Thursday, 25 February 2010

Nigel Farage: an ignorant, offensive twat

Nigel Farage, former leader of and an MEP representing UKIP, has launched an offensive tirade against the new president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy. Farage was courting publicity, thinking that it will stand him in good stead with the voters of Buckingham, where he is standing in the general election, to abuse a foreigner.

Times report here. Farage said:

“I don't want to be rude but, really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk...

“The question I want to ask is: who are you? I'd never heard of you, nobody in Europe had ever heard of you.

"I can speak on behalf of the majority of British people in saying that we don't know you, we don't want you and the sooner you are put out to grass, the better."
The institutions and ways of working of the EU definitely need reforming, but on the whole I would rather have the capitalist states of Europe cooperating with each other than ripping each other apart in wars, with working class people in the frontline. And, yes, I am still a socialist. Europe's lefties too often think that workers can get some advantage by siding with 'their own' nationalist-minded ruling classes against the 'European superstate'. In fact, they simply lose their political independence and wade into the swamp of xenophobia.

If I ever get around to studying for a PhD I will study left-wing Euroscepticism.

UKIP is a nasty party, and Nigel Farage is an ignorant, offensive twat. I felt it needed saying.

4 comments:

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Farage’s comments were clearly made to gain him publicity in his election campaign but even if the tenor of his outburst was somewhat impolite, he was merely articulating what many ordinary members of public feel about the EU and politicians generally.

How many citizens in Europe actually voted for Herman Van Rompuy? None! This lack of democracy is truly appalling and the sooner the whole EU project is dismantled the better.

He may not be the most appealing Parliamentary candidate, but as a Conservative I sincerely hope that he kicks the socialist John Bercow out of office.

Rog T said...

Nigel Farage is a walking contradiction. He claims to stand for British values, which most certainly don't include being rude to people.

He also claims to be fighting to preserve British traditions, but there is a tradition that the Speaker is unopposed.

Nigel Farage is an opportunist. Parliament will deal with Bercow if he's not to it's taste after the election.

I suppose that we could apply the same argument to the Queen as to the head of Europe regarding democracy. I think there is a huge democratic defecit in Europe, but I also think that is true in the UK at all levels.

The Barnet Tories have had three leaders since the election. The one who was elected was deposed, the one who replaced him resigned and the next one is still there. Which one do you think had the shortest tenure?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Rog

It is nothing short of a constitutional outrage that the main political parties have this cosy little agreement whereby the Speaker is not challenged, thereby disenfransching all the voters in his constituency. Perhaps this arrangement worked in days gone by when all politicians of all parties were honourable and could be trusted, but not any more.

How dare the Conservatives, Labour and LibDems tell the people of Buckingham that they have no right to elect anyone other than the person that they have decided between themselves should be their MP. We are supposed to be living in a democracy.

Bercow is a serial house flipper and one of the worst abusers of the expenses system. Does anyone seriously think that the next Parliament will be any better than the current one with him in the chair?

It is not for MPs to decide these matters. It is for we, the people. And we, the people, need to tell people like Bercow - and his ilk - that they are not wanted. They need to be voted out. They need to witness our anger and disgust at their abuse of the democratic process.

Granted, Farage is not the nicest character on the political scene - but better him than Bercow. I will go and deliver a few leaflets for him myself if it will help get the ghastly man out.

vickim57 said...

Thanks for commenting, guys. I don't know whether you will stray back this way, but I thought I should reply properly. I have to put some of what I've learned in my Masters to use some time!

There has been a debate about whether more top posts in the EU should be directly elected, eg, the president of the council and the president of the commission.

Academics have a massive debate over whether there is such a thing as a European 'demos' to which an elected president could truly be accountable. There is also the question of the clashing legitimacies if EU posts are elected, at the same time that national PMs/Presidents are elected.

In European Studies the wider debate is whether the EU is an intergovernmental body (like the UN) or a supranational body like... like nothing else on the planet besides the EU!

The fact that the first president, Herman Van Rompuy, and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, were such, er, unknowns, is taken as a triumph for intergovernmentalism.

I think, given the extent of integration of the European economies, that supranationalism is unavoidable, and even desirable. The fact that it is remote from citizens, however, is a bad thing. It manifests itself in many ways. Not least, in national governments blaming 'Europe' for a good many things that they would have to do/would like to do in any case.

Different sections of European capital take different attitudes to the EU, according to whether integration serves their interests - this is also reflected in differing attitudes among European trade unionists!

The manufacturing trade unions have tended to be pro-EU, because the integration of the market seemed to hold out the prospect of more jobs, EU-level bargaining, etc. Public sector unions have tended to be against, because of the EU's emphasis on balanced budgets which translate into public sector spending cuts, and the Commission's taste for privatisation.

I am certainly not naive about the prospects for working class supranationalism, if you like, and I know there is much work still to be done in making it a reality. But I do think it desirable and preferable to (1) wars and xenophobia; (2) blaming 'Europe' for what is essentially just ruling class policy; (3) workers of different countries competing against each other for jobs in a 'race to the bottom'.

Lecture over.

Oh, and the arrangement regarding the Speaker does, like many Parliamentary traditions, suck.