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Category: European Movement

Theresa May Cat

Theresa May RIP

The popular view of Theresa May in the wake of her decision to stand down as an MP is ‘good riddance’. As always, I wish to put forward a more nuanced view. My title does not wish her dead by the way, just that she now has some peace from the swivel-headed loons on both sides of the Brexit debate. Here’s a few inconvenient facts for Remoaners and Brexiteers alike:

Sure, yes, May’s record at the Home Office was pretty terrible. The hostile environment and so on. Not as terrible as Patel, Braverman et al, but terrible. Then there was Windrush …

However, May appointed a 52:48 cabinet to respect the Brexit vote, whereas Johnson reduced the gene pool to far right nutters and sycophants. See my interview on the BBC for more on this point.

I spoke with Michel Barnier a little while back. He pointed out that May had two battles to fight. The one on Brexit and the bigger one of her own party fighting like cats in a sack. Eventually they killed her. Paul Witts nails the leadership difficulty in one pithy paragraph:

Although the only good Brexit remains (sic) a dead Brexit, Theresa May’s deal was the ‘high water mark’ of Brexit deals. Crucially it covered the economic relationship, security co-operation, cross-cutting issues and institutional arrangements that would preserve the future relationship. if you cannot now remember the details, see Institute for Government.  Johnson systematically degraded May’s deal to get it through Parliament. He allowed no scrutiny of the deal using Christmas and COVID as a distraction and not even reading the contract himself. Rishi Sunak has quietly tried to restore elements of Theresa May’s deal through what I called a Pay as EU go rejoin strategy. However, ‘Logical incrementalism’ has many faults, as I pointed out in conversation with the BBC’s Jonty Bloom.

May fought her own party, saying that they would end up with no Brexit deal at all if they did not unite on more than one occasion. Mr Bullion is always on point (and pints) with points about strategy:

The illusion of control Johnson style – a fancy slogan but totally vacuous.

May did not indulge in public backstabbing of her own party. I’m pretty sure she was a tough opponent in the back rooms though.

May was socially inept. Yet, did you prefer Johnson, Truss or Sunak? What exactly is so wrong about being good at the strategy and details but rather less good at the presentation? Please write to me when you have found the perfect leader.

She was however rubbish at Grenfell and I’m not saying in any way that she was perfect before the attacks on my analysis begin.

I was shot down in flames when I suggested that Remainers should support Theresa in her last months as PM. I pointed out that we’d end up with Boris and a hard Brexit. Look what happened … ? !! The European Movement and other large Remoan groups were consumed by the visceral reactions of the mob. May stayed in the party when others fled. Can anyone imagine how hard that might be?

Theresa. You are not Mother Theresa. Nadine Dorries even pointed out that you are not a mother. However I feel you are owed some thanks for trying to hold back the tide of the swivel-headed Brexiteers.

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European Movement

Breaking the law

For over two years I have tried to reach a negotiated settlement with The European Movement (EM) on their failure to pay agreed expenses for my attendance at the Reading Festival. People who know little or nothing about the matter often tut at me for daring to challenge EM, saying that ‘the Rejoin movement is more important than any one person’. However, this does not excuse anyone for breaking the law. For the lengthy background to this matter see Political Censorship. It’s a complex affair. I am now left with no option but to take them to court. I have written to Mike Galsworthy and the new CEO Sir Nick Harvey on several occasions in 2023 to offer them a way out of this. Here’s one of the letters. I had hoped that Mike would take the easy way out but he did not.

Mike Galsworthy

One of the letters to Mike Galsworthy. There have been several. Click to read the detail.

I took EM to court in November 2022 and offered to write off the administration costs and settle for the court fees of £50. The President stated that he was not authorised to pay £50 to settle the matter. This enraged the Judge who referred it up to a higher court, wasting considerable time and energy. I must assume that the President was under orders from then CEO Anna Bird, not to settle under any conditions, even for 50 quid!! This is not the first time that the youth branch of EM have conducted their business affairs incorrectly. On investigation, it turns out that they were nearly struck off by HMRC for not submitting tax returns. I was told by senior members of EM that they had to pay a fine of £2000 for this. We cannot lecture Vote Leave for breaking the law if our own side are also culpable.

