Don’t feel too sorry for Nigel Farage

I know that many of us who read and contribute to this site are pretty much bleeding heart liberals.

Our hearts are not bleeding, though, when we hear Nigel Farage whinging in the Daily Mail about how hard his life is. He complains about being skint and how there’s no money in politics.  

His near £90k salary apparently isn’t enough for him to live on. I’m sure  someone struggling on Universal Credit would have a different perspective.

But his MEP salary isn’t his only source of income. He doesn’t do all his media stuff for nothing. His most recent update to his Declaration of his financial interest shows that he receives an additional minimum of 10k Euros per month for his “broadcasting contracts.”

When I was talking about this on Twitter earlier, Gareth Roberts made a very valid point:

And here he is, endorsing the disgraceful Roy Moore in last week’s Alabama special election. Farage has been going round the world endorsing all sorts of unpleasant characters and parties. Donald Trump had his support even despite his gloating about sexual assault.

Farage also complains about the abuse he gets these days. Now, nobody should be abused. Hate speech is never ok. His family should absolutely not be suffering such indignities.

I won’t hold my breath on this, but he may wish to reflect on the comments that he has made in the past, about Romanians, about immigrants and most especially that awful Breaking Point poster, and what that has led to for so many people just trying to live their lives peaceably.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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36 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Dec '17 - 1:55pm

    A very kind and subtle piece from Caron, about a man , the personality of which is more effective , though as irritating, as his politics!

    I thought him centre right until he became a cheerleader for the Alt right of Trump, Bannon etc.

    He now backing the hideous Roy, right wing extremist, Moore, is proof of the p[udding in the stuffing of himself !

    As for his salary and saying there is no money in politics, it is legal to run a business , do work as well as parliamentary salary, he is not an enterprising man, as well, as, considering his already high salary, a very out of touch , greedy individual.

  • Richard Underhill 17th Dec '17 - 4:10pm

    He will be taking his pension.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Dec '17 - 4:29pm

    David

    These definitions and directions are ever confusing and often pointless, but as others identify with, then, denigrate, those,the fact is most of us are aware of where we stand, true of you and me, whether always next to or near each other or not!

    Sure we shall bump into each other on here soon, more appealing a possibility than doing so with the man you did, with, but I commend your reasons for being there.

    Merry Christmas too.

  • Yeovil Yokel 17th Dec '17 - 4:32pm

    Sympathy, like respect, has to be earned, Nige.

  • Jayne mansfield 17th Dec '17 - 8:11pm

    Nigel Farage – In my opinion, the leader of victimhood culture.

    Hopefully he has a local food bank which he can access..

  • Farage has served this country very well, and deserves his pension and retirement.

    That said, there’s quite a lot of confusion around what an MEP gets as remuneration for their service. Can someone give some accurate figures on what an MEP receives, both in post, and in retirement?

    For example:
    Is there an equivalent body for oversight of MEP’s remuneration such as Westminster’s IPSA?
    What is the annual salary for an MEP, and does it increase yearly, and automatically, by some measure?
    What is the ‘at source’, annual tax rate for an MEP?
    What are the annual extra allowable expenses for an MEP?
    What is the financial pay-off, and for how many years’ of service, for an MEP that loses their seat?
    What is the retirement package for an MEP that retires from service voluntarily?

    Does anyone here perhaps have those details and figures to hand or valid links for accurate info? Could perhaps, Mark Valladares, who is an ex-MEP, and who must therefore have this information to hand, please kindly fill us in with accurate figures for the above questions?

  • Jayne mansfield 17th Dec '17 - 9:49pm

    @Lorenzo Cherin,

    You thought him centre -right before he became the cheerleader for the alt -right?

    Did you fail to read read the documents unearthed by the Daily Telegraph in 2014, where Mr Farage is reported to have asked Enoch Powell for support to win a by- election in 1994? Or indeed failed to note, its claim repeated attempts of UKIP officials to enlist Powell’s support.

    ‘Nigel Farage and Enoch Powell: the full story of UKIP’s links with the ” Rivers of Blood “Politician’ available on google.

  • Geoffrey Payne

    “Alt Right and the whole point they like to make is that people should stop behaving like victims, or snowflakes as they like to call them”

    I don’t think that is an Alt Right thing just an internet thing. From the little I have seen the Alt Right seem just as sensitive to criticism of their ideas (they do appear impervious to general insults) with the tendency to react badly.

