I have just completed the Sport Relief three mile challenge - ok I know it isn't that challenging but while I love sport, I eschew physical activity. So walking three miles is something of an achievement for me, especially since I was walking with an over-excited eight-year old and a very stroppy teenager. But the purpose of this post is not to boast (although you are welcome sponsor me). No, I want to have a bit of a rant about lobbying (yes, again). What has this got to do with Sport Relief? Well Comic/Sport Relief is one of the most effective lobbying organisations. It does a brilliant job of engaging with organisations of all kinds (government, private sector and voluntary) to achieve its objectives. And it is, quite rightly, applauded for its efforts. Compare this with the increasingly hostile attitude political parties and the media are adopting when it comes to lobbying companies. We are being portrayed as, at best, unnecessary and, at worse, responsible for the ethical decline in politics. What utter nonsense. Yes of course organisations don't have to use political consultants, they could do it themselves, just as they could do their own legal work, accounts and advertising. But let's be honest, to do it effectively needs knowledge and experience which is why they call in the professionals. As for our corrupting the system, it has been politicians themselves who have done that. The greed and poor judgment of a significant minority have reduced the levels of trust and faith in the body politic so low. Today's Sunday Times/Dispatches story is about politicians selling access and favours not professional consultants. Don't confuse the two.