Thursday, 15 October 2015

Can Andy Wigmore put his ego aside?


"Still, after all these years, there is this confusion between activity and output – this firm belief that it is better to do something than nothing. Any activity, as long as it is activity, is good." says Eureferendum.com

That's really about the size of it. They really are going to bore us all to death with the same old same old when this is an opportunity to inject fresh new material into the debate and put it front and centre.

Debating with the Remain campaign and we can see from the outset that they are in a world of their own too, fighting the battle they want to fight rather than the one that is actually happening. The public will rightly switch off if and probably already have. Thus any effort expended in continuing such a pointless endeavour is wasted.

What we need is for our own side to be better equipped to fight the final campaign according to what the real debate will be; Cameron's "new relationship" or our vision - whatever that is.

The intrinsic problem we have means we need a coordinated effort to communicate a complex message. Critics keep telling us that we are over intellectualising the campaign but we're not making something complex - we are saying that it is, as a matter of fact, a complex thing, and our job is to educate the public about it.

That is where we need some sophisticated thinking going on. How do we communicate a complex message that will cut through the white noise? Arron Banks claims to be a marketing expert but thus far we have seen no expertise at all. All we've seen from his campaign is to find out what a large group of eurosceptic people want and give them the product they are likely to buy. That doesn't take any real expertise - just a bulging wallet. Anybody with money can make money - which is why Banks is able to boast that he has made two fortunes from his endeavours.

Course, anybody who has done the math knows that the core of Leavers don't need any encouragement or persuasion. It's the 21% of undecideds we need and nothing in the persistent flow of effluent from Leave.EU is going to reach those people - and the people retweeting that stuff will push them away.

To reframe the debate we must first ensure our own side are better equipped to fight the battle. For that we need first rate material that adds to the debate not the tawdry crap we see from the likes of Leave.EU.

Of course, once again, to point this out is somehow a great sin and we are told that we must "put our egos aside" - and remain silent. Rather than take the above criticism for what it is, it is viewed as a personal attack - and the response of Andy Wigmore will be to ignore it completely - for admitting we're right means admitting his crew messed up. Thus it is his own ego standing in the way of winning this referendum.

I am told that "By being so vocal in your condemnation it is stopping some followers of other campaigns from following you too. No one likes being told what they support is wrong and it takes time to win people over with more complicated and thoughtful arguments."

But we've heard all this before. We can put out all the "thoughtful arguments" in the world but they are ignored because eurosceptics prefer to reside in their comfort zone. We're expected to fall into line and play nice while the main players make a complete pigs ear of it.

What we need to do is sell our alternative along with our Brexit plan so that we have intellectual credibility. It is the prestige of our message that will be pitted against the prestige of the establishment. The tabloidesque bilge from the Leave campaign is not going to cut it - and vanity sites like Leave.EU are worthless. A "marketing expert" is one who can take a product as it is and sell it to a new audience rather than identify an existing audience and sell them a product they already buy. Any idiot can do the latter.

With the time we have left our output needs to focus on reaching those activists who can use their own skills to communicate a specific message. Splattergun anti-EU rhetoric is wholly without value. To do that we need an effective organisation working in conjunction with a competent lead campaign that reinforces the message rather than undermining it.

If Leave.EU is going to spend the whole time chucking out idiotic memes and polluting the debate with crass material then all they are doing is wasting time and money that could otherwise be used to help us win. This is not me once again "attacking my own side". I take the view that those actively undermining our prospects of winning are not on my side. They are on their own side with their own motivations that only coincide with my main ambition - leaving the EU. It would be nice not to have to attack "my own side" - but I don't think I have much choice as things stand at the moment.

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