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« Is vaping a comparable substitute for smoking? | Main | Heroes of Brexit »

Brexit just got exciting again

Woke up to the news that Anne Widdecombe is standing as a candidate for the Brexit party in the European elections.

Leaving aside my own pro-Brexit bias, this is pretty big news.

In fact, everything from the party logo to the staged announcements of some impressive candidates has been extremely professional so far.

I don’t know what it’s like behind the scenes but, publicly at least, everyone seems to be playing a blinder.

Huge credit to Nigel Farage, a force of nature, and possibly even more so to chairman Richard Tice.

The focus will inevitably be on Farage. It’s essential however that the media chores are shared by a number of spokesmen so the party cannot be dismissed as the Farage show.

I remember attending, out of curiosity, a Ukip meeting in Cambridgeshire ahead of the 2014 European elections.

There were several reasonably eminent speakers on stage including Patrick O’Flynn, former political editor of the Daily Express, and journalist Simon Heffer.

Farage’s entrance was delayed - deliberately, I imagine - for maximum impact.

After his stage-managed arrival I was struck by how the other speakers seemed diminished by his presence. O’Flynn, the local candidate, was rendered almost anonymous because all the questions from the audience were directed to Farage.

I can’t imagine the likes of Claire Fox, Anne Widdecombe or Annunziata Rees-Mogg taking such a back seat. The question is, will Farage be willing to step back on occasion when requests for interviews with Marr, Neil and Peston come rolling in?

Ditto Question Time and other political programmes.

Can the Brexit party also avoid some of the spectacular misjudgements that occasionally undermined Ukip and led to accusations of racism and xenophobia?

Again, with the sort of people who are being brought on board, one would hope so.

There also seems to be a degree of competence and professionalism about the Brexit party that belies its fledgling status.

Comparisons with Change UK (The Independent Group) are too easy perhaps but let’s take one small but important issue - the logo.

The Brexit party logo is simple but eye-catching. The forward-facing arrow offers a clear visual message.

The Change UK logo is simple but it’s also a mess. A ten-year-old using Letraset could have done a better job.

As for the name, is it Change UK or Change UK The Independent Group? Make up your minds! This is basic stuff.

But back to the Brexit party because even an old cynic like me is getting excited.

As I wrote yesterday, I was minded until the weekend not to vote in the European elections. Now I can’t wait to join the millions of other people who believe Parliament has let us down and destroyed our faith in democracy.

Update: I’ve just read this - Shambolic Change UK made to look like amateurs by slick Brexit party (Reaction).

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Reader Comments (4)

Change UK also have the problem that they are not even advocating change. They are advocating remain which is no change at all. If they all get elected, they certainly will not be able to initiate change in the EU because its parliament is not an initiating legislature. To have the power to make real change you need to be able to initiate legislation.
I liked the fact that Claire Fox talked about the history of the chartists and universal/women's suffrage. People fought long and hard to give everyone a say in the laws made for them and Change UK want to ensure that the power of those votes is given back to unelected elites.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 10:32 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

I probably will vote Brexit Party because the others are awful - but with a heavy heart knowing that afterwards this part time party will disappear leaving others to win a general election and leave us in the hands of remainers who will once again take us around in circles.

We need a full time new party that will stand in council, Euro and general elections. I get the point of this one off wonder but what then?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 12:36 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

The corpse of our self-appointed superiors is still twitching. Two weeks ago, on BBC R4's Reunion, I listened to accounts of its distress when the public rounded upon it during the expenses scandal. But it didn't learn and it's back to its bad old ways. Well beyond time for another kicking from the work boots of the great unwashed.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 14:58 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

I hear the Brexit Party will be standing in the general election. Now it is worth voting for. Claire Fox as an MP? Oh yes please 😋

Friday, April 26, 2019 at 11:23 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

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