Tag Archives: nigel farage

On standing up to Farage

The growth of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has been extremely frightening to watch. We may not want to think it, but many in the country are deeply disenfranchised from the Westminster establishment, and want Brexit ‘over and done with’. They voted for for something, therefore they want it delivered. Brexit may well be the gross national soliloquy that has destroyed Britain’s political respectability, but democracy certifies that the government must enact the decision that the country supported. We all want a second referendum, but without one Brexit cannot be discarded. The consequences for trust in democracy in Britain would be very harmful. There is no way around this  disturbing fact, and the Brexit Party is exploiting the fragile nature of Brexit antagonism. 

George Orwell wrote that “If Liberty is anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” This admirable maxim can be voiced to both sides of the Brexit debate, to both the Brexiteers living in John Betjeman’s ‘Eternal Safety Zone’ or to Remainers unable to accept the result of a democratic vote. 

This utterly demoralising situation makes the European elections even more important. Farage’s band of rebels scream their creed of a new Peasants’ Revolt against the ‘liberal elite’ and proclaim that they are able to speak for working people. The familiar faces of Farage and the ultra-reactionary Ann Widdecombe reminded me that this is a very far-fetched idea. The party claims to be a group determined to keep democracy alive, but Farage has been opposed at the ballot box seven times. The idea that democracy is being tarnished is also very evidently nonsensical, Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union and a deal has been agreed with Brussels. The Brexit hardliners are refusing to countenance compromise and in doing so endanger their sacred project. The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is the closest they are going to get to their original aim, but the cry of ‘betrayal’ at every proposal apart from the unicorn no-deal solidifies the case for their permanent residency in cloud-cuckoo land. 

One of the hallmarks of an extremist politician is their connections to shadowy organisations. Jeremy Corbyn has been consistently and rightly called out for his links to terrorist groups; his calls for ‘dialogue’ distinctly in opposition to his rejection of talks with Western powers. Farage is the same, he pretends to be the opposite of Corbyn, yet his tactics are always the same, and exposed by his dubious supporters. Whether he is supporting the dictatorial and conspiracy theorist Viktor Orban as the “future of Europe” or cosying up to Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and the  Trump-backing ‘Ted’ Malloch. 

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11-12 May 2019 – the weekend’s press release

Farage tantrum shows he hasn’t got the answers

Responding to Nigel Farage losing his cool on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Be it the 2016 or 2019 incarnation of Nigel Farage, he is still shamefully looking to point the finger rather than take responsibility. Just scratch beneath the surface and it is clear he doesn’t have the answers on Brexit, never mind a manifesto.

A vote for Farage, the Tories, UKIP, or Labour at the European elections is just a vote for Brexit and the years of damaging uncertainty that comes with it. If

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In the court of the Brexit king….

The nationwide rallies of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party are well underway. In forming the party as a top down organisation Farage has succeeded in his long quoted desire to lead a party free from the internal democracy. At the rallies Farage appointee  Richard Tice acts as the warm up act for the main event. Tice is articulate and borderline smooth. If he hadn’t made his name in business we could have seen him in a Conservative cabinet or even Hollywood. Clearly a key player in this new political formation.

The entry of ‘The Nigel’ into the arena is the main event, marching to the stage in his trademark suit and tie accompanied by loud rock music he milks the applause. His delivery is vintage Farage in an almost pantomime style he denounces his opponents inviting boos from the audience, but for all the razzmatazz and the claims to be anti establishment the Brexit Party is quite clearly on the Conservative right . Claims that their candidates include people with proven negotiating skills can’t disguise the fact that they all come from the business community, trade unionists from the other side of the table are notable by their absence.

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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 …

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The Mail on Sunday and Nigel Farage in one day? Vince takes the fight to the right

I certainly didn’t think I’d ever be embedding Nigel Farage’s LBC show on this site, but the first 20 minutes of today’s is well worth watching because our Vince is on there.

