Britain MUST Leave The EU Says David Cameron’s Strategy Guru Steve Hilton

Even from a known Brexiteer such as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson or Michael Gove, these words would be pretty strong stuff. But coming from Steve Hilton, they are absolute dynamite: a devastating blow to the Remain campaign and – given that it was starting to look both unassailable and rather cocky – a perfectly timed one too.

It matters because Hilton, perhaps more than anyone, can lay claim to having “made” David Cameron, transforming him from an obscure backbench MP into Prime Minister material. Hilton has advised the Prime Minister on and off throughout his period in office and is still one of Dave’s closest friends. Well at least he was till the publication of this blistering broadside in the Daily Mail.

Here’s a taste:

It is anti-market, stifling innovation and competition with its statism, corporatism and bureaucracy.

It is anti-enterprise, acting in the interests of the big businesses that have corruptly captured the levers of power in Brussels through their shameless lobbying and insider deal-making, enabling a gradual corporate takeover of our country.

The European Union is anti-trade, locking developing countries out of world markets with its evil Common Agricultural Policy that feather-beds French farmers while keeping African farmers trapped in poverty — and despair.

and

Then we’re told that the EU is vital for our security. Really? I was pretty amazed when I first heard this point being made. The idea that a British Prime Minister can’t protect Britain properly without the EU is frankly astonishing and, if true, rather alarming.

But, of course, it’s not true. Yes, in a complex world of global threats, we need security co-operation with other countries — like what happens in NATO. Forgive me if I’ve missed something, but I wasn’t aware that this referendum is about leaving NATO.

and

But perhaps the most powerful argument for leaving the EU is to look at the people who are wheeled out to persuade us to stay: figures like the International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, advertising giant Sir Martin Sorrell, as well as the Confederation of British Industry and all the other Establishment stooges.

They want us to stay in the EU because their whole world depends upon it. Their lifestyle of summit meetings and first-class flights and five-star hotels; their flitting and floating from New York to Brussels to Beijing, serving the interests of the technocratic elite — the bankers, bureaucrats and accountants who run the modern world and who, regardless of which government is in power in which country, push the same old dogma of global-isation, privatisation and centralisation.

This represents by far the biggest blow to David Cameron personally and also to the credibility of his pro-EU argument since the official referendum campaign began.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Why Do the Vicious Remain Campaigners Value Emotion over Reason?

When you’re the odds-on favourite with the weight of the global elite behind you, you ought to be magnanimous.

Like a lot of keen games-players I’m a stickler for the rules. This is not because I’m an especially honourable person; merely a recognition that without a rigorous structure and a sense of fair play, a game can be no fun and winning can afford no satisfaction.

I feel much the same way about politics. Take Hilary Benn’s recent contribution to the Brexit debate, wherein he professed to have taken grievous offence at Boris Johnson’s use of the word ‘Hitler’ in an article about Europe. As was perfectly clear from the context, the reference was dropped in lightly and unhysterically in the service of an unexceptionable point. So the game Benn was playing there definitely wasn’t cricket. It was more like diving in the penalty area and appealing to the ref when the player who supposedly fouled you isn’t even close.

Is this a sensible way to fight a campaign? Possibly: we won’t know for sure until the votes are in. But if I were an undecided wondering where to place my X, I think the thing that would swing it for me would be the marked difference in tone between the two camps — with the Remainers coming across as shrill, prickly and bitter, and the Brexiters surprisingly sunny, relaxed and optimistic.

This isn’t what you might have expected at the start of the campaign. Really, it makes no sense. When you’re the odds-on favourite with the weight of the global elite behind you — Obama, Lagarde, Goldman Sachs, the BBC, Ed Balls — you ought to be able to afford to be magnanimous, jolly and decent. It’s the anti-EU rebels, the spoilers, the malcontents, you’d imagine would be most afflicted by rage, spite and peevishness.

But it hasn’t turned out that way. Yes, there has been some vicious factional backbiting between the different Brexit camps, I can’t deny that. The tone of their campaigning, though, has been almost weirdly upbeat: Boris larking about with Cornish pasties and angle-grinders; Gove batting off Marr with his effortless good cheer; Farage with his pint-and-fags common touch; Martin Durkin with his insightful, inspirational and often very funny crowd-funded documentary Brexit: The Movie.

