And what of Mr Clegg personally? Well, he has fiercely condemned the
influence of lobbyists as part of the "old politics" and called for "reform
on lobbying". But he has been distinctly coy about his own two past spells
as a lobbyist, leaving them off his official biography on the Lib Dem
website. Most interesting and recent is Mr Clegg's high-level stint, in the
middle of his political career, with GPlus, the influential and
controversial Brussels company.
Peter Guilford, GPlus's founder, explicitly pitches his firm as the place
for organisations with "a real problem affecting their reputation". Its
clients have included the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, whose plantations are
accused of contributing to tropical deforestation (GPlus argued for a
relaxation of EU regulations to allow more palm oil imports), and
representatives of the Russian government, whose PR corner it fought during
the recent war with Georgia.