European Movement

“Reading-Gate” was left in stasis by Anna Bird, former CEO EM, due to a personal grudge over another matter. I am unable to provide more details here, as it was the subject of an NDA aka gagging order. The matter was was eventually settled after wasting £30 000 of EM members’ money on lawyers. They eventually advised Bird to settle the matter out of court (after taking the money of course!). Reading-Gate was coincident with this matter. A systematic smear campaign was organised by a few EM foot soldiers and some grassroots people in North East for Europe and Leeds for Europe. I believe that the smear campiagn and the nuclear levels of obfuscation by EM were done to discourage me from pursuing the other matter, rather like the Tories who put dead cats in the road to distract people from more important affairs. The entire story of the smear campaign and Reading-Gate can be found at Political Censorship. We return to court on January 25th 2024 unless common sense prevails and EM get in touch. Perhaps they will call Esther McVey for some advice on common sense?

Lord Adonis
The illiberal left.

I fully expect to get social disapproval by Rejoiners about this article, but frankly I regard the rule of law to be more important than upsetting a few snowflakes. Sorry in advance, but we must not stoop to the level of the Brexiteers in our conduct. Watch this space for updates on the case.

Regards my current role at EM, I remain Chair of The European Movement Mid Kent, although Anna Bird defenestrated me unilaterally without authority. This decision was overturned by the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve KC at a special general meeting. So at this moment, I have the unusual title of Chair of The European Movement Mid Kent (defenestrated). Life is confusing. Frankly I have no care or concern for titles, having worked for 30 years without position power or silly titles. Clearly they matter to some …


Hertfordshire for Europe

‘I was delighted to provide a masterclass on Rejoining the EU and preparing the ground to end Brexit via the gentle art and discipline of “Brexorcism” for North Herts for Europe. Here are the video recordings of both sessions if you missed it.

Brexorcise a friend today.

A great set of questions and reflections.

Follow North Herts for Europe on Twitter to get updates on events.

Get our books on Brexorcism via books:

Books to change minds on Brexit and Europe.

Read Cameron

Read Faulty Towers

Read Private Eyelines

Brexit bunker

Brexit Blights Blighty

Don Adamson reports the news that the media does not wish to print. Here he speaks from his Brexit Bunker in Barnsley.

This week’s homework

One – Alec Salmond has a spot on GB News. Has always been a Brexit believer or has he gone over to the dark side? 

Check our page on Scotland

Two – If there was a Nobel Prize for Jackanory, PG would have won it every year. I had the misfortune to work with him long ago and far away. After work he would stand at the bar and entertain his friends with blood curdling accounts of his adventures in faraway places with strange sounding names. By a strange coincidence these adventures would bear an astonishing resemblance to the story lines of movies recently screened at the local cinema. My personal favourite Jackanory was his involvement in the 1953 Everest expedition. He was supposed to make the final assault but that was cancelled at the last minute. One of the climbers broke a leg and PG had to say with the casualty because PG was the only paramedic on the expedition. PG turned to Edmund Hilary and said: ‘You will have to go with Tensing tomorrow. You are the next best man after me.” That claim should be written in gold letters on the wall of a museum dedicated to Bull***t. PG very quickly stopped being funny. Within weeks of his arrival he grandly announced that he was on the verge of major breakthroughs that had baffled us lesser mortals. We would have thanked him for it if he had succeeded where the rest of us had failed. Alas 18 Months later (when I was posted away to another assignment) he was still claiming (without a hint of irony) to be on the verge of these same major breakthroughs.

I chanced to meet him again years later. I asked what he was doing with his retirement. He claimed to have gone into politics and was both a local councillor and a school governor. I asked which party. He replied “Conservative.” Why does that not surprise me? 

