Monday, 9 November 2015

EU Referendum: Children At Play

Dominating the headlines (but almost certainly for only one day if that) are reports of a stunt by two students sneaking into Cameron's address to the CBI and heckling him regarding the pro-EU bias of the CBI. One of the students confessed that the stunt was "the most terrifying thing I've done in my life". We'll leave that comment to speak for itself.

It is of course true, and well documented, that the CBI is most definitely pro EU and always has been. They were a significant force during the debate over whether the UK should join the Euro. This was natural with a project which could have been seen as economic in nature (though it wasn't) but with the question of ultimate exit from the entire EU political project they will be an irrelevance come the poll. This is especially so if we remain, on a interim basis, part of the single market as per the Flexcit exit plan.

Such nuances though have passed the students by, and they have reduced what should be a level of campaigning based on intellectual foundations down to 'heckling' which is then easily dismissed. All publicity is not always good publicity.

The stupid crass stunt allows Cameron to take the moral high ground and thus appear statesman-like rightly dismissing a stupid schoolboy prank for what it is, being easily branded as fools by a Prime Minister who has gone to the country and won an election against the odds. This when conversely we need to strip Cameron of inherent prestige in order to win.

Conformation has come from Guido that it was apparently organised by Vote Leave Ltd  - Guido of course would have inside information as he is closely linked with Vote Leave Ltd and Matthew Elliott not least due to potential financial benefits for himself.

And revealingly it was representatives for "Students for Britain" who protested on behalf of Vote Leave Ltd - their website notes:

Students for Britain is a new campaign pushing for fundamental reform of Britain’s relationship with the European Union. We want to amplify the voice of young people across the country who feel that the EU is not working for them, and is in need of radical reform.
Here we go again; a Matthew Elliott based campaign wishing reform not exit. How ironic that an essentially pro-EU student group is protesting against the pro-EU CBI.

This is exactly what happens then a campaign has a no strategy, and has to instead indulge in meaningless stunts to look active. A pressing concern is that Vote Leave has to appear active to keep its sponsors content who are funding an expensive operation out of Westminister.

Ultimately this is coming across as a campaign which is not taking a coherent intellectual argument to the country but a Westminster bubble activity based on crass stunts.

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