Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Brexit business: Back at the coalface.


One complaint I often get is that I attack my own side and spend more time doing that than attacking the EU. The truth be known is that there are only so many ways one can attack the EU in any measured sense if ones opposition to it is on a point of principle. The rest of the effort goes into detailing the debating strategy and the finer details that will later come in useful.

As to attacking my own side, I have come to the conclusion that Vote Leave Ltd is not on anybody's side but it's own. It's a nest of greedy, self-serving self-entitled spoiled brats. The type who would let you pay the bar tab without offering to chip in and not even think to say thank you. Bullies, cowards, cronies and sycophants.

Moreover, when you look at the kiddies in the PR shots you can bet your ass they're unpaid interns hoping for a job in the SW1 bubble later down the line. Vote Leave will be a Toryboy academy for as long as it is in operation. Its graduates will be the Tim Montgomeries and Mark Wallace's of the next generation. Pompous, self-regarding, loathsome creatures. They are plagiarists and lazy narcissists who would have a stroke at the thought of doing a day's work.

You get the picture. I don't like these people very much and I never have. The way they deal with criticisms is through bullying, sniping and malicious gossip. It's that culture that creates the toxic and inbred circle that forms our chumocracy ruling class. Their only real talent is treachery.

These are not people capable of running an effective campaign, not least because one doubts any of them have rubbed shoulders with an ordinary voter for as long as they can remember. If Vote Leave Ltd has an authentic grassroots base then I am the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man.

Such people have ruled the roost for a long time in the Tory inner circles. It's a deeply unpleasant clan and I happen to know there are journalists sniffing around for more insights at the moment. Their dirty laundry is going to be aired sooner or later and I expect Dominic Cummings will run out of borrowed time as his past catches up with him. Anyone hoping for a referendum win should hope this happens sooner rather than later. It is most certainly not in our interests to have these people running the campaign.

That said, you might notice that I spend little time analysing the substance of their message. That's largely because there is none. Apart from some vague cut up slices of SW1 campaign gossip that nobody cares about, the Vote Leave Ltd campaign has very little to say for itself. On the odd occasion it offers a snippet of substance it looks more like an act of sabotage of our own side than an actual campaign message.

The snobs in the London set argue that it's better to have these people running it than Arron Banks's operation in that they are a more acceptable face of Euroscepticsim, but apart from the styling (bland corporate) I don't actually see that their substance is any more sophisticated or informed than that of Leave.EU. If asked which was worse I would have to flip a coin. Certainly a bunch of Toryboys are never going to reach out to the left, assuming they can reach outside of the M25 at all.

But on that score, going the full Ukip as Bank's operation has done is not going to win any friends on the left either. On current form it's not likely to reach out to anyone who has yet to form an opinion. Even the kippers are now cautious. Things can be dumbed down so as to start insulting the voters intelligence which is never a good idea. It doesn't make any sense either. Kipper inclined voters will accept a more sophisticated message, but middle England is never going to embrace a message aimed at kippers. That's a fact.

Snobbery and self-identity play a huge part in how people vote. Quite a lot of people are privately conservative but for self image purposes present themselves as "progressive liberals", largely for social convenience. For that reason the message has to appeal to the vanity of target voters. In that regard, TheKnow had a better styling than Leave.EU.

Sadly it seems that the promising start Mr Banks made has gone into reverse gear, aiming for the lowest common denominator each time. I don't understand the game plan here. Every advisor he has (if they are any good) must be telling him this is a seriously dumb idea and it does have consequences - which they should by now be acutely aware of. Bait and switch isn't going to work when you have spent an entire year soiling your own brand and undermining your own closing message.

As we have outlined, to win this we need to attack David Cameron's prestige. But to attack prestige one must have prestige, and that's one thing our side does not presently have. With Leave.EU doing what it does we have little chance of building up intellectual credibility. That's why there is such a pressing need for an alternative campaign. To that end I suppose I should focus on building that campaign - and stop "attacking" my "own side" as some suggest. I'm just disappointed that I have to. That alone is almost a full time job.

I just have one more question for Arron Banks though. Would you rather be a footnote in history as the man who took down the EU referendum campaign and made it unwinnable, or do you want to be remembered as a national hero - the insurance salesman who took on the establishment and won? If it's the latter, now would be a good time to clean up your shop and stop poisoning the well for all of us.

It only takes one thoughtless act to bring down the whole cause which would be an utter betrayal. It's taken the lifes work of a small army of people to get us this far. Mr Banks, you owe it to those people not to blow this.

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