Simon Heffer writes in the Telegraph today that Grassroots Out should be designated as the lead Leave organisation in the EU Referendum campaign.
He justifies this in part on the basis that Grassroots Out is the only Leave organisation “that has genuine grassroots support”.
But is this true?
Quite rightly he says “The referendum isn’t about politicians, it’s about people”.
Let’s just examine what grassroots means.
It is a term coined in the early 1900’s in the USA for organisations which were organised from the bottom up rather than by top down command & control. They are usually considered more spontaneous and natural than traditional political structures.
The Northern Ireland Peace movement inspired by Mairead Maquire and Betty Williams is an example of a grassroots movement. An organisation inspired and organised by ordinary people with extraordinary passions.
Have a look at the MPs & MEPs on the Grassroots Out About Us page where are the ordinary people, the grassroots?
There is another type of organisation that disguises itself as a grassroots movement. It is called an “astroturfing” movement. This is an organisation that attempts to mask its origins by making itself appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participant(s).
It is up to you to make your own mind up as to whether Grassroots Out is a “grassroots” or an “astroturfing” organisation