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Lib Link: Nick Clegg – You can stop Brexit by joining the Labour party – or even the Tories


Embed from Getty Images

Writing in the Observer, Nick Clegg argues that the pro-Brexit agenda is being pushed by a moneyed elite, at the disadvantage of “the little people” they pretend to support. He goes on to say:

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Nigel Farage proves that he is the ultimate media tart

My photo, taken last week, of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, through the water of the fountain in Court Square, where Black slaves were bought and sold.

I have to say that the news that Nigel Farage is backing an extreme right-wing candidate in a Republican primary (mark that: it’s a party primary – not even a general election!) in Alabama, USA takes secure possession of a whole plethora of biscuits. Does this man stop at nothing to get some media coverage?

I was in Alabama this time last week, so I feel the urge to comment on this, if not having the qualification of detailed knowledge of the situation.

First of all, Farage is taking no risks here. Roy Moore, the candidate he is speaking for tonight, is going to win the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat which was vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became US Attorney General. So Farage is saddling up on a horse which is already going to win.

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Will you be listening to Nigel Farage’s show?

“Important announcement about to be made on LBC” flashed up the alert on my phone. I winced a bit, remembering how last year had started with the deaths of all sorts of childhood icons.

It actually turned out to be Nick Ferrari telling the world that they had a new presenter on LBC for 4 nights a week. It’s a big commitment for someone who already has a full time job as an MEP. I suppose the best that can be said about Nigel Farage’s new gig is that it will get him off the BBC where he seems to have …

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The “Ambassador Farage” episode: Brexiteers, be careful what you wish for!

The episode where president-elect Donald Trump twittered that he’d like to get his goodpal Nigel Farage as British ambassador to the US, was a stern lesson to the pro-Brexit-camp in British politics – be careful what you wish for; if you get it, it may turn out to be a nightmare.

The following summary of this episode and the start of Trump’s Transition is mainly based on Dutch newspaper articles: Telegraaf, Financieel Dagblad, Volkskrant, of the past two weeks.

It all started with Mr Farage, being the undisputed first foreign politician to be invited to Trump’s Transition HQ.

Shortly afterwards, in a talkshow on Londons LBC Radio, Mr. Farage said that what president Trump needed was “a good eurosceptic ambassador” in Brussels for the EU and European NATO partners, and he would like to get that job. Another guest on the show, Labour MP Chuka Ummuna, expressed his horror at that idea, to which Farage replied “anything that will diminish or destroy the EU; I don’t care how we do it.”

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“What part of ‘Leave’ don’t you understand?”

gina-miller-on-andrew-marr

When Nigel Farage asked this of Gina Miller on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday she was far too polite and politically unseasoned to respond in kind to this patronising and arrogant question.

Well, Mr Farage, I would like to ask you what part of ‘Advisory’, ‘Parliamentary Democracy’ and ‘Independent Judiciary’, don’t you understand. Moreover I think your question should be directed more at the people who you persuaded to vote Leave in the referendum.

To the old man in the queue in front of me, the day before the referendum who said he “was voting leave because we were going to get a new hospital every week”. Don’t you understand that you were being lied to?  In fact there is probably going to be less money for the NHS as the economy ails.

To the pensioners: the government is already making noises about abandoning the triple lock in favour of linking pensions to earning only.  With inflation predicted at 2.7% next year and rising in following years. What you  don’t understand is that your pension could be worth 10% less in real terms in four years time.

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Whoops – there goes another UKIP leader

It’s a little known political trivia answer that Suzanne Evans was leader of UKIP for a few days in May 2015. Nigel Farage stood down after losing Thanet South in the General Election and Ms Evans stood in for three days. Then the party’s national executive commitee rejected Farage’s resignation.

Incredibly, now another UKIP leader has stood down after a few days. Diane James has resigned 18 days after being annointed by an awkward Farage non-kiss as leader.

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WATCH: What does Hillary Clinton think of Nigel Farage?