    Nigel appears quite sensitive now he has been replaced as the key advocate of really bad ideas.

    I suspect it is the decline in interest in him, rather than the continuation of previous negative attention, that is really stinging.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Dec '17 - 10:56pm

    Jayne

    Tony Benn like Enoch Powell, he was a friend. any on the centre right of that era, did admire him, and leftwingers too who thought he was a radical, a man of conviction.

    I mean compared to now, not according to how you or any of us might see it, but now and that company he’s keeping.

    Nothing unearthed re: Powell, surprises me, he was not someone I have any time for, though I can , unlike most impersonate him very well, a particular , odd delivery , as with Henry Higgins, you have to listen for the strange mixture of sounds, and as an actor, understand his repressed nature, it shows in all his interviews.

    Farage is becoming , and yes, always was, a populist and vulgar noise of a media tart.

  • Psi
    “I suspect it is the decline in interest in him, [Farage], rather than the continuation of previous negative attention, that is really stinging.”

    Such a lack of political awareness is utterly breath-taking.
    Farage has paid a very heavy price for his devotion to the reclamation of UK sovereignty, not least with his marriage and his health. He quite understandably wishes to prioritise his personal health and future, and is justifiably reluctant to step back into the political frame.

    Far from your assertion that there is a decline of interest in him, it is quite the opposite. The subliminal clamour for him to return and ‘finish the job’, of creating a hard Brexit, and finish off Theresa May, into the bargain, is so passionate within the Leave cohort, that I can only hope that he feels, and regains, the strength to return at some point within the next twelve months.

  • Richard O'Neill 17th Dec '17 - 11:26pm

    His complaints about the inadequacy of his salary are scarcely surprising. You expect such insensitivity from him. What’s more disappointing is when you get notionally ‘progressive’ politicians making similar complaints about the lack of money on offer. So many then cash in on their political career to take lucrative jobs.

    I can’t see what the benefit of a political comeback for Farage is. At the moment he can sit back and blame the Brexit negotiation problems on the compromises of May and Davis.

  • Sheila,

    https://openbudgets.eu/post/2017/01/30/meps-expenses/ MEP’s expenses and some fiddles a few have used.
    https://news.sky.com/story/british-meps-in-line-for-6m-golden-goodbye-when-uk-leaves-eu-11123258 some details on the redundancy issue.

    How much do MEPs earn and is it taxed?

    Following the implementation of the single Statute, the monthly pre-tax salary for MEPs is Euro 8,484.05.
    The salary is paid from Parliament’s budget and is subject to an EU tax and accident insurance contribution, after which the salary is Euro 6,611.42. Member States can also subject the salary to national taxes. In the UK the salary is also taxed by the Inland Revenue in order bring the total tax paid up to the level of taxation payable by a UK resident The basic salary is set at 38.5% of the basic salary of a judge at the European Court of Justice.
    MEPs who sat in Parliament before the 2009 elections were given the opportunity to keep the previous national system for salary, transitional allowance and pensions, for the entire duration of their membership of the European Parliament.

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/en/about-us/faqs.html

  • Sheila Gee

    “Farage has paid a very heavy price for his devotion to the reclamation of UK sovereignty, not least with his marriage and health”

    If you are suggesting that he was a particularly hard working MEP I think that would need a lot more convincing evidence than his marriage breaking down (a very common occourance these days) and a few health problems in a middle aged man with what appears to be a fairly unhealthy lifestyle.

  • @Sheila Gee – “Farage has served this country very well, and deserves his pension and retirement.”

    Firstly, Farage and UKIP have not served this country very well. Where is there evidence that UKIP MEPs and Farage have consistently represented and voted for UK interests in the European Parliament?

    The question also arises as to which of his several pensions you are referring to?
    Certainly, it isn’t his MEP pension, since he (like you) is on record as saying “We owe them [the EU] nothing” and hence the UK should not pay the so-called “divorce bill” which contains an element covering UK MEP pensions…

    As for returning, I think Farage knows he isn’t the comeback kid. Currently, he can use his ‘fame’ to rabble rouse from the sidelines and have no delivery responsibility.

  • Sean Hyland 18th Dec '17 - 1:22am

    Never been a fan of Farage. Guessing that he will, as he has always done, be certain to look after number 1 – himself.