Brexit: The Movie. With a title like that you’d know exactly what to expect: mostly middle-aged and elderly men, banging on about how much better things were when the atlas was coloured pink, all jingoism and xenophobia and thinly disguised racism. Except that’s not the film Durkin has made. (It’s free on YouTube or Vimeo, so see for yourself.)

Yes, the empire is referenced: but only to make the point that, contra the Remainers, our tiny rainswept island is quite capable of making its mark on the global stage without the help of its continental neighbours.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

Han Solo and Chewbacca Would Vote for Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

This is what I argued on BBC’s Daily Politics show yesterday in response to a New Statesman piece by left-leaning journalist Stephen Bush. According to Bush, the Star Wars series is essentially a celebration of “the left-wing values of solidarity and collective action”.

Hmm. The only bit of Bush’s convoluted thesis I agree with is where he describes Han and Chewie as “a pair of sole traders, equivalent to white van men.” Exactly. That’s why they vote for Britain’s nearest thing to the Tea Party: they are taxed enough already and just want to be left to get on with their lives, unencumbered by the depredations of the controlling monolith that is the Empire.

Given that Star Wars was written in the Cold War, I suppose the model for the Empire was the Soviet Union. Today, of course, its closest equivalent would be the European Union, only with one key difference: on their day, the Imperial Stormtroopers can be a pretty formidable and effective force, where  its EU equivalent – the European Army being proposed by President Jean-Claude Juncker – would be as crap as a platoon of transgendered Ewoks with their hands tied with rainbow ribbons and without the advantage of the forest which, as I dimly recall, is the only reason that stops them being as crap as they look.

Why would the European Union’s Imperial forces be as crap as a platoon of tied-up transgendered Ewoks with no arboreal advantage?

Well first because, unlike, say, the Fatherland or Blighty, a corrupt, amorphous, simultaneously insipid and toxic entity like the EU is not something for which any stormtrooper would consider laying down his life. And secondly because the German element would be too fat and pacifistic, the French would be too busy cooking five course lunches featuring ortolan and foie gras, the Italians’ AT-AT Walkers would only work in reverse, the Greeks would flog off all their kit to the Rebel Alliance, the Spanish would divide in factions and kill each other and the British just wouldn’t because we are NOT Europeans.

But I digress. There is really very little in Star Wars which offers much ideological comfort to those of a big government persuasion – big government being represented, after all, by a giant armoured orb, nudgingly named the Death Star, heralded with Wagnerian theme music – which crushes rebel planets by blowing entire civilisations including Princess Leia’s to smithereens and by tall evil men in black capes with advanced asthma or skin like a Gila monster’s.

There is, however, very much in Star Wars to suggest that ramshackle rebel alliances formed of shabby-looking, lovably eccentric, heroically determined social outcasts – see also: UKIP conferences; Tea Party rallies – may be our only hope against the growing tyranny of One Universe Government.

If you want a more sophisticated and involved analysis of why Star Wars is a Hayekian paradigm, here’s Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

I Totally Take Back Everything I’ve Ever Said about Queen’s Brian May…

Just a quick one: was anyone else as surprised and delighted as I was by Brian May’s performance on BBC Question Time last night?

I’ve been quite rude about him in the past. Yes, that distinctively shimmery, echoey, almost Venusian guitar of his did provide part of the soundtrack to my youth – I seem to remember getting to third base for the first time to the accompaniment of Night At The Opera – but what I’ve never quite forgiven are his politics.

As a countryman and nature lover, for example, I feel every bit as passionately about wildlife as he does. Which is one of the reasons I’m so much in very favour of the badger cull, as I argue in more detail here.

Apart from the Ford Mondeo the badger has no natural predator, so since in the early 1980s legislation made it illegal to kill badgers, their population has rocketed to unsustainable levels. The consequences have been disastrous: TB in both badgers and cattle has soared; hedgehog and ground-nesting bird populations have been devastated; farmers’ livelihoods have been destroyed; vast sums of taxpayers’ money — the figure last year was £100 million — have been squandered; and Britain is now at risk of having an EU ban on all its beef and dairy exports, at a cost to the economy of more than £2 billion a year.

May, on the other hand, has positioned himself at the forefront of the shrill and self-righteous anti-badger cull movement, which unfortunately has attracted the very worst elements of the animal rights movement, and appears to be motivated more by sentiment and cherry-picked data than it does by hard evidence.

But while I haven’t changed my views on badgers, I’ve definitely shifted my stance on May.

