Monday, 22 June 2015

Millionaires' pressure group has no political agenda, apparently

'Millionaires prepare to launch £20million non-political campaign for Britain to quit European Union', announced a recent headline in the Torygraph.

As far as I can make out from hearing one of the pressure group's* representatives on the radio, the aims of this "non-political" campaign include a bonfire of EU regulations currently protecting employees' rights in the workplace, for example the Working Time Directive and the Agency Workers Directive.

Which sounds pretty damn  political to me.

Not that I've any objection to millionaires being able to openly express their dislike of regulations that stop lesser folk being exploited, just so long as everyone's clear which specific political changes they're advocating. I'll even allow them to claim that they're not being party political - even though this group's leader, Aaron Banks, also funded Ukip to the tune of £1m (it was originally going to be £100k, but thin-skinned former Tory donor Banks was apparently so enraged by being snubbed by William Hague, of all people, that he upped his donation by £900,000).

There is, as I've previously argued, nothing wrong with being politically motivated, despite the phrase being routinely used to de-legitimise any opposing viewpoint that the speaker (ironically, usually a politician) doesn't happen to like. But don't try to advocate changes which affect peoples rights (one way or the other), the power relations between different groups in society and the nation's relations with the rest of the Continent, then claim to be "non-political." Whatever your PR agency might say and your fellow oligarchs think, even low net worth individuals like me aren't gullible enough to fall for that one.

*Provisionally named “No Thanks – We’re Going Global."