Nigel, was there something you forgot to do?

Nigel farage photo by norbert1As the net migration figures come out today, Nigel Farage has never been far from a tv camera. He’s been on the BBC News Channel. on the Daily Politics, spreading his ill-informed nonsense that we have an open door to half a billion people as if the entirety of Europe was going to pack up and come here to live.

It must have slipped his mind that he was supposed to be in Strasbourg this morning, voting down the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker. He must have also forgotten to take part in the debate on the motion on Monday. The funny thing is, he’s been in Strasbourg this week, lining up to meet the Pope.  UKIP MEPs don’t often trouble the Parliament with their presence, but you would think that Farage would have bothered to turn up to support his own motion! He and others including France’s Front National leader Marine Le Pen had wasted Parliament’s time with the motion which was roundly defeated this morning.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt spoke against it in the debate and he didn’t mince his words:

To come forward now with a motion at a time when we are asking the Commission to look into the matter and when we are actually about to set up a parliamentary committee – what is this nonsense, to start with a motion of censure before we have even started to investigate? For me, the only interesting thing about this motion is not its content; it is the fact that, finally, Mr Farage and Ms Le Pen are now finally outing their hidden relationship. That is the most important thing about this motion: their hidden relationship; the fact that they are actually following the same populist strategy, contrary to what Mr Farage said to his voters in Britain. Indeed it is proof of the fact that UKIP is hideous, racist, xenophobic and islamophobic. Those are not my words; they are the words of the founder of UKIP, Mr Alan Sked himself.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder had this to say:

We all know UKIP MEPs are notorious for doing very little work, but this time Nigel Farage has failed to turn up and vote on his own motion.

This shows that this proposal was never anything more than a shameless media stunt.

While UKIP clown around, hard-working MEPs are determined to hold Juncker and the Commission to account by holding an in-depth and independent inquiry.

 

Photo by norbert1

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21 Comments

  • He is correct the door is open to all the people of the EU however not all want to come but at net 150,000 per year ads up 10 years =1,500,000Thats just EU we cannot sustain these figures and add from outside EU another 100,000+ its mad we need control and all Coalition and each party in it along with Labour your just tinkering with immigration not controlling

  • Helen Tedcastle 27th Nov '14 - 6:13pm

    ‘ The funny thing is, he’s been in Strasbourg this week, lining up to meet the Pope. ‘

    The despicable thing about Farage is that he finds every opportunity to spin his web of fear over immigration and the EU, to the point of distorting what other people say. He turned up on the BBC on Tuesday to align himself with Pope Francis’ alleged broadside against the EU, when in fact this was not the view of the Pope. The latter was laying into the culture of rampant consumerism and individualism in Europe. He also warned about the’ cemetery ‘ of the Mediterranean as thousands of immigrants drown in their attempts to find safety in Europe. The Pope has talked often of the moral obligation to help these beleaguered people, not turn them back to sea.

    Farage did not clap the Pope at the end of his speech or at any point during it – why – because nothing the Pope said was anti-European Union. That didn’t stop Farage willfully distorting reality in search of quick soundbite on the BBC – who of course, reported it as fact.

    But the devil is in the detail and Farage and his ilk will get found out sooner or later.

  • Helen Tedcastdle
    I was surprised how little coverage the UK media gave to the Pope’s speech to the EU this week.
    Perhaps even the BBC has entirely swallowed the UKIP / Murdoch line so that real events are no longer reported and instead we just get wall to wall gossip about Farage.

    I am not Roman Catholic but I can see that the present Pope has made particular efforts on a number of issues to reach out to the wider world and he is surely a public figure of more substance and importance than the pathetic Mr Farage.

    Similarly, when the Archbishop of Westminster visited Gaza this week it was virtually ignored by the UK media.
    The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, toured neighbourhoods of Gaza that were virtually flattened in the summer. 
    During the Israeli attack on Gaza more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and 17,000 homes were destroyed but the UK media fails to report the Archbishop’s visit or his statements and instead is obsessed by trivia about Twitter photographs and the ridiculous antics of Mr Farage.

  • Steve Comer 27th Nov '14 - 9:54pm

    Great speech and good research by Gut Verhofstadt. Guy has consistently articulated a sound case for a Federal Europe, and I would suggest every active Liberal Democrat should read the short book he co-wrote with Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
    More details here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1479261882/?tag=libdemvoice-21

    The Pope’s speech was certainly NOT anti-EU, he called for reform, and a move away from bureaucracy. I don’t think anything he said should give cheer to Farage.

  • “But the devil is in the detail and Farage and his ilk will get found out sooner or later.”

    Yes Helen, the devil is in the detail.

    A net immigration figure of 260.000 year on year. Pretty much the same as the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Your party, the Liberal Democrats are part of the coalition, and you presided over this net inflow and will answer to the people next May for it. You and your Lib Dem ilk.

    Yes, Helen, the devil is in the detail, year after year after year. Well done, well played, what a wonderful gov’t you have been part of…

  • I actually think we’ll look back on the coalition as a period of quite good government in our lifetime.
    Amuses me to see Farage, the Pope and the devil all discussed in this thread though!

  • ” Indeed it is proof of the fact that UKIP is hideous, racist, xenophobic and islamophobic.”

