Not turning our back on Europe – why Bollocks to Brexit is the perfect message from Lib Dem MEPs to the rest of the EU

We all believe in the power of words, else this blog post would be entirely pointless. How words are received versus their intent though can be the spark for division and result in endless dissection, rather than focus on the message.

This ended up being part of the discussion for LBC Radio’s James O’Brien phone-in show yesterday morning. James, who is widely known for his views against Brexit, took issue with Lib Dem MEPs wearing Bollocks to Brexit’ T-shirts at the opening session of the European Parliament, stating that they were “inappropriate” and “slogan politics”. He also rightly took issue with Brexit Party MEPs rudely turning their backs during the Strasbourg Philharmonic’s performance of Ode to Joy, adopted by the EU as an anthem.

I disagree with James’s view. Political parties need to smash the mould to get their message across in a world of 280 characters or less. I would much rather that we do ruffle some feathers by being crystal clear than prance around, twisting ourselves in knots about our position like HM Opposition.

‘Bollocks to Brexit’ is the perfect antidote to the Brexit Party’s own message of division. It’s also instantly understandable to anyone seeking to understand the Lib Dems’ position on Brexit and acts as a clarion call for those across the political spectrum to stand alongside us in opposing this national act of self-harm.

Given the Brexit Party, and their ilk, will brazenly ride rough-shod over-polite conventions, have no issue openly saying they will “disrupt” the business of the EU and operate a completely opaque structure when it comes to funding and candidate selection…wearing a T-shirt that highlights there’s an alternative is perhaps the least the Lib Dems can do.

And, I hear that the word on the streets of Strasbourg is that the Lib Dem’s position is welcome, nay even a welcome return to British humour. The vast majority of MEPs are not ultra-sensitive milkshake dodgers. The Lib Dem MEPs have made already made their mark and provided a thankful balance to the image of turned backs. It’s an important reminder to the whole of Europe that Britain is not united in its desire to leave and that ‘Farage & Friends’ are not the only spokespeople in our pan-national legislature.

Finally, I know some callers to James’s show were worried about the children – those young people coming to pro-EU stalls and displays across the country who might see Bollocks to Brexit stickers or even watch the coverage on TV. Frankly, I’m pretty sure young people see far worse content through social media. Using a mild, giggle-inducing epithet to get a clear message across is nothing compared to the hate and mistrust preached by many of those who share the views of the Brexit Party.

To smash the mould is why the Lib Dems were founded and the root of our success. We shouldn’t be afraid to use the power of words to demonstrate our commitment to real action – to not turn our back on the European Union by stopping Brexit.

* Josh is a self-employed digital marketing consultant and a member of the Manchester Withington local party.

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51 Comments

  • William Fowler 3rd Jul '19 - 8:58am

    Would be nice if other (non-UK) MEPs could start wearing the tee-shirts, too… sure they would like to upset Nigel and his cronies.

    What a dreadful anthem, though, a mournful dirge that could only be taken as a bureaucrat’s lament at his place in the world.

  • The problem with the slogan Bollocks to B****t is that it accepts, by using the rude word that I have not spelt out, the opposition world view.
    We need positive slogans promoting the EU, not as an answer to those of the B****t Party but as an antidote to them.
    How about a positive explanation of the real EU as an antidote to the faceless bureaucrats in Brussels telling us what to do slogan.
    This is one way to enable our members and the British people to take back control of the narrative from Nigel and his fellow members of the elite.

  • Michael Cole 3rd Jul '19 - 9:24am

    In the picture I see 15 T-shirts with the inscription ‘STOP BREXIT’ but one displaying the offending word. Is this an early sign of dis-unity within our group of MEPs ?

  • Come off it, Josh R. The fact that you have written such a defensive self justifying article indicates that you deep down you really think it was naff.

    To parody the chant on the football terraces, “It’s Naff, and you know it is”.

    Just as all those rather wooden staged photos with diamond shaped posters are Naff.

  • John Marriott 3rd Jul '19 - 10:04am

    No, Mr ‘R’, it’s just childish and offensive to some and just shows what a low priority in which good manners is held by many today. It might appeal to some conference junkies; but it will do very little to persuade a possibly receptive electorate that the Lib Dems are a serious party and worthy of their support.

