January 6, 2017

Don’t forget the good guys of Brexit

Don’t forget the good guys of Brexit

Matthew Elliott and Peter Cruddas were vital to last year’s Brexit campaign. Without them the country would not have voted to leave the European Union, says Richard Patient.  

We heard this week that the team behind Farage, ‘the bad boys of Brexit”, are selling their story to an American film company.  “It will be a comedy” says their spokesman.

Farage was one of those, before Christmas, chosen by the good people at Conservative Home as their five who made Brexit happen.  Steve Baker MP garnered the support of the critical Conservative base and made the government give concessions on purdah; Victoria Woodcock, the ops director of Vote Leave, recruited and squashed the numerous campaign staff into one tiny office on the seventh floor of Westminster Tower and made sure they were all compliant; Gisela Stuart MP, the chair of Vote Leave, gave stunning performances as the spokesperson for Leave and brought a Germanic twist to the vote; and Daniel Hannan.

All these people deserved their place on the ConHome list because all were very much instrumental in ensuring it was a 52:48 vote in favour of leaving.  It could so easily have been the other way around had these people not operated in the full knowledge that they were there to make it acceptable to vote leave, and do everything to increase the marginal vote.

The five were joined by Michael Gove, named as the Leave Campaigner of the Year, narrowly piping Boris to the prize.

But these lists leave out two people, without whom none of this would have happened.  Gove and Boris are unlikely to have campaigned for leave if there hadn’t been a sensible campaign to join; Gisela would not have gone over the parapet with such persuasive force if she hadn’t been recognised as a key asset; Victoria Woodcock would perhaps still be in the civil service; and Steve Baker and Daniel would be wishing Farage hadn’t won the Electoral Commission contest and been the lead spokesman on all the referendum debates.

The Brexit books tend to suggest that it was Hannan who persuaded one of these two people, Matthew Elliott, to join him in campaigning for an Out vote. Hannan met Elliott in the garden of Rodney Leach in the summer of 2012 says Tim Shipman’s All Out War.

But actually, Matthew’s decision to be the ‘good guy’ to put this together was taken after midnight on the Friday morning of May 5th 2011.  That was the day he won the AV referendum, and the venue was the ExCel centre in London.  If he didn’t know it beforehand, he knew then that he had the credibility, the knowledge and the wherewithal to mount the campaign to win the most exciting contest there would be in his generation.

He was with the other of these two people that night to take that decision, Peter Cruddas, who had been made Treasurer of the No2AV campaign just three months beforehand; Cruddas was taking the first steps from being a highly successful City entrepreneur to the world of politics, and he loved it.

Matthew always operates by research and just a few months after that 2011 AV referendum, he was already building up his war chest for serious research on the EU. His No2AV campaign was based, against all advice, on cost and the NHS.  His research showed him their best chance for leave was to repeat that campaign, just on a larger scale.

Although Matthew has a vast array of experience, from setting up the Taxpayers Alliance, Big Brother Watch, and even working for Bill Cash’s European Foundation in the nineties, he was still viewed in some quarters as an unbeliever and not the right person to lead the decades-old Eurosceptic war.  But over several years, Matthew was able to convince a growing army of business people that he was the right person to lead the charge.

Peter is the money man, who has grown to be a passionate advocate for a number of good causes.  Along with a deep association with the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Prince’s Trust, he has donated to Great Ormond Street, and got into politics comparatively late in life.  During the referendum, Peter was one of only a handful of donors who joined the million pound club.

Peter was there right at the start, and stayed until right to the end, always having Matthew’s back.  Peter gave business expertise to both Business for Britain and Vote Leave, and was Matthew’s most passionate backer in the years up to the referendum (as well as during the campaign itself). Peter brought stability and credibility to the organisations as well as financial muscle, and the designation of Vote Leave was due in no small part to his involvement.

Without Matthew, and without Peter, the referendum would probably still have happened.  But without these two, we would not have had the successful campaign we had.  Matthew and Peter didn’t make every minute decision – they left that to people like Dominic Cummings, and (to name a few in no particular order) Georgiana Bristol, Oliver Lewis, Tom Borwick, Michael Dowsett, Sam Frost, Alex Hickman, Helen Mayer, Anne Sutherland, Dewyne Lindsay, Julie Moody, William Norton, John O’Connell, Robert Oxley, Stephen Parkinson, Lee Rotherham, James Starkie, Paul Stephenson, Stephen Talbot and Victoria Woodcock. But Matthew Elliott and Peter Cruddas ensured the smooth running of the campaign, and made the fundamental decision, back in May 2011 – to set up a campaign that would win.

I wonder who will play them in the film?

4.26 avg. rating (85% score) - 19 votes
Richard Patient
A former aide to Ted Heath, Richard is the Founder and Managing Director of the property communications consultancy, Thorncliffe. He played an active role in last year’s Brexit campaign, serving as London Chairman of Vote Leave’s business arm, Business for Britain. During the campaign he delivered a host of speeches and key note addresses to a range of business audiences right across the capital.
  • Shadow Warrior

    Hammond is continuity Brown. He is a hand-wringing lefty looking for clever wheezes to raise more tax in ways that people don’t immediately notice.

