The Europhile plot to steal a future EU referendum vote

For the last couple of days it has been my intention to close this blog, following my annoyance and despair at the extent of support for the reprehensible Godfrey Bloom; and the continuing ill informed and factually inaccurate assertions made by people in the comments, who nominally share my determination to extract the UK from the EU.

For now, while I consider whether there is any value in carrying on with the blog, there is one important issue that should be brought to wider attention.

Some readers may be familiar with the name Matthew Elliott. He is a Conservative strategist, the co-founder and former Chief Executive of the TaxPayers Alliance, founder of Big Brother Watch and he led the No to AV campaign that saw the Lib Dem effort to force the alternative vote system defeated in a low turnout referendum alongside other elections.

Last week, Elliott’s latest campaign vehicle, Business for Britain, got a mention in the Daily Mail, which reported that:

Tory Eurosceptics will challenge David Cameron to toughen his line on renegotiations with Brussels by calling for the UK to pull out of the single market altogether.

Up to 100 MPs are expected to back a tough manifesto to be released in November by a new pressure group called Business For Britain.

The group is run by leading Tory strategist Matthew Elliott, who ran the No To AV campaign against Lib Dem proposals for electoral reform in 2011 and is widely expected to take the helm of a No campaign in an in-out referendum promised by Mr Cameron for 2017.

The interesting – and concerning – bit here is the last paragraph and the assertion that Elliott is widely expected to lead the ‘No’ (or Out if you prefer) campaign in a prospective EU Referendum.

Why would this be a problem? On the face of it Elliott seems phenomenally qualified to lead such a campaign. The answer can be found in Business for Britain’s own manifesto and an article written by Elliott back in July this year for City AM, in which he wrote:

BUSINESS for New Europe’s manifesto – A Europe That Works – is a useful contribution to the debate on Britain’s membership of the EU, a debate that has often been dominated by political, rather than business voices. But the assumption that the UK’s wealth and job creators would seek to preserve Britain’s place in the EU at all costs has already been dispelled with the launch of our own campaign – Business for Britain – supported by over 750 business leaders, and calling for a fundamental renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership.

The EU Referendum ‘No’ campaign is a vehicle for people who wish to see the UK leave the European Union. The clue is in the nature of the prospective referendum – in or out. Which begs an all-important question that I now ask…

How could Matthew Elliott lead a ‘No’ campaign for people who want to leave the EU, when his latest venture is an organisation making arguments only for reform of the EU, not withdrawal from it?

Elliott is a favourite son of the Conservative Party, which wants to re-pay him for helping defeat the Lib Dem AV campaign, The Conservative Party is an entity that describes itself as Eurosceptic but aggressively fights any suggestion that UK should leave the EU, instead they believe it should be reformed from the inside. A state of affairs that leaves Brussels as this country’s supreme government.

So it stands to reason that Elliott is being tipped for the role of leading a ‘No’ campaign, because the Tories know he favours reform, not withdrawal. Any effort to install Elliott as the ‘No’ campaign leader would be a cynical effort to steal a referendum. No football team would turn up to a match and name one of the opposing team’s players as its captain and put him in goal. Putting Elliott in charge of a ‘No’ campaign would be no different to that folly.

Regardless of his campaigning credentials, no Eurosceptic should be fooled into accepting Elliott as the leader of a ‘No’ campaign. The Electoral Commission must not be allowed to hand control of the ‘No’ / ‘Out’ campaign to a Europlastic who wants to stay firm in the EU.

It would be nice to see UKIP, the UK’s only national political party that advocates withdrawal from the EU, speaking out on this important issue. Naturally the followers of the Farage cult will complain they would if only the media would take notice of them. Well, it doesn’t seem like Farage has any trouble getting the ear of the Guardian’s editorial team and they do have a website on which such messages – if they actually existed – could be shared.

29 Responses to “The Europhile plot to steal a future EU referendum vote”


  1. 1 Gareth 13/08/2013 at 6:32 pm

    Dear AM, I have followed the arguments over UKIP and the lack of a detailed exit plan with interest. I am amazed that you are thinking of giving up blogging because people disagree with you.
    There is a wider context to consider. The EU is becoming more and more unpopular throughout Europe. The prospect of British exit, and the loss of Britain’s £20 billion contribution, will almost certainly trigger a chain reaction. It is very likely that we will not leave the EU, we will trigger the disintegration of the EU. That being so, the limitations of UKIP’s leadership will probably turn out to be irrelevant.
    In the meantime, your blog is a valuable contribution to British politics, and the last thing you should do is abandon it.

