Offering my very personal observations, I think the launch went exceeding well – a full house and standing room only, with excellent support from the Blogger's Army. My thanks to all who attended, making it a truly memorable event.
Amongst those there, I am told, were two Conservative MPs - I didn't see them, but I could barely see anything as I had camera lights in my face. Apparently, though, one of them stormed out midway through the session and the other was distinctly unhappy when he left. We must have been saying something right.
It was later suggested that I might moderate my language to avoid giving such people offence – resisting the temptation to call MPs "bovine". The theory is that, if we say nice things about them, they might be more sympathetic to our message.
But then, since the Prime Minister is now making a habit of lying to the House of Commons (and the nation), and not a single MPs has raised a point of order or laid a formal complaint with the Speaker, one struggles to find a suitable alternative description.
It seems to me that the MPs are there to defend our ancient rights and liberties. When they start doing their job properly, then might be the time for them to throw a strop because they are not getting the respect they think they deserve from the serfs.
Anyhow, for all the terrific outcome, personally the presentation was a bit of a trial. Courtesy of a broken-down train at Wakefield, my own train was an hour later into Kings Cross, forcing me to rush to the venue with only minutes to spare – hot and lathered. This is not the best way of setting oneself up for an important event.
Howsoever, with standing room only, there was certainly a buzz to the room, and we were able proudly to present the Brexit pamphlet – 48 pages in all. We hope to have it online shortly, and I'll let you know when it is available.
During the presentation, ably chaired by Niall Warry, we had John Ashworth from Restore Britain's Fish, give us his views – to a round of spontaneous applause. He too has a pamphlet published, which is available on the CIB website. I'll do a separate review on this.
There then followed presentations by Pete North on the Bloggers' Army, Niall on The Harrogate Agenda, Anthony Scholefield from Futurus, and Edward Spalton from the Campaign for Independent Britain (CIB). Robert Oulds was represented by Niall.
My talk was on strategy, bringing to the fore the idea of the "open DOR", outlining our three core tasks: to DEBUNK Dave's Dodgy Deal; to OFFER a credible alternative; and to REASSURE voters that our alternative is achievable and safe. That is the job of the Flexcit plan.
One could not avoid making certain observations as to the other campaign groups, none of which have publicly declared a strategy. Neither have any committed to a single exit plan. In the words of the Prime Minister, they seem to be making it up as they are going along.
On this matter, I see no need whatsoever – as some latterly suggested – to apologise for calling Mr Johnson an idiot. Those who wish for the man to be described otherwise might contemplate trying to stop him behaving like an idiot, causing totally unnecessary damage to the campaign.
Once again we are confronted with this bizarre double standard: it is apparently perfectly acceptable for Mr Johnson to conduct himself with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop, but somehow "offensive" for us to remark upon that – even when it is vitally necessary for us to distance ourselves from his stupidity, to avoid our own campaign being tainted by it.
Amongst the appeasers are some who believe we should present a united front, and not give the remains an opportunity to capitalise on what is deemed to be "bickering" by the leave groups. But we're not bickering. We're not arguing with the man. We're addressing his idiotic ideas, so idiotic that they have provided substance for three speeches by the Prime Minister.
What we are doing is distancing ourselves, unequivocally and with utmost clarity, from a man who neither represents us nor has anything intelligent to say about the campaign. And if we need to say why, so be it. We are not playing games here. It really is about time we started calling a spade a spade.
This notwithstanding, it seemed only to be the MPs who took any great exception to my description of the man-child. Yet these were two people who were not actually invited by virtue of their office. They were not there to support Leave Alliance and have already done much to undermine it.
MPs in general need to understand that a referendum is a people's vote. In the ballot, they have exactly the same status as the rest of us, and their input into our campaign is neither asked-for nor wanted. On the other hand, we have something unique to offer. They would learn something by listening to us, especially as we are backed by the skills and dedication of our supporters and component groups.
Our knowledge and skills are hard won. We should not compromise them in attempts to curry favour with those who will never, under any circumstances, support us. The truth is that these people are seeking to silence us, or to bring our activities in line with their own lacklustre efforts. If they didn't have our "offensive" language as their justification for shunning us, they would find some other excuse.
In due course, we will have an edited video of the launch (we think about 2-3 weeks), which we'll post on YouTube. You can judge for themselves the merits of what was said. As you can guess, I was in a combative mood, but then I am so heartily sick of being dumped upon by the likes of Boris Johnson, only to be expected to grin and bear it.
We owe these people nothing
- and I really have had enough of it. I have seriously had enough of patronising little bubble-dwellers presenting themselves as doing me a personal favour by reading the first two pages of Flexcit (and that includes the title page). And I think I've had quite enough of them knowledgeably acquainting me with its faults, suggesting that if only I was nicer to them, they would kindly tell me what I've failed to understand about real
Needless to say, despite all our efforts yesterday, we haven't gained any press coverage (not that I can see) – but it wouldn't have made any difference if we'd chosen a different day to the budget. This is exactly what I expected, but it will allow any number of pundits to express their superiority by telling us what we're doing wrong.
But for all that, let it be said that yesterday we formally launched the Leave Alliance campaign – in front of people who matter. We don't know when the campaign will end. That'll be when we're out of the EU. Until then we keep fighting.
Photo: Ben Kelly.