The remain campaign’s self-acclaimed status as the bastion of hope in a polarised world fending off a tide of bigotry, hatred and a generation of introspection is delusional. Instead, they themselves are a dystopian vision hallmarked by elitism and condescension. They are the movement they claim to be against, says Bruce Newsome.
Anti-Brexit organizations pretend to be democratic, academic, and non-partisan, but they subvert democracy, hide political spin behind pseudo-scientific pretensions, and over-represent progressive elites who keep their incestuous influence secret.
Leaks reveal that “Best for Britain” is again representing itself as a grass-roots pro-democratic movement, but is the campaign slogan for a private company incorporated by hypocritically subversive, wealthy left-wing elites on 19 October 2016 as “UK-EU Open Policy Limited.”
Its director (Eloise Todd) dates her start of employment to January 2017. She previously advised the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, then lobbied the European Union on behalf of an anti-poverty alliance (ONE Campaign), whose co-founders include an Irish singer (Bono).
“Best for Britain” was officially launched in April 2017. By then it was fronted by a British-Guyanan entrepreneur (Gina Miller), who – in autumn 2016 – had retained lawyers to persuade the High Court that Parliament should vote on the government’s invocation of Brexit under the EU’s Article 50. In May 2017, she urged Britons to vote tactically for Remainers from whatever party (she personally pledged to vote Liberal Democrat against her general support for the Labour Party). “Best for Britain” donated cash to its preferred candidates and organized and advised volunteers ahead of the general election in June 2017. One of its advertisements from the time features a notional voter saying, “I would just like open and honest information” – how ironic! Gina Miller quit “Best for Britain” soon after that election. In February 2018, she publicly explained her departure, describing it as “undemocratic” for plotting to bring down the government with “guerrilla marketing tactics.”
Gina Miller’s public statement was prompted by a leak that month about its true founder – a Hungarian billionaire (George Soros). Eloise Todd then announced a crowdfunding campaign.
Todd shamelessly reversed the blame to the newspapers and politicians who urged “Best for Britain” to return the money. Todd wrote that “we won’t be intimidated by you and your friends who are trying to subvert the very meaning of democracy.” She never explained what “the very meaning of democracy” is for her, but clearly it isn’t a free and fair press or a highly-engaged referendum: “At Best for Britain we have been pushing for a meaningful vote on Brexit.” She never explained what was not meaningful about the referendum. Instead, she wanted “to keep everything on the table, including staying in the European Union” – well then, “Best for Britain” is trying to overturn a popular vote, but Todd didn’t admit this objective; instead, she kept pretending that “Best for Britain” is simply “empowering people to feel confident in taking a more active part in their country and their democracy. Everyone, no matter what their view, has a right to be heard, free from intimidation by people or press that may disagree with them.” She provided no evidence for any intimidation or lack of empowerment.
I find her language inflammatory, misleading, and obfuscatory – “Best for Britain” is anti-democratic while pretending to promote democracy; it is counter-factual while pretending to be academic; it is misrepresentative and subversive. Yet Todd turns everything on its head: “If very publicly trying to help people take a more active role in our society is somehow a ‘secret plot’ to ensure all voices are heard on the greatest issue of a generation, then we will wear that badge with honour.” That is prideful hypocrisy.
Todd was given this platform by The Guardian newspaper, whose editors then endorsed Soros as “the best of the 1%”: “Many billionaires try to influence the politics of countries that aren’t their own. Most do so by stealth but George Soros is open and usually right.” This is an ignorant and hypocritical statement – one of many that I have previously identified in The Guardian newspaper’s editorials and columns.
“Best for Britain’s” website states, “We are working to make sure citizens of the UK can make a fully-informed decision on the future of our country, in or out of Europe.” This isn’t true either.
The website carries a few self-described “reports” – with no declared authors. They are mostly lists of highly partisan and unscientific negative expectations about Brexit. Their citations are mostly sourced to partisan newspapers and blogs. The website for “Best for Britain” carries links to its “methodology,” but, after many u-turns you will eventually end up with a one-page document that doesn’t describe any methodology, except to summarize its reports on a parochial, far-from-rigorous survey taken around the general election of June 2017. This document too has no declared authors.
These are the same anti-scientific habits that I previously identified in the anti-Brexit commentaries by Tony Blair and his own think-tank (Institute for Global Change).
Most of what these reports offer as new data are generated by a similarly partisan think-tank named the Resolution Foundation, whose founder (Clive Cowdery) is a donor and board member for “Best for Britain.”
“Best for Britain’s” board is chaired by Mark Malloch Brown – a Labour party peer since 2007, when Gordon Brown appointed him as a Foreign Office minister. Decades of cooperation with Soros are behind this. He sits on the board of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, is chair of Soros’ political influence group (SGO), and sits on the boards of too many of Soros’ other organizations to mention. Previously, he had rotated mostly between journalism and the United Nations – when he represented both Soros and the UN simultaneously.
Perhaps the reports are authored by another board member – perhaps Russian-born Anatole Kaletsky, who is listed by “Best for Britain” as its “Chief Economist”. Both Kaletsky and Malloch Brown worked as columnists at The Economist magazine– another publication that keeps its authors anonymous, is short on citations, and has advanced a discourse of opinions without evidence.
Within the last few weeks, Best for Britain started sending a confidential 26-page plan to potential donors. This plan admits that “Best for Britain” is trying to overturn the result of the referendum, with new hyperbole: “We have less than six months to stop Brexit begin to put Britain back together.” The plan offers more false campaign slogans: that Britons voted “against London as much as Brussels”, that “elites are abusing our democracy [and] ignoring our rights and interests” (a slogan planned for July to August), and that “this is not what we voted for” (September to October). As ever, the focus is on the Labour Party, with lobbying planned for the annual conferences of the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress in September. As ever, the campaign is well funded but pretends to be desperate for more cash to fight a mythically well-funded opposition that it never specifies (the leaked plan claims to have raised £2.4 million and asks for another £3.2 million).
We know all this only because of another leak to a newspaper. “Best for Britain” responded to the leak with the same-old pretence that it’s promoting democratic engagement: “We have never hidden our agenda. Our aim as an organisation is to stop Brexit democratically. We want to connect people across the country to their MPs, particularly in the Labour Party, so they directly hear from their membership and their voters, the vast majority of whom want to make sure we have a real debate on Brexit before our options are taken off the table. Brexit is taking longer than people expected, costing more, and stopping us from creating a better Britain that works for everyone.”
Brexit is taking longer, costing more, and creating a less representative Britain because “Best for Britain”, the “Institute for Global Change,” the Soros foundations, and their incestuous progressive elites are waging campaigns of misinformation with the objective of overturning a popular referendum that is already two years old and has cost millions in unnecessary lobbying already.
Brexit means standing against not just the democratic deficit in European institutions, but also the hypocrisies of Europe’s anti-democratic elite.