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 13/08/2013 at 7:07 pm

    Gareth, it is far too simplistic to boil it down as people disagreeing with me. This is about whether it makes sense to carry on when people are dragging the movement towards inevitable failure.

    What is the point of devoting time trying to help people, ostensibly one one’s own side, understand the issues, pitfalls and challenges that need to be overcome, when they ignore the facts, praise the pathetic comments of an embarrassing elderly fool with racist leanings and set about briefing against me and claiming I’m some kind of EU stooge?

    I was put in a position where I would end up going head to head with UKIP and being treated as an opponent. Far from uniting Eurosceptics it would divide us even more. It is a waste of time going round in circles with people asking questions and challenging your answers, then having been presented with the facts seeing them declare their refusal to read the evidence and instead support the opinion of a MEP who is spouting factually incorrect nonsense.

  3. 3 cosmic 13/08/2013 at 7:10 pm

    We should be suspicious of this because it’s always been Tory policy to sell their bogus reform option. Elliott looks something of a useful hand.

    How is the body leading the No campaign selected? What about bodies like BOO and CIB?

  4. 4 Sean O'Hare 13/08/2013 at 7:15 pm

    A fox in the hen house is a good analogy. However, the “out” campaign does need someone to lead it, and that leader must have good communication skills, genuinely want us to withdraw from the UK and just and importantly have the stamina to see it through to the end. Elliott doesn’t fit that profile at all and sadly I can’t think of anyone that does.

  5. 5 RB 13/08/2013 at 7:16 pm

    Fair point AM.

    Can I make a suggestion relating to recent events here and at EU Referendum?

    Keep at it. Your views are valid. But with all respect, I think the Bloom moment got you and North too riled to be of any use to yourselves. North used the phrase “racist oaf” dozens of times in the space of a day or two, and much of what he wrote was even more disparaging. You rather more professionally kept to the issues and expressed deep despair at those who challenged the Article 50 route as a means to retain some trade agreements.

    All well and good, and the posts became about the frustrations and insults more than the issues. Bloom’s remarks were undoubtedly crass, but in the scheme of things of little importance.

    Add to this the fact that there is still a deal of support for the view that one could repeal the ECA unilaterally. The issue is still clouded. The view that a sovereign nation can withdraw from international obligations unilaterally is not dead and the only recent views against this have been from the ECJ which seeks to say that by joining the EU we have changed the nature of sovereignty and can’t withdraw unilaterally. Also I am not sure that the issue of the “fundamental change” set out in the Vienna Convention has been displaced by the Lisbon Treaty, particularly where since that Treaty the EU has made overt and clear statements about what it intended that go beyond even the terms of the Lisbon Treaty. Also there is clear evidence that the EU has acted ultra vires the treaties in the last few years to a very serious extent and this too does not seem to me to exclude the possibility of unilateral withdrawal in principle.

    Anyway, I think some might suggest that if we left, particularly unilaterally, that would not be in a vacuum as your recent posts seem to presume, and there would be ripples, some good some bad. The suggestion you make, though, in very strong terms that without a negotiated withdrawal under Article 50 we would have no trade agreements might be right in strict legal terms (it may not, in fact), but that would not be and never would be the end of the matter. Railing that people don’t “get it” and they are not as you supposed “kindred spirits” is a bit much. There is so much that could happen and what is a strict legal position (albeit even under the EU treaties we have already signed that some say we can walk away from) is not necessarily what would be followed in the event.

    And so I say keep blogging. Your blog is interesting.

    EU Referendum on the other hand has gone off of my favourites after North’s recent posts. One can just about take the superiority that comes from his usual postings where he is right and everyone else is a moron – but in the last few days his arrogance has just taken over.

  6. 6 Sean O'Hare 13/08/2013 at 7:33 pm

    @RB

    I think you miss the point. Dr North christened the term “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” (FUD) to describe the tactics that are being used by the “In” side to ensure that we stay tied to the EU. It seems more likely that we will get a referendum at some time than a UKIP landslide in 2015. Should we get that referendum and the “out” side are still advocating UDI (i.e. repeal of ECA 1972) and shun Article 50 then they have nothing to allay the FUD. In those circumstances the status quo will prevail and we will for certain lose. The legal status of the EU treaties versus national sovereignty are interesting, but quite irrelevant.

  7. 7 Anthem 13/08/2013 at 8:16 pm

    Keep at it AM. Keep the main objective in mind – we all want out of the hellhole that is the EU.