Last night, as the panel’s licensed jester – the token celebrity who can ride whatever hobby horses he wishes – he could all too easily have spouted the sub-Russell-Brand drivel we’ve come to expect on Question Time. Instead, he was a model of decency and sweet reasonableness.

This was especially noticeable in his behaviour towards fellow panelist Nigel Farage.

It really ought to have been a very tough evening for Farage. And it certainly began that way. Every question he had from the audience was hostile, starting of course with one about him being “snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive”. Even if you’re not a fan – which I still am – I think it would be hard to deny how well Farage acquitted himself – never showing signs of umbrage taken, cheerfully getting his political points in a way that, ever so slowly, began to win the audience round and earn him some actual claps.

None of this would have been possible, though, without the unlikely support he got from his fellow panelists. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – most definitely not rhyming slang, on last night’s showing – led the way with some generous remarks. But what really clinched it was Brian May, who absolutely refused to pick on an easy target and instead took the opportunity to deplore the nastiness of politics in general and, by implication, the treatment of Farage in particular.

This, in turn, gave the audience the permission they needed to stop poking the chained up bear with their sticks.

If you haven’t watched it, you should. Question Time at its best. Almost restores your faith in human decency.

Almost.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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As Farage Has Just Been Reminded, There’s No Fascist Like a Liberal Fascist

March 23, 2015

Suppose Labour leader Ed Miliband had been out yesterday for a quiet bacon sandwich with his wife and kids only to be harassed and terrorised by a bunch of protestors from the Daily Mail. Can you imagine the coverage it would get on the BBC and in the Guardian?

And what about if Green party leader Natalie Bennett had a few friends round for a vegan barbecue, only to be driven from their supplies of tofu and mung beans and cucumber dip by a crowd of Spectator journalists dressed in pin stripe suits and bowler hats?

There’s a reason you can’t imagine these scenarios, except in jest. It’s because the right-leaning media just doesn’t promote or engage in political activism in the way that the left-leaning media does, especially not the kind of direct action stunt we saw yesterday being carried out against Nigel Farage by a mob led by an activist (and occasional Guardian columnist) called Dan Glass. (h/t Bishop Hill)

The Guardian clearly loves Dan Glass. Here’s what it had to say a few years back about his work “fighting to stop the injustice of climate change.”

Dan Glass, 27, activist

“Whenever anybody sticks their head above the parapet they’re seen as a lunatic, but we need to show the inadequacies of the legal system for protecting the earth.”

Youth climate activists blog : Dan GlassDan was recently named one of Attitude Magazine’s 66 new role models for his work on bridging the gay rights and environmental justice movements. He revels in creating militant but cheeky ways to be a “thorn in the side of those destroying the planet”; he has stuck himself to a former prime minister, occupied Aberdeen airport, danced with old ladies blighted by flightpaths, and worked in deprived inner-city communities with So We Stand. Dan has spent much of 2010 in court, over action he took with protest group Plane Stupid at Aberdeen airport, and is now on trial for allegedly conspiring to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station (the verdict is expected today). You can read his article on the disproportionate effects of climate change on marginalised communities in December’s Attitude magazine – it’s the one with lots of naked men on the cover.

Besides having run three columns by Glass, the Guardian has also given space to the Trotskyite burblings of perma-revolutionary Eva Jasiewicz – another member of the fancy dress mob who harrassed the Farages at the weekend.  And also to this woman, Pennie Quinton who was also boasting on Twitter about her involvement in the anti-UKIP renta-mob. See also Guardian contributor Emily Churchill (no relation, one imagines), who crowed about having helped ruin the Farage family lunch with the phrase “We are family!”

Now you could argue that the Guardian can’t be held responsible for the actions of a few idiots who have written for it in the past. Maybe not. But what you can most definitely blame it for, I think, is the uncritical coverage it gives both to them individually (see flattering profile of Glass above) and collectively at protests everywhere from Kingsnorth to Balcombe.

Whether these protests are about breast-feeding or coal-fired power or fracking or neonicotinoids or bankers or air travel, what you find time and again is the same hardcore of activists at the heart of each protest. The cause seems to be almost an irrelevance. What counts far more is the intensity of their shrill self-righteousness and the corresponding passion of their hatred for whichever particular target they happen to be protesting against on that particular day.

You can see that self-righteousness in some of the comments below the Guardian’s report on the Farage affair. Here’s one from a charmer calling himself “Postcolonial”.

