OUT Campaigners unite to offer a formidable opposition to a ruthless, rich and bloody government machine that is both running and funding the IN campaign …
It would seem only plausible and simply logical for two campaigns, both having different aims (one of which is to attract and win the grassroots battle on the streets of Britain, while the other is to win the grotesquely intense media war) to unite for the ‘greater good’ and fight back against an IN campaign which is much bigger and stronger. A campaign fuelled by the government’s machine which is wasting some £9.3million of tax payer’s money to send leaflets out to every household in the country persuading you to vote yes; but also to vote for Cameron keeping his job, while the press secretaries of Downing Street bully the Eurosceptic newspapers and the TV news to follow their consensus.
I might sound a bit cynical of the government’s role in this referendum, but it does seem increasingly unfair, as though it’s buying the referendum with the power Downing Street can offer including the countless for-EU projects our taxes are paying for. Whiles the rich of the world hurry to cover up their tracks after the latest tax evasion leak, including Mr Cameron himself, I would have thought the government would not be so irresponsible and careless as to fund their campaign with our hard-earned money — especially given that austerity is evident across the land, with a proliferation of food banks.
The EU Referendum is fast approaching and by the 12th of April the Electoral Commission will silence the noise of the inner debate over who will be the lead campaign group come June, and more importantly, who will be eligible for the vital funding.
So who is fighting for the lead campaign?
On the Remain side it’s pretty straightforward, with the ‘Britain Stronger In Europe’ group being currently unchallenged. Although the PM, other conservatives, Labour, SNP and others will be campaigning, they are no challenge for the main group. Britain Stronger In Europe is led by Lord Rose, ex-Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer and currently owner of Ocado.
For the leave groups it’s more complicated. There has been bickering and inside arguments which are worrying some Eurosceptics that it is diverting attention away from the campaign itself. Although one of the groups will lose, expect that until April 12th (when the campaign officially begins), they will unite and work together. A problem may arise though over who the group leader should be. The leadership battle will be tougher for the leave side with many wanting to avoid Nigel Farage who remains a Marmite figure. Currently pressure is being put on Michael Gove and particularly Boris Johnson to take the leadership.
What are the benefits of being the lead campaign group?
- Grant of up to £600,000
- Overall spending limit of £7 million
- Campaign Broadcasts on Radio and TV
- Free mail leaflets and free access to meeting rooms
- Other groups are free to run their campaigns but they will be limited to a spend of £700,000 if they register with the Electoral Commission and will have to report the source of donations. If they don’t register with the Commission they will be limited to spending less than £10,000.