    That’s the main thrust. We can quibble about the details afterwards.

    Quite frankly, Nigel Farage could kill Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny but I’d still vote for him if he could guarantee our exit from the EU within the next few years.

  8. 8 RB 13/08/2013 at 8:46 pm

    Sean, I think you’re probably right.

    But if the status of EU treaties versus national sovereignty are irrelevant so too is an argument about Article 50.

    I can confidently predict that the VAST majority of the electorate would go into a referendum without ever having heard of Article 50, or indeed the arguments about sovereignty etc.

    So what to do? As you say Dr North has referred to FUD regularly. From what I see and read the “other side” only uses F. Fear is all they have. That is perhaps the best message we can give to people.

  9. 9 Richard North 13/08/2013 at 8:49 pm

    RB @ 13/08/2013 at 7:16 pm. It is interesting that “arrogance” seems to be a one-way street when it comes to my output.

    And while you will find on my blog copious complimentary comments about other workers – AM not least – you want me to have everyone else as a “moron”. However, in my blog … in nearly 15,000 posts I have have used “moron” (or variations) 23 times – twice in relation to “twitter”, one a quote – and the rest mainly in relation to the media and occasionally politicians.

    It seems to me therefore, that you see what you want to see. But what you are seeing is not reality.

  10. 10 Jacq 13/08/2013 at 8:50 pm

    The anti-EU pro-sovereignty movement is more than UKIP. With the IEA Brexit debate, we should learn a lot more about the practicalities of withdrawal and compensate for any UKIP weaknesses in that area.

    In some people’s eye’s, UKIP are damned whatever they do. Talk about something else like foreign aid, immigration etc, and they are “not talking about the issue that matters”. If they talked solely about the EU, the same critics would accuse them of having no credibility as a political party as they only had one obsessive strand of policy.

    There seems to be far too much “getting personal” on certain blogs. I read blogs because I want to read a civilised discussion on issues not an outpouring of personal frustrations.

  11. 11 Jacq 13/08/2013 at 9:23 pm

    I agree that Business For Britain are dodgy. It says on their website that their campaign is not about withdrawal. Then one of their leading lights, Alan Halsall, says business might have to consider withdrawal.

    It seems that at best the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, at worst the campaign is all things to all people. That it is also backed by a leading Labour Party donor gives me little confidence.

    We need proper blogs that will point out these inconsistencies, so I hope AM keeps going.

    If you have to have a UKIP thread then maybe it is best kept in a separate compartment, as people I know just switch off when things get overly personal. Eurofaq used to be a highly useful discussion group but degenerated into tag team wrestling between about four disgruntled UKIP members and four who believed My Party Right Or Wrong. Result …. everybody else switched off and discussion moved elsewhere.

  12. 12 Sean O'Hare 13/08/2013 at 9:24 pm

    @RB

    The argument about Article 50 is not irrelevant because it is the basis by which we can assure the voters that leaving the EU will not lead to catastrophic loss of trade. The term “Article 50″ is probably a turn-off to the majority. It needs to be expressed in terms that the average voter will understand. How about something like:

    the Lisbon Treaty stipulates that the other EU members have to sit down and negotiate a trade agreement with us and that agreement will be superior to what we have now because we will be able to trade freely with the rest of the world as well as the EU”

    As far as FUD is concerned. Doubt leads to uncertainty leads to fear. DUF may be a better acronym.

  13. 13 Richard North 13/08/2013 at 9:28 pm

    Jacq @ 13/08/2013 at 8:50 pm – although you say that in some people’s eye’s, UKIP are damned whatever they do, this is not the issue. UKIP is a party that, in 20 years of campaigning to leave the EU still has not come up with a credible exit plan. They are damned for something important that they should have done and have not done.

  14. 14 Autonomous Mind 13/08/2013 at 9:47 pm

    Jacq, you said:

    In some people’s eye’s, UKIP are damned whatever they do. Talk about something else like foreign aid, immigration etc, and they are “not talking about the issue that matters”. If they talked solely about the EU, the same critics would accuse them of having no credibility as a political party as they only had one obsessive strand of policy.

    This opens up a very important issue. UKIP has proved the point that a political party cannot be the channel for a campaign of the nature of EU withdrawal. They have fallen into the trap that was laid for them by the Tories some years back.

