Saturday, 26 September 2015
He said, she said... whatever!
Twitter is alight with speculation over "eurosceptic rifts" and spats between various individuals. This the sort of thing I'm supposed to care about but I just don't. The fact is, we've been saying for a long time now that unless eurosceptics miraculously up their game, the main Leave campaign will be abysmal. Nothing in that estimation has changed, it doesn't matter, and here's why...
Nobody at all can say that this blog only ever attacks Ukip. I've presented a fairly damning critique of Better off Out, The Know and Business For Britain. I'm not overly impressed with any of them and I cannot pick one out as being distinctively better than the other.
The gossip flying around from the Ukip conference is mostly unsubstantiated and largely relates to whoever will win the nomination to be the official Leave campaign. Given that they will all blether about all the nonsense we have already discussed on this blog, the fact remains that there will need to be a strong contingent of independent actors saying completely different things. Any calls for unity directed at me will fall on deaf ears. I am not uniting behind a bad message and if their output is stupid, I will say so, not least because it strengthens the progressive case for Brexit we will be promoting. We'll reach the people they can't.
Already today I've had a couple of spats with outraged kippers but I've muted them. If they want the last word in a Twitter spat, they can have it. They are not entitled to my time. The focus is now on preparing our independent campaign and our team of bloggers. The rest just don't matter.
What I will say is that while I have a strong dislike for The Know, I'm not wholly critical of Arron Banks in that he does at least participate in conversation and is not in transmit mode only. He may be reachable, though there seems to be a disconnect between what he says he understands and what actually comes out of his campaign. I find the content his clan is kicking out is cringeworthy. I'm hoping at some point we will see an improvement but I'm not holding my breath.
As far as I'm concerned, Ukip too is just noise. It's a dying party and though I cannot deter them from participating they are going to make the job a lot harder. Whatever energy I might invest in trying to educate kippers is time better spent identifying new targets and concentrating the effort there.
Recent events pertaining to the shape of the final campaign are far more worthy of discussion than the petty bickering we see today which will be forgotten in no time at all. In many respects we have a real chance given to us, not by Ukip and Banks, but by the circumstances into which we enter the final campaign. Cameron will have little more than an empty promise on offer, slated for some time in the near future, with a boatload of conditions and caveats. What he's offering is the status quo while the new EU treaty pushes us to the sidelines. We get less internal influence while turning down the opportunity of more global influence if we vote to remain in the EU. They are asking us to vote for second class citizenship with no major change in our relationship.
My earlier piece spells it out and the obvious choice is now to leave the EU if we can put the issue of international organisations back into the public domain. International reach vs downgraded EU membership is a clear choice. Were I not already convinced, I would find that argument the most compelling. Best of all, it doesn't even mention immigration or take a hard line on any particular issue. It just sets out the choice in clear terms. That's what the final battle will be about and if we have prepared the ground then it's a no brainer.
I would really like it if Ukip shut up about immigration but unlike Ukip, I'm not going to complain about the obstacles on the battlefield. I'll just need to work harder to cut through the noise. My guiding principle being that old Chinese proverb - A person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it.
What I could use is for all of you who have decided to join the blogging effort to let me know what your blogs are and announce yourselves on Twitter. Once I have a definitive list I will produce a prominent sidebar on www.eureferendum.com. I've been quiet over the last couple of weeks as I've been away but we're still very much going ahead with it regardless of the outcome of the official nomination. Since the battle does not heat up for some time, there is actually very little merit in campaigning right now. At the moment it's all about refining the message and preparing. What the others now do is beyond our control and entirely up to them. They are not going to up their game so we should have no expectations of them and just get the hell on with it.