    ‘B……s’ might be essential argot in the circles in which you move but, I can assure you, it’s not in common usage where I come from! But, what do I know? I am nearly 76 so I don’t really count any more, do I?

  • There are lots of people upset by these yellow teeshirt antics. As a venn diagram they would predominantly fall in the circle “Labour people who are upset at getting beaten by the Liberals in the media again” with a smaller but also substantial set “Brexiteers who are upset that the coverage of their regular stunt has been derailed”.

  • John Marriott 3rd Jul '19 - 10:16am

    @William Fowler
    The ‘Ode to Joy’ (An die Freude) a “mournful dirge”? Yes, when sung by a mezzo soprano (?) accompanied by a string quartet. You want to listen to the full fat version, courtesy of any number of renditions of the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Choral Symphony, with tenor, soprano, baritone etc and orchestra giving it their all. Schiller’s opening words, sung by the baritone, “Freude schöne Götterfunken…” never sounded better!

    Perhaps the version we heard yesterday just about sums up what’s wrong with the EU. It lacks b……s!

  • Gents you are going down the lets be bland and serious and people will flock to us. The only problem with that is it doesn’t work. You need to keep it simple and engage. Quick punchy slogans work, dry war and peace policy documents don’t, you may decry that but you can’t disprove it; after all how did a party with only one policy lead the EU election results

    The Brexit party used simple messaging, an active social media presence and a “overwhelmingly negative” attack to win the online battle before the European elections, according to a new analysis of the campaign.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/29/how-brexit-party-won-euro-elections-on-social-media

    We live in a time when you have seconds to engage, if you want to say let me talk you through this policy doc, you’ll be sat alone wondering where the punters have gone, quite probably to the populist peddling horse shite, but there you go at, least you’ve been nice and haven’t used any naughty words.

    Remember “Bollocks to Brexit” pushed the Lib Dems to second in the EU poll, no amount of policy docs and being nice would have done that. “But it upsets people”, well yes it does but as Jen states they ain’t the sort of people who are going to vote for you, so tough let them stay upset.

  • chris moore 3rd Jul '19 - 10:40am

    When was the last time a Lib Dem slogan created any interest?

  • nvelope2003 3rd Jul '19 - 11:33am

    Strange that all the billions spent on education have created the most ignorant people ever. There was a time when people who had just gone to an elementary school and left at aged 9 knew about the Reformation and the Dissoultion of the monasteries and other events which make us the people we are but most seem never to have heard of anything except Hitler and they certainly do not know he was allied with Stalin until 1941 who only became our ally when they fell out and Hitler invaded the USSR. Even David Cameron (Eton and Oxford ?) seemed unaware that the USA was not our ally until Pearl Harbour (What Harbour?) So yes we have to do whatever it takes to get our message across and there is no time to lose.

  • David Evans 3rd Jul '19 - 12:40pm

    As I said on the other thread, I must admit, I find it a bit disappointing that so many people’s comments seem to come out on totally on one side or other as to whether “Bollocks to Brexit” is a good or a bad thing.

    The simple fact is that since about 2011 the public’s view of the Lib Dems had plummeted because of the mess our leaders made of coalition. Initially trust was lost and when we failed to do anything about that our relevance was lost. The public didn’t like us and the media decided we were history. We were first despised but then ignored, and the very future of our party as a parliamentary force was in danger.

    The things that gave us the chance to save ourselves was David Cameron’s arrogance in believing he could win a Brexit referendum and Tim Farron’s decision to make fighting Brexit our number one objective. Even then it was touch and go and 2017 could have gone so much worse if it wasn’t for the Witney and Richmond Park by-elections.

    Now we have to build again and “Bollocks to Brexit” is the cornerstone that has meant the press cannot ignore us, but it doesn’t mean we can only rely on that slogan, but need a considered and planned approach to making the entire campaign work.

    Neither will have any chance of real success without the other. Accept it, work with it and make it better, but don’t decry it as inadequate or against polite sensibilities. It has given us a chance, no more and no less. We have to make it deliver.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Jul '19 - 1:01pm

    @ nvelope2003 re 3rd Jul ’19 – 11:33am

    Could it be that there is too much emphasis on facts and not enough on teaching students to think and learn for themselves and to continue learning…?