    Here, you have, in a nutshell, the nadir of liberalism. A party that wants to put limits on immigration and to leave the EU is crudely traduced as hideous, racist, xenopobic and islamophobic.

    The only way NOT to be hideous and racist, ya de ya is to support EU membership and uncontrolled immigration.

    How low has the part of Gladstone and Asquith sunk…

  • Helen Tedcastle 27th Nov '14 - 10:23pm

    John Tilley
    ‘ Perhaps even the BBC has entirely swallowed the UKIP / Murdoch line so that real events are no longer reported and instead we just get wall to wall gossip about Farage.’

    Exactly. The BBC’s reporting of Farage is almost wholly uncritical. In fact the report of the Pope’s speech was made through the lenses of media’s the anti-European obsession and fascination with UKIP. Hence the soundbite/spin from Farage as the only British political response to the speech. The fact that Farage’s comments bore no relation to the Pope’s actual speech whatsoever, did not seem to the worry the BBC – it fitted their angle. In fact I don’t think they actually understand the difference between Europe as a culture and the EU. So much for reporting actual events and words…

  • According to Simon it 260,000, according to Tez, it is 150,000 – so much for facts.

    Also, I love how Guy Verhofstadt quotes the founder of UKIP – and is attacked by UKIP supporters for it.

  • Julian Tisi 28th Nov '14 - 6:38am

    @ Helen Tedcastle, John Tilley
    Thanks for that. I had no idea about Vincent Nichols’ visit to Gaza. Likewise re the Pope’s visit to the European Parliament all I read on the BBC was that the Pope had said Europe was “haggard”. It doesn’t surprise me that what he actually said was barely reported. I just hope you’re right that sooner or later Farage and his ilk will get found out.

  • Nick Tregoning 28th Nov '14 - 9:09am

    ” Indeed it is proof of the fact that UKIP is hideous, racist, xenophobic and islamophobic.”
    Yup, Simon, that’s right. I’m part Thai, so in UKIP terms, I understand my racial classification is ‘ting tong’. Presumably I get repatriated at some stage along with the citizens of EU countries?

  • Simon,
    And here we have it. UKIP crudely characterising the opposition as the Lib Lab Con and then crying foul the minute anyone calls them out.

  • Maybe Farage and co read the wrong books as children ?

    I just came across this in an article about ‘Biggles’. (it could have been about the rich Tory funders of UKIP) —

    ” The gaggle of chums who support Biggles through his various exploits are allocated extravagant marks of differentiation – Bertie’s a toff; Ginger’s a naive kid and so on – but these ostentatious distinctions only accentuate their essential interchangeability. The Biggles mysteries are never particularly mysterious; the later books, in particular, manifest all the racism you’d expect from an Empire loyalist writing in the sour era of British decline.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/25/re-reading-the-famous-five-and-the-biggles-series-is-not-only-disappointing-its-mystifying

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 28th Nov '14 - 11:59am

    Just to be clear, have any other members of LDVoice been to make comment or reply on a UKIP site? I ask this as so many comments here are from UKIP people. I don’t have a problem with debate but do we have the right of reply on a UKIP site? The one I visited says I should be a member in order to make comments. If there are open-comment UKIP sites it would be interesting to read them – and garner what their general policies could be – other than EU and immigration.

  • LOL. I’m not sure we should be quoting Sked approvingly, but his view of Farage is amusing.

  • Jayne Mansfield 28th Nov '14 - 12:59pm

    @ Tony Rowan – Wicks
    Would you really want to go on a UKIP site?
    Mark Reckless has already been left ‘sore’ after sudden ‘changes’ in their immigration policy.

    Why do UKIP supporters come on here – jealousy.

  • Peter Watson 28th Nov '14 - 1:22pm

    I can’t help but feel that highlighting UKIP’s behaviour like this is a double-edged sword for pro-europeans.
    Farage and his colleagues take a hefty salary and expenses as MEPs then don’t bother to engage with the European parliament they oppose, and … well, nothing much happens really.
    Makes it harder for Lib Dems to then defend that institution as being something worthwhile.

  • Peter Watson 28th Nov '14 - 1:25pm

    P.S. By “UKIP’s behaviour” I was referring to the article on this page, not the comments about comments below it.

  • Will he stand in Thanet South, apparently it seems he has not visited the place for 3 months, according to the sitting MP.
    Yesterdays Ashcroft poll may be discouraging him.

  • Matthew Huntbach 28th Nov '14 - 10:43pm

    What did it in for the BNP was BNP councillors. When people found out how utterly useless, incompetent as well as plain thick, the BNP councillors they had elected were, and how they just weren’t doing the jobs that people elect councillors to do, because they were incapable of doing anything but shouting slogans, they soon realised how silly it was to elect these people as some sort of “protest”.

    I am very confident the same will apply with UKIP MPs.

  • @Tony Rowan-Wicks

    The reality is you can only have a debate if you discuss issues with people of opposing opinions, otherwise you are just having a cosy family fireside chat. Not sure of the value of sitting on a loyal party supporting site reinforcing each others predjudice and preconceptions.
    UKIP has grown through its exploitation of the New Media at grassroots level, and we are rather good at evangelising and broadening our support on other peoples sites., and of course we shouldn’t forget that the mainstream media are followers of the blogs, the content which seems to be a large part of their constant re-evaluation of what UKIP is about.

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