Farage has polluted our democracy. Vote against him.

by Hugo Dixon | 12.05.2019

Populists are good at putting their fingers on problems, but they rarely have the right solution. So it is with Nigel Farage’s tirade about the lack of honesty, trust and integrity in our political system. What’s more, he’s partly responsible.

Now it would be wrong to pin all the blame on Farage – or even Brexit. Politicians have been telling lies and making false promises for decades. The prime minister herself hasn’t been straight with the people about the dismal choices we face.

But the dishonesty went stratospheric during the referendum. And it was Farage who popularised the two worst lies: that Turkey was due to join the EU in 2020; and that we send £350 million a week to the EU (no, we don’t). These were later picked up by the official Vote Leave campaign.

The Leave campaign didn’t just lie in the referendum. It cheated. Leave.EU, the campaign Farage backed and his buddy Arron Banks funded, has been referred to the National Crime Agency, our equivalent of the FBI, for “multiple criminal offences” by the Electoral Commission. And yet Farage has the nerve to talk about integrity in politics.

The Brexit Party leader said he wanted to talk about trust in his interview today with the BBC’s Andrew Marr. And yet he refused again and again to defend his past views: for example, that the NHS should be replaced by an insurance-based system; that worrying about global warming is the stupidest thing in human history; that he feels uncomfortable with foreign languages being spoken on trains; and that people with HIV shouldn’t be allowed into the country.

Farage said probing these things was “ludicrous” and “ridiculous” – and in the same breath said he wanted to talk about democracy and trust. But how can you talk about trust in politics if you refuse to defend your own record?

The Brexit Party leader has also said a new referendum would be the “ultimate betrayal”. But, as Marr pointed out, Farage said last year that maybe “we should have a second referendum”. How can voters trust politicians if they slam as an “ultimate betrayal” something they themselves have advocated?

Farage says a new referendum would be a betrayal “because we haven’t implemented the first one… That’s how the democratic process works”.

But if a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy. There is mounting evidence that the people no longer want Brexit. What’s more, this is partly because the reality of Brexit bears little resemblance to the fantasy Farage and others promised three years ago.

So yes, we do have a problem of lack of integrity in our politics. But the Brexit Party leader isn’t the man to fix it. He has helped pollute our political system. Anybody who cares about our democracy must get out and vote against him in the European elections on May 23.

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Edited by Jenny Sterne

19 Responses to “Farage has polluted our democracy. Vote against him.”

  • There seems to be a frequent confusion between populist and demagogue. Most politicians are one way or another populists. Only Farage, Trump, Hitler and very few others are demagogues.
    Quick definitions, copy/pasted:

    Populist: a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

    Demagogue: a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument.

  • Farage needs to ‘look in the mirror’ -he accuses others of his own deceptions and lies. What psychologist call ‘projection’, denial of his own faults and projection of them onto others, often done unconsciously.

  • His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it

  • Why is this man getting so much prime air time on the BBC to spread his propaganda by shouting (either over some one else or to the person interviewing him)? He appeared for the 33rd time on Question Time last Thurs and just two days later he is invited on to Marr’s slot on Sunday am. Again, his eyes were popping out, he was red in the face and shouting his propaganda into the camera. Very reminiscent of the gentleman who brought down the Weimar Republic in 1933 and we all know how that ended. Meanwhile, the BBC pulls a programme which was to feature Heidi Allen for fear of being accused of bias ahead of the EU elections. There is something very fishy going on.

  • He and pro-Brexit views were also given excessive BBC air time for the EU referendum. The BBC seems to be in fear of accusations they are ‘lefty’/ Remainery, especially from the core of the Tory Government, and they over-compensate dramatically. It is systemic, not ‘fishy’. They have a chance to do better for the EU Election Campaign but they won’t dare, and their reputation for distinguished, balanced reporting has been on the wane for years.

  • I disagree. I voted remain and in my view it is the antiquated system of FPTP, the non existence of PR, the non adherence to democratic principle, the inability to run a referendum properly and more than anything else a cretinous elite as represented through the body of the British Conservative party and hugely biased British press that has brought Britain to this place. By denying him a voice or simply suggesting he has no legitimacy, you are the cause of all the ills of Britain today. He is British, he represents a significant proportion of Britain and all this does is ignore the rage of being ignored as an intrinsic element of the social political and cultural landscape of Britain. You may not like the face of it but if you don’t, you only have yourselves to look into the mirror and ask how his support base came t be and the answer in that you’ll find in Robert Preston’s book WTF, Jonathan Pie stand up critiques and more besides. This article is nonsense.

  • We have a problem with a lack of integrity in our culture. The lies aren’t limited to just politicians. The whole, admittedly vague, idea of “merit” leading to the just distribution of wealth is false. Despite the posh, expensive private educations many of our leaders receive, they are incapable of recognising truth because it undermines their positions. Theresa May has no more intention of assisting the just-about-managing than she does of obtaining a sex-change and becoming a Buddhist Monk in Thailand. And the National Crime Agency investigating Farage et al? Well, is that the same outfit once called by another name (is it two or three name-changes ago?) that was called off investigating a large corporation for paying bribes?