    “Even David Cameron (Eton and Oxford ?) seemed unaware that the USA was not our ally until Pearl Harbour (What Harbour?) ”

    I’ve long thought Eton and Oxford have a lot to answer for!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 3rd Jul '19 - 1:04pm

    I am a Liberal who thinks the centre ground broad enough for radical ideas, but a space too, between extremes to left or right, so with room for moderation also.

    As ever I am in between the extremes here.

    The radical oomph of the message, on manifesto or messenger, has been, as Chris Moore shows and Ruth Bright too, successful, it has got our stance coverage.

    To have radical policies to be noticed or unique is a non sensible idea, as policy should come from belief at best, pragmatic reality at worst or best, not because it might get us coverage.

    This was not a policy chosen that way, but a way of expressing it.

    Vulgar, perhaps, crass, yes, funny, indeed, in that age old way much humour is vulgar and crass, and is funny.

    If it takes the carry on or Mel Brooks or Saturday night live type of attitude to convey our message, I call it a Liberal attitude, the Harm principle reveals it has almost surely harmed…..no one!!!!!

  • @ envelope “There was a time when people who had just gone to an elementary school and left at aged 9 knew about the Reformation and the Dissoultion of the monasteries and other events which make us the people we are but most seem never to have heard of anything except Hitler and they certainly do not know he was allied with Stalin until 1941 who only became our ally when they fell out and Hitler invaded the USSR.”

    Yes, indeed, there was a time when some people knew how to spell dissolution and how to construct a sentence. They also knew it was better to avoid the repetitive use of the word ‘and’ in a sentence unless used as a rare rhetorical polysyndeton.

    And…… a fat lot of good it did for some of them when they went over the top on the Somme in 1916, given that the school leaving age was universally raised to 14 in 1918.

    Still, it’s a comfort to know you don’t include yourself as one of the most ignorant people ever.

    @ Ruth Given it was Thorpe with hindsight it seems quite appropriate.

  • Sue Sutherland 3rd Jul '19 - 1:42pm

    Back in the 80s when I first became involved in the party you literally had to cut and stick pieces of paper together to construct a Focus. ALDC had some brilliant cartoons they produced for us to put in Focuses and people really enjoyed reading them. I remember with great fondness one of a housing officer and a tenant standing in water up to their knees with the caption ‘ condensation, what condensation?’ So the Housing Director was very upset but it gave a great message to tenants, that we understood their problems.
    Humour is a weapon that can be very effective but for too long we’ve been boring. Charles Kennedy was marvellous because he had humour and compassion. Maybe ALDC could produce cartoons for use with our high tech Focuses?
    Our MEPs have produced a strong visual message and a picture is worth a thousand words. Brilliant and bold. Please can we carry on using all the methods at our disposal to save our country from this Brexit madness.

  • The Lib Dem MEPs were on all the TV news programs yesterday! A stark contrast to 6 months ago when people used to say to me: why are the Lib Dems never on the news programs when even the Greens manage to get on them? Are the Lib Dems still around?

  • nvelope2003 3rd Jul '19 - 2:27pm

    Nonconformistradical:
    Before you can think and learn for yourself you need to have a solid grounding in the facts. Unfortunately many people do not have that which is why we have this nation split down the middle at present because people are told that facts are boring and we should go by our feelings. This helps those who want to peddle ideas which suit their own interests but would not help ordinary people. I have heard these people boasting about how they have sold Brexit to the masses although they would not gain by it. I would guess that most of the Brexiteer leaders either hope to make money out of it or further their own careers because they would not get anywhere otherwise.

  • If LibDem voters had wanted MEPs who behave like idiots, they could have voted for the Brexit Party. It was precisely because they did not want such idiots, that they voted LibDem – so, LibDem MEPs, please don’t behave like fools again. You wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this in Westminster, so you shouldn’t have done it in Strasbourg.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Jul '19 - 2:58pm

    @nvelope2003
    “Before you can think and learn for yourself you need to have a solid grounding in the facts.”

    Does that imply that primary school children, who haven’t had time to gain a ‘solid grounding of the facts’ as you put it, shouldn’t be even trying to think for themselves?

  • Yeovil Yokel 3rd Jul '19 - 3:03pm

    Strasbourg is not Westminster, Paul R, and I think Catherine Bearder is in a better position to judge what was appropriate in that context than we are.