This week’s quotes

Georgia has the goal of EU and NATO membership 

60% of Georgians want to join NATO …80% want to join EU

Brexit Hack watch Daily Mail says Brexit is having an effect on advertising revenue

… It is rough out there… Mail big Leave Supporter … Mail leader May 2023 said ‘too early to say if Brexit was working’ … An Wilson permitted to suggest ‘Brexit was a mistake’ … Andrew Neil wrote fatalistically ‘Brexit could transform Britain but neither Richy Scumbag nor Keith Starmer is a true believer’ … Daily Express in 2016 more anti EU than the Mail now runs stories of the downside of Brexit. Torygraph says ‘Brexit has been botched’ …  Spectator Brexit means more immigration than ever … to a degree that New Labour would never have dared attempt …  Brexit benefits utterly non existent … newspapers distancing themselves from something they helped create …  is Labour’s Keith Starmer the only committed Brexiter left in Britain …

Check our gutterpress pages

Pandemic Britain had half the intensive care beds compared to Europe average and quarter of Germany’s

… failure to enhance health and safety law … dearth of guidance … grossly inadequate health provisions …  healthcare workers exposed to harm … some dying … 2012 Health and Social Care Act shrunk and splintered public health teams … Austerity starved essential services of cash … worsened public health … double whammy made worse during pandemic … no NHS hospital  had plans for a sustained pandemic … lacked skill set to plan … buildings old and poorly maintained … 

Ultra Low Emission Zone 

… Johnson condemned the scheme despite him bringing in ULEZ as Khan’s predecessor … surprises nobody given Johnson’s depths of dishonesty and opportunism … across Europe only Turkey has a higher respiratory death rate than UK … world beaters at last …

Check our article on ULEZ

Short Termism in Tory Party 

… Somebody is sitting in the shade because somebody else planted a tree long ago … perennial problem: balancing the long term good with short term expediency … that is why the National Health Service was in such a precarious state when Covid Struck … intensive care beds run down to dangerously low levels … World Health Organisation said NHS was way out of line with other countries … Germany had 33.9 beds per 100,000 population … England had 10.5 …  dreadful long term vulnerability … delaying criticism of how government handled pandemic takes priority over preparing for the next one … Top British scientists unanimous that every day we spend outside Horizon damages our science base. Amount of EU money going into British science since 2019 decimated … people doing groundbreaking research have deserted because UK excluded from Horizon … Eminent scientists despair … no confidence in Pioneer; the government’s half baked proposal for a go it alone version of Horizon … Private Finance Initiative hospitals are being crippled … just one of many problems … indications are that Tories will concentrate on immigration and culture wars. It will take a brave optimist to see Starmer rising above this…

Check Pay as EU go Rejoin

Liberal Democrat Autumn conference embarrassing diary clash

… same day as the National Rejoin March takes place in London … last thing we want is a desultory turn out …membership numbers have dwindled since Ed Davey repudiated the Rejoin policy … Editor’s note : NRM might also have checked the date as I imagine that the Lib Dems will have had this fixed in the diary for some time – one of the first principles of event management. I am banned from attending by a cabal of self-annointed European Movement / Grassroots for Europe people anyway.

Nigel Garbage in penury 

… lately bought a new £575,000 beachfront house … all cash transaction brings his property holdings to around £2M… 

Farage v Cats
Farage v Cats

Lloyds Bank understandable desire to be rid of the Telegraph and Spectator ASAP  

… a valuation near the  touted £600M is wishful thinking … print side of the Telegraph operation is a liability … ensuring the titles end up owned by a very right wing owners clearly in the best interests of the faction that now controls the Tory Party … 

