The one thing the lobbying bill won’t do is put any controls on lobbying.
Its claim is that it will create a list of consultant lobbyists.
Firms will register and reveal their clients if they have contact with ministers.
If you declare that the main part of your business is something other than lobbying, consultancy for instance, you don’t have to join the register.
If you work directly lobbying for a company you don’t have to register.
Lobbyists can meet as many MPs who are not ministers for dinner as they like and not declare it.
So for instance lobbyist Lynton Crosby and his PR firm, Crosby Textor Fullbrook, will not be covered.
David Cameron employs Crosby as a spin doctor and policy advisor.
The Tories are paying Crosby £200,000 a year.
Cameron’s lobbying bill is an attempt to diffuse the scandal over lobbyists’ influence in parliament.
The Tories dropped plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes and minimum pricing of alcohol earlier this year.
Coincidentally, Crosby has helped firms oppose the same policies in Australia.