  • “It’s only words,
    but words are all we have,”

  • @Yeovil Y – The Parliaments in Strasbourg and Westminster are both legislative assemblies and both have official openings. If you wouldn’t behave like that in an official opening in Westminster, you shouldn’t behave like that in an official opening in Strasbourg.

  • What is the matter with some of you, stuffed shirts, surely not. I have heard the word used several times today, at work, at a garage where the pump would not work, at school by a teacher dropping her papers etc etc. It is hardly a swear word anymore, more an exclamation. Think a lot of our older and more revered contributors need to move in the real world a bit more.

  • nvelope2003 3rd Jul '19 - 5:07pm

    David Raw: I made a typing error as you have repeatedly done when using my ID. Yes my sentence was designed to make a point. I am sorry that you did not understand it. My grandfather who left school at 9 did so in about 1882. He was a railway track worker. The raising of the school leaving age to 14 in 1918 came a little too late for him.
    I am well aware of my limitations. Sadly not everyone is. An old man I know has still not got over the merciless bullying he received from a teacher who thought he was doing his socialist duty to the son of a man who ran a small private business. Nothing much has changed.

  • Richard Cripps 3rd Jul '19 - 5:34pm

    I appreciate that the B word is used in everyday speech. That’s fine. But this was a Parliament that the Lib Dems are asking people to respect/be involved with, so not the playground or the pub.

    I am still waiting for someone in the Lib Dem leadership (or elsewhere) say something positive about the EU (there are lots of things) rather than just slagging off Brexit, and by implication Brexiteers (who, whether we like it or not, were the majority – Lib DEM?)

  • Peter Reisdorf 3rd Jul '19 - 7:20pm

    I’m rather surprised that there’s been a discussion of the Bollocks to Brexit slogan without any mention of the court case over the word bollocks. It occurred due to advertising for the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. This article explains it fairly well https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Mind_the_Bollocks,_Here%27s_the_Sex_Pistols#Title,_packaging_and_obscenity_case

  • Spot on frankie – when the slogan got unveiled back in April the teeshirt tutters went “this is awful, we risk losing our fragile 8% opinion poll rating!” I’m rather glad we did lose it.

  • Paul Barker 3rd Jul '19 - 7:46pm

    As a grumpy old git can I just say that the quality of gittishness has really gone down on this site ?
    Perhaps young people think of WWII as ancient history because it is ?
    I wish our MPs would wear slogan T-shirts.

  • @ envelope2003 “My grandfather who left school at 9 did so in about 1882. He was a railway track worker. The raising of the school leaving age to 14 in 1918 came a little too late for him.”

    Did he know my Granddad ? He was born in 1888, orphaned age four when his Dad died (age 27, pneumoconiosis – miners’ lung), left school at 12, went down the pit, had his leg crushed at 14 – wore a surgical boot for the rest of his life. As you say, the raising of the school leaving age to 14 in 1918 came a little too late for him.

    He was an extremely cheerful intelligent man though he had no interest in dissolute monks or the British Empire which seemed for the benefit of a certain type of person. He wasn’t keen on the Vane Tempest Stewart family (Lord Londonderry) who owned the pit and half of County Durham but didn’t give him any compensation for his leg. He cried when he told me about his two little boys who died because he couldn’t afford to pay for medical treatment in 1926 (no NHS then).

    He didn’t moan about modern youth, make disparaging remarks about modern education or express right wing prejudiced opinions.

  • Mair Morris 3rd Jul '19 - 9:22pm

    Sorry but I can’t believe the LibDems can stoop so low as to attend the European Parliament with such an offensive word on their TShirts. If you think it’s going to win support I’m sorry to tell you you that you won’t get my support

  • “It is hardly a swear word anymore”

    It is not and never has been a swear word. A court case back in the ’70s merely confirmed what was known by anyone with an understanding of English. Back in the middle ages, a bollock was a common term used for describe a priest – good old English disrespect for authority on full display there – hence the term ” a bollocking” for a telling off. This fact by the way came up in said court case. I’ll leave it to you to figure out how the term became attached to the clergy in the first place.

    And to those who think “this is a parliament”, well parliaments are where people talk. The Parliament at Westminster we talk English. I remember how years ago Welsh Nationalists to to amuse themselves by speaking in middle English, having the speaker Scream “order, order” doubtless thinking it was Welsh to be then informed that it was in fact Middle English, and therefore in order. As an English bloke I loved it.