Not a huge amount. Watch this video from ITV News.

Many of us will have found the sight of Farage speaking at a Donald Trump campaign rally pretty distasteful. Let’s hope that the American people keep turning away from Trump as they seem to be doing at the moment.

My worry is that as the campaign intensifies after next weekend’s Labor Day, Trump’s campaign will simply go after Hillary in every way that they can. They can’t win a clean campaign so they will fight as dirty as possible.

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About Nigel Farage and the British fishing industry

You may have read, seen, giggled at reports of the Leave and Remain camps taking to the Thames today. Nigel Farage led a flotilla of “fishermen for leave” from Southend to the Houses of Parliament.

This is particularly interesting because, as Catherine Bearder points out, Nigel is spending more time showboating on the Thames than he has ever spent actually standing up for the British fishing industry at the European Parliament Fisheries Committee which it’s part of his job to be on.

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Cameron should make way for people capable of making a positive case for Remain

Last night I spent an hour of my life I won’t get back listening to two men who, respectively, don’t much like and loathe the EU, take questions separately from an ITV audience.

It was every bit as dire as you would expect and then some. Watching Cameron head up the case for Remain is a bit like watching that kid (who would have been me at my school) with no hand-eye co-ordination being forced to captain the netball team. Except, of course, that nobody forced Cameron into that position. He chose to pander to the right wing of his party and UKIP.

What was worrying is that the worm thing on the Times Red Box website was mainly pro Farage, but I did wonder if that was because the sort of demographic who would be using it would be more predisposed to Leave. Matt Chorley’s email this morning confirms that, saying that 80% of those using it were pro Brexit to start with.

The problem is that he sounds half-hearted in his arguments for the EU. There is no positivity, nothing in his demeanour or his words to inspire people to vote his way.

During the Scottish referendum, for all he increased the Yes vote every time he opened his mouth, he did at least appear sincere about wanting the UK to stay together. Don’t, he said, vote Yes to hammer the f-ing Tories. He seemed genuinely worried, at least until the result was declared and then he was quick to put party before country and pointscore on English Votes for English Laws.

Last night, Cameron did a lot of Leave’s job for them, legitimising their anti-immigration lines rather than spelling out the many positives of immigration. The whole programme centred round the economy and immigration. That was it. Nothing on human rights, nothing on workers’ rights. The latter is the one argument that I’ve found can switch people. Very few people actually think that the Tories would preserve their hard-won employment rights, particularly if they move substantially to the right post Brexit.

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Sal Brinton slams Farage sex-attacks comments

So, Nigel Farage has brought out his dog whistle again. Quelle surprise. He told the Sunday Telegraph:

The nuclear bomb this time would be about Cologne,” he told the Telegraph. Women may be at a particular risk from the “cultural” differences between British society and migrants, after gangs of migrant men allegedly launched a mass sexual attack against hundreds of women in Germany last New Year’s Eve.

It’s not as if he and his party have any sort of record of being in favour even of gender equality. Remember Godfrey Bloom and his comments about women not cleaning behind the fridge? Farage himself thinks that women who take maternity leave are of less value to employers, and of course his party took money from someone who thought that women were being hostile for the simple act of wearing trousers . The same guy thinks women can’t be raped by their husbands. The vast majority of sexual assaults and attacks happen in the home by someone known to the victim, so the UKIPpers have some way to go to understanding the reality of the situation.

You can take any claim of concern for women with a pinch of salt. All Farage is trying to do is to stoke up fear and division.

Sal Brinton was deeply unimpressed, saying:

Nigel Farage’s comments are disgraceful. He has sunk to new depths in his scaremongering with these remarks which are completely unacceptable. The debate about whether Britain is better off in Europe is hugely important and should be based on the facts, not shameful attempts to stir up hatred and fear with smears like this.

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“This is about control” – yes, of course it is



This video clip sums up the whole EU referendum debate. It hits the nail on the head. It is virtually all you need to see, to make your mind up on the matter.

