Sunday, 21 February 2016

Unforced errors

Yesterday I said "We no longer have the luxury of infighting and navel-gazing. We must try to overlook our differences and shelve our disputes. They can wait."

On reflection, I don't actually think that is possible in that we will continue bumping up against the consequences of Leaver ineptitude - and by making our own, distinct case we will naturally fly in the face of the "official" efforts. 

The above graphic will be central to the Remain camps efforts. That's exactly the message I would run with. It does have power. Referendums always have the status quo to overcome. In that we needed a vision and a plan. We could continue pushing Flexcit, but we are out on our own there - and the main Leave efforts are openly hostile to it. 

On the one hand we have Grassroots Out who no defined ideas as yet and then on the other we have an object of total insanity from Vote Leave. They favour unilateralism and a hostile withdrawal with all the risks and uncertainties that entails. In their minds, repealing the Section 2 of the European Communities Act is the best way to trigger Brexit.

As insane as that is, it's also comically unrealistic in that, referendum or no, a repeal would have to be put to parliament - and though our MPs are drongos on a day to day basis, their collective deliberation would soon conclude this to be an act of national suicide - even if a government were stupid enough to propose it. Dominic Cummings is in a world of his own. And that still needs to be said come what may. 

Meanwhile, Grassroots Out, to my knowledge, have yet to specify how they envisage it happening, though we can take it as read that the appointment of Ruth Lea and David Bannerman means it will be something equally impractical and implausible.

The WTO Option, as preferred by them, is actually mislabelled in that it isn't actually, politically, an option. The chaos it creates takes it off the table from the outset. The disruption to both parties would be intolerable and therefore not considered by either party. 

And so the sickening irony in this is that by process of elimination, the EEA approach is the only realisable option that could be accomplished inside to mandated two years. The hostility to this approach is out of a fear of losing the Ukipper base in that it means conceding on Freedom of Movement. Nobody in the Leave camp has the moral courage to stand up to them - especially not Arron Banks. I doubt he has ever been sincere. 

It is my belief that a campaign that treated voters as adults and spelled out the political realities would be the one that secured the confidence and trust of the swing vote - in that the Remain campaign have no real campaigning assets except for those presented by our lack of a plan. Their scaremongering is not trusted. 

This is all academic now, in that, to mix metaphors, the cat is out of the bag and there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Flexcit was put forward and the Kipper head-bangers mutinied. Consequently, whatever way this goes now is largely on them. 

That leaves us Flexciteers out on our own, with no real influence and few resources and can only watch with dismay as the Leave campaign sets about its slow suicide. In order to give us a fighting chance we will have to continue in a dialogue with undecided people and when they ask what Brexit looks like - we will have to be honest with them and say that an EEA solution is pretty much the offer on the table - and we must sell the advantages of that.

That necessarily means we will be contradicting the main Leave campaigns and in order to make our own case we will necessarily have to say, publicly, that they are wrong. The only way we can avoid doing so is to say nothing at all or speak in support of their terrible and bad message - which is simply not going to happen. At best, all we can really do is tone down the invective, but given just how repellent and destructive our so-called allies are, that may also prove difficult.

In this, there comes a point when you have to stop second guessing yourself and just say it how you feel it. As I see it, anybody putting clear blue water between themselves and the Leave campaign to speak up for Brexit has a far better chance of reaching different ears. I know this blog has already won the respect of opinion formers and even turned some to our cause. So I guess I must be doing something right - and if Ukipper head-bangers hate me for that, then that's even better.

Next week sees the launch of The Leave Alliance website, and for what it's worth, we will use what little we have to do what we can. We are not going to get any support from the main campaigns and anything Grassroots Out does will largely undermine us and embarrass the whole cause, as indeed Ukip does, but that is far out of our control.

If you have a problem with it, don't whinge to me. Take it up with Arron Banks - and remind him that every blunder they make is an unforced error they were warned about - and never let it be said they weren't given options. Meanwhile, I will be here on this blog, doing that thing I do, and if you don't like it - suck it up - because I'm here for the duration. 

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