    Speakers in the HoC have also ruled the word “shit” is also quite in order if being used to refer to excrement in statements such as “the streets in my constituency are covered in dog shit”. Saying “The right honorable gentleman is talking shit” however is not in order.

    If the European Parliament can’t cope with the language of the people then it ain’t no parliament.

  • It would be interesting to speculate on whether using a word in common usage for a female rather than a male piece of anatomy would have provoked a storm of protest from some of the enthusiasts for the existing slogan.

  • jayne mansfield 3rd Jul '19 - 10:43pm

    Brexit MEP’s turning their backs when Ode to Joy is played. The opposing team wearing an offensive slogan tee shirt in European Parliament buildings.

    Where are the grown ups in this? The European Parliament and GB has been brought low by this inappropriate and undignified behaviour.

    Just when I thought that I couldn’t feel more embarrassed to be British…

  • Richard Bell 3rd Jul '19 - 11:19pm

    Whilst I think that we shouldn’t stoop as low as other parties. And think it’s almost impossible to do so. I believe we are in an era where we need to Grab attention. No one else will do it for us. We are trying to get people’s attention to do the right thing and therefore sometimes you have to drop a level.

    So I will say good on them. At least our European colleagues know it’s not all brexit party. It may not be where we want to be, but does seem justified when other parties can lie without any recourse. If we offend a few so be it. The need to have a clear nessage is to me more important at this sad time in our political history,

  • If the wearing of tee-shirts in a parliament are such a great idea I can only wonder why the LibDem Westminster MPs haven’t done it.

  • John Probert 4th Jul '19 - 9:39am

    Vulgarity will get us nowhere.

  • David Evans 4th Jul '19 - 9:56am

    Actually John (Probert), vulgarity has helped us get somewhere, or haven’t you noticed how many Lib Dem MEPs there are now?

  • David Evans 4th Jul ’19 – 9:56am………………….Actually John (Probert), vulgarity has helped us get somewhere, or haven’t you noticed how many Lib Dem MEPs there are now?…….

    Actually, John, being the only ‘major’ English party to equivocally support ‘Remaining’ might have had something to do with getting the ‘Remain’ vote in the EU elections.

  • Nonconformistradical: We do not expect primary school children to have an informed view on issues such as Brexit, taxation, social welfare etc but we do expect those who are entitled to vote to have some basic knowledge. When a university graduate in his late 50s does not know what Armistice day signifies there must be something wrong.

  • David Evans 4th Jul '19 - 10:50am

    True expats, but having held this position very for the last three years, somehow we managed to get noticed this time. And as you said in another thread “I think being the only party, in England, united on a ‘Remain’ platform might have had rather more to do with it than a ‘fourth form playground slogan’.”

    However it seems you have no evidence for this, other than you personally don’t like it (I presume you chose ‘fourth form playground slogan’ as a disparaging term deliberately), as is your right.

    I would simply point out that it was probably a combination of both things and more besides (e.g. our results in the May locals), but being a party that believes in evidence based decisions, we need evidence and not just how it makes us feel as an individual. Until that point, all we have is judgement and, being a liberal party, we have to recognise that diversity is a strength, not just a cause for saying “Well I don’t like it and that’s all that matters.”

    P.S. I’m David not John.

  • nvelope2003 4th Jul '19 - 11:21am

    David Raw: I was not moaning about modern youth or criticising modern education, nor do I hold right wing opinions, prejudiced or otherwise. I merely stated that despite the money spent on education people seem to have little knowledge of many things which used to be considered important. WWII might be ancient history to some but knowledge of it might have saved some bad mistakes later on.
    Not all monks, or even the majority, were dissolute. Even Henry VIII’s commissioners found little evidence of that and it is doubtful if the Abbots of Glastonbury and Reading who laid down their lives to protect their abbeys were dissolute. You seem very prejudiced and willing to believe Government propaganda. The monasteries were dissolved to provide Henry VIII with money for his wars and it was soon squandered. A wiser ruler would have taxed the abbeys so that there would have been a continuous flow of money but he had to buy off the oppostion by bribing people with cheap former monastic land. Even my Methodist parents did not rejoice in the destruction of the local abbey.

