Downtime

Mar 20 2019   5:59PM GMT

Vote Leave’s early bath

Ryan Priest Ryan Priest Profile: Ryan Priest

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Vote Leave’s band of zip-wiring cowboy builders has been handed another fine: this time for sending out nearly 200,000 unsolicited texts to the poor sods who entered their contest to win £50m if they could correctly guess every single result of Euro 2016.

At this point, the Vote Leave campaign has a long record of really quite wild treachery, but it’s still frowned upon – seen as patronising, even – to say some voters were duped by the proven electoral lawbreaking that took place ahead of the EU referendum.

Makes you think, though. What sort of absolute dafty gives their contact details to a contest where the odds of winning the top prize are one in five sextillions? That sounds less like a number than it does a Rees-Mogg family pet lizard.

Surely therein lies a demographic vulnerable to spam from Vote Leave’s data agency AggregateIQ, a Cambridge Analytica-linked firm it spent 40% of its budget on to distribute Facebook adverts targeting our own flesh and blood with these digital church-fête-sweet-jar games.

Nobody can call us patronising for telling them they’ve been had. Not when Mum orders phoney diet pills; not when Dad thinks Martin Lewis is reaching out to him personally about PPI; and not when Uncle Knobhead votes to sack off the world’s largest trading bloc because he trusts a BeLeave ghoul in bookie’s clothing.

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