Who is behind the campaigning group “Invoke Democracy Now”.

invoke democracy now2

“Invoke Democracy Now”  Claims to be a “post-Brexit campaigning group set up to inspire wider public discussion of Brexit and democracy and to call on the government to uphold the vote.” but who is behind the organisation?

The answer looks like ‘Spiked‘, a right wing neo-libertarian online magazine.


Prominent speakers at “Invoke Democracy Now”‘s first meeting (14th July) were:

Claire Fox – Director, Institute of Ideas and writer for Spiked.

Brendan O’Neill – Editor, Spiked Online

invoke democracy now


The contact details for the meeting and the organisation were via Saleha Ali, who happens to have written five articles for Spiked.

On Twitter the meeting was promoted by Justine Brian, who also happens to be a writer for Spiked and the National Administrator of the Institute of Ideas and Pfizer Debating Matters Competition, an “innovative and engaging new style of debating competition for sixth form students in the UK”.Justine Brian Tweet 2

The leading organisers of both the Institute of Ideas and Spiked are linked by their bizarre background in the Revolutionary Communist Tendency/Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and its principal publication Living Marxism.  This link gives a summary of this informal network of individuals and organisations: Living Network (LM):

In response to Justine Brian’s Tweet above I asked her for information about the people behind “Invoke Democracy Now” her response is below:

justine brian 3

Ironically, Justine’s response is very similar to the first sentence of this summary of the Living Marxism Network.

Justine’s lack of transparency matches the lack of transparency on the meeting’s publicity material as in this example from Eventbrite.

Strangely Spiked seem to be running two almost identical campaigns in parallel.  Unlike “Invoke Democracy Now”, “Invoke Article 50 Now” is clearly sponsored by Spiked as indicated on the professionally produced posters of this small band of protesters.

spiked protest

I have written about the Spiked “Invoke Article 50 Now” campaign here.

More on Spiked and the Institute of Ideas:

Invasion of the Entryists

Who Are They? Jenny Turner reports from the Battle of Ideas

Brexit: the battle for democracy starts here. (Institute of Ideas / Spiked on Line)

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5 thoughts on “Who is behind the campaigning group “Invoke Democracy Now”.”

  1. “The left has fallen so far from its Radical Enlightenment origins that many can no longer recognise a left-wing publication when they see it. And Spiked is very much a left-wing publication. I don’t agree with a fair amount that they argue (for example on climate change, gay marriage, and the state), but then I don’t agree with a fair amount that the CPGB argues, or Platypus, or the International Socialist Organization, or Syriza (or the new Popular Unity breakaway group for that matter), or Die Linke, or Podemos, or the Front de gauche, or the effusion of different groupuscules that emerged out of the demise of the UK’s Socialist Workers’ Party, or Bernie Sanders, or Jeremy Corbyn. And how on earth am I going to find out where my ideas are wrong, if I don’t read people with whom I disagree?

    Spiked do an excellent job on the questions of modernity, freedom and universalism. Their arguments here are much more in keeping with historic left positions than the stances that many other publications take today.

    My main problem with Spiked is that I wish they were less grouchy toward other left groups and publications, so that their often very good arguments on these subjects could win over more progressives. A handful of those involved are friends of mine. One a very good friend of mine. And, my god, do they know their Marxist canon. It’s a shame that they hide this breadth of knowledge under a bushel.

    Nevertheless, while I may disagree with them on a number of issues, at least they have the bravery to say so many of the things we all know to be true, but don’t dare say publicly: That much of what passes for left-wing thought and organization these days is utterly bonkers, that many of those on the outside looking in see what we get up to and very sensibly run as far away as possible.”
    In defence of reading widely, Leigh Phillips, Aug 24th, 2015

  2. Hi Dee, thanks for the interesting Leigh Phillips quote.

    I agree that it is important, in fact essential, that we all read the work of people with whom we disagree.

    I also agree that Spiked reserves its most venomous criticism for the left and publications of the left. In fact, it seems that Spiked authors believe the Guardian (circulation 160 thousand) and Guardian readers are the source of everything that is wrong with England, the UK, the world, and everything. Reading Spiked on line would give you the impression that Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail (combined circulation nearly 4 million) do not even exist.

    I am sure you will agree with me that there are plenty of examples of thinking amongst both the left and the right that can be described as bonkers. However, the left have no power and are often their own worst enemy while the right are in the ascendant and have the power that comes from generous funding, the support of many in positions of power and a ruthlessness in exploiting any opportunities that come their way.

    I cannot agree that Spiked is a left wing organisation and would be grateful if you would provide evidence for this assertion so that I can try to understand your point of view. I suggest that Spiked is more akin to an anti reason, post fact, neo libertarian group currently doing its best to exploit the opportunity provided by Brexit.

    I would also be interested in examples of where Spiked have had “the bravery to say so many of the things we all know to be true, but don’t dare say publicly”:

    I look forward to your response,


  3. Didn´t ´Spiked´ grow out of the defunct ´Marxism Today´? Hard line leftists have always fought each other about the meaning and practice of the true faith whilst others get on with their lives.

    1. Hi Will,

      Yes it’s all here: http://powerbase.info/index.php/LM_network. However, the loose association of activists linked to ‘Spiked’ and the ‘Institute of Ideas’ seem to have moved on from their past connections with revolutionary Marxism.

      These days they are often described as an anti-environmentalist, pro-corporate libertarian group but since the Brexit campaign they have become more overtly right wing, unable to resist becoming apologists for the far right.

      They do seem to have retained their revolutionary zeal and have seen the rise of populism and post truth political debate as an opportunity to be exploited in their enthusiasm to undermine liberal democracy.

  4. They are left wing in the sense they see no preciousness in our youth and maintain that this precious silly British politeness is not valuable. Loud mouth outsider pushyness pushing boundaries seems very left and un conservative. They’ve got their heads screwed on in terms of siding with the big hitters much like a leech and ameliorating themselves using all and sundry to obtain power, then perhaps revealing their true colours.
    Their indifference or even positive attitude to mass csa fits with this, libertarian anti state except that the state sponsors the child abuse for the elite…it according to them interferes with inter generational relationships to interfere and protect our kids with legislation they deem an unneeded imposition! This fits with standard left mind set of disturbing moral norms re labelling them as moral panic, a term often used and borrowed from Stanley Cohen who derides nativist folk heroes and devils and coins the phrase moral panic..as something to be controlled as dangerous to outsiders and outcast!

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