It is fair to say that I am now feeling scarcely better than I did in the immediate aftermath of the referendum. My instant desperation was staved off by a spike in alcohol consumption as drastic by its upward movement as was sterling by its passage downwards.
I have found increasing frustration, not least having reviewed some correspondence from my MP, an ardent Leaver. I had received a letter from him dated 18th February 2016 stating that outside the EU:-
“…we would be able to…stop sending £350 million a week to Brussels – money which we could instead invest in our public services”.
I was prompted to look on the Register of Members’ Interests of the author and there I found:
“From 16 December 2015, Director and (until 29 April 2016) Chief Executive of Grassroots Out Ltd…; a not for profit company campaigning to get the United Kingdom out of the European Union.”
To show how fair I am the register also declares that:-
“All fees and payments donated (net of tax) to Grassroots Out Ltd.”
The Register then discloses:-
“On 31 March 2016, I received £17,500 in my capacity as Chief Executive. Hours: 450 hrs for the period 16 December 2015 to 31 March 2016…On 31 March 2016, I received £1,750 for Director’s fees. Hours: 18 hrs for the period 16 December 2015 to 31 March 2016.”
Alright, my MP has always been an “outer”, I knew that. He even pitched up at our local state secondary school (uncontested by a remain supporter, I might add) to air his views to our children prior to the referendum to my annoyance.
The Companies House website is also a mine of information, but before I go on; in the Register of Members’ Interests I then found the following:-
“From 11 February 2016, unremunerated Director of GO Movement Ltd; a not for profit company campaigning to the get the United Kingdom out of the European Union.”
The Register suggests two separate companies at play here, Grassroots Out Limited (Company Registration number 09917939) and GO Movement Limited (09999930). In relation to the latter I discovered that a certain person had been appointed a Director and resigned:-
FARAGE, Nigel Paul Role Director Date of birth April 1964 Appointed on 22 March 2016 Resigned on 15 July 2016
Now, I do not know the machinations of these entities (save for the fact that I believe one of them was attempting to become the official leave campaign vehicle – courtesy of a story published by the BBC) and clearly they are matters of public record. I make no issue as to propriety to be clear. However, that is not really the point; and I shall get to mine.
- I feel that this nation is constitutionally bankrupt courtesy of the referendum and decades of governmental pandering to a truly irresponsible and unconscionable media. I believe that my research at least reveals David Cameron’s woes in the run up to the vote. It illustrates that he had one or more Conservative Members of Parliament co-serving as Directors (albeit admittedly briefly in this case) of the same company as the then UKIP leader.
- When the same Nigel Farage admitted to Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain the day after the referendum that the £350 million NHS pledge was a “mistake” how does that make me feel? Not least when a similar claim (“similar” in that it referred to generic public services as opposed to just the NHS, but still used the same figure) had been placed in writing and sent to me, a constituent, some four months previously.
Do I think that £350 million was ever really going into public services each week? The NHS? No, I don’t.
- It is self-evident that I have an MP who holds an underlying (and unabated) passion to leave the EU. I wish this was not the case, but unfortunately it is.
When leavers bemoan the EU’s perceived lack of democracy it saddens me to see what has been allowed to happen here, in order to attempt to head off a parliamentary minority. When Farage and UKIP have had the government dancing to their tune this should make us reflect on our own view of democracy. How receptive are we to seeing an accurate reflection of ourselves as a nation, though?
Hence, it has been a difficult eight weeks. Although tired, I am resolute in my determination to keep on; as Ian Hislop said, a party which fails to win the election does not just give up for the next five years.