We at the North East No Campaign will reserve our comments until after the result on November 4th and for the full post mortem. There will be an in depth analysis and some very startling reservations.
Our agenda has always been to achieve a No vote, and the Yes Campaign also respect this, despite being on the opposing side. The deliberate designation of NESNO as the No Campaign by the Electoral Commission played straight into Prescott's hands and the Yes Campaign's plans, leaving them with only one desperate line of attack after failing to win on any of the factual arguments.
The 'after the match' analysis will be very interesting indeed.
27th October 2004
'Tory Boy' joins elephant and 8ft rat in assembly campaign
AFTER giant inflatable white elephants and 8ft rats, 'Tory Boy' became the latest weapon in the campaign battle over the North-East assembly yesterday.
The braying, suited caricature, complete with a Michael Howard mask, arrived at Newcastle railway station and promised to convince Geordies a vote against an assembly would keep power in the south.
The stunt was arranged by pro-assembly campaigners and follows Chancellor Gordon Brown's comments to The Northern Echo on Monday, when he branded the referendum No campaigners as London Conservatives.
With tongue firmly in cheek, Tory Boy said: "I've been sent North to knock some sense into these oiks.
"It's preposterous to think Northerners can be trusted with the power to make their own decisions.
"A Yes vote would give the North-East a strong voice, which would threaten our southern power base. Southerners have to stay in control.
"That is why London Tories know that No is best."
The Yes lobby also criticised two North-East Says No campaign co-ordinators based in Durham -Dominic Cummings and Press officer James Frayne.
Pro-assembly supporters said Mr Cummings was a former Conservative Party spin doctor and said Mr Frayne worked for New Frontiers, a right-wing think-tank with links to the US president.
Julie Elliott, of the GMB union, said: "James Frayne has no links to the North-East as far as we are aware.
"He does have links to New Frontiers, which is linked to the Heritage Foundation and advises George Bush."
Mr Frayne confirmed that he was from London and a member of New Frontiers, but said Mr Cummings was born and bred in Durham.
John Elliott, chairman of North-East Says No, said: "The Yes campaign really are pathetic. They are like children that cannot have everything their own way.
"The fact is that the Yes campaign are doing all this now because they have run a bad campaign and are annoyed that people have seen through their spin to see that a regional assembly just means higher council tax and more politicians."