Well I suppose they could have tarred and feathered him. But we can still dream.

And here is the Guardian’s columnist Suzanne Moore telling us that the protestors who had Farage’s children fleeing in fear were just a lovely, harmless, playful bunch really and that the Farages over-reacted…

Those protesting against Farage were in fancy dress, which is why the pub owners thought it was some kind of birthday party. They called themselves “a cabaret of diversity” and were seeking to represent some of the groups Farage has offended: “Migrants, HIV activists, gay people, disabled people and breast-feeding mothers.” No doubt this boisterous group may have seemed a bit scary although, to be honest, it all looked harmlessly theatrical in the pictures.

The worst thing that Moore can find to say about the incident is that it may play to Farage’s advantage.

And actually, it may backfire for other reasons too, because increasingly Farage plays the victim. And this allows him to. He can present himself as the innocent victim of attacks by fruitcakes, when, in fact, he spends most of his time attacking the vulnerable.

(If Moore had wanted to make the point with the charm and wit of which unfortunately she is incapable, she might have nicked this, much funnier analysis from a Guardian commentator called Boynamedstu: “Because nothing will make people considering voting for UKIP change their mind than a coachload of inner city dwelling, unemployed drama graduates and soap dodgers intimidating him and scaring his kids while he is out for a Sunday lunch. These arsehats have probably done more to increase the UKIP vote than a front page picture of a Romanian eating a swan while shitting on a Princess Di commemorative tea towel.”)

Read the thrilling, insightful, moving pay off at Breitbart London

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How Nigel Farage Outfoxed the Breast Nazis

Claridge’s is one of London’s finest five-star hotels, popular with royals and aristocrats, film stars and rock stars. But if you’d tried taking afternoon tea there over the weekend, you would have had to run the gauntlet of a rather less glamorous crowd: a bunch of around twenty-five not especially yummy-looking Mummies, making a political point with their lactating dugs and their freezing babies, in affirmation of their apparently unalienable right publicly to breast-feed their babies where and when they will.

The protest was sparked by an incident last week involving a woman called Louise Burns. In the course of taking afternoon tea at Claridges, Ms Burns had started breast-feeding her baby at the table. A waiter, solicitous of the other diners in the room, had brought her large napkin in order to cover her modesty. This Ms Burns found so upsetting and offensive that she decided to tweet before and after photographs showing her apparent humiliation.

Then the Offence Mob got on board. And then UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage got roped into the argument with comments which were represented by his numerous media critics as yet further evidence of his Blimpish sexism, misogyny and remoteness from the modern world.

As the smoke begins to clear, though, I suspect that yet again it’s going to be Farage who comes out of this story with his credibility enhanced while it will be his enemies who emerge looking petty, vindictive and out-of-touch.

Here is a reminder of what Farage said, when ambushed by a question about the issue on LBC radio.

“I’m not particularly bothered about it, but I know a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable, and look, this is just a matter of common sense, isn’t it? I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn’t too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that’s not openly ostentatious.

“Frankly, that’s up to Claridge’s, and I very much take the view that if you’re running an establishment you should have rules.”

When asked by the presenter whether new mothers should go to the toilets to breastfeed, Farage replied: “Or perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be – that’s up to Claridge’s. It’s not an issue that I get terribly hung up about, but I know particularly people of the older generation feel awkward and embarrassed by it.”

In the heat of the moment, under the pressure of live radio I’d say that that was a pretty reasonable, fair and measured response. But this didn’t stop his critics doing their usual damnedest to smear him.

The Guardian made much of his use of the word “ostentatious.” (Inevitably it prompted an #ostentatiousbreastfeeding Twitter hashtag). While the Prime Minister’s office sought to take advantage of the situation by issuing a priggish statement saying it was “totally unacceptable” to make women feel uncomfortable about public breastfeeding.

But it’s Farage – not the Guardian or David Cameron’s press people – I suspect who is most closely in line with what the majority of British people actually feel on this subject.

For the more squeamish and decorous older generation, it still remains something of a culture shock when a young mum whips out one of her titties in a public place to feed her baby. In the old days this simply wasn’t done. Well, not outside places like Africa.

But even for younger mothers, breastfeeding in public is not so clear-cut an issue as the progressive, professional offence-takers on social media would have us believe. That is because, culturally, we are in a transitional stage. Yes, it’s true that thanks to the propagandising of all those Breast Nazi campaign groups who believe that giving your baby formula milk is tantamount to child abuse, lots of young mothers have persuaded themselves that breast is best.

