The Critical Reaction website carries a piece this evening which confirms the suspicions of many people that Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell are nothing more than David Cameron’s useful idiots:
In Committee Room 7 at the House of Commons this evening, Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell proposed that Better Off Out should wind itself up. Arguing that the supporters of BOO – whom present tonight included Lord Tebbit – have, in one form or another, ‘sat for thirty years’ without achieving the objective of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, the two men, supported by Mark Reckless, proposed that BOO should go out of business and be replaced by a cross-party referendum campaign.
There seems to be no end in sight to politicians seeking to dismember grassroots campaigns while pledging to advance them in another guise. Closing down a grassroots campaign like Better Off Out so it can be replaced by a politicians’ ego club within the walls of the Palace of Westminster, which will wither and die, suffocated by the desire to attain consensus and horse trade over vested interests, is the worst thing that could happen. I can’t wait to hear what Simon Richards at The Freedom Association has to say about this.
Thankfully the author of the Critical Reaction piece has their wits about them, unlike Hannan and Carswell. As the editorial rights points out:
If Tory MPs are reluctant to join BOO because of the implications for their career prospects, any group which is established that doesn’t threaten their personal ambitions isn’t likely to be doing its job. David Cameron has been unambiguous on this point: he fully supports British membership of the EU. A group that he and the whips can tolerate ambitious Tory backbenchers belonging to is, almost by definition, a neutered body. With, in this instance, the proposed distinction of being one that intends to neuter itself.
Perhaps that is Hannan and Carswell’s intention? Cameron would be very grateful. After all, despite claiming to want Britain to leave the EU Hannan and Carswell have resolutely stayed within a Conservative party that has vowed to remain inside the EU and also refuses to allow the British people their democratic say on membership in a binding referendum. Perhaps Hannan and Carswell value the trappings of power as MEP and MP respectively more than principle.
Better Off Out should remain. It should continue to provide a grassroots outlet for those outside the Westminster and Brussels villages who want democratic accountability restored to the UK. It should redouble its efforts to educate people about the consequences of being run by the EU and it should do so without a couple of parliamentarians attempting to play power games within a system that ensures they are doomed to failure.