Sunday 25 March 2018

Vote Leave: nest of vipers

The frustrating thing about Brexit is that it goes from zero activity to a fog of issues - not all of which can be addressed so one has to pick one's battles. That means I am temporarily going to be distracted by legacy issues rather than watching what is happening with Article 50 talks. That would be the unfolding Brexitgate story.

An investigation by Carole Cadwalladr has "revealed" something I thought everybody already knew. But that's how it goes. The media has no institutional memory and things are only a scandal when they decide they exist. This latest fishing expedition is a classic media feedback loop where so many decoy rounds are fired that it's impossible to tell what the central issue is.

One suspects the Guardian has gone a-la-carte where the legacy media will pick up whatever sounds the most plausible. The usual wibble about data analytics has been and gone and the story now seems to settle on the testimony of a whistleblower in respect of some accounting irregularities - which could very easily land the directors of Vote Leave deep in the meekrob. Essentially Vote Leave is guilty of something but nobody has yet pinned it down.

Naturally Brexiters on Twitter have gone back into fight mode sending up a barrage of whataboutery, where again mention is made of the government's £9m booklet delivered to every house along with every branch of the state becoming the mouthpiece of Brussels. There is no question that the leave campaign was massively outgunned by pretty much every metric, but none of that matters if, in law, Vote Leave did indeed break the rules.

Being that Vote Leave was a pretty squalid organisation headed up by people who would sell their own grandmothers I have no problem believing they did break the rules. The Darren Grimes angle for starters seems a little off. You don't transfer the better part of a million quid to a child unless you're up to something nefarious. No adult would allow themselves to be used in such a way.

As to the wider implications, there will no doubt be some, and the political ramifications will cast a long shadow. What it won't do, as remainers hope, is stop Brexit. Too many wheels are in motion and those in power presently will do pretty much anything to frustrate the process until we are formally out.

What it will accomplish as a side effect is something this blogger welcomes with open arms. Finally it will shine a light on the sordid nest of Tory think tanks and their respective sock puppets, and their funding. This is where yet again a number of open secrets once again become scandalous "revelations". One such example being that Labour Leave was in fact a Tory sock puppet funded by the usual suspects. Shocked! Shocked I tell you! as the late Helen Szamuely would have said.

We are also told that JCB are reported to have given nearly £2.5 million to the Conservatives last year alone, as well as donations to Vote Leave, Grassroots Out and Brexit think tank the Bruges Group worth a total of £643,000. This is the JCB pushing for hard Brexit which would explain why overgrown schoolboy, Robert Oulds, of the Bruges Group pulled out of The Leave Alliance to go the full kiptard.

Though this could all be very damaging to the Brexit cause, I would point out that it is less to do with Brexit as it is the Westminster culture - particularly on the Tory right. I am totally in favour of Brexit but I won't defend any of the London Brexit think tanks or Vote Leave personnel because as much as I voted to expose the incompetence of Westminster, people also need to know how corrupt it is.

The Bruges Group, Taxpayers Alliance, Institute of Economic Affairs, Freedom Association, Civitas and the likes have always shared the same handful of donors - and they would all sell their own mothers to maintain their place in the power nexus. They are the Tory establishment. It's all part of the same Tory circle-jerk, which includes Conservative Home, Tim Montgomerie, Fraser Nelson, the Telegraph editorial staff, and all of the other brown-nosers who pollute the media with Brexit bullshit.

They've been waiting for years for an EU referendum. They always knew there would be plenty of money sloshing around and plenty of opportunity for getting their hands in the till. Vote Leave was their animal. They moved in and hijacked the campaign with the help of the Electoral Commission.

This is what they planned to do all along. Half of the sock puppet think tanks owe their existence to what was always going to be an inevitable EU referendum. Most of these organisations are AstroTurf with a public front but survive mostly private money - much of it undeclared.

This is why Ukip didn't get a look in. The left reckon Farage was "establishment" but he was never in the gang. He wasn't "one of us" - nor was Arron Banks which is why the real grassroots outfits were frozen out. There was a Westminster coup and the leave campaign was stolen. Then, as you know, half the parasite Brexiter MPs saw Vote Leave as a career opportunity - Johnson especially, and these people didn't care whether we won or not. I've seen planes land backwards and water flowing up hill but I will never see a Tory with convictions.

In the end it seems the Tory Brexit mafia have no interest in taking back control, except for themselves, just long enough to bring about a firesale of UK assets and then hand the mess that's left to the Labour party and let Corbyn carry the can.

But they could never do it alone. They need their useful idiots like Julia Dunning-Kruger and Brendan O'Neill to polarise the debate for them - to manufacture public consent for a self-immolation Brexit. And that's why they hire presentable (but compliant) little girlies to do their dirty work for them.

My own estimation of where Brexit is going is increasingly bleak. There may be opportunities down the line to try and salvage this mess but for the moment there is such disarray, institutional paralysis and a sizeable dose utter boredom, that a trainwreck Brexit is more likely than ever - if not by design then by accident. With Brexit's useful idiots doing the work of the Tory Brexit mafia, sane Brexit has few allies and remainers are so wrapped up in Cadwalladr's smokescreen that they think reversing Brexit is actually possible.

With so little attention focused where it needs to be with no coherent political will to stop us going over the cliff, it seems all we can do is look on with impotent resignation. What it will mean is that when it happens it won't just be the remainers out for blood. There will be very serious questions asked and the Brexit Taliban will have a lot of explaining to do. Since these people have done me no favours and are owned nothing by leave voters, I see no obligation to defend that particular little dungheap. 

If Brexit achieves anything at all it will be to expose just how sordid Westminster really is. Moreover it exposes one simple truth. That power resides in the hands of a the few and that our democratic process is an illusion. Of what little democracy there is it has proven incapable of defending the common interest and has failed to assert itself at every test. We have a hopelessly inept Londoncentric media with the narrative completely controlled by just a handful of politicians and moneymen. For all that we have spoken of defying the establishment, the Tory establishment has succeeded in appropriating Brexit for its own ideological ends - but mainly out of self-interest.  

One way or another we are going to have a reckoning. Many of these malevolent forces have been stalking politics for decades waiting to strike. We were always going to have to fight them. It is a pity that it will have to come to economic ruin and all out political war to rid ourselves of them.

What happens from there I cannot say. There is little to salvage from the wreckage of the Tory party and the Labour party is already quietly imploding. That kind of political incoherence cannot last forever. Order will have to reassert itself somehow - and when faced with a trainwreck Brexit, public tolerance for incompetence will not be vast. That will be the pivotal point and a doorway to a new era in British politics. If we want a say in what that looks like then now is the time to expose all the skeletons in the Westminster closet. Consequently I am taking no prisoners.  

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