Does it bother anyone else that David Cameron is now in control of both the official Remain and Leave Brexit referendum campaigns?
Yesterday, Cameron’s Electoral Commission awarded official Leave campaign status to the Westminster-based and -centred Vote Leave group. Also-rans for the prize were the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and Grassroots Out.
It’s important to remember here that the Electoral Commission isn’t an unbiased collection of disinterested parties. It’s a gaggle of political government appointees who know what side their bread’s buttered on. Electoral Commissioners aren’t going to bite the munificent hand that threatens to beat them to a pulp if they don’t deliver.
There are at least a couple of serious, glaring problems with the Commission’s stitch-up decision:
Vote Leave doesn’t actually want the UK to leave the EU. Rather, as its name states, it wants us merely to VOTE to leave, so that the UK can then threaten the EU Commission that the UK will invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, (the mechanism for the UK to leave the EU), if the EU doesn’t sweeten our EU membership terms. And,
Vote Leave is controlled by senior members of Cameron’s cabinet, and, thus, controlled vicariously by Cameron.
Some argue that Vote Leave does want the UK to leave the EU. Clearly these misguided souls haven’t been listening to the members of Vote Leave, who have stated exactly the opposite.
And others will argue that Cameron’s Vote Leave cabinet members are driven and committed Brexiteers, who have proven their EU-skeptic chops for years. The implication of this claim is that the likes of Michael Gove and Priti Patel are willing to put their Leave conviction before their career, and stick to their Leave guns come what may.
The people who imbue these politicians with these high morals are to be found riding the New York City Subway, crowing to fellow travelers about their ownership of shares in a nearby bridge.
Let’s be clear about this: there is no way on God’s green Earth that a politician who relies on the political patronage of David Cameron, and who finds him or herself in Cameron’s Vote Leave campaign, is going to seriously jeopardize the post-referendum indulgence of their patron with anything as trivial as a point of principal.
To paraphrase CJ in TV’s Reginald Perrin: They didn’t get where they are today by putting their Leave-the-EU commitment ahead of their boss’ wishes and their careers.
It is a national shame that the Electoral Commission, aka the Westminster Mugabeans, have gifted Cameron effective control over the considerable campaign resources now available to Vote Leave as the official Leave campaign.
This means Cameron will control Vote Leave’s £7 million campaign budget, a £600,000 administrative grant, a free national mailing and the production and distribution of Vote Leave media products and media appearances. Cameron, also leader of the official Remain campaign, is now able to twist and shape the entire Brexit “debate”. The only question remaining is how obvious he will be about pulling the strings.
If there is a glimmer of hope for the real Leave campaign — Grassroots Out — it’s that they still have the funding and grassroots support of Brexiteers nationwide to keep the pressure on Vote Leave to force Vote Leave to at least make a show of trying to get the UK out of the EU.
And UKIP’s 4,000,000+ voters, led by the UKIP party machinery and the canny Nigel Farage, have the only truly national Leave campaign ground game in town, offering hundreds of Leave events and Brexit town meetings nationwide. They have chosen to throw their considerable weight behind Grassroots Out, thus counter balancing, somewhat, Cameron’s Vote Leave/BSE alliance.
The other glimmer of hope is a potential legal challenge by Leave.eu, a member of GO, to the Mugabeans’ corrupt awarding of official Leave campaign status to Vote Leave. But that’s a bit of a long shot that might not even happen.
As usual, it’s now down to us — the people who believe in Britain, and who see the political elite behind the EU (in Westminster and Brussels) for the dangerous, anti-democratic cowards they are — to make sure that we stand up in enough numbers to be counted come June 23.
The alternative to standing up and voting Leave on that day is spending a generation or two on our knees to our new, unelected masters in Brussels.