and the Gurkha campaign.
    Pressure groups are also successful due to their ability to generate public sympathy and I think that this does effect and increase the possibility of a positive reaction from the government, an example of this is the Snowdrop campaign after the Dunblane massacre.
    Moreover, as Susan mentioned above they do educate the public on issues and are able to influence policy on a number of different occasions such as Age Concern Scotland giving advice to government about pensions etc and have therefore been able to influence government policy as they have specific expertise in the subject.

  3. Pressure groups aim to influence government policy or legislation that effects the cause or section of society that the group represents.
    The tactics used by pressure groups will vary depending on their status and what they want to achive. Insider pressure groups such as the national farmers union will be involved in the consulting network of policy formation by the goverment due to their importance, this means they have an easier tactic and pathway through which to influence government on the issues they wish to. Outsider groups will use varying tactics from the direct action of Green Peace to the public opinion campigns of groups like forest. These pressure groups apply pressure from outside and raise pblic awarness of issues to influnce government.
    The succsses of pressure groups will therefore will depend on an amalgamtion of these factors. Insider pressure groups may not necasserily need public support for them to be succsseful with some groups such as the British soil society being very influential over issue such as Fracking, whilst outsider pressure groups rely more on public opinion to apply external pressure on government such as the previously mentioned Justice for Gurkha campaign which with the support of a celebrity , Joanna Lumley, was able to gain hug public support and sympathy and therfore be succsessful in their campaign.

    Augustus Ceaser

  4. The aim of any pressure group is to influence government policy or decision, it aims to do this while it seeking to become government. Pressure groups can be seen as insiders (relationship with government)(CBI) or outsiders (no relationship with government)(Greenpeace), sectional (promoting interests of its members) (CBI) or promotional (promoting a certain cause that affects all) (Viva Vegan).

    Pressure Groups use a number of methods: if they are an outsider then they will try to indirectly influence the government through public opinion, they influence public opinion via propaganda campaigns and then use this support from the public to organise marches or petitions to get government influence. An insider pressure group will be able to directly influence government due to its access to high ranking ministers. Insider pressure groups usually have great power so will be able to influence the government from behind the scenes, being able to bypass the public

    The success of pressure groups depends on two factors. The ability to campaign, as if they are able to run an effective proganda campaign and gain public support then no matter what their relationship with the government is the government will be forced to listen. Secondly, if the government of the day agrees with what the Pressure Group promotes or the members it represents then if it desires it will likely gain an insider status and wth it considerable influence and success(All parties and CBI). If the
    government disagrees with the Pressure Group (Conservatives and Trade Unions) then they will become outsiders and their influence and
    success will depend on their ability to campaign

  5. Different pressure groups have different aims that they intend to reach in order to consider their movement a success. This aim could be; affecting government policy, pushing their issue up the political agenda or even just changing people's general values and how they approach different things in day to day life.
    The aim of a group varies between whether they are an insider group (one with a link to government ((NFU)), an outsider group (one with no link to government ((OutRage!)) and whether they are sectional (promoting a cause for the interest of their members((ASLEF)) or promotional (promoting a cause that affects a broader section of society ((Viva Vegan)).
    The insider groups tend to be more successful in achieving their aims faster due to the link they have with government meaning they can get ministers on their side and convince government to take action. Outsider groups with no link to government tend to struggle more to get their voice heard by the people they are trying to convince. This struggle is usually caused by the methods they use to gain attention such as acts of civil disobedience like protests and marches. Furthermore, the method that is seen as most effective for pressure groups to be successful is through celebrity endorsement. This increases their public popularity to add momentum to their movement giving them greater influence. The most famous case of endorsement is Joanna Lumley campaigning for the Gurkha campaign, a small group that gained lots of publicity due to Lumley's celebrity status.

  6. Pressure groups all have different aims from one another. This may be promote specific issue and raise it up the political agenda, or they may have more ideological and political objectives. Pressure groups employ traditional communication and campaigning, and they may also use protests and marches. Pressure groups vary in their ability to influence public policy. Pressure groups such as CBI and BMA have vast influence, however outsider groups struggle with success as they have less support.

  7. Pressure groups aim to influence government policy and legislation in favour of the group’s – or society’s – interest.
    Their tactics can differ depending on their status. Insider groups such as the NFU tend to act in a more low-profile manner, using their closeness to Government to shape policy to benefit themselves.
    Outsider pressure groups are more inclined to use tactics such as the harnessing of mass media to gain public opinion. This could be through protest marches, petitions, or even the more radical direct action. Protest marches and petitions can help garner public sympathy but little political reaction. Direct action also does little to change political opinion and may even alienate the public with overly violent or graphic campaigns.
    Most pressure groups’ success is almost completely reliant on forcing the Government to notice them. This means that insider groups that already have the ear of ministers will experience far higher success rates than outsider groups such as Republic who will see little change even with large public support. Other groups such as Viva could also see success purely through the public as it aims to influence fashion and diet which can be controlled by the individual to a certain extent.
    Pressure groups can add vibrancy to democracy by promoting a free-market of ideas in which people can find functional representation allowing them to have a mouthpiece outside the formal sphere.
    However, pressure groups can also have a negative impact on the democratic process. They can over-inflate issues, have low internal democracy, become ‘chequebook groups’ and act as an unaccountable body close to Government. This can encourage elitist politics which will inevitably have a negative impact on the population such as the NFU securing the farmers’ security at the expense of the public during the foot and mouth disease epidemic.
    Dan Quayle