For years we have not had a serious government 

… a grisly soap opera in which talentless characters have starring roles and prime ministers change almost as often as Chelsea managers …Downing St 5 – Stamford Bridge 9 … we have not had a serious media but dumbed down commercial interests masquerading as purveyors of news … taking what used to be serious parts of the media in their wake … unserious government and unserious media are locked in a dumbed down political embrace … Huw Edwards spasm, a dubious story in dumbed down dubious newspapers … allegations against Dan Wootton the GBNews presenter are far more serious than anything thrown against Huw Edwards … if you write down the top thousand grievances that should command the attention of the PM Nigel Garbage’s banking arrangements should not make the list … Richy Scumbag bleating about the need for professionalism and integrity … this from the man who sat alongside Johnson … Covid partied with Johnson … tolerated the lies … Cabinet queued to fuel the Nigel Garbage as victim narrative … he and the right wing media ARE the establishment … pushed a referendum on Cameron … moaning about their victory ever since because the Brexit they get is never the one they wanted … rest of the country knows Tories will never find it because it does not exist … 

Don Adamson Pip Pip             Medway Delta (Retired)                       Brexorcist and Saboteur First Class 

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Don't Talk Just Kiss

The last remaining Brexiteers

This week, I’ve been out and about in Medway and Deal in Kent discussing the fact that Brexit has failed and that we can and must Rejoin the EU to save Britain from itself. Reactions to this have been overwhelmingly positive. But, as always, the comically sad stories of the exceptions make for much better reading ….

Bicycle racists

I visited two pubs in Medway. Within a few minutes of my visit to one, a woman came to tell me that my bicycle had been vandalised. In fact someone had broken the sign off. The pub in question was full of older very suntanned people talking about their holidays in Europe. One of them presumably thought that it was their right to teach me a lesson whilst smoking a fag outside. Imagine their anger when they find out that they will no longer be able to travel to Alicante or Tenerife after Brexit if they have criminal records …

I was broke but not broken. The trouble is, if we had spoken about the matter I’d hazard a guess that the person who did this would have agreed that they don’t have the Brexit they wanted, IN SPITE of a 90% Brexit cabinet for FOUR years, a Brexit PM who allegedly delivered Brexit from an OVEN and now a fully RACIST PM in Rishi Sunakered. I felt pity for the person who did it. I will now have to redouble my efforts to get a secure sign for the bicycle.

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Deal or No Deal

We went to Deal in Kent yesterday with the Bollocks to Brexit Mini Cooper, stopping at Ash for breakfast much to the delight of the chickens and the people at the cafe there. Deal WAS very Brexity. It is no longer. The town is close to Dover where they even have a racist pub. UKIP and the Tories stoked racism there to preserve the illusion that Brexit will solve all their problems. In large measure, the people were not fooled. A wonderful chap called David Reid put the event together. He ran a Brexitometer which overwhelmingly showed that people now realise that they were lied to about Brexit, save for one person who even went as far as saying that he believed Boris’ suggestion that we would have straight bananas if we left the EU. Johnson also said that Brexit would make your wife’s breasts larger. I have checked with several woman and this is also untrue.

Only one in 40 felt that they had not been lied to about Brexit in Deal of all places.

We parked up and began our work. On returning, someone had used lipstick to write on the car, YES lipstick. This bourgeous protest made me feel very sorry for the perpetrator. Some of the stories we were told by people lined up with this ‘dirty protest’. One woman walked past and said “I like Brexit”. I politely asked what did she like most about it and she ran away. Another man shouted at the car “Bollocks to you” as I drove by. Sadly, he had nothing else to offer me. Two women tried to explain that carbon dioxide was good for plant growth and we should put cars with their engines on in polytunnels to promote food growth!! But MOST people were quite willing to say that Brexit has failed and that we should Rejoin the EU. Some were not sure how this might happen. I explain this in the book Reboot Britain.

Lipstick on my collar … put a Brexit spell on EU.

Points of order

The word bollocks is vulgar but not offensive as we demonstrated when Essex traffic cops tried to arrest us on the M25 and then had to back down. Read Sex Pistols v The Queen 1977.

Our car has a snowflake in place of the O of BOLLOCKS. The projection by Brexiteers of vulgarity is, of course, a product of their own tesiticular minds.

Mini Cooper
Support the tour. Click on the bollocks.

