Trade Associations / Membership Bodies Reception 2019 – ‘The impact of populism’

Trade Associations / Membership Bodies Reception 2019 – ‘The impact of populism’
Published: 21 June 2019

We were delighted to host a panel discussion for CEO and Directors on Tuesday 18th June at our London Cannon Street offices.  Our panel included Catherine Miles, from the Association of Foreign Banks, Miles Beale, from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, and Belinda Phipps, former CEO at the British Medical Association. The theme for the evening was: ‘The perception that the political system is increasingly making ‘populist policy’ over some of the more detailed economic arguments’ as Christina Hargreaves, a Consultant in our Not-for-Profit practice explains.

Under Chatham House Rules there was a healthy debate around the rise of political approaches being impacted, or even dictated, by what appeals to the masses. Some of the questions that were raised included:

  • Are membership organisations guilty of driving popular policy?
  • Has it become increasingly harder for all membership organisations to engage with politicians, or is it industry specific?
  • Are members their own worst enemies?
  • Will we as leaders be able to use the tools of populism responsibly?

It was universally agreed that populism is rife. Whether ‘left’ or ‘right’, populism can pose significant risks to the UK’s prosperity, and yet, some Trade Bodies and Membership Associations have chosen to use populism to their advantage. They have the power to influence, and without dismissing economic evidence or abandoning beliefs, will have to be advocates for policies that benefit all parts of society, not just furthering their own interests or their members.

We would like to thank Catherine, Miles, Belinda and all of our guests for an interesting, thought-provoking and enjoyable evening. With this ever-changing landscape, we will be looking forward to another stimulating event in the near future.

For more information, please contact Christina Hargreaves, a Consultant in our Not-for-Profit Practice.

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