Sunday, 17 January 2016

EU Referendum: Vote Leave, Vote Remain

As any genuine leaver of the EU knows, from long bitter experience, the first rule of politics is never ever trust a Tory. The second rule of politics is to follow the first rule.

With an impending referendum on the UK's membership of the EU it is becoming increasingly apparent that the obsessive SW1 party political nature of Westminster has failed to grasp that a referendum is a vote by the people. And within this context they, and the legacy media, has failed to appreciate fully that the internet has changed everything.

With this in mind we can see that the referendum is beginning to smoke out the faux Tory eurosceptics who have always hidden behind a comfort blanket of party politics.

General elections have allowed the Tories to express anti-EU views whilst not having to be in a position to actually advocate leaving. This lack of action not words has gone back decades. A lack of action reflected in Tory anti-eurosceptics trying to do what they have always done; making lots of noise expressing reservations over EU membership but ultimately, through loyalty, backing a pro-EU party.

The forthcoming referendum however has forced closet Tory europhiles out into the open illustrating the narrow fallacy of tribal loyalties. With a referendum now based on boolean outcomes weasel party political words (with personal ambitions very much in mind) simply don't cut it and are increasingly looking ridiculous.

A classic example is Tory MEP Dan Hannan. He has made his career out of eurosceptic rhetoric which suits the Daily Telegraph. Yet despite his copious media appearances expressing so-called Tory euroscepticism, this blog has rarely been convinced of his anti-EU principles.

Hannan has a long history of convoluted intellectual gymnastics where our membership of the EU is concerned. When we have to go over the top he's going to be found wanting.

We see a classic example of this in an interview from December 2015 on the BBC's Daily Politics programme with Hannan (1:55 mins):
DP Jo Coburn: "To be honest, Dan Hannan, there would be nothing that would satisfy you?"
Hannan; "Not true...I have repeatedly set out what I think would satisfy most people. Parliament should ultimately be sovereign, in other words the EU should not be able to automatically strike down parliamentary statutes. And we should have freedom to trade with more EU countries. And we should be able to opt out of some of the areas of EU policy that have nothing to do with economics or trade such as criminal justice, environment, defence and agriculture and fisheries - if we can get those things everyone would be in favour with it".
There we have in plain sight Hannan loyally supporting the Cameron and Tory line explicitly arguing that he favours EU membership albeit under nonsense 'reforms'. None of what he says would be necessary if we actually left. But to soften us up for the Tory line he lays the eurosceptic groundwork at the beginning of the interview before knifing us with the killer pro-EU mantra.

This becomes acutely relevant when via Companies House records from 5th January we see a number of new Directors being appointed to the largely Tory backed Vote Leave, one of whom is a certain Mr Hannan (click to enlarge):

Thus Vote Leave has appointed a "remain reformer" in Hannan. On its own it maybe a mistake but Vote Leave is also run by Matthew "supports a two tier Europe" Elliott and Dominic Cummings whose contortions over Article 50, as Mr Bexit makes clear, makes him not only a liar but is deliberately using distortion to back reform not exit.

To appoint one EU reformer may be regarded as a misfortune; to appoint two looks like carelessness, to appoint three looks like a Tory pro-EU stitch up. Vote Leave is fundamentally not fit for official designation.

Vote leave, vote remain - the message is clear.

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