One man in Deal claimed to support our campaign but objected to Charlie Mullins’ (former CEO of Pimlico Plumbers) use of the word ‘Bollocks’ in our Chas and Dave Cockney Brexit Knees-UP song which we performed on the street. His argument was that children could be polluted by my bollocks. Methinks the ‘lady’ doth protest too much. Later on that day, I heard a young women shouting at her three kids (aged around 3 – 7 years old) “stand together you fucking c…nts – we’re crossing the road”.

With thanks to the wonderful force of nature that is David Reid for organising the event.

Last Orders

Here’s the latest round up of myths put forward by the last remaining Brexiteers to justify their fading Brexit unicorn:

Brexit is done

A barmaid in a pub on Thursday told me that Brexit is done. When I tried to explain that it is far from done and that impacts would continue long into the 2020’s she then invoked a made up ‘rule’ that “we don’t talk about Brexit in this pub” (there was no sign) !! This kind of cancel culture is a bizarre development from people who say they wanted Brexit freedoms. Of course, it’s untrue. To look at what’s coming over the hill with Brexit, see Biz Catalyst 360 and UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE). p.s. I cannot recommend that anyone spend their money in this pub in future.

Brexit is an unbreakable spell

A couple of the last remaining Brexiteers have told me that our CPTPP deal means that we cannot legally rejoin the EU. Something akin to the unbreakable vow in Harry Potter. Of course it is horseshit but it is all they have left. The Tories continue to diverge away from the EU, in order to increase the difficulty, but nothing is impossible in politics. Read what Gina Miller has to say about Rejoining the EU. It could take just 3 years to stop the carnage and we would gain an immediate uplift just by applying to join anew.

I love Boris

The same sad landlady who told me that Brexit is done as Boris put Brexit in an oven also came out with “I love Boris”. I had to ask her “what do you love about him? Is it his hair, his fertility, his oral skills (oratory), the way he dresses like a tramp or something else?” Strangely, she did not know. Usually people are able to explain themselves. I found this strange although I’ve heard it before. Precisely why a much longer sitting and effort over time is needed to Brexorcise the worst cases of “Bojona-19”.

Lipstick on my collar …

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Political Censorship

It has come to my attention that The European Movement (EM) have continued a sustained smear campaign against me and my work, asking members and volunteers to censor my output, by stating that it was inappropriate and irrelevant, restricting its sharing on social media platforms across the UK and beyond.  In elitist media circles this is known as ‘deplatforming’.  The latest manifestation of this is shown below in the form of a Facebook post made innocently into the Warwick District for EU group by another person, who was unaware of my ‘ban’. 

The person had recommended that members of the group view my Brexit social impact film.  You can view it by clicking here to check whether it is inappropriate or irrelevant.  I understand that it is European Movement policy not to publish my posts due to the alleged ‘damage’ I have done to the organisation.  No further communications were received, despite the offer to discuss privately and the person’s posts put on approval, thus blocking any further communications.

This censorship has been widespread across all social media platforms across the UK and as far as Spain, possibly further.  It seems that this was a deliberate policy on the part of Anna Bird (CEO) enacted via members of  the Executive / EM Council / Grassroots for Europe senior figures over an extended period. There are two sides to every story and I have decided to record here (with the evidence) my side of the story.  I have done this in the form of a Q&A, as it is a complex affair.  Censorship and deplatforming are the realm of hard right Brexit extremists, but it seems that the left also use the tool to control the minds of activists and grassroots people.

What position did I hold?

I have held the position of Chair of The European Movement (Mid Kent) for some time before this took place and was fired unilaterally by the CEO without reference to the Executive or National Council, in contravention of EM policy.  A review took place with Dominic Grieve QC and the National Council and I was exonerated, nonetheless Anna Bird persisted with her decision.

Why was I expelled?

The CEO of EM was clearly irritated by two things I can talk about and one that I cannot.  These almost certainly informed my expulsion without reference to the National Executive or Council and against EM policy.

