An on the spot report from our team member, Madeleina Kay, who was a part of the protest group outside the Supreme Court hearing in London last Monday.
The Remain Campaign Team, who previously organised the EU Flags at the Proms stunt, raised over £3500 on crowdfunder to pull another publicity stunt at the Supreme Court hearing in London on Monday 5th December. The stunt had originally been planned to counter Farage’s Leave protest march, which he cancelled due to the fear it would be hijacked by right-wing extremist groups. However, having already raised the funds, we went ahead with our Remain Campaign publicity stunt to support the ruling of the judges who had been labelled “Enemies of the People” by the right wing press. One judge was scrutinised for being an “ex-olympic athlete fencer” and “openly gay”.
The Pro-EU stunt consisted of an open-top red bus with banners reading “IN Democracy LEAVE Hypocrisy”, “We Love British Sovereignty #NoLiesOnThisBus” and “This One Is For You Gina”. On the bus were a team of Remain Campaigners dressed as judges with fencing gear waving EU and Union Jack flags and, of course, me and Alba my dog, dressed in her EU outfit. In addition to the bus was an advertising van displaying a 20ft wide print of my painting, a parody of Farage’s “Breaking Point Poster”. In my painting the refugees are replaced with judges, wearing Gay Pride rainbows, pointing at Farage with the words “The Law Breaking Point… The Brexiteers have failed us all”. This image was also printed on fliers along with a list of facts, written by a team of lawyers, about the court hearing explaining why “Her Majesty’s Government alone does not have the authority to trigger Article 50”. These were distributed by the campaigners at various locations around London including Parliament Square and Piccadilly Circus.
The bus and the advertising van drove around London for 5 hours, playing music through loud speakers, songs included; ‘We Are the Champions – Queen’, ‘Revolution – Beatles’ and ‘Making Plans for Nigel – XTC’ as well as my own composition ‘The Brexit Hokey Cokey’ which we are releasing on iTunes as a fund raising track for the campaigning organisation, BritainForEurope. On the bus, the campaigners shouted amusing comments at passers-by, such as “Has anyone seen Nigel? He said he was coming to town today, but I think he’s lied to us again!” and “Where is Farage, in his Garage!” but also more serious comments, “join the campaign! Write to your MPs! It’s not too late!” The stunt was a lot of fun, extremely amusing and a little bit silly, but the underlying motive was indubitably serious. Farage’s rise in popularity, and the the amount of media coverage he received during the campaign alongside prominent Leavers such as Boris Johnson was absolutely fundamental to their success. These careerist politicians have constructed a high profile image for themselves that the public can easily latch on to and engage with. Boris getting stuck on the zip-wire, Farage featuring on a television programme with Gogglebox’s Steph and Dom were not serious or official political activities but they are highly entertaining events which attracted the type of attention that people remember them for. The Remain Campaign totally lacked that passion, motivation, engagement and entertainment factor which is essential to garnering public interest and ultimately support.
A democratic lie
I am absolutely committed to fighting for the Remain campaign because I truly believe our country and our world will be a much stronger and kinder place if we work to support each other rather than allowing competition, xenophobia and elitism drive divisions in our international community. I am proud of being British, but I am also proud of being European and of being a Citizen of the World, regardless of what Theresa May thinks of my identity. There are so many benefits of EU membership that we are about to sacrifice, mainly due to a lack of knowledge and information and I fear for the future of our country that is on a path to ever increasing narrow-mindedness. Living in a democracy means that citizens have the right to stand up and speak out for what they believe in, regardless of the advisory result of a referendum. Personally, I don’t believe that the EU referendum should have been called in the first place and I believe the Leave campaign was fought illegitimately and unfairly. People were asked to make a decision based on lies, mistruths and misunderstanding and I don’t believe there is anything democratic about a decision taken that is based on misinformation. I will absolutely support the judges in their right to take a legal decision based on their expert knowledge, they were not trying to block Brexit but instead they made a totally legitimate legal ruling and they should not have been penalised by the right wing press for their professional decision. As a totally unelected prime minister, Theresa May and her government should not be allowed to trigger Article 50 without a new Act of Parliament and the approval of MPs, who are experts, with sufficient knowledge, understanding, education and experience to take a decision which will impact on the future of every person in our country. The EU Referendum was not a game that was won by Nigel Farage and the Leavers, the impacts of Brexit will affect every British Citizen individually and collectively as a society.
Strength in diversity
The Remain Campaign stunt was a huge success. We had a lot of fun and the media coverage has been phenomenal. The stunt featured in most of the tabloid press and I was interviewed by about 6 TV crews outside the supreme courts, including BBC News. The photos that have emerged from the event are striking and communicate an important message: Remainers are passionate, dedicated, hard-working, smart and creative individuals who came together as a group to pull off an incredible, history-making event. I am so proud of myself, my wonderful dog and the amazing team of Remain Campaigners who made this possible.