    When UKIP focussed on EU withdrawal they were accused of being a pressure group. So to appear like a serious grown up party they began to focus on other areas, such as the ones you mention and Farage’s ludicrous attempt (given his personal behaviour, some of which is not in the public domain) to espouse family values.

    As UKIP has deliberately vacated the high ground on the EU to further their party political credentials and focus on Farage’s electoral ambitions, so the Tories and their outriders – having waited so patiently for their plan to unfold – have gleefully moved onto it and are relentlessly spinning their faux renegotiation narrative, setting the agenda with the lie that single market access requires EU membership, and having an unchallenged run in falsely claiming Norway and Switzerland get told what to do by fax without having any opportunity to influence the rules. Where UKIP should be tearing the Tory lies apart, they can be found in the pub or talking about anything but EU matters.

    My limited attempts to draw attention to this, and the need for UKIP to not only rebut the Tory lies but reassure voters UKIP has a plan for getting us out of the EU while avoiding all the catastrophes Roland Rudd and his minions are claiming await us on Brexit, have resulted in the personal invective you refer to. They probably deserve more of the same because they have still not uttered a word about the likelihood of Matthew Elliott, a pro-EU Tory, being backed for leadership of any ‘No’ to EU referendum campaign. The Tories have encouraged UKIP to leave their house, have moved in, are selling off the possessions and now plan to let it out to their friends who will use it to support Tory pro-EU aspirations.

    Because Farage, Batten, the Bowler-hatted buffoon, Nuttall et al are being criticised by us for not addressing with this central issue, their very defensive supporters have attacked Richard and me and berated us for not getting in line and offering unquestioning fealty to the Blessed Nigel. Regardless of the evidence we provide that a simple and easy to understand message (backed up where necessary with hard, uncontestable facts) can be communicated repeatedly, to reassure voters that we can leave the EU and retain access to the single market, because Farage and Co have not argued it we are charged with being pro-EU trolls, accused of walking us into a EU trap and rejected out of hand of being of any account.

    That’s why it got personal. I hope you can understand the frustrated reaction.

  15. 15 PeterS 14/08/2013 at 2:57 am

    Comment removed – banned user

  16. 16 Jacq 14/08/2013 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for the response, AM. I was trying to generate light, not heat.

    I’m not the sort of person who rushes to join a political party, even if it does resemble a pressure group. I think that some criticisms of UKIP are valid, particularly over the lack of Brexit plan, and the costing of policies.

    However others are wide of the mark. UKIP’s own website declares…
    “But the EU is only the biggest symptom of the real problem – the theft of our democracy by a powerful, remote political ‘elite’ which has forgotten that it’s here to serve the people….

    We believe in the right of the people of the UK to govern ourselves, rather than be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels (and, increasingly, in London and even your local town hall).

    We believe in the minimum necessary government which defends individual freedom, supports those in real need, takes as little of our money as possible and doesn’t interfere in our lives.”

    It is not just through opposition to EU membership that they differentiate themselves, it is in an evolving picture of small government as well as self government. They are perhaps positioning themselves for the anti-politics vote, or at least the NOTA vote.

    It is far from true that they have stopped talking about the EU. For instance they had a recent web article about how EU membership threatens higher energy bills. It is also pretty common knowledge that the EU means open-door immigration from within the EU, and there are few real topics that can be discussed without mentioning an EU dimension.

    I am relatively detached over UKIP and any of its internal wranglings as it is only one piece in a far wider jigsaw.

  17. 17 Autonomous Mind 14/08/2013 at 11:22 am

    Jacq, I appreciate your reply. But UKIP cannot preach democracy when internally they rig candidate selections and break the very rules created and approved by members.

    It’s one thing for them to mention energy bills and the EU role in driving them up, but when it comes to Brexit they say nothing. This is because people want to know how we can leave AND preserve access to the single market. They have no idea how so they dodge the subject.

    When people advance a plan and take the initiative the default UKIP response is for individuals to rubbish the plan without offering an alternative. You won’t see a party response because that means coming off the fence and alienating the realists or the BNP defectors.

  18. 18 PeterS 14/08/2013 at 11:50 am

    Comment removed – banned user

  19. 19 Bellevue 14/08/2013 at 4:48 pm

    Sooooo…… Matthew Elliot? What can the average person DO about M Elliot being the voice of the OUT campaign? We all know that he is a Judas Goat….. but how can we stop him being the chief Outer?

    Once again, the little man has no influence in important matters. What are we to DO? I agree that Matthew would be a disaster for our cause, but when are we ever ASKED who WE want?