In 2020 I was encouraged to apply to become Branches Forum Chair by senior EM figures.  During the election campaign, it emerged that a concerted smear campaign had been organised against me and leveraged underground in secret WhatsApp groups by various individuals who favoured the other candidate.  Sadly, one of the main agents of this (Patrick Reynolds) did not know how to use e-mail properly and inadvertently mailed me a copy of the smear letter, see below.  Please note that there were only two candidates for election, so the other person mentioned in the red box below but not named was myself.  Those involved: Reynolds, Wancke, Gaskell, Jacobson, Hammond and Gordon ran away when I challenged them on the matter directly.

The red box area refers to my candidacy as there were only two candidates

The key point about this letter is that I understand that it was sent to all 14 000 members of The European Movementdue to e-mail incompetence.  This undoubtedly set the tone for everything else that took place and still means that people with whom I have had no contact are wary of me or block my content out of hand without any knowledge of what took place.  I asked the other candidate, Yvonne Wancke, to ask these people to stop the smear campaign within her own campaign team.  She refused.  See her reply to me below.

Yvonne’s refusal to stop the campaign

I am not at liberty to discuss the reasons as to why Patrick Reynolds and Yvonne Wancke’s campaign team decided to do this.  Suffice to say that there had been a previous legal challenge against EM which they lost, but which is subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or what is more usually referred to as a ‘gagging order’, so I have confined myself to subsequent matters to respect this agreement.

The second issue took place in 2021 when I was asked to attend the Reading Festival on behalf of the Young European Movement (YEM) to engage festival goers with anti-Brexit stickers and generally to raise awareness of YEM on their behalf.  YEM sent a contract which explained that I could claim travel expenses.  This I did, but EM ‘lost the claim’ multiple times over a matter of several months.  Although I was complimented on my work at the festival, the process for follow up payment of expenses was shambolic.

YEM feedback to me

I counted approximately 150 e-mails sent about the expenses claim.  Eventually the YEM President invented the excuse that I was older than their target demographic, should not have been invited to attend and refused to pay the agreed expenses.  Nine months later, after I issued Small Claims Court proceedings, they paid the trivial sum that was owed, claiming that they did not have my contact details as the reason for gross incompetence and inefficiency.  This is, of course, incorrect.  As Branch Chair, they had access to my e-mail, phone number, address and so on.  I had sent the claim by e-mail on up to five different occasions with bank details / Paypal contacts and so on.  The submission to the Small Claims Court explains more of the timeline and sequence of excuses used.

This case continues, as there are court costs and charges to be paid.  Naturally it is a source of irritation to the EM CEO, as they are in the ‘Prince Andrew’ position, having paid up for breaking the contract but now trying to claim zero responsibility for what happened.  In November 2022 I offered in court to waive all charges and settle for the £50 court fee, but the President of YEM said he was unable to authorise this amount of money.  I can only presume that the EM CEO blocked his ability to settle.  Two weeks after the court hearing, and apparently after a board level consultation with Lord Adonis / Heseltine et al to authorise the £50 payment, the YEM President offered to accept my offer of paying the £50 court fee, but asked for a no-blame clause on their part, when they are clearly culpable, having been fined £3000 by HMRC before.

Was my expulsion from EM handled correctly?

No. Anna Bird claims that I was expelled for using bad language during my conversation with the YEM President.  It’s absolutely true that, in sheer frustration, having been given the runaround by about four members of YEM over three months and about 150 e-mails, that I got the number of the YEM President and called them.  They were not around to take my call so I left a voice message.  Within the message I stated that ‘the payment process was a fucking mess’.  This was twisted into the idea that I had abused him personally.  This is untrue.  I was very specific when I talked about the process being a mess.  Abuse would have been something like saying the person had one leg longer than the other and / or that they had bad breath etc.

Anna Bird then acted unilaterally without reference to the EM Executive or Council.  I was made aware by a senior EM figure that she and Lord Adonis had an hour-long meeting to consider the ‘Reading Gate’ affair.  I had originally been invited to an EM Council meeting to present my case.  At short notice I was uninvited without explanation and told that the item was not to be tabled at the meeting after all.  I then received an e-mail to tell me that I had been defenestrated without reference to any meetings, committees or EM policy.

