One of the points I have made in the past in defence of lobbying is that North Korea is the only country on the planet that bans lobbying. Obviously expressing views at odds with the regime is extreme folly. In truth, though, I simply don’t know if lobbying as such is technically banned. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.
However this point has been in my mind while following the extraordinary events in North Korea over the last couple of weeks. Yesterday’s funeral, followed by today’s memorial service culminating in the “crowning” of the next generation of dynastic leader, were truly remarkable. It is clear that whatever forces have delivered a 28-year old to the point of control over nuclear weapons, democratic ones have not featured at all.
When I made the point on twitter before about North Korea being the only country that bans lobbying, some buffoon told me that I was therefore suggesting that opponents of lobbying supported dictatorships. I would have pointed out that this was a huge non sequiter, but I doubt if he would have understood that come back. But there IS a fundamental point here that needs to be understood. A feature of dictatorships is that many of the freedoms that we take for granted in democracies are banned. We should be extremely cautious before we start down the road of banning, restricting or limiting aspects of our democratic process.