It’s from a Daily Mirror debate, chaired by Mark Austin. The Guardian summarises the clip thus:

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Leaving Europe so we can adopt Aussie-style immigration rules won’t solve a thing

 

Nigel Farage told the media last year, “I am saying that if we have an Australian-style points system, immigration would not be a problem.” He made the point again earlier this month, speaking to Sky News.

The fact that inside the European Union we can’t adopt a more restrictive Australian-style points immigration system is for many the single biggest reason there is to leave the EU. Rid ourselves of the shackles of Brussels, crack down, and, as Farage himself said, “immigration would not be a problem.”

It’s a point summed up by their migration spokesman, Stephen Woolfe MEP: “To restore Britain’s borders, we need to leave the EU & implement a fair & ethical Australian style points based system.”

Well, I’m on holiday in Australia this week, and I’ve been reading the papers. And one thing I can definitely say is that an Australian-style points system is no silver bullet when it comes to immigration.

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EU “No” campaign: It’s all about Nigel

Yesterday was a good opportunity for someone leading the EU referendum “No” campaign to make a mark. You know the sort of thing, a bit of EU bashing and announcing a countrywide campaign. A bit of “no brainer”.

Incredibly, Nigel Farage decided to take a really peculiar tack on Today and other outlets:

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A refreshing note of dissent in UKIP on Farage’s HIV comments

One of the most awful moments of the 2015 election campaign was when Nigel Farage mentioned “foreigners” and HIV treatment in one of the TV debates.

UKIP’s only MP is Douglas Carswell. His father, Wilson Carswell, was one of the first doctors to identify HIV/Aids in Uganda in the 1980s.

So, one expected Douglas Carswell to have some views on Farage’s revolting HIV comments.

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Ashcroft poll in Hallam: Clegg within a whisker of Labour with a lot of Tory vote to squeeze

Lord Ashcroft has released a last minute poll on Nick Clegg’s seat of Sheffield Hallam. It’s the third he has conducted in the last 5 months. It comes with all the usual caveats on Ashcroft polls – he doesn’t mention the candidates’ names, and he has some weird methodology that he doesn’t explain to us about how he gets his final figures.

The results last month showed Labour two points ahead on 36% with Nick on 34%. The new poll shows Labour just one point ahead on 37% and Nick on 36%. The Tories are on 15%, UKIP on 7% …

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This will upset some Lib Dems …

 

Last week, Nigel Farage told a public meeting in Rochester:

I would like to see the BBC cut back to the bone to be purely a public service broadcaster with an international reach, and I would have thought you could do that with a licence fee that was about a third of what it currently is.

According to The Independent:

The move could see the end of more frivolous entertainment programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear.

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Five observations about last night’s debate

I actually enjoyed last night’s BBC Debate much more than I expected. Sure, I was livid that Nick Clegg had been excluded, but it was the price that had to be paid for David Cameron taking part in any debates at all. It was an interesting affair. There was no huge drama but it was mostly conducted in reasonable style. Nicola got her chance to bid for a coalition, Ed got the chance to rebuff her so honour was satisfied on that score. Conservative spin doctors trying to extrapolate post election chaos from that display just looked silly.

It told only half a story, though. Each of the four smaller party leaders outlined their own narrow (and in the case of Farage abhorrent) interests. The ideal coalition partner, who would govern for the whole country with fairness, responsibility and respect for civil liberties was not in the room. We have his pitch, though. I just wish the party would put the speech he made at the manifesto launch on Wednesday on You Tube. Particularly this bit:

At its heart is one word that is absolutely central to what Liberal Democrats believe: opportunity. No matter who you are, where you were born, what sexuality or religion you are or what colour your skin is, you should have the same opportunity to get on in life. We want to tear down the barriers that stop you from reaching your potential. We want to smash the glass ceilings that keep you from achieving what you want to achieve. Your talent and your hard work, not the circumstances of your birth, should decide what you can be.

