BREXIT: WHY IT ALL WENT WRONG AND WHY NO-ONE COULD DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT
Cameron and his wingmen may well be the rightful fall guys for defeat, but the Generals were not only following orders. They were fighting the last war and so were complicit in the disaster.
“Look at all the women here,” cried Roland Rudd – the gravedigger of the pro-European cause - at the Stronger In launch, thinking that a good gender balance would make the slightest difference to the public.
In a battle that was always about politics, no politicians were recruited to front the charge. Deliberately.
To the horror of everyone, especially the young, the campaign decided in Summer 2015 that economics and fear rather than patriotism and hope would win it for them. An elite frightening the public was a much easier device than a movement enthusing it.
Losing the Battle for Britain
For me, all this was a shock. Britain, over the last 30 years, had a Lazarus-like return from the 1970s deadzone. A golden age where, militarily, politically, culturally and economically, an old country had renewed itself culminating in the ultimate accolade of smart power - the 2012 Olympics.
But history goes in cycles. Big bang ended in the big crash, the Falklands in Iraq, Thatcher with May.
Empires in history fall rapidly after their height and Brexit, another 2012 creation coined when Olympic Britain felt fresh and united. Brexit is a word that is now is a byword for self-inflicted, avoidable harm, like Versailles for Germany or Vichy for France.
Delusions of weakness
The sadness at the heart of Stronger In was that it just reflected the central failure of British statecraft: that Britain’s leaders always had delusions of weakness in Europe rather than grandeur. Britain pretty much called the shots but never told anybody. Westminster seethed with a narcissistic victim syndrome pot-stirred by a fear-mongering media and supine politicians unable to step up to the geo-political plate and lead their people.
British influence in the world and the unity our people are the victims of this failure. It was a chronicle of a death foretold. And everybody knew.
So what was going on?
To explain this better. I'm a Liverpool supporter. Imagine if all our supporters were told by Klopp that the team wasn't in fact top of the league but near the bottom. That the Premier League was run instead by enemies from Arsenal and Manchester City who made up rules to keep us from winning...
Imagine then if Klopp then persuaded us that Liverpool, despite everyone else saying what an amazing team we were, said the best thing for the team was to leave the Premier League altogether.
And then he puts it to the vote saying it'll be much better to play on our own or try and set up a new Premier League or better still go back to the old First Division when Shankly was king and Liverpool won everything. Other teams will abandon the Premier League and join us.
And then Liverpool supporters vote for this and celebrate the great news that now our victimised team are finally taking back control.
Meanwhile everyone else is saying wait, you're league champions, a great team, we love you, why would you want to do this?
And we say, actually we don't know but let's get it done anyway. We can survive.
And the football world looks on in confusion as to why Klopp thought the best way of leading the club was to tell everyone it was bullied, powerless.
Lions led by donkeys
That is the insanity of Brexit.
Liverpool fans would of course never vote to leave the Premier league because they can see with their own eyes the statistical evidence that Klopp's men are champions, didn’t lose a game and are a massive side.
Sadly, neither Cameron nor Stronger In gave the Brits our opinion polls. They had no such visible evidence. No pundit told them only 10% of UK laws derived from Brussels, we won 95% of votes, and had huge influence to shape our continent with our allies.
Goals meant points and points meant we were winning.
If I was Liverpool’s manager I’d know – you’d know – how well or badly I was doing by seeing our position in the Premiership league table.
But for Orwellian Brexit leaders, fake UK defeat was better than real UK victory. And yet no one was ever allowed to know, let alone understand.
This is bonkers. How will we know whether we’re world-beating or not?
We need a serious, evidence-based way now to show how #brexit Britain will fare.
And tomorrow, I’ll tell you why it’s more vital now than ever.