Leave campaign rots from the head

The Treasury Select Committee’s report on the EU Referendum campaigns was reported as a plague on both your houses because both sides were criticised for their claims. Look at it more closely though and it wasn’t. The chair’s comments give a flavour. He described Remain’s claims as “a few grains of truth” and a “mountain of exaggeration” while it called Leave’s persistence with an outright falsehood “deeply troubling”. The committee delivered a sharp rebuke to Remain but was utterly scathing about the Leave. It criticised the behaviour of the campaign’s leaders in some of the strongest terms I have seen in a parliamentary report:

In their treatment of this Committee, neither Mr Elliott nor Mr Cummings, as individuals, have fulfilled Vote Leave’s commitment, made in their successful application to the Electoral Commission, to “create a valuable legacy for the UK’s democratic process”. Their conduct has been appalling.

If Mr Elliott and Mr Cummings consider that the Committee’s evidence-taking process has been protracted, uncomfortable or harmful to their cause, they have only themselves to blame.

Persistent refusals to appear and ad hominem (and false) attacks on the committee chairman showed a contempt for the entire process. This dismissive attitude to MPs and to anyone who asks awkward questions has typified the Leave campaign over the past few weeks. This sort of behaviour ups the ante for those further down the chain. If the leaders of the campaign thinks it is OK to behave like this, those with a lower public profile will take that as permission to be that bit worse. I have been astonished by some of the things I have seen coming from people who really ought to know better. Someone claiming to be a former FT journalist tweeting and retweeting hate-filled bile. People who, apparently, make their living as writers, filling their timelines with the most abusive and threatening language. I wonder whether, in their excitement, some people might have damaged their professional reputations.

And this ups the ante yet again. If ‘proper’ journalists and writers think it’s OK to do this sort of thing, then the gobs-on-sticks who infest the lower regions of Twitter think it’s OK to go that bit further, spew out the vilest abuse and issue death threats. The tone of the campaign has sunk so low that even Americans, plagued as they are with their own post-truth demagogue, have noticed.

While the media, and especially the BBC, have tried to be balanced by criticising the behaviour of both sides, it is clear that most of the nastiness has come from Leave supporters. It started at the top. Once you flick a metaphorical v-sign in a parliamentary committee, it legitimises contempt for those with opposing views and gives the really nasty people permission to do their worst.


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5 Responses to Leave campaign rots from the head

  1. The polls seem to indicate that the Remainians will win.

    If so the result would have been a fraud e.g. Bank of England and others gave only the dangers of leaving and not that of staying – this propaganda and not information.

    The Bank’s mission is to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability.

    Not help the government deceive the public.

    This is Fraud by failing to disclose information and Fraud by abuse of position.


  2. Jim says:

    I don’t see any posts on your blog about the appalling behaviour of the Corbynite Left in the immediate post 2015 election riots, and at the Tory party conference in the autumn.

    If anyone has started this race to the bottom in terms of political behaviour, its the hard Left. Everyone else has just seen that they’ve been indulged and allowed to get away with it, and have followed suit.

  3. “most of the nastiness has come from Leave supporters”

    False – I and others who want to leave have been falsely slurred – called xenophobic or racist by vile Remain supporters who want to denigrate our arguments.

    So you know: I am voting to leave for the future of our grandchildren – our children already have had their lives made worse for them.

    I am amazed we have more than 5% of the population voting to stay who cannot see the problems getting worse in the EU or that us remaining makes our problems worse.

    BTW: I never blame immigrants who are only doing what many of us would do (go to better country) – or say they caused the problems – for those that slur & misrepresent me.

    We have made our kids lose out being in the EU, as firms and government would rather take skilled workers from a vast supply of immigrants than train British young adults.

    The NHS lied about Brits not wanting to nurse and are taking trained nurses from poorer countries (inside & out of EU), whilst turning down tens of thousands of young Brits.


    The EU is an anti-democratic scam – allowing poorer incompatible countries to join. We were never going to flood Poland – though many of our jobs have gone there.

    Cameron wants Turkey to join, the latest March 2016, and the EU are over a barrel. Even if they do not join soon, they all want it…


    This refugee problem is tiny to what is to come – the EU cannot cope with a small crisis.


    People only have to look at what is happening: skilled & semi-skilled Brit wages held down – less housing & jobs available to Brits – Pension Pyramid Scam (immigrants get old too) – worsening food/ water/ energy security – more crimes – greater congestion – more NHS overstretch… The financial gain is fiddled as it does not include all costs e.g. crime.

    Even if we could built 100,000 homes every year it still would not be enough for 300,000+ extra immigration – also we know young Brits cannot get social housing any more.

    The Tories will likely take advantage – but they can be voted out. Even if half the Remainians scare-mongering is true – we have to leave.

    Can you all *honestly* not see that?

  4. sdbast says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

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