But at the same time, though they don’t like being confined at home all day, they still don’t feel altogether comfortable about feeding their babies in public places because, being – as women generally are – sensitive, empathetic sorts, they recognise that not everyone out there is on quite on board with this brave new world where apparently the done thing is for lactating mums to whip out their bosoms at will.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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2 thoughts on “How Nigel Farage outfoxed the Breast Nazis”

  1. Carrie says:11th December 2014 at 8:19 amAnd there was I thinking you were a libertarian James! Sadly disappointed that you’ve been sucked in by the PC brigade, if you don’t want to see a baby doing what is not only natural but also vital to its well being, then don’t look. Simples.
    1. Karl says:14th December 2014 at 4:54 pmI think you’re missing the point Carrie. If a guy walked topless into Claridge’s on a hot summer’s day then I expect he’d be asked to leave. Personally, I’ve no problem at all with breastfeeding in public but I think it’s about the freedom of an establishment to uphold it’s rules at it sees fit. If people don’t like those rules then they are perfectly at liberty to go elsewhere.

Comments are closed.

If Nigel Farage is the New Enoch Powell He Should Be Proud

Whenever I find my faith wavering in Nigel Farage and the UKIP project, all I have to do is open my morning newspaper to be reminded why they are both so very necessary.

Yesterday’s Telegraph was a case in point with its snide, insinuating story about how in 1994 Farage wrote to Enoch Powell – the Conservative intellectual and politician long acknowledged as one of his heroes – asking him to support his candidature in a local election. UKIP also wrote on several occasions to ask Powell to stand as a candidate in two national elections.

So far so very ho-hum. Powell – a highly intelligent, supremely principled politician with a fine war record, well loved by his constituents – would have been a natural fit for UKIP with his anti-EU views, his ability to connect with the views of ordinary people and his brave refusal to allow the immigration issue to be swept under the carpet as the Establishment was so keen to do then and remains so eager to do so today.

Why then the story?

Well, it was pegged to the fact that on Thursday night a priapic, soap-dodging, informationally-challenged pocket demagogue called Russell Brand accused Farage on BBC Question Time of being a “pound shop Enoch Powell.” And amazingly, the Telegraph was inviting us to take the view that this grandiloquent half-wit’s cheap shot – playing on the popular leftist meme that Powell was a “racist” because of his “Rivers of Blood” speech – ought to be taken as a valid criticism.

Wearing the mask of sage neutrality, the Telegraph opined in its accompanying editorial:

Whatever the stance one takes, it should be remembered that it was the language used by Mr Powell in the Sixties that so poisoned the immigration debate – and arguably made it so difficult to reopen until very recently. Back in 2005, Michael Howard was accused of having a “Powell moment” as Tory leader when he questioned the wisdom of uncontrolled immigration. That spectre has often been used to shut down such conversations, to the advantage of no one.

Hence, while many in Ukip will be unrepentant in their admiration for Mr Powell, they should surely take note of the bitterness that followed the “Rivers of Blood” speech, and consider the consequences of over-heated rhetoric. Certainly, a debate about the impact of immigration needs to be had – and it should be a prominent part of the mainstream political agenda, rather than left to fester on the margins. But this vital discussion is best conducted with calm, reason and respect for the feelings of others.

Ah yes. The old “over-heated rhetoric” canard.

It always puzzles me when I see one of my fellow journalists wheeling it out. It’s akin to a restaurant critic trying to make a virtue of the fact that from now on he’ll only be reviewing establishments that don’t serve meat; or a poet renouncing rhyme. Why would you want to do such a thing? Why would you want to shackle yourself in this way? The point, if your stock in trade is language, surely, is that you want to be free to employ it in all its rich variety – a bit of low snark here, a bit of Augustan rhetoric there. You’re appealing not just to your reader’s intellect but his emotions too. The idea that, say, strong imagery should be off-limits lest some bad person responds incorrectly is as absurd as ordaining that cars should only travel at 10 miles per hour because any faster and they might kill someone.

And exactly the same thing applies to political oratory. In the decades since Powell made that speech in 1968, it has become accepted wisdom that it killed free public debate on immigration stone dead and that the reason it did so was because of its inflammatory language. I’d concede the first part because it is depressingly, self-evidently true. But the second part is a nonsense.

