This consultative role is built up if a group has demonstrated a number of features: Authority – the ability of the group to speak on behalf of all of its members.
Information – the group has expertise and information on a specific subject.
This applies to both who have an active and passive involvement.
Pressure groups have different means to which they represent their members for example the Automobile Association, they represent motorists and they will look to get a legislation on the interests on motorists such as Congestion charges, insurances etc.
Pressure group activity gives people hope that they can make a difference. The ruling class would rather that people put their energies into pressure group activities, which do not question the fundamentals of the system than into political activity, which seriously challenges the right of the elite to govern.
The in-egalitarian way that some groups operate increases social discontent and political instability by intensifying the sense of social frustration and injustice felt by disadvantaged and excluded sections of the population.The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was led by William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson and successfully campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade.(Jones, 2004, p233) Pressure groups are formed by a group of people who share a common interest or goal.Pressure groups themselves may not be representative of their members. Few groups have procedures for consulting their members.As a result, the views expressed by group officials may not be shared by the group’s members.Pressure groups enable new concerns and issues to reach the political agenda, thereby facilitating social progress and preventing social stagnation.For example, the women’s and environmentalist movements.Pressure groups assist the surveillance of the government by exposing information it would rather keep secret, thereby reinforcing and complementing work of opposition through political parties.Pressure groups thereby improve the accountability of decision makers to electorates.The intention of the group is to raise the profile or the cause and/or advance it.Unlike political Insider groups will regularly be consulted by the government.