Friday, 20 November 2015
Leave.EU is working for David Cameron
Nobody is going to say the EU is a perfect entity. Most of the public don't need any persuading that's it's an expensive and bureaucratic pigs ear. David Cameron is planning on offering a fix for it. So the referendum is largely a question of whether the public believes Cameron has the right repair kit and whether it's worth the paper it is written on.
In that regard whatever British Influence and Stronger In does is entirely irrelevant. The focus of this campaign is Cameron. Everything else is a decoy. That is not to say that the Remain campaigns don't serve a purpose. They are rabid in their own way, but that is exactly how David Cameron needs them to be.
There is something else Cameron needs in this. He needs Leave.EU to keep doing what it does. He needs them to be indiscriminately throwing out any old complaint against the EU not tied to any substantive principle, churning out irrational noise, and becoming increasing shrill as the campaign advances.
By the time Cameron is ready to come out and announce his grand reforms, the entire media spectrum will be filled up with hardcore noise from both sides. David Cameron then comes shining through between the two sides and says "look, ignore the federalist nutters because we're having none of that, and look at these swivel-eyed ranters pushing their irrational loathing of the EU. There is a middle way!"
The swing vote will be looking at who has the most reasonable pitch. Ask anybody neutral person if Leave.EU looks like a moderate campaign and they will say categorically not. And they'd be right. Cameron, glowing with prestige and authority, will then stand towering above the ranters with a set of reasonable looking reforms (and yes, there will be reforms) and our side will have nothing that can compete. There is no nuance, no subtlety and no depth to Leave.EU's output and they are totally outclassed by Cameron's strategy.
In short, it's a trainwreck, guided by an American snake oil salesman who doesn't know the territory. A man who thinks you can transpose American methods into something that is a much more complex proposition than simply in or out, and in a contest for the middle ground, if you are not offering a middle way solution then you are not even in the game. We are competing for who has the most believable, most achievable and most reasonable product. Right now, that isn't us.
The reason Leave.EU don't see how damaging they are is primarily because they, like Ukip, lack any self awareness or tactical skill. It plays directly into Cameron's hands. All we see is a torrent of little Englander whinging that undermines any serious attempt to put forth a progressive and globalist case. The PM must be delighted. If he was wanted to infiltrate a Leave campaign to make it work in his favour, he would send a man like Andy Wigmore, but lucky for him, he doesn't have to.
Put simply, Leave.EU is a menace and if they don't stop polluting the internet with their, frankly, idiotic outpourings, then they hand the whole game away before it even gets started.