  • William Fowler 18th Dec '17 - 9:25am

    Farage’s take is he has given up a much bigger salary from his City trader job than he gets from his MEP salary (do they gets lots of tax free expenses as well?) and his family deserves to be kept in good style from his MEP pension. Personally, the country has been so ill-served by all the governments we have had I would cap MP/MEP pensions at 20k incl state pension but you can not get them to vote for that. Possibly, an investigation into the lies told during the referendum campaign could cancel the pensions of those involved? Bottom line is probably you are not going to get politicians going after politicians because they would be petrified where it would lead and whoever the public votes for you are not going to change that.

  • William Fowler

    “MP/MEP pensions at 20k”

    To be fair, I think the national median earnings would be reasonable, so £26k would be a sensible cap for a risk free taxpayer guaranteed pension.

  • Sheila Gee

    A quick check on UKIP MEPs voting records doesn’t seem to support the “hardworking Nigel” narrative.

    https://www.channel4.com/news/by/michael-crick/blogs/eu-voting-records-ukip-lib-dems-compare

    That is just voting and not participation in committees, the behind the scenes to win the small amendments that can make a rather big difference to people when implemented. Making grandstanding speeches in the “burn it all down” theme are not that productive, but they get online clicks and people claiming you are “fighting for your constituents” but in reality the time taken to write and deliver these is not long compared to scrutinising and improving the work of the Parliament.

    I don’t think Nige has really earned any sympathy from me.

  • “Don’t feel too sorry for Nigel Farage”…
    I don’t! Farage is an egoistic self publicist with interest in only one person..

    As for giving up on a ‘city salary’; how many middle ranking traders get to be feted by the media, a major section of the UK public and even the POTUS…

    Attention is all he craves and I’d suggest that not being in the headlines for a while has prompted this latest outburst…

    Ignore him!

  • Nick Collins 18th Dec '17 - 10:57am

    Brexit is likely to be an unmitigated disaster. But for me, as a resident of South East England, there will be one small compensation: I shall no longer have that obnoxious demagogue, Farage, “representing” me in the European Parliament.

  • Sue Sutherland 18th Dec '17 - 12:38pm

    Farage is expressing a familiar theme of the upper middle classes that they are, in fact, poor. That is because they compare themselves with richer acquaintances and never with the rest of humanity. They have also always ‘worked hard’ for their wealth, because that justifies their riches whenever they get criticised. They have also always already paid tax on their wealth (income tax) so why should they have to pay inheritance tax? They also generously pay tax for the education of the masses and so have to pay twice when they send their children to public school.
    I hope, when they read his sob story, that Daily Mail readers start to realise he is not a man of the people after all, but a major player in the battle undertaken by the powerful right to persuade mostly decent people that all their troubles are the fault of the EU and immigrants, when the fault lies with homegrown policies that have benefitted the ‘cream’ of our society rather than the most vulnerable.

  • Roland
    “Where is there evidence that UKIP MEPs and Farage have consistently represented and voted for UK interests in the European Parliament?”

    There is NO evidence, simply because UKIP weren’t voter installed in 2014 to represent the interests or furtherance of the European Parliament. The clue you missed, is in the name UK *Independence* Party?

    So even though you missed the signals, the public shift away from the EU was in plain sight, even back in 2014. In the 2014 MEP elections, UK voters decided that ‘working hard’ to keep the UK in the EU is not what they wanted from their MEP’s.

    So voters dismissed 10 LibDem MEP’s who were making it their job to work hard to keep us IN the EU, and replaced them with 11 UKIP MEP’s who made it their business to work hard to get us OUT.
    The resultant hard work of those UKIP MEP’s, plus the good common sense of 17.4 million fellow UK citizens, paid off handsomely, because in 466 days we’re leaving the EU, and at that point we, thankfully, cease to be EU citizens.

    Farage is also correct to point out that the undisputed chaos swirling around Brexit, is a ‘remainer induced’ chaos, because Theresa May is undoubtedly a remainer at heart. What this 2nd phase of talks will prove, even to a staunch ‘Remainer May’, is that you simply can’t negotiate with these money grubbing EU spivs. WTO will in the end prove to be the only true option, and the sooner that realisation ‘gels’, the faster we can dispense with this remainer endorsed chaos, and get to real Brexit freedom.