    It is going to take a long time to come out of this Brexit debacle. Britain needs an overhaul, and many are due a comeuppance. In Nigel’s anger on Andrew Marr’s show on Sunday, I could easily see that those of his ilk would dismantle The BBC at the first opportunity, were it not to become a lap-dog of the far-right. Perhaps, poetic justice for those in the BBC who have taken the decision to fawn over the Dad’s Army fascists, but probably the end of cozy little Britain as we have known it. Or perhaps, it is what they wanted all along? Who knows…

  • Like the gentleman who brought down the Weimar Republic, or was selected as the president of the USA, or the ones that went berserk in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world; these are just figureheads for a much greater groundswell of popular anger. They satisfy the needs of a lot of notably older people, who have issues with the changing world and feel powerless to deal with it. They like the tough talk and outrageous promises that many with an ounce more of cerebral capabilities know are lies and promises that can’t be kept. So much was said already three years ago in comments on what the hell had happened. It explains how especially a nation like the UK, known as cerebral and usually strongly even-handed, could sink away in this mire of risible shouting and open lies. It explains the absurd hostility toward the EU, necessary to create a foe to “bind the country together again”, as it did in the previous wars. The country has got stuck in the hands of a bunch of irresponsible wide boys, like e.g. the USA is at the moment, of whom the only wish is to deregulate financial trafficking and personally earn a lot. Economy and popular welfare are not on their wish list, as they weren’t with the Victorian powers. Sad, but it looks like another Titanic has to figuratively sink before a majority opens the eyes to the otherwise obvious rationality of providing sufficient lifeboats. And finds out that they never had it so good after they crashed out of the EU and are forced to plant spuds and harvest apples just to survive.

  • Took a leave voting friend to The Netherlands and Germany recently by way of Calais and through Belgium. Met friends there, all speaking English, the countries looked generally clean, well kept and public transport in The Netherlands was comfortable, fast and frequent. On return he voluntarily admitted that he doubted the justification of voting to leave the EU. Perhaps we should all take this kind of action just to show such people some truth about the Continent. As far as Farage and his dislike of hearing foreign languages spoken on the train is concerned; when did he last travel train? And why does he appear to prefer foreign nationals as wives and girlfriends? Why do the children by his estranged German wife have German passports? He’ll never acknowledge these truths or ever give a reasonable answer to them, he’ll just go red and shout. Grow a certain type of mustache and he’ll very much resemble a certain German gentleman who brought down the Weimarer Republik in 1933.

  • In Germany, the political debate in Britain is followed closely in the media and so inevitably the persona of Nigel Farage is receiving increasing coverage. As a Brit living there, he is someone you feel you need to apologise for. He is a national embarassment who is doing our country no favours.

    He does not seem to understand that even in his post-Brexit world, we will need to strike a trade deal with the EU. He is not the sort of leader the EU will easily warm to. If he thinks a ‘free trade deal’ can be done on the back of circumventing environmental, consumer and workplace standards, he’s in for a shock. Or maybe, he does understand that, but just couldn’t care less. Judging by the way he takes umbridge with those who dare to question him on such issues, it does look that way.

  • It’s never ended well when demagogues have whipped up the populace. They must be strongly opposed by those who see them for what they are.

  • Oh dear, oh dear. Net contribution to EU around £170m a week. No mention of that fact? Still a awful lot of money to put into NHS no? Andrew Marr tried to ambush and discredit Farage, fail. He didn’t respond because it really was a ridiculous interview from the clearly remain BBC. How twisted things are that honoring a democratic vote is not democratic. I agree there was some exaggeration, but not enough I would suggest to make a difference to the vast majority of the population.

  • All Farage is trying to do is restore self respect and dignity to the British people, after they were betrayed over referendum , and to free them from the tyranny of the EU. And all Hitler was trying to do was to restore self respect to the German people after they were betrayed over the Treaty of Versailles, and to free them fro the tyranny of the Jews. Hitler’s rantings, updated with modern terms, have been mistaken for Farage’s speeches, they are almost identical. Farage is the new face of Hitler.

  • Lawrence,
    Our EU contribution is less than 1% of your tax bill (Check it for yourself), and brings many benefits hence the Governments desire for a deal of some sorts. This costs the person on £30k a year around £25. WTO rules with Farage’s ideas will cost a great deal more, around 9% hit in the economy according to the Government. In the worst case this equivalent to cut in living standards of several thousand pounds per person per year. Marr hardly got started on the holes in Farage’s sketchy plans for a post Brexit Britain. The BBC a remain supporter? You are having a laugh with that one!

  • The only reason you don’t like Farage is He has an opinion unlike others who just tickle the ears. He’s to challenging for you to accept.
    Democracy was polluted before Farage, the only reason he has arisen is because of that pollution. Did he lead us into the EU amidst deception? Did he condone high level corruption pedophilia and perversion? Did he tell mp’s to fiddle expenses? Did he instigate political correctness injecting fog into people’s brains? Of course not, we know that.
    Give him a break, thank Him for making a stