Sunday, 1 November 2015
A bogus choice
Very often us in the Leave camp struggle to determine whether it's media bias or simply structural ignorance when it comes to the Brexit debate. Any time this issue makes it as far as the mainstream media it is couched between the establishment and the inane gruntings of Ukip. There is no attempt on the part of the media to expand the debate beyond light entertainment, and we start to wonder if they are even aware there are other dimensions to it.
Perhaps the media have collectively decided that the best bet for staying in the EU is to give Farage all the airtime he could possibly want. It was always the favourite tactic of the BBC to present the very worst spokesmen for the No side in 1975.
If Farage had any self awareness at all he would go into hiding for the next two years. Having failed to secure more than 14% of the vote, there is a goodly chance that the more he speaks the more severely we will lose a referendum. Of course, kippers might ask who else I would nominate to speak on the matter. That's a seriously good question.
Newsnight last week showed us that Own Paterson isn't up to the job because he cannot commit himself to an exit plan, thus he must speak guardedly around selective arguments - and sadly, he's the closest there is to an informed MP.
The bottom line is that the Leave campaign hasn't got any good spokesmen. The closest there is to a capable spokesman in the mainstream sphere is Daniel Hannan, whose lack of strategic ability has him all over the shop, undermining his own arguments every time he speaks. Opinion formers will be looking closely for inconsistency and both Hannan and Farage are a goldmine of contradiction. Ultimately the mainstream campaign is a write off. Our only saving grace is that the Remain campaign are equally stupid and equally loathsome.
Hopes are fading that the main campaigns will shape up and there are some very serious questions about the motivations and the competence of Vote Leave Ltd. As far as it goes LeaveHQ.com and out team of bloggers are only ones even remotely on the ball and we are completely ignored by the media. We have to face facts that this referendum is just a plaything to fill airtime for our media. You could tell them exactly what was happening in reality but they would reset to factory defaults within moments. Any message they do not want to hear shall not be heard.
In that regard, the establishment has closed ranks to freeze out the people. If you're not in the gilded circles or the right London gang, you don't get a look in. Thus this will be a stolen referendum where our voices are not heard. While they will say from a procedural perspective that we had a free and fair referendum, there is nothing fair about this, and that's why when we lose, this issue will not die. While the media controls the agenda and the flow of ideas the public will remain in the dark. That is distinctly unfair.
In the final analysis, it is those producers in the media who know little about anything who assume that their viewers and listeners know even less than they do who dumb down and cheapen the debate. Perhaps it is not wilful bias like the BBC, but it is grossly distorting and it is a cancer on our democracy.