Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme were treated to an appearance by referendum rerun campaigner Roland Rudd on Tuesday morning. Where was the public relations guru and leading figure in the failed 2016 Remain campaign calling in from? Was he in Sunderland? Or in some other location deep in leave-voting England on a trip to convince angry leave voters to change their minds and embrace Merkel, Macron and an EU army?
Er… no. Listeners were told that Rudd (brother of cabinet minister Amber) was joining the programme live from Davos.
From Davos! The annual globalist gathering on the ski slopes. The Today programme segment quickly turned into a dream for campaigners, that is for Leave campaigners who have not had much to cheer about recently. Ronald Rudd is an unconvincing populist and the elite People’s Vote schtick requires some extremely entitled folk to invoke the “will of the people” and use all manner of other implausible rhetorical devices.
There may, however, be a few remain activists who liked the live from Davos campaign style and want to practice it for use in the next referendum. Here’s how to get started:
1) Get invited to Davos. Not as easy as it looks. Along with assorted progressive political leaders and activists, there are some people on the guest list who have real power. Competition for passes is hot among the bankers, plutocrats, media leaders and corporate types who really call the shots in the global economy. Financial PR is the best and easiest route to Davos. More reliable than becoming Prime Minister.
2) Once you have your invite, pay attention to the dress code. Important to get this right. No-one wants to look out of place. If you are a man – and let’s face it you probably are a man if you think it is a sensible idea to campaign for a “People’s Vote” from Davos – you need an expensive grey suit jacket, but underneath wear some kind of ultra-lightweight puffa jacket arrangement (in dark blue) zipped up, but showing enough semi-cutaway collar, open neck. The whole vibe is late period Blair, suggesting you are ready both for the ski slopes and a meeting at the Goldman drinks with that guy who has started an innovative fund selling… something confusing. When the guy pitches his confusing fund thing just nod and say “cool” and “exciting”. Do not wear a tie.
3) Man over 50? When in Davos wear your hair a little too long at the back. It says: I work with young people; I’m cosmopolitan; I’m involved with somehow trying to stop the Italian banking system collapsing. I know how to relax, check this out, we’ve got Mario Draghi at 5pm, then vegan cocktails with that hedge fund guy who wants to build an ark in Central Park to save all the animals from climate change, and then dinner with Jamie D. and J.P. Morgan featuring speeches from Henry Kissinger and DJ Disaster from DC.
4) Know someone there with a private jet.
5) Get invited onto the private jet for the trip home. It does not matter whether the jet’s owner is even flying to your desired destination. You need to get home to Dorset to feed the cat, and he needs to fly to Miami via New York. Go with the flow. Just get on your plutocratic acquaintance’s damn private plane. On the way to New York have your people sort out a flight straight back to Europe later. You are a global traveller. You are Davos man, but British. It would be rude and not cool to mention you don’t need to go to New York because you need to get home to feed the cat.
6) Be Tony Blair.
Tomorrow, we’ll have the James Dyson guide on how to campaign for Brexit and then move your company’s headquarters to Singapore.