    The behaviour of some British MEPs at Strasbourg was distasteful, especially those who turned their backs at the playing of the Ode to Joy but wearing yellow tee shirts, even with a silly slogan is one way of getting attention in a society where people are bombarded with slogans. It might even work – who knows ?

  • Peter Hirst 4th Jul '19 - 12:04pm

    Gesture politics aside, what we need is a much more balanced debate about our place in the world and how best we can fulfil it.

  • @ David Raw comments: ” It would be interesting to speculate on whether using a word in common usage for a female rather than a male piece of anatomy would have provoked a storm of protest from some of the enthusiasts for the existing slogan.”
    Well, I am one such enthusiast, and I would terminate my 59 year membership if I thought the word you have in mind were used — or might be used, spoken or displayed — by any other member, in the context we’re discussing — a quasi-parliamentary assembly. What the Speaker at Westminster would say to our slogan, on a T-shirt or spoken, I don’t know. What we all know, of so many words or utterances, is that there’s a time and a place . . . And that is why I am an enthusiast. Our slogan is knowingly, wittily, dodgy — and that is why it works. I only ‘nice’ Liberals vote for us we can forget Westminster. Our slogan will have caught the eye, and the TV, of all those voters who are tired of hearing from experts. There are, we know, far more of them than of us, but we need even their votes, if we are to get anywhere. And needing their votes, we need to catch their ears and eyes: “******* to ******!” has done it.

  • John Littler 4th Jul '19 - 10:03pm

    Farridge has been caught out by protesting about the B’ to B’ slogan, while indicating his ignorance about the old English origins of the word, or that it has two meanings. in this case indicating negativity.
    At the same time, Farage shows disrespect to people’s representatives across Europe and to the musicians playing, with one notch above mooning at them and it has not gone down well outside of his cheerleaders.

  • Sue Sutherland 4th Jul '19 - 10:27pm

    I do so agree with you Roger Lake. Our party can do detailed discussions, lengthy articles in Focuses and copy the style of the Guardian, Telegraph and Times at the drop of a hat. What it hasn’t been able to do, until recently, is take a leaf out of the Mail, Express etc. We have desperately needed to lighten up for years, because most people don’t want to read turgid prose about anything, least of all politics.
    Finally someone thought of using the slogan b……s to b….t. That person deserves a knighthood or a damehood. Finally we are at around 20 % in the polls, finally we have won lots of seats in the EU. Is that because someone wrote a superb 5 page summary of our policies? No it isn’t, it’s because someone in the party finally had the nerve to be outrageous and funny with it.
    Let’s go for more of it. We can always go back to the solemn extra penny in the pound income tax to spend on whatever is the important policy area of the time, when it’s needed, or even point people in the direction of our weighty policy documents. But, for heavens sake don’t you dare put off the creative team who have finally got through to the people about what we stand for.
    I’m looking forward to the pants to poverty slogan next.

  • For those wondering b*****ks does appear to be acceptable parliamentary language. Michael Gove was able to describe Labour’s Brexit position in January this year without rebuke from the speaker. (One of the few sensible things Gove has said!)

    Indeed on a point of order the Speaker said it was “not disorderly” i.e was in order and allowable.

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-01-10/debates/159740E3-991B-4DF4-A29C-D04B2F1CE10F/EuropeanUnion(Withdrawal)Act

  • nigel hunter 5th Jul '19 - 12:45am

    Humour. Sue and all. How about in focus leaflets having a little,funny, cartoon that attracts people to the headline/s of an article. The cartoon catches the eye inducing curiosity to read the article it pertains to.

  • William Fowler 3rd Jul ’19 – 8:58am …………….Would be nice if other (non-UK) MEPs could start wearing the tee-shirts, too… sure they would like to upset Nigel and his cronies………..What a dreadful anthem, though, a mournful dirge that could only be taken as a bureaucrat’s lament at his place in the world.

    The official opening was neither the time nor place for such juvenile antics.
    As for the dreadful anthem…This from a nation that plays, “God save the Queen” on the world stage?????

  • It was the London Philharmonic Society that commissioned Ode to Joy from Beethoven, so in turning their backs on it, Farage’s ignorant lot were turning their backs on their own country.

    The effective counterbalance however would be tee shirts saying “We welcome EU”.

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