Today the Daily Mail attacked Best for Britain, jumping on the bandwagon of the Daily Telegraph. The Mail in its usual style comes at me, our funders and our organisation all guns blazing and now their splash has pride of place on our wall. IDS, the thinking man’s Andrew-Bridgen-rent-a-quote, shrieks “hand the money back”.
My message to IDS and his ilk is this: thanks for your comments, but we won’t be intimidated by the likes of you and your band of ideological friends who are trying to subvert the very meaning of democracy. We have the right to at least a Parliamentary vote at the end of this, and we must push MPs to do what’s Best for Britain and ask people for the vote.
For me, democracy did not end on the day after the referendum. My view was the same before, the same the day of the referendum and same the day after. The process of leaving the EU is democratic. The government got a mandate to trigger negotiations, but not to sign them off- they did not get a blank cheque.
The money that George Soros and thousands of small donors have donated, and continue to donate is making a massive difference. That cash goes straight to front line campaigning. At Best for Britain we have been campaigning to win a meaningful vote on Brexit, which we helped win, and to keep all options on the table, including staying in the European Union. That’s why we’re crowdfunding to make sure that our campaign reaches as many people as possible - we don’t have much time for our voices to be heard.
My message to IDS and his ilk is this: thanks for your comments, but we won’t be intimidated by the likes of you and your band of ideological friends
At the core, our campaigning is about empowering people to feel confident in taking a more active part in their country and their democracy. Our view is perhaps the most democratic: everyone, no matter what their view, has a right to be heard, free from intimidation by people or press that may disagree with them.
We’ve held training sessions on how to be more democratically engaged in towns and cities across the country including Hull, Manchester, Doncaster and Bridgend, Wales because we believe everyone has a right to speak their mind. Over 1,000 people have attended, deeply worried about their future and the future of our children and grandchildren. We don’t believe that’s sinister or wrong. In fact, we can’t think of anything more patriotic than worrying about our country’s future.
So if very publicly trying to help people take a more active role in our society is somehow a “secret plot” to ensure all voices are heard on the greatest issue of a generation then we will wear that badge with honour. Democracy is never done and the moment we stop defending the rights of everyone to say what they believe - even when we disagree - is an even darker future that none of us want to be a part of.
So this weekend the team will be out campaigning and working tirelessly to make sure the public is heard. Brexit has failed the test and will make Britain poorer, less secure and that is not what people were sold. If this was a product it would be done under the Trades Descriptions Act. People should have the right to change their minds – that is what we are fighting for at Best for Britain, I urge you to join us and together we will beat the Brexiteer forces that threaten to ruin Britain. Join us, your country needs you.
Eloise Todd is CEO of Best for Britain