    (kind of sums up the whole political problem at the moment, dont it?)

  20. 20 Richard North 14/08/2013 at 4:53 pm

    It is up to the Electoral Commission to nominate the official (i.e, funded) “no” campaign, on the basis of bids put to it. It will be up to us to submit a bid – a coalition of independent groups, beating Elliott’s own submission. And we really have to be starting to put this together now.

  21. 21 Edward Spalton 14/08/2013 at 7:57 pm

    Several spokesmen for Business for Britain have said that they do not believe that they could generate sufficient business support for withdrawal from the EU UNTIL CAMERON’S POLICY OF “RENEGOTIATION” HAS DEMONSTRABLY FAILED , AS THEY ARE SURE IT MUST.
    Then, they believe, will be the time to become “out and outers”.
    That, we are assured, is the cunning plan.

  22. 22 Jacq 14/08/2013 at 11:18 pm

    Re-reading the articles in the light of Edward Spalton’s comments.

    Some of the supporters of Business for Britain are already known outers, and Elliott’s comment (appearing to question if business would preserve Britain in the EU at all costs) might just indicate openness to withdrawal. The main organisation seems very confused, though, as it ruled out withdrawal in April, but is now reported to want a withdrawalist manifesto!

    I am not a fan of Tim Shipman’s Mail articles and see it as highly speculative that Elliott would lead a No campaign. (I don’t believe that Cameron will either renegotiate or hold a 2017 referendum even if he does get back in 2015).

    Nor do I agree that Elliott would get the job because he is a loyal ‘Tory Boy’. His Taxpayers’ Alliance has been very critical of the Cameron government over HS2, and the failure to make the right sort of cuts in government spending.

    Furthermore Elliott’s TPA in 2011 published a pamphlet, “Terms of Endearment”, basically saying to take powers back and get the relationship with the EU that it wants, Britain should withdraw. The author was Dr Lee Rotherham, TPA’s EU analyst, who is another known outer.

    As for AV, the No to AV campaign was always going to win (unlike the LibDems, the public has minimal desire for AV, and there were only Yes votes in studenty Oxford, Cambridge and some of London’s more radical boroughs). Elliott would have to have been totally incompetent to lose the vote, so it was no great feather in the cap.

    In short, I don’t believe everything served up in the popular press.

  23. 23 Jacq 14/08/2013 at 11:49 pm

    Talk about confused. Elliott can’t even write consistently.

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2013/08/matthew-elliott-join-business-for-britain-and-help-us-sketch-a-new-deal-from-the-eu.html
    a majority supported the “Norwegian option” of EU membership
    (Norway isn’t an EU member)

    http://www.cityam.com/article/british-business-would-thrive-under-bespoke-new-deal-brussels

    For anyone to lead, they must have a clear direction. Looking at some of his other comments, I’m not sure if he can even grasp the basics.

    Perhaps a case of the blind leading the blind, but what is he doing as the chief exec of a campaign to influence business opinion?

  24. 24 Edward Spalton 15/08/2013 at 7:47 am

    Lee Rotherham is a stalwart, long-serving member on the committee of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, as is John Mills of the long established Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign who is involved with The “For Britain” group and its Labour offshoot, Labour for a Referendum. John Mills recently gave £1.75 million to the Labour Party. His business, JML, is in the top few hundred for growth in Europe. He was also the national agent for the “Out” campaign in the 1975 referendum.

    Having served alongside both of them for many years, I have not the slightest doubt of their bona fides and commitment to the cause of independence from the EU.

  25. 25 Richard North 15/08/2013 at 8:38 am

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, Edward. I have no doubt that John Mills is well-intentioned. One questions his tactics though. It has never seemed to me a good idea to start off your campaign by conceding the ground to your enemies … such as by pushing for EU reform and/or renegotiation.

    We end up with groups such as Open Europe, ostensibly “eurosceptic” organisations but which have aims and objectives indistinguishable from the European Movement.

    In noting that John Mills was the national agent for the “Out” campaign in the 1975 referendum, however, one also notes that that was a failed campaign. Since then, from the Mills stable we have not seen much in the way of fresh thinking and have seen nothing that would give us any confidence that we could win a new referendum campaign.

    There is a good case to be made for leaving the EU, and we should make it. We have neither time nor resources for the “indirect approach”, seeking withdrawal via a failed reform/renegotiation process. Anyone taking that route is, in my view, muddying the water, and making ultimate success more difficult.