It wasn’t Powell’s inflammatory language that killed the debate. What killed it was that a political and media Establishment which for various reasons didn’t want to have the debate – some for reasons of ideology, others out of moral cowardice – found it convenient to close it down by shooting the messenger. They didn’t have to close it down. There was no law that declared “If any politician quotes Virgil in a speech on immigration and some people get upset or offended by the fiery tone then for a period of no less than half a century the subject of immigration shall be off limits in case any more people get upset or offended.” Rather, it’s because, a craven political and media class chose to close it down, with consequences we are ruing to this day.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Frankie Boyle Says Not All Comics Are Lefties. Is This His Best Joke Yet?

Left-wing comedian Frankie Boyle has written an article in the left-wing Guardian explaining to his amen corner of left-wing readers that all his left-wing contemporaries who play left-wing comedy sets at left-wing comedy clubs, perform on left-wing TV panel shows and appear on left-wing comedy programmes on left wing BBC Radio 4 aren’t in fact left-wing at all but hold a broad array of political opinions.

Nice one, Frankie. One of your funniest.

You can tell his heart’s really not in the joke, though, because he keeps undermining it at every turn with sentences like this:

“Comedians, being decent sorts deep down, maybe just don’t take kindly to what they see as their fellows being targeted because of their race or gender.”

To appreciate fully what is so very wrong with this statement, you need to know the context of Boyle’s article. It was written in response to a very brave post on Facebook by comedian Andrew Lawrence having a dig at the “moronic, liberal back-slapping on panel shows like Mock The Week where aging, balding, fat men, ethnic comedians and women-posing-as-comedians, sit congratulating themselves on how enlightened they are about the fact that UKIP are ridiculous and pathetic.”

Boyle, it should be noted, is a middle aged and, though not balding or fat, has been a regular on Mock The Week, a comedy show so gag-destroyingly right on it might have been scripted by Polly Toynbee, Harriet Harman and Yasmin Alibhai Brown.

Understandably, Lawrence’s comments hit a raw nerve.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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The Establishment’s Attacks on UKIP Are Doomed to Backfire

By “the Establishment” I don’t, of course, mean the toffee-nosed, elitist right-wing conspiracy which exists largely in the perfervid imaginations of Russell Brand and Owen Jones.

I mean the new progressive Establishment which has dominated the cultural and political argument since at least the Blair era: the quangos, the seats of academe, the politically correct corporatists, the Eurocrats, the congenitally bien-pensant luvvies, the liberal media from the Guardian to the BBC, the charities, the identikit politicos in the Westminster bubble. They want to destroy UKIP not out of high principle but simply because it represents such a threat to the communitarian status quo. Here are some examples.

The Electoral Commission

In Standpoint Nigel Vinson tells the full, shocking story of how the Electoral Commission deprived UKIP of two MEP seats in the European elections in May – essentially by rigging the ballot paper.

A hitherto unknown party calling itself An Independence From Europe was allowed by the Electoral Commission onto the top of the ballot paper – and went on to claim nearly a quarter of a million votes from confused people who had almost certainly meant to vote UKIP.

The seats went to Green MEPs instead. At the time UKIP didn’t make a big deal of this, presumably because it didn’t want to sound petulant at a moment when it needed to sound exultant. But what happened here was the most extraordinary miscarriage of justice, perpetrated by a supposedly neutral, independent regulatory body which is clearly riddled with bias and is unfit for purpose.

Stand-up comics (aka The Wankocracy)

In the old days, on the Eighties alternative comedy circuit, all someone like Ben Elton would have to do was mention the words “Margaret Thatcher” – or even just “Thatch!” – for their audience to dissolve in smug, consensual, righteously scornful laughter.

Now this role as the butt of every second-rate lefty comic’s crap jokes has been taken over by UKIP. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally it means they have not a single political argument left,” Baroness Thatcher once said. As her most plausible current heir, Nigel Farage should find this heartening.

The European Parliament

Last week in Strasbourg, the European parliament’s arch-federalist political establishment rigged the rules and gamed the system in a dirty tricks measure which could almost have destroyed UKIP. Christopher Booker tells the story here:

Ever since Ukip last May won 24 seats, the Parliament’s Euro-elite – led by its German president Martin Schulz, the arch-federalist once famously compared by Silvio Berlusconi to a Nazi concentration camp commandant – has been longing to cut Mr Farage down to size. Last week Mr Schulz thought his moment had come. When an obscure Latvian MEP was persuaded to defect from Farage’s group, it meant that it no longer included representatives of seven countries, the minimum qualification to be recognised as an official parliamentary group.

