Possibly the most alarming casualty of this whole debacle has been the truth, which then poses a threat to the trust at the heart of our democracy. A classic example of this increasingly disingenuous culture was provided by Amol Rajan of the BBC in the revelation that Facebook removed a Conservative Party advert which misrepresented a BBC News story. The ad carried a BBC logo and headline saying "£14 billion pound cash boost for schools" - despite the story it linked to putting the figure at £7.1bn. The social media giant said the Tories had "misused" its advertising platform and it was working to stop headlines being changed in this way.
Damian Collins MP, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, says the time has come for emergency legislation. "Our electoral law is hopelessly out of date. And what that means is that people can set up dummy campaigns promoting causes that are there to support an official candidate, but hide who's doing it, hide where the money's coming from," he said, adding "You can use technology to effectively launder money into political campaigns in micro donations including from overseas and our electoral law was established to make sure voters could see who's campaigning on what, who's paying for it, who it's there to promote. And yet technology allows people to sidestep all of those rules and regulations."Then he concluded; "I don't understand why the government is taking so long. I think we should be looking at emergency legislation to bring our electoral law up to date. At least to establish the basic principles that the same requirements that exist in a poster or a leaflet should exist in an online ad and on Facebook as well."
The reality is the Government doesn’t seem to care. Nicky Morgan is the eighth secretary of state at the DCMS in the past nine years, while Google has had just a single boss in the UK, Matt Brittin. The issues are complex & require expertise & fast. In the words of Rajan; “The constant influence of dark ads; political donors who want to influence politics while avoiding the public scrutiny that comes from giving money directly to parties or politicians, see social media as a great opportunity. “ An unelected prime minister of a minority government during the most critical constitutional crisis for a century, when the vast majority of the electorate did not vote to leave the E.U. and even those that did, gave no mandate to leave without a deal, closed parliament for the longest period since the Second World War, ignoring the will of a parliament that is sovereign and this is considered legitimate and acceptable? Ruth Fox, the highly respected director of the independent Hansard Society, has called proroguing parliament an “affront to parliamentary democracy”.
A further existential crisis for the Conservative Party was the release of the memoirs of David Cameron in the middle of September, in which he said; "The conclusion I am left with is that Boris Johnson risked an outcome he didn't believe in because it would help his political career." He added that his Conservative colleagues Mr Johnson, Mr Gove, Penny Mordaunt and Priti Patel had "left the truth at home" on the referendum campaign trail, especially when it came to immigration and behaved “appallingly”. Of course, those who always doubted Cameron’s ability as Prime Minister will feel vindicated by his half-hearted attempt to admit as much; "I deeply regret the outcome & admit my approach failed. I failed." . . There are many things I would do differently I did not anticipate the strength of feeling that would be unleashed both during the referendum and afterwards." Read between the lines and you are confronted with the frightening admittance of inadequacy of yet another British politician.
It is obvious to everyone in Europe that Johnson saying he wants a deal, while having no proposal to make regarding the Backstop, he has no intention of striking any kind of understanding before the end of October. Clear about this, the prime minister of Luxemburg, Xavier Bettel attacked Johnson's approach to Brexit, calling the situation a "nightmare". Bettel said the British government had failed to put forward any serious proposals for a new deal. Expecting 27 counties bound in a close union to capitulate to Brexiteer’s demands is about as ludicrous as expecting China to grant the 5 demands of the disparate & disunited students of HK.
If Johnson thought without actually outlining just how he intends to “get this done”, he might be able to break individual countries from the pack to negotiate deals, it hasn't worked. This would suggest all 27 counties believe, despite the real issues faced by the EU, their cause is best served remaining within it. What does Britain (or will that soon just be England) have as an obvious advantage over all 27 others, when you consider the EU’s economy is roughly twice the size of China’s?