Here are five quick observations from me about last night’s event.

Nigel Farage was a disgrace

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UKIP’s support is based on irrational fear of the unknown, leading to unBritish and unChristian behaviour

Channel 4 News Factcheck is a place I often go to when I need a bit of sanity. On immigration, they have an excellent post.

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Pub landlord to call time on Farage

Oh joy! Oh rapture!

At last the prospect of some fun during the election campaign!

All hail to the ale!

The Guardian reports:

Comedian Al Murray has announced he plans to stand against Nigel Farage in the seat of South Thanet in May’s general election.

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Desperately seeking Nigel

Nigel Farage seems to be everywhere these days (except for turning up to propose his own motion). But, curiously, there is one fairly crucial place he isn’t.

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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:

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Opinion: UKIP fails to win in London because it fails to understand its communities

nigel farageIn this week’s New Statesman, when confronted with the fact that most in London do not share his “uneasy” feelings towards immigrants speaking in their mother tongue, Nigel Farage launches another attack on the capital’s so-called “commentariat” who are “caught in the whirlpool of London thinking”. It’s his typical accusatory anti-liberal, anti-elitist, anti-London rhetoric, and so you’d think it would register just as a minor tremor on the UKIP-irritation seismometer. But it wasn’t. This was a good 7, at least, on the personal Richter Scale.

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Sal Brinton writes… Ukip’s hypocrisy on tackling serious child abuse issue is breath-taking

UKIP logoToday in the House of Lords, Baroness Joan Walmsley and the Lib Dems secured an agreement from the Government on the Serious Crime Bill, for a major consultation on introducing rules on mandatory reporting of child abuse.

At our recent Federal Conference in Glasgow, Liberal Democrats passed new Party policy in support of requiring those who work with children and vulnerable adults to be required by law to report to the authorities if they have any suspicion that abuse is taking place. However, despite debates on this and other amendments concerning child abuse being debates, Ukip members of the House of Lords failed again to participate in this work.

Ukip’s hypocrisy is breath-taking. They issue a photograph of a girl with the headline ‘There are 1400 reasons why you should not trust Labour again’ in Rotherham, but their record on tackling serious child abuse issue is disgraceful.

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Opinion: Kippers’ squeals show we are a more liberal country

UKIP logoPoor judgment: that’s the reason UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson has given for referring to a Thai-born supporter as “ting tong from somewhere”. I was “completely tired out”: that’s how Farage explained his statement during the European election campaign that he’d be concerned if Romanians moved in next door. Excuses, excuses.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever consider whether or not to use a racial epithet. I don’t think to myself, on balance I judge it right to refer to that person as …

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Ukip may well win a seat in May 2015. But the least likely person to get elected is Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)This week saw the latest in Lord Ashcroft’s polls of the marginal battleground seats that will decide the result of the next general election. This crop focused on 14 marginal Conservative-held seats where Labour are in second place.

The overall news was half-encouraging for Labour. As it stands, Ed Miliband’s party is poised to win 11 of these 14 seats next May. The average swing from Tory to Labour of 4.5% would be enough to win 53 Tory seats, which, as as Ashcroft notes, “combined with the 17 seats my recent polling suggested they could gain from the Lib Dems, would be enough for a small overall majority”.

Of course, this poll is a snapshot, not a prediction (as Ashcroft repeatedly stresses). A similar exercise conducted by Ashcroft for PoliticsHome in 2009 pointed to a Tory majority of 70 seats and we all know how that turned out a few months later. Usually the governing party picks up support as the election nears, while the opposition party loses support. We’ll see how that historical pattern bears out in Coalition conditions and as voting becomes yet more fragmented between five national parties, as well as the nationalists in Scotland and Wales.

But the most newsworthy finding from Ashcroft’s poll was that Ukip would win two Conservative-held seats, Thanet South and Thurrock.

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