  • captainslugwash

    I predict the Budget will attempt to show the Left how caring the Tories are, and it will be funded by screwing over the working man.
    If Corp Tax comes down, I bet Divi tax will be going up.
    I would love to be wrong.

  • skynine

    We really need to look at tax credits, in particular in work tax credits that encourage people to work part time to preserve the benefits. 45% of women work part time and I would hazard a guess that tax credits are the main cause. This leads to low pay, low skill work in supermarkets and the retail sector including coffee shops. The government needs to get back to the employer paying people to do a job for economic reasons rather than to get onto the tax credit ladder. Like all government benefits it distorts the market and diverts government expenditure into non productive areas.
    The refrain that the government has cut expenditure is not true, it increases every year as more and more goes into welfare.

  • MrVeryAngry

    fat chance

  • MrSauce

    So, when wouldn’t we want a ‘budget for growth’?

  • Rob

    I note that the UK Government has just slapped on a 25% tax charge for anyone moving abroad and wishing to move out their private pension from the UK.

  • SonofBoudica

    The Remoaners will do their utmost to sabotage the Government’s negotiating position. They do not want a successful outcome; they want a failure. They want to be able to scream “Told you so!” from the rooftops.

  • EnglandLaments

    Thank goodness for Andrew Neil, the one media hack who scares the pants off the established politicians. He was spot on with Heidi Allen!

  • joshuafalken

    I had a very long, hard, studied and considered look at the hope, care and aspirations of all Europeans, before I voted to get the UK out of the toxic grasp of Brussels.

    The European Union and it’s charge of “ever closer union” has borrowed and spent its way to oblivion, whilst enslaving the working and middle classes in debt.

    The central control mantra of the unaccountable Brussels ruling elite, delivered through a mixture of socialism, globalism and corporatism is entirely responsible for the populist revolt by the millions of “Just About Managings” across Europe.

    We must remember the ultimate goal of socialists, globalists and corporatists is control, not prosperity. see https://mises.org/blog/goal-socialists-socialism-—-not-prosperity.

    Social equality and economic growth always fail under central control and fighting against the Brussels doctrine on behalf of all Europeans is why I voted for Brexit.

    Britain has a long history of helping Europeans depose tyrants and Brussels is just the latest incarnation.

    Britain is the most racially advanced and accepting society on the planet. We welcome those in need and those that can help us with open arms and a smile; that will not change.

    We are also one of the most innovative, talented and open societies in the world, which why everyone wants to live here. However, we cannot fit everyone in, so we have to have clear, balanced and fair immigration policy which is where the arguments start between the monetarists and humanists will never be reconciled.

    I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that leaving the EU was in the best interest of all Europeans, as Brussels is toxic and cannot be reformed from within.

    Also, I find it insulting that people who voted Remain have insufficient faith in British ingenuity, compassion and skill to get a good deal for us and see the Europe that we love get a better deal from Brussels and the reform that European people deserve. https://mishtalk.com/2017/03/29/bad-brexit-deal-better-than-no-deal-mathematical-idiocy-odds-of-no-deal/ and https://www.worldheadlines.info/2017/03/after-brexit-9-reasons-to-be-bullish-on-great-britain/

    The politics of left verses right are dead because neither have delivered the promised economic growth and social mobility for anyone, but themselves. The populists are not selfish per-se, they just want to take back control of their own destiny that left/right politicians have freely given away and/or exploited for their own ends. In my constituency, the local residents group are taking over the councils as politicians ignore voters, so Westminster should beware of the well-organised, local resident independents at the next election. This is a peoples revolution which should be shouted from the rooftops, but liberals remained deafened by the socialist, globalist and corporatist “vested interests” that have spectacularly failed us and are obediently crying foul and fake.

    There will be an initial unpalatable inflationary cost to fighting globalism and rolling back central control that few appear to have factored in, but dismantling failed left/right vested interests should eventually free libertarian socially-conservative capitalism from the shackles of TBTF corporatism to feed economic growth and social mobility.

  • agdpa

    The EU usually makes the wrong decision – on immigration, on freedom of movement, on the euro, on the Ukraine, etc. etc. Little hope it will get Brexit right.

  • brownowl

    Eh? Reference please!

  • Neil2

    Sod caring. Screw the spongers and breeders. Kill HS2. Stop all “green” subsidies. Slash “foreign aid” and walk away from the EUSSR with immediate effect.

  • Rob
  • John C

    What a confused article. It conflates surveillance by the security services with poor defences against fraud.

  • John C

    Err, it’s the UK that’s leaving the EU, not vice versa.

  • John C

    Me, now. ‘Growth’ is a manic obsession.

  • La Face Nord

    Mr Redwood – are you aware of the Biased BBC website? It’s been exposing their agenda for a long time, but I imagine you’ve been well aware of the BBC’s agenda for quite some time…

  • Contact Rvtech

    The post is great

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