Mr Schulz triumphantly announced that the group was thus disbanded, which would have been for Mr Farage and his colleagues an utter disaster.

Under new rules introduced by Mr Schulz, not only would they instantly have to vacate their plush offices, losing the services of some 40 administrative staff and £13 million in cash and kind, Mr Farage would also have to retire to the back benches, no longer able to make those speeches at the front of the Parliament that have earned him millions of hits on YouTube, such as that in which he told Herman Van Rompuy that he had “the charisma of a damp rag”.

Scarcely had Mr Schulz exulted at his triumph over the hated Eurosceptics, however, than the group recruited a Polish MEP to make up the numbers again. Despite attempts to discredit this man as a “Holocaust denier”, because his party leader back in Poland once questioned whether Hitler knew about Auschwitz (Farage’s new colleague merely described Hitler as “an evil man”), Mr Schulz soon found himself having to call Farage back to the rostrum as if nothing had happened.

What’s almost as interesting as Schulz’s plot – and how close it came to succeeding – has been the way the story has been reported across the media. Had these dirty tricks been applied to any other mainstream party, the stink would have been enormous.

Instead, even in supposedly conservative newspapers, reports focused not on the monstrousness of Schulz’s wicked, blatantly anti-democratic scheming but on the essentially trivial views of some Polish nobody from a party with whom it was perfectly clear Farage had got into bed out of pure pragmatism rather than deep ideological kinship.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Farage Was Stitched up by Steph and Dom and Channel 4

Steph and Dom are the posh-sounding, drunk couple from Gogglebox – the surprise hit programme where people are recorded sitting on sofas giving a running commentary on the TV shows they are watching.

If they had been reviewing Steph And Dom Meet Nigel Farage, I like to think, they’d have been very rude. ‘What a right pair of slippery tossers,’ they would have yelled, chucking canapes at the incredibly bad mannered, disturbingly callous pair of smug hypocrites on the screen. ‘Leave the poor sod alone. He’s supposed to be your guest.’

All right, so the poor sod can take it. He’s Nigel Farage – taking it is what he does. But I still felt rather sorry for him, the way he was stitched up like a kipper on what he must have thought would be an agreeable, booze-filled romp with basically like-minded chums. They weren’t though. They were snakes in the grass.

The couple run Britain’s grandest B & B – a vast Lutyens/Jekyll pile in Sandwich, Kent called The Salutation. They’re clearly brilliantly successful at what they do and I bet that they’re the most delightful hosts. Which made it all wrong, somehow, that their job on this show was to mix hospitality with inquisition. It made for uncomfortable viewing because you were never quite sure how to respond: was this car-crash TV you were supposed to be watching or just light-hearted jolly japes?

Farage, clearly, was similarly confused. On the one hand, he obviously liked the idea of encountering the perhaps the only two people on earth with a bigger appetite for booze than he has. On the other, he was clearly thrown by their weird behaviour.

There was one scene, for example, where Steph threw a fit because Dom had taken Nige down to the boozer for a sharpener or three before dinner and they came back quite well oiled. (Which she must have known about well in advance because these TV reality docs are planned almost to the frame). Farage looked sheepish as she bollocked both him and Dom, which I thought was simply not on. Bloody rude in fact. You do NOT drag guests that you’ve barely met into your pervy marital head games.

But they did. At times they were like sinister giggling children in some sub-Henry James horror story, plotting by the grand staircase how best to make their guest look more ridiculous, while deluding themselves that this was all rather delightful, harmless fun. When Farage tripped down some steps and spilt champagne all over his pressed Farah-style trousers, for example, they gleefully whipped them off and offered the silliest replacements they could find in Dom’s wardrobe: ripped, faded Bros-style jeans; tartan trews; leathers.

Mind you, this did provide the programme’s single worthwhile insight: that our Nige, au fond, is not a very sophisticated type. He dresses like the golf club secretary because that’s basically where he’s coming from. He likes a smoke and a pint, likes fishing. But what he definitely doesn’t do is metropolitan trendy or Oxbridge louche or uber-country-smart-set feral craziness. There is – whisper it – a touch of the Pooter about him.

Read the rest at the Spectator

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