  26. 26 Edward Spalton 15/08/2013 at 9:29 am

    Well Richard, with a 20 to 1 disadvantage in available cash and the uphill effect of the status quo, it is difficult to see how the 1975 “out” campaign could have prospered. The European Movement was funded by the CIA and the whole pro-EEC PR exercise had been rolling for at least 7 years. Against this was a hastily formed, politically disparate group without sympathetic access to the media, got together over Sir Richard Body’s kitchen table shortly before the official campaigning period,

    There was an excellent Eurofacts article “How they swung it in the early Seventies”, based on quotations from a BBC programme which gives an idea of the manipulative forces available to our enemies then. I keep showing it to people, asking them how they would counter such a campaign ( which has already begun, I believe) scaled up for today’s media manipulative possibilities. So far without a coherent answer..
    Do you have it? If not, I will send it to you.

    With regard to Business for Britain’s tactics, I take the view that they probably know the market in the corporate constituency they are trying to influence. I still have reservations that it is a bit too clever for us provincials.

    It is at least a couple of years ago since I heard the same tactics urged for wider use by a speaker who was not at all enamoured of a referendum. To use the debate to arouse expectations and push the “red lines” into areas which could never be acceptable to the EU and would expose “renegotiation” for the fraud it is.

    In connection with the Harrogate Agenda, you have set your face against an over-arching “Umbrella Group” all singing from the same hymn sheet, believing that co-operation between separate groups which can trust each other would be more effective. “Horses for Courses” as it were.

    That is the situation we have in the Eusceptic Movement – different groups with a great deal of expertise amongst their own constituencies. It would be nice to ensure that the different horses did not cut across each other – although with the heat of electoral rivalry, some of that is bound to happen.

    Some colleagues and associates favour the monolithic umbrella group approach ( if an umbrella can be said to be lithic!) with a single, “on message” hymn sheet with set verses and phrases to be used by everybody in a coordinated way simultaneously, trying to recapture the success of New Labour ( which they watched enviously). I don’t think I could stand that and I doubt whether you would like it either. No doubt there will need to be a sort of “Four legs good, two legs bad” sloganeering phase in the final run up to the vote but the prospect of doing it for years would be hellish .

  27. 27 Richard North 15/08/2013 at 10:20 am

    Edward … we covered the 1975 referendum in the Great Deception, which I think gave the flavour of the campaign. To concede that the “no” campaign was confronted with enormous difficulties however – to the extent that it was probably unwinnable for us – does not also exclude the idea that the actual campaign run was tactically inept.

    Certainly, there were many errors (and unsurprising given this was the first referendum ever fought), and thus to assert that someone was involved in the referendum campaign is not necessarily a recommendation, unless we can see that lessons have been learned.

    With regard to Business for Britain’s tactics, I take the view that is is not the business of business to determine how we the people in this nation are governed. By conceding a leading business role in any campaign, we concede something which should not be. We should not allow that the campaign should be fought on economic issues when the issue is about democracy.

    Further, as I have already averred, the idea of going for “reform” and only then going for out, if the reform “fails” is in my view tactically inept, and exceedingly dangerous – if indeed the tactic is being carried out in good faith by the likes of Elliott.

    As to an “umbrella group”, I have never seen this working. A coalition of equals is a much better idea. The idea that Matthew Elliott could lead it is a non-starter. We need a more collegiate approach and Elliott has already shown that he is not naturally of that ilk.

    We do not need a grand Fuhrer to direct us, and not only would Elliott be divisive, his grasp of the EU and the issues related are so evidently poor that he would be a liability.

  28. 28 Jacq 16/08/2013 at 10:46 pm

    Edward Spalton and Richard North – you both make some valid points, but I would tend to side with Richard’s caution.

    The whole Business For Britain outfit is clumsy – I’ve seen some of the articles in the Telegraph and the Spectator, and their contributors get plenty of brickbats for their nebulous articles.

    Having said that, the only ‘evidence’ of Elliott being lined up to lead a No campaign comes from Tim Shipman’s rumour mill. That guy just seems to print any old rubbish – look at today’s Mail
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2393471/Germany-start-talks-clawing-powers-Brussels-weeks-major-boost-Cameron.html
    and related to it
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2395219/DAILY-MAIL-COMMENT-A-German-ally-war-Brussels.html

    He doesn’t seem to be fooling his readers, though.


  1. 1 How UKIP has fallen into a Tory trap and abandoned its priority of EU withdrawal | Autonomous Mind Trackback on 13/08/2013 at 10:20 pm
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