Saturday, 12 March 2016

Bugger off Boris

Well I've had an interesting day at the coalface. Lots of clever folk telling me to basically shut up and back Boris no matter how asinine he is. He is supposedly popular with the swing vote they tell me. Yet hereabove we see the nation's leading liberal satirical magazine comparing him directly with Donald Trump - an international object of ridicule. And as with all good satire - there has to be a strong element of observable truth. Serious politics are not credible from unserious people.

I therefore think it very necessary for Leaver voices to make it know that Johnson does not speak for all of us. He is at best only marginally better than Nigel Farage. His only redeeming feature is that he isn't ranting about foreigners for the moment - and when it comes to the facts, he is no stronger than Farage. He is massively damaging.

And yet for some strange reason I am told to keep my criticism on ice. The reason being that somebody in the Remain camp might notice and use my criticism to help their case. I would have thought the obvious answer was for people to get in touch with the leave campaign and complain to them that Boris was a liability rather than whinging at bloggers. Not forgetting that the entire europhile media will spend the next four months demolishing Johnson in detail. Why is it this little blog will tilt the balance? After all, as they are keen to remind me, I'm a nobody.

At best I can ignore Boris Johnson rather than directly attacking him, but by setting our informed and rational arguments as I have done today on LeaveHQ, I am by default undermining the main campaign. I am saying that we will comply with regulation and we will spend more on aid and that we will in all likelihood keep open borders.

Virtually everything I have said from the beginning has contradicted just about every mainstream spokesman - yet the reactions to such posts tend to suggest that my analysis is some of the best around. I am flattered that people think this but if it is true, then it's not by accident. Unlike Boris Johnson, I have put the work in. I have learned a lot but there is still so much yet to learn with so little time.

In fact, just the IMO aspect of this debate is enough to sucker me in for a lifetime of study and I am rather sad this will be a shorter campaign as I will likely never get another opportunity to immerse myself in such a fascinating field.

Sadly I feel it is all for naught. As much as people say I am overintellectualisng, even intelligent folk don't seem to grasp the importance of comprehensively winning the intellectual arguments or why it matters to have a competent campaign with good answers. I am at a loss to understand why they don't grasp it - no matter how many times I explain it. Apparently vacuous nonsense is worrying from the mouth of Farage but it's fine when Boris Johnson does it. Beats the hell out of me.

As to fixating on detail and "over intellectualising", you might note that the prime minister himself has been talking about WTO rules and non-tariff barriers which is more than Daniel Hannan or Ruth Lea have ever managed to grasp in promoting their respective Brexit theories.

Not only does the Leave campaign need to meet the prime minister on his own turf, we need to comprehensively demolish each and every one of his arguments rather than resorting to hackneyed mantras like "of COURSE they will want to trade with us". Of course they will - but on whose terms and to whose advantage? Those are questions that need to be answered along with the more basic question of "why bother?"

In this repeated whinges about the EU are insufficient and nothing we whinge about in that regard captures the public's imagination. While EU monomaniacs have been bleating on about Boris Johnson today, normal people are far more concerned with Tory cuts to disability benefits. Cuts that have a demonstrable impact on their lives. What we have to do is spell out why Brexit matters to them.

In this the Leave campaign cannot just bleat about TTIP and the supposed impact on the NHS. A campaign largely perceived to be a Tory operation, backed by senior Tory cabinet ministers, can hardly raise a credible and sincere NHS scare. It's a bit like asking Reinhard Heydrich to put on a diversity seminar.

This is why we needed a vision from the start to incentivise Brexit and to make it relevant. That is why we included The Harrogate Agenda in Flexcit. Personally I don't care about all this pathetic whinging about the NHS bill but the fact is, our health service should be locally provided, locally funded, and anything not ruled by medical practice codes and regulation should be entirely managed by local authorities, not national or regional ones.

In this, it matters not one jot if it is publicly or privately owned just so long as it is transparent and accountable and value for money. In other words, it should be democratically controlled. By that measure, Westminster can never be the appropriate vehicle for health governance. To have those necessary controls, where the public and service users are fully consulted, we would need a revolution in governance. One that refocussed parliament on more critical issues external to domestic managerialism.

That is where Brexit comes in. We are not just returning powers to Wesminster - we are breaking the entire established order of UK governance - and to adapt to independence and newly acquired control over key policy areas we would necessarily have to revamp the every tier of UK government. I don't know of anyone who doesn't want that.

The entire narrative of the Leave campaign needs to be structured - with policy branches flowing from a central philosphy. This is what Ukip needed to do in the general election and this is what a Leave campaign needs to do to win a referendum. Because we haven't done that we are all at sea, bleating about trade deficits when hardly anybody knows what a trade deficit is or why it even matters. If we had such a plan, it wouldn't be so bad to have oafs like Boris Johnson on board if they were at least performing to a brief and under adult supervision.

The bottom line is, Boris Johnson is a crass, empty vessel and most of the public knows that. He will not expand the appeal of the proposition and will not reach any new ears. People like him in the capacity of a presenter of Have I Got News For You - not as someone at the forefront of a pivotal public debate.

So in that regard, since I am in the business of discussing serious politics, I will continue to disown unserious politicians, especially malevolent, selfish egotistical losers like Boris Johnson. He is not on my side, he speaks only for himself and anybody who wants to make a serious case for Brexit cannot do so while in any way affiliated with him. He is pure poison.

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