I had originally been invited to an EM Council meeting to present my case.  At short notice I was uninvited without explanation and told that the item was not to be tabled at the meeting after all.  I then received an e-mail to tell me that I had been defenestrated without reference to any meetings, committees or EM policy. Some members of the EM Council felt strongly that this treatment was disproportionate, given that EM’s own media relations staff swear regularly on public fora.  It was also against neurodiversity.  A special general meeting was called with The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve (former Attorney General) in attendance, where these matters were considered.  I was sanctioned for the language used to describe the sheer incompetence and obfuscation, but it was not considered a matter for expulsion.  Anna Bird ignored the EM Council recommendation and the judgement of Dominic Grieve.  At the present time I believe I am in the Schrödinger Chair position i.e. both Chair and not Chair at the same time.

Held in the presence of The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC
EM’s Head of Media Relations seems to swear wilfully in public ….

Was the smear campaign restricted to these incidents?

No.  For example, I had been invited to an event featuring Gavin Esler by East Kent European Movement.  I was subsequently uninvited, based on my decision to take EM to court for illegal acts.  Below is the e-mail banning me from attendance.  Mr Beevor clearly knew nothing of the real reasons for the court case, as he indicates that he has no idea why I took EM to court.  Generally speaking, people don’t take people to court and win their case if there is no case to answer.  Please note the ‘not so hidden hand’ of Chris Hammond in the cc list.  He was part of the previous smear campaign for Team Wancke and this demonstrates the pervasive long-term nature of this campaign and its impact on people who have no idea what took place, hence the need for this transparency statement.

BANNED without reason

Did I try to sort this out myself rather than whingeing on here?

Of course I did.  I wrote to Lord Adonis and Richard Wilson (Grassroots for Europe Chair) on more than one occasion.  This was the result:

Brexit Blockers

You may be wondering why Bremain in Spain and The National Rejoin March (NRM) joined in with the blocking here.  This is a key point.  The smear campaign on WhatsApp and other platforms coupled with how social media works means that people who do not know the story or the people involved spread the message without any real knowledge of what actually took place.  In Bremain’s case, Sue Wilson (Chief of Bremain) is closely connected to Wilson and Adonis and Wilson worked behind the scenes on the NRM.  The NRM know nothing of my work but took Sue Wilson’s word for it.  When I challenged them on the matter, they too ran away.

One of the pile ons – there were many from Bremain in Spain members and others

Have I damaged EM?

No.  One of Anna Bird’s claims is that I have damaged The European Movement.  I have made a lot of suggestions on how EM can be a more effective national movement over the years and offered my services pro-bono as a professional business and OD consultant way back, something that most organisations I have worked for as a business consultant and author generally welcome.  But I have not told lies, deleted inconvenient truths, blocked people who disagree with me or targeted personalities in my suggestions for better strategy, organisation and execution of strategy and so on. 

In any case, all businesses and organisations are subject to a thing called customer feedback.  If I were to challenge Virgin, Tesco, Currys, Pfizer, B&Q at al on matters of product design, customer service, strategy, innovation and so on, or make suggestions for improvement to their offering, most intelligent enterprises would at least look at the suggestions rather than shooting the messenger out of hand.  Why then do EM believe that they should be excluded from such scrutiny?  As a former Council board member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), part of our role was to be a ‘critical friend’, as the eyes and ears of the enterprise, to help it seize opportunities and head off or avoid threats etc.  This is normal business practice and the reason why most companies have Non-Exec Directors.

