Sunday, 20 December 2015
I should be angry
I've lost count of the number of blogs I have written about what the Leave campaigns should not do. I've made a reasoned case on what should be done instead and LeaveHQ, to the best of my ability, is my attempt to show what the right pitch should be. Given our complete lack of financial clout, it fails to punch through the noise of those who think they know better. That's a real shame.
Instead we have noisemakers like Leave.EU who today have given us the clearest indication yet that they intend to go "the full Ukip", with Arron Banks endorsing Nigel Farage on his twitter feed. In more ways than one they have largely adopted the Ukip narrative verbatim - and are only a short step away from running with "EUSSR" memes.
It very much looks to me a like a decisive snub to any kind of nuanced and intelligence lead campaign, throwing caution to the wind, giving the opposition absolutely everything they have been hoping for. Were I in the remain camp, I would see this as Christmas come early.
The campaign will now pander to the most base instincts of the very worst elements in the eurosceptic movement and it will be a great enabler for all the knuckle-scrapers who turned Ukip into a dustbin for foaming misanthropes. We know how that goes.
So be it. There is, however, a price. Arron Banks has had it pretty easy up to press. The criticism they've had has been mild. They do not yet have the full attention of opposition activists. I have a good idea of who they are and how they will play it. They are relentless and ruthless. They are going to take Leave.EU to pieces - and they will do it with glee.
Having precisely zero in house expertise on the EU - and having no idea where to look for it, and having painted themselves into a corner, they'll find themselves up the same creek as Ukip - digging the hole deeper every time they speak.
I won't be able to help them out either because the lines of attack the opposition will take will be about right in. Leave.EU will suffer all the consequences of fighting a campaign on a foundation of intellectual sand and they'll flail around without a single clue.
I should be angry about this, but there comes a point where you just have to laugh. If they think they had a hard time from us, oh boy have they got it coming. And not from us. They will be ridiculed and massively humiliated in the public eye. And the more they they protest the worse they will look.
And while I find that terribly sad that such time, effort and money has been wasted, and we probably suffer a 2:1 defeat at the polls, I will settle for the next best thing. Rubbing their noses in just how wrong they were. Every reasonable effort was made to equip these people with what they needed. They chose to ignore it. We will make that known.
It's really just a waiting game now. They have fallen into the traps, believing all their own bullshit, thinking they're in a strong position. They don't have the first idea what they are walking into.
Luckily for me, I won't have to work too hard to blog it. It will be a re-run of the lead into the general election campaign, with Ukippers strutting around like they own the place, believing every positive poll - venting their venom at me for not showing a lemming like unity, only to wake up the morning after to realise that we're staying in the EU for the rest of their miserable lives.
I actually wouldn't be surprised if the European Commission sends Arron Banks a personal thank you letter for all his hard work. This is largely down to his inability to decouple his personal fondness for Ukip from the referendum campaign. For some time it's been a binary choice. You can either fight for the future of Ukip or you can fight to leave the EU. Shackling the Brexit cause to a tarnished brand is suicidal.
Meanwhile, if anyone thought Vote Leave Ltd was going to make a decent showing of it, forget about it. With inbred Toryboys running the show with their fingers deep in the till, again presenting unwinnable arguments, repeating all the mistakes of 1975 - blethering about regulation, the price of potatoes and controlling the borders, it will be a miracle if we are not slaughtered on polling day.
With that said, there is little reason to get angry. Trying to get such a bunch of pathological losers to actually think about what they were doing rather than just emoting was always a forlorn hope. The progressive and intelligent message of LeaveHQ is very much the minority view, so why shouldn't the morons have it how they want it?
Now, at least, the referendum campaign message does largely represent what most eurosceptics think. At least is it an honest proposition. That the proposition cannot carry more than 40% of the vote doesn't matter to them. They just want to whinge loudly, and for that whinge to ring out across the nation - regardless of how little that achieves. So what's to be done but have a little fun?
We will put our best efforts into LeaveHQ and as much as we will have fun taking down every europhile we meet, we can watch with schadenfreude as Leave.EU make massive fools of themselves. That's entertainment you can't buy.