Remain fought a catastrophic campaign that deserved to lose

Chris Moncrieff
Chris Moncrieff

The haphazard, complacent and incompetent Remain campaign in the EU referendum has been ruthlessly laid bare by Lord Mandelson and others.

It was a calamity from start to finish - no wonder it was heavily beaten. And added to the mix were personality clashes which just about ensured that Brexit would pull off a surprise victory.

And to make matters even worse, some members of the House of Lords, who should know better, were thinking up ways of exploiting parliamentary rules to dish the Brexit vote. These are shamefully people who preach “democracy” out of one side of their mouth and yet don’t like to see it in action.

What could be more “democratic” than engaging the entire electorate in a referendum?

Just look at some of the problems that beset this campaign. Lord Mandelson, a former Labour Cabinet Minister, accused Jeremy Corbyn, the party leader, of sabotaging the campaign, while Will Straw, one of the top brass in the campaign, spent months trying to meet Corbyn’s aides.

And the then Prime Minister, David Cameron’s complacency was breathtaking, telling his one-time deputy Nick Clegg he was sure Remain would win.

Corbyn’s own contribution to the campaign was seen as half-hearted, to say the least, yet he was supposed to be a “Remain” man.

In short, it was a catastrophic campaign that never deserved to win. You would have thought that on an issue as momentous as this, which would change Britain’s position in the entire world, they would have bothered to spend a little more time preparing it and ceased to be so bloody-minded towards each other. I am afraid they got their comeuppance, and cannot blame anyone but themselves. The best they can do now is blame Brexit for everything that has happened since.


• It is good to see David Cameron and his wife Samantha enjoying the sun, sand and seaside in Corsica, without an apparent care in the world, while back home the politicos and others are virtually tearing their hair out in fury at his hugely controversial resignation honours list, accusing him of cronyism and worse in selecting the names.

There are admittedly some questionable names on that list, but at the end of the day, it is his list and nobody else’s.

Jeremy Corbyn makes the ludicrous prediction that this is another nail in the coffin of the House of Lords. Corbyn should realise that the House of Lords has easily survived far more serious issues than a resignation honours list that no one seems to like very much.

It has also been said that on the strength of this one, there will be no more such lists. Well, this furore will blow over long before the next one is due, so we shall see. It must be quite satisfying, as you dip your toes in the Mediterranean, to be aware that back in the United Kingdom you are responsible for the entire political class being in such turmoil.

• It is not surprising that the Commons all-party Home Affairs Committee want to interview Dame Lowell Goddard to hear her explanation for her resignation as chairman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

This news comes amid new allegations that the New Zealander did not resign, but was actually sacked. In her first year she spent 30 days on holiday and reportedly 44 days in Australia, although she had only two meetings with a child abuse inquiry underway there.

She is said to have lost the confidence of her colleagues - and whatever the truth or otherwise of these allegations, they need to be cleared up one way or another.

It would seem that an appearance as a witness before the Home Affairs Committee could shed some light on these mysteries.

• They are not very complimentary about Owen Smith, the challenger for the Labour leadership in his Pontypridd constituency. They call him “oily” Owen because of his apparent inability to give a straight answer to questions.

But then, when did you last hear ANY politician give a straight answer to a question?

Smith is not alone ...