Another Dead-end Brexit Exchange with my MP

My MP is Bob Stewart in Beckenham. He is a rabid Brexiter and “willovthepeepul” supporter. We have had several email exchanges since the 2016 referendum and they usually end in the same way: he either does not respond to my latest email, or as in this case, offers a patently ludicrous comment.

Dear Bob,

I have just watched this talk by the journalist, Carole Cadwalladr:

https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy

She presents further evidence that the results of the referendum have been impacted by illegal behaviour and by influences and money from outside the UK.

I ask you, how can you continue to support the country leaving the E.U. when it is increasingly clear that the majority was achieved by illegal means?

Regards,

Roger

I received this response:

Dear Roger,

I am afraid that I distrust this journalist greatly and view most of what she says with great care.  As I understand it the courts have looked at both sides of the BREXIT campaign and determined that nothing illegal took place (my emphasis).  The Electoral Commission seems to have that view too.   I prefer a court/electoral commission version of events than that of a journalist whose judgement has proved so faulty very often in the past.

Sorry to disappoint you but perhaps you might look at some of the past reports written by this lady.

With best wishes,

Bob Stewart

Bob has made no attempt to refute the evidence, but offers ad hominem attacks and cries of “fake news”. So I responded with some links to various items of news:

Dear Bob,

I beg to differ that the Electoral Commission has found no evidence of illegal behaviour:

“UK court rules against electoral watchdog in Brexit spending row”

“Brexit: Vote Leave broke electoral law, says Electoral Commission“

Other reports underline the illegitimacy of the results:

“The referendum was advisory and, as such, did not fall within the scope of legislation that might, in other circumstances, void an election by virtue of lawbreaking.”

“The investigation also found Vote Leave was unable to provide evidence the people who received the messages had given their consent, a key requirement of UK electronic marketing law.”

“It is “very likely” that the UK voted for Brexit because of illegal overspending by the Vote Leave campaign, according to an Oxford professor’s evidence to the High Court.”

“Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU and the Arron Banks firm Eldon Insurance have been fined £60,000 each for illegal marketing messages.”

The Vote Leave director admits that Brexit wouldn’t have won without the £350 million for the NHS lies.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/revealed-arron-banks-brexit-campaign-had-more-meetings-w/

Your response does not disappoint. I expected no more. Instead of offering evidence to refute the claims made in the Cadwalladr video and elsewhere, you simply offer the Trumpian fake news defence.

The referendum was called not because it was in the national interest, but because David Cameron was attempting to appease the eurosceptics in the Tory Party and the loss of votes to UKIP. Theresa May became PM because she was apparently considered the least-worst option by 199 Conservative MPs. She has continued to favour protecting her party over the national interest.

I would be fascinated to read any arguments you may wish to offer to dissuade me of that view.

Regards,

Roger

And Bob’s final sally:

Roger,

I don’t want to get into a ping pong match but will simply say my belief.  If illegal stuff had actually been done do you not think someone like Gina  Miller for instance would have taken an organisation or persons to court for it?  That has not happened as far as I can see!

Bob

No “illegal stuff? Do fine by the Electoral Commission and ICO fines not count? Again no evidence-based arguments and no attempt to deny that the referendum and May’s currently behaviour is all about looking after the Tory Party and not about the best interests of the contry.

Bob Stewart appears on the Tory whips alleged sleaze list. Whether that has influenced his voting behaviour, I cannot say.

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