Why we are planning a grassroots campaign.

The “No” campaigners are getting organised and seem to be learning from past mistakes. Rather than relying on rather unpredictable politicians, they are planning on a business-led campaign with a “flock of birds” leadership, i.e. one that frequently changes, as with a flock (murmuration) of starlings.

This “flock of birds” idea is to make sure that people do not get bored with seeing a single leader at the front of the campaign, plus they hope to keep the “Yes” campaign off balance by keeping the “No” campaign fluid and unpredictable.

Even so, business-led campaigns are often rather unfathomable as far as the general public is concerned and turn off the voters, leading to a lower turnout when it comes to voting. But perhaps this is what the “No” campaigners are hoping for. The polls have already shown that the “No” supporters are more likely to turn out on voting day than the “Yes” voters.

For me this referendum is unnecessary, because in a representative parliamentary democracy these decisions are the responsibility of our elected representatives, that is why they are there.

But given that the pro-EU politicians and organisations have let the Brexit debate get away from them over the past 20 years or so, the Referendum is now an opportunity, perhaps the last one, which should be grasped with both hands by the pro-EU public.

The popular case for the EU has never been made, not even in 1975. I don’t subscribe to the view that, since nobody born since 1957 has had a chance to say whether the UK should be in or out, there should be a referendum. I do, however, take the view that in the current circumstances we should put the question to the popular vote.

There is also the case that there has been a significant change in how people engage in politics. More and more people do not want to engage via the traditional party political route or by the established (semi-)professional led campaign groups. Those parties & groups are no longer trusted.

Instead they want to be involved via local groups, peer groups basing a campaign on common interests rather than decades old political ideals.  This is why the grassroots campaign is growing and developing its own view of how politics should be conducted.

This is a chance, perhaps the last one we’ll have, for supporters of the EU to influence the way people in the UK feel about the EU.

It is also an opportunity for people to show that it is possible to build a force campaigning for the EU based on common objectives rather than political ideologies, from the right or from the left. A chance for the voters to decide what they want, instead of choosing from what the politicians say they are offering.

We will achieve this by building a myriad of focus groups and interest groups working towards a common cause. Some of these groups will be a small handful of people, some may be several thousand.

Large or small, it does not matter provided that the groups work together, sharing information and helping each other.

People will spread the word by talking to family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

That is how we will win the campaign and beat the “No” campaigners, whether they be business- or politically-led.

Why? Because the “Yes” campaigners will be working for and with people they know, people who share common interests, and, most importantly, because they are working with and for each other.

This entry was posted in grassroots, pro-EU campaign, referendum, reflections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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