Tuesday, 16 February 2016
A way forward
I think chances of success without major financial backing are next to nil, and so we are probably stuck with Team Dinosaur whether we like it or not. Moreover, it's only going to get worse as those backing Vote Leave will realise that VL is a dead duck and will fold the remaining bottom feeder Toryboys into the GO group.
What we will then have is a squirming bag of egos, none of whom are especially up on the technicalities of what they propose and will dig themselves deep into the hole, taking the whole show with it.
Anybody sane would leave them to it, but, as friends and enemies alike are very keen to point out, I am not sane, and I am not even close to sane. And so The Leave Alliance is going into battle to do what it can to shore up a failing main thrust, which may even tear itself apart before we even get as far as a referendum. What concerns us is what happens after.
This is actually why it's important that Team Dinosaur do get all their ducks in a row and join Grassroot Out, because it's in our interests for them all to be tainted by the massive failure they are going to deliver. If any movement needed a purge, it is ours. The mostly Tory eurosceptic aristocracy have to go, and if we are starting afresh, we need a new movement that specifically excludes and rejects people of their ilk.
In this we will have to work to produce a manifesto for what I am calling as a working title "Euroscepticism 2.0". Of course, we will be ditching the word "eurosceptic" because it's meaningless and is largely built around a negative premise.
What we need is to set out a foreign policy agenda that sets out a three pronged policy incorporating our trade, aid and defence as a single instrument. We need to set out a progressive global mission. That alone will set the tone and attitude of the movement. In this I also propose a domestic agenda incorporating The Harrogate Agenda because, as you know, foreign affairs are not enough of a motivator. Central to this will be an immigration policy that tackles the asylum and human rights connected issues but makes a feature of safeguarding reformed EEA freedom of movement.
As much as me and my generation wants that, if it is built into the DNA of the plan, by design it excludes the people who have tried and apparently succeeded in making the Leave campaign a referendum on freedom of movement.
In this we set out a complete rework of the UK approach to governance, setting out approaches that fly in the face of EU supremacy, where the EU becomes an obvious obstacle to achieving it. As we have said from the beginning, a vague aspiration to leave the EU is simply not enough and will never mobilise enough interest to make it happen, especially when it is the domain of dinosaurs. If we are to leave the EU then Brexit must simply be a necessary chore on the road to something else.
This blog has explored in great detail the need for reform of the global institutions and the frameworks through which trade is now conducted and we need to be the ones who design that new structure.
This manifesto will not only form the basis of a new movement but should also be part of the constitution for a new think tank. After the referendum The Leave Alliance should effectively re-brand, and host policy essays and blogs from our Brexit Blog contributors.
I had assumed that after the referendum we would pick up on developing The Harrogate Agenda further, but there is much more thinking to be done around that and on its own, it is not enough of a product in its own right to leverage leaving the EU.
In the spirit of Flexcit, it should offend Ukip as much as possible. If they don't hate it, then it isn't right. What we need to do is reach all those people who just don't bother with parties and don't vote. We have to work on the assumption that if you are still engaged in these empty husks of parties then you're not grasping the problem.
In this, the referendum is an opportunity and The Leave Alliance could well be a thought leader in ways that the Toryboy SW1 clan could never touch. There are some additional thoughts and activities I will be adding but I'm keeping them under my hat for now. Much will become apparent when The Leave Alliance launches.
The old guard have old and failed ideas. They are political losers in every sense. Even Ukip has not succeeded in delivering a single home grown MP. It has never made a real breakthrough and it never will. It has never understood the power of ideas thus has never produced any. Leave.EU and GO have proven that you can put fresh graphic design on the same bad ideas and they still won't float.
So don't be downhearted that this dismal clan have co-opted the Leave campaign for their own selfish ends. Let the baby have its bottle - because this is their last hurrah, their last time around the block, and soon, these grandees will be as dead as their ideas. That is something to celebrate.
We are only leaving the EU if we can build a movement on the basis of modern ideas with a legitimate and workable alternative. The loser clan running the show right now are too invested in their forty year old mantras to ever let go. Thus we must sweep them aside. Once this vote is done, they are gone and the space belongs to us. Let's make good use of it.