You don't have to be left wing to loathe Tories. I believe them to be a particularly duplicitous and obnoxious species. Most of the inherent dislikeable traits come with loyalty to a any brand or tribe which is why I detest party activists of any kind, but there is a certain added snobbery that comes with the average Tory. And if you wanted one such example, you could find no better than Paul Goodman on Conservative Home.
Not for the first time do we see a toadying sycophantic article praising Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliot. Last time from the odious Mark Wallace. This is a repeated meme in among the Tory establishment, that Cummings is a genius and Elliott a man of experience who can win referendums.
We have seen the same spoutings from Oakeshott, Hardman, Mensch, Nelson, Montgomerie and all of the Spectator suck-ups, all of whom are desperate for Vote Leave to win the lead designation. These people are about as Tory establishment as it gets. In among them are Bannerman, Hannan and Redwood.
Apart from their shrinking band of admirers they are liked by few, not least since they are a bunch of plagiarising self-referential, shallow narcissists. Not only do they believe they should run the referendum campaign, they also see themselves as entitled, having systematically frozen out anybody not from their own clan. It's no coincidence that the "grass-roots" PR shots of Vote Leave are usually all young middle class males of a certain age. Probably political interns and PPE students on the make, with no particular passion for leaving the EU.
Meanwhile, Cummings and Elliott have only ever seen the referendum as a business opportunity and Vote Leave is more a commercial entity than anything else. It is an attempted heist where they get paid either way so long as they win the designation.
With Vote Leave having been systematically marginalised, with a little help from Cummings through his bullying and singular obnoxiousness, they are all in a mad dash to save their failing enterprise. I think they finally worked out that if they don't win the lead designation then that particular odious little circle jerk is done for good. In that regard, British politics will be vastly improved for their absence even when we do lose the referendum.
In this last ditch we see Paul Goodman pressing the original buttons that the choice is comes down to two options. Should it be run (and I quote):
- By a UKIP-flavoured campaign run by people with no experience of winning, or
- By a broader campaign run by people who do have experience of winning. Elliott ran the No to AV campaign. Parkinson was its point man in CCHQ. And Cummings, as I say, helped to run the campaign against the North-East Assembly.
As to the differences between the two, Goodman is right to use the would "flavoured". Because flavouring is something one adds to distinguish similar produce. And that's really all it is. One favours total separation all in one go, relying on the WTO construct, possibly not even using Article 50 with zero idea of what that entails, and the other, through having put zero thought into it suggest much the same by inference. So the material difference is nought.
It's really all a matter of what face you put on it. Either the face of the largely hated Tory establishment (with a few stragglers from other parties too snobby to rub shoulders with the plebs), or full blown populist ala Leave.EU.
Let's face it, Leave.EU is off-the-rails moronic but the only real difference here is the choice of graphic design. One looks like a corporate courier service, the other like a breakfast cereal. Neither present a convincing plan or a coherent message, and both are preaching the usual tragic eurosceptic memes about having more money to spend on teachers and nurses. It's pathetic.
Consequently I am resigned to the fact that whoever represents the Leave campaign, it will result in all the usual talking heads, blethering on about the same old same old, and since Leave.EU has no intention of upping its game the issue of who wins the designation is largely moot.
That said, if the likes of Cummings and Elliott were booted out as the serial failures they actually are, and not given the opportunity to raid campaign funds for their own ends, that will be something to celebrate. If then the likes of Goodman and Wallace stand discredited and without backers, then the Conservative party is rid of a cancer.
The Conservative party is in much need of a house-clean and an overall civil war, and if the reputations of those associated with Vote Leave are left in tatters at the end of this then nobody loses who doesn't deserve to.