  • @Sheila Gee – There is NO evidence, simply because UKIP weren’t voter installed in 2014 to represent the interests or furtherance of the European Parliament.

    Precisely! They were voter installed to represent the interests of the UK voters. So I ask again where is the evidence that they delivered on that mandate. QED!

  • Nick Collins 18th Dec '17 - 5:21pm

    @ Roland- The currency of UKIP is bombast and empty rhetoric. Asking them to back up their statements with evidence is like fishing for mackerel in a bowl of washing up water.

  • Sheila Gee – How many jobs did Farage create or has he created as an MEP and why was he never successful when standing for parliament? It just seems voters rejected him and your party didn’t win a single seat in the last election, the Lib Dems got 12 MPs. By all means take your 17.4 million with you out of a population of 65 million but I will never cease to be a citizen of the EU and will not be bullied out of it by your brexit mantra either.

  • Alex Macfie 18th Dec '17 - 5:28pm

    Roland, sheila: You both seriously misunderstand the role of MEPs. They do not represent national interests — they sit in party groups based on ideology, and generally vote according to these party groups, similar to any national legislature. They also have no direct role in determining whether their nation should be in or out of the EU, as this is a domestic issue and the European Parliament legislates for the EU as a whole.
    Unfortunately, most voters misunderstand this fundamental point, and most UK politicians have done absolutely nothing to enlighten them on it. I include the Lib Dems in this; in most previous European Parliamentary elections the Lib Dems avoided mentioning the EU at all, while the Clegg/Farage debates of 2014 totally missed the point of the election, as it encouraged Sheila’s misapprehension that European elections are about deciding whether you want to be in or out of the EU. The 2014 Lib Dem Euro election campaign did nothing to illuminate voter understanding of the role of the European Parliament in shaping EU law, and so validated the decision to vote UKIP as a protest.

  • Alex Macfie
    “as it encouraged Sheila’s misapprehension that European elections are about deciding whether you want to be in or out of the EU”

    Where did I say that the 2014 MEP elections were about deciding whether you want to be in or out of the EU? That would be absurd.

    It takes a referendum to decide whether to be in or out of the EU, and we had one in June 2016, and Leave easily won the argument. Hence why we are now leaving?

    I can’t quite decide if the responses to my comment are being purposely obtuse, or if you really don’t get it?
    Seriously, Why would voters install, 11 extra Ukip MEP’s who then pour their efforts into working hard for even more EU subjugation over the UK, and vote at every opportunity in the EU Parliament, for the further enhancement of EU regulation, which in turn subjugates the sovereignty of the UK, when it is the very exact opposite of what you wish for?
    For those who clearly have impaired cognitive abilities, and are unable to grasp what is happening here, maybe if you consider the installation of 11 Ukip MEP’s in 2014, to be closer [in analogy], to installing 11 extra ‘Guy Fawkes’, it would help you to get the point, that their sole raison d’etre for being there, was to extinguish the EU – UK connection, not enhance it? And they did their job very well.

    Don’t you find it extraordinary, that a political party with 57 MP’s at their political zenith, achieved almost nothing of note, and yet a party with no MP’s , managed to hold Tory feet to the fire, concluding in an EU referendum, which changed the face of British politics forever?

    Patrick B
    “but I will never cease to be a citizen of the EU”

    Actually Patrick, if you are British born, whether you care to approve or not, you WILL cease to be a citizen of the EU in 466 days’ time

  • No I will carry on being a member of the EU for reasons of nationality and there is nothing your brexit lot can do about it. No it isn’t extraordinary as it’s far easier to attack something with negative press and your mates in the Daily Malice and Daily Distress to name a few and scaremonger on immigration than defend the most successful trading block with the lowest trade tariffs in the world. I wonder what your MPs would have done had they been elected by the electorate instead of playing party musical chairs. Your lot couldn’t lower the tax threshold and create more apprenticeships like the Lib Dems did as they never got elected to parliament, just the 0 MPs and it’s scandalous that even the Greens on 1 get less publicity.

  • Christopher Haigh 18th Dec '17 - 11:56pm

    @PatrickB-sounds like you must have the luck if the Irish! Can you use your influence to push for an extension of the grandparent qualification rule back to cover those of us with Norse Viking ancestry ?

  • William Fowler 19th Dec '17 - 10:12am

    If enough of us move to NI we can then get a vote through to become part of Ireland and hence EU citizens again!

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