Friday, 23 October 2015

We still need you

In a certain context, the kippers have half a point when they say I'm over-intellectualising. Debates on the British Influence Facebook page lead to all the key points being lost on most europhiles because it is so abstract to their wholly two dimensional perceptions of how global trade works that it;s largely pearls before swine. I have to explain the basic syntaxes before I can begin to argue the point. Then once I have explained the basics, they continue to argue with me from the position of ignorance, using terms they have only just been equipped with. This is when you're dealing with zealots.

Certainly, arguing the finer points of UNECE voting protocols is more an object of academic curiosity than productive public debate. The only reason I bother having such arguments is firstly to test the opposition and secondly to refine my own knowledge when they ask questions to which I have no answers. In this game knowledge is credibility.

It ought to be easy to outsmart europhiles because I have yet to meet one who can argue honestly and when they are defeated in debate, they fall back on the familiar and tired mantras. In the final analysis, their entire case rests on mantras, platitudes, falsehoods and deception.

The problem we have is that some very prestigious people and institutions knowingly repeat such wilful distortions and won't argue on our territory because they know full well how badly they will lose the argument. Thus we must conclude that while knowledge is paramount in order to win the intellectual argument, we must also attack the prestige of individuals and institutions who speak in the EU's favour.

Certainly the Vote Leave campaign does only a half decent job in demonstrating that all those making dire prognostications for Brexit are those same people who promised the same if we did not join the Euro. I question the effectiveness of thsoi though. The battle to "keep the pound" was a long time ago, people do not remember the political conditions of the time and to most it is ancient history. Our side fighting on those grounds feels a bit like crowing over distant accomplishments - which makes eurosceptics look like what they mostly are - political hasbeens. Britain is not going to join the Euro, we have won that battle, it isn't topical and it's boring. The very last thing we want to do is bore people. When I see such memes on Twitter I just think "big fat meh".

If we are to discredit people, it means we have to address the issues and arguments of the present and in all ways question their political judgement. The problem our side has is that none of the people on our side could be trusted to run the country and while the opposition are marginally worse, they are the people who actually do run the country. Such prestige is not easily overcome and I seriously doubt that can be achieved by tacky Twitter memes.

This is again why coordinatated teamwork is essential to decapitating prestige. Real life concerns related to paying the bills prevented me from being part of the effort to take down Mark Carney and his political intervention which shows why we need more bloggers and tweeters working to a particular brief. I'm giving it all I've got and then some, but there is only so much an individual can do.

In this regard we are badly let down by the Vote Leave campaign in that there has been no effort to engage a grassroots online movement and train them with a strategy. When it's run by thieves who are so aloof that they barely check their own emails it's not surprising they would neglect to form an online strategy. This is why I am repeating my plea for more bloggers to come forward. If you are already planning on pitching in, then we also need you to be recruiting from within your own online constituency.

While the more complex arguments are pearls before swine, we still need to be making sure our own people are informed and in full command of the various arguments. It means we have to be precise and have our facts right down to the letter. The Elliot operation will continue to make careless mistakes so it will fall to us to mop up after them, using any communication channel we can access.

The referendum is not going to be won on the basis of whether we can block market access to dangerous Chinese automobiles but when we argue such things and argue that europhiles are inward looking dinosaurs, there must be substance behind the rhetoric. Some way, some how, the public will get word of whether we have the intellectual goods in order to vote our way. Ukip's election failure is clear evidence of this. It may have won a substantial protest vote but a great many kippers would be first to admit that Ukip utterly failed to secure the confidence of voters on the basis of their intellectual message. They are now an object of ridicule, losing votes and members at every contest.

The bottom line is that we need to be clear, decisive, consistent and credible. Cheap memeography may well get the retweets, but such idle slacktivism is not going to reach any new ears and it is only going to satisfy those who are already persuaded. We are going to need credible content, strong arguments and topical material. This is going to require coordination, message discipline and meticulous attention to detail.

Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliot think this can be won with a casual slapdash approach, chucking up billboards on the cheap and pocketing the difference. That is not going to be enough. If we want to win, we shall have to craft our own campaign and just hope that Vote Leave won't undermine our efforts too much. In that we have the advantage in that we run a round the clock operation and do not clock off at weekends. Unlike Matthew Elliott, we don't have campaign funds to spend on a weekend jolly.

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