Moreover, Richard Wilson’s own feedback in the private WhatsApp group demonstrates that I have not damaged EM.  See below.  Richard published some other messages in this group but then deleted them as they were potentially libellous.  Anna Bird is a member of this group and thus had oversight of these messages.  She chose to do nothing, allowing the rumour machine to grow out of control.  More recently, Mike Galsworthy reported that EM has gone from strength to strength in an attempt in his bid to become Chair of EM to replace Lord Adonis.  Over the period of the alleged damage, EM membership has increased by 2000, a healthy 14% set against an environment when most pro-EU / anti-Brexit activists have given up campaigning about Brexit faced with mass gaslighting by the Government and a virtual silencing of the media and political opposition on the subject of Brexit.  Anna Bird has also reported outstanding EM growth under her watch just recently.

In the below message, Peter Packham requests that an article I wrote for London for Europe be censored.  He is told by Emma Knaggs that it is up to groups whether they do this but clearly indicates a deliberate policy that had reached ordinary members of EM.  She also has no idea why I had been defenestrated from EM but repeats the lie. Sussex for Europe booked me to talk at one of their events and also faced pressure to ban me from appearing in Brighton.  They refused.

What does reputational damage really look like?

In one single tweet, Lord Andrew Adonis caused more damage to The European Movement than anyone else that I can recall.  Adonis launched a campaign to demonise Tories holding seats in the red wall area of Britain.  In doing so, his indiscriminate campaign targeted former remain Tories such as David Lidington and others who had remained loyal to EM and the cause of rejoining the EU. This led to the departure of The Conservative European Forum (CEF) from The European Movement, with figures such as The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC placing distance between themselves and the EM and Lord Heseltine having to act as a bridge to hold the fractured organisation together.  If you are a Labour voter you may well say “so what if the Tories are expunged from EM?” However, Brexit is a cross-party issue requiring skilful advocacy within all political parties. Andrew’s tweet disenfranchised remain voting Conservatives in one move. My activities, claiming immoral and indecent behaviour in elections and illegal accounting practices pale into insignificance by comparison and are completely justified in any case.

The accusation that I had ‘thwarted’ the EM’s efforts is reminiscent of the recent interview by Isabel Oakeshott and Richard Tice with Lord Heseltine, where Oakeshott suggested that Heseltine had thwarted Brexit singlehandedly.  It’s a ridiculous accusation, since Leavers have held the levers of power for the last six and a half years and have had plenty of time to execute Brexit.  Simply to say that Brexit hadn’t been done because someone else without power chose to moan about it is faintly ridiculous. It is just as ridiculous to suggest that I singlehandedly thwarted the EM, an organisation of now 17 000 members, with an international reach and budget to match.  A colleague remarked that they were surprised that EM had not suggested that I started the war in Ukraine and / or to have brought aliens to land hot air balloons in the USA or sent Liz Truss to mediate in China.

Cock up or conspiracy?

A reasonable question to ask would be “Is all of the above this just a series of unfortunate events or a deliberate policy?”, in short, cock-up or conspiracy?  The reason I favour a planned deliberate campaign (conspiracy if you will) can be summed up as follows:

  1. The physical evidence of smear letters sent to all 14 000 EM members, only some of which can be reported here.
  2. Many WhatsApp exchanges, only some of which are reproduced here.
  3. The fact that people who could not possibly know of my activities or who I am have an impression of what I do without having ever experienced or seen any of my work.

Anna Bird indicated that this was a policy decision in a reply to the person who complained about the censorship.  She says “but many, like Warwickshire, have chosen not to engage or to share his content”.  The word many implies some kind of top-down briefing rather than a gradual diffusion through people who actually know me, in the same way that Patrick Reynolds applied the ‘send to all’ button in his smear campaign. 

Conclusions and next steps

I’m a firm believer in truth and transparency and have written this detailed report in the spirit of balancing what is taking place here. It is up to others to judge for themselves what is taking place and to decide where the truth lies.  I have been libelled for raising legitimate moral concerns about electoral processes and raising a Small Claims Court case about illegal accounting practices at The European Movement. 

It is now incumbent upon The European Movement to make amends for the spread of fake news and various deletions, distortions and generalisations that have occurred, wilfully in my opinion.  I will be writing to the Executive and some others asking them to issue a full unreserved and public apology to put things right in due course.

Censored material I
Censored material Part II