James O'Brien: "The Remain campaign was run in an idiotic way"

9 October 2020, 13:17

By Fiona Jones

This is the moment James O'Brien has a realisation about the exact way the Remain campaign should have been run after speaking to chef Jamie Oliver.

Chef and food campaigner Jamie Oliver told James O'Brien that he is fearful for the UK's food standards post-Brexit, as he values "our lovely little country's" exceptional quality.

James reflected that this attitude of cherishing what we have made "a little ghost on my shoulder appear."

James admitted that "to his eternal regret" instead of remaining impartial on the EU referendum in his show before the vote, he should have been "a lot more on it".

Remain supporters should have approached their campaign like Jamie Oliver did in his insistence to value all the UK's qualities.

"We should have talked about how wonderful this country is and why it would be such a change and a shame to break stuff," James said, "I think that would have worked.

"Oddly, looking back I have more negativity towards the people in charge of running the Remain campaign than I do towards the people running the various Leave campaigns because I knew what they were, and they know what they are. That's why they get so upset with people who holds up mirrors."

James reflected, "The Remain campaign was run in an idiotic way. Project Fear worked as rhetoric even though it was mostly bogus, because it did sound as if everything was doom and gloom.

"We should have said this is a really cool place to live, this is a great country - not only is that why so many other people are keen to come and work here, but it's also why it would be very very foolish to break any of the foundation stones on which our current economic, social and cultural success is built."

James observed that in his interview with Jamie Oliver, the chef framed it as "something valuable we might lose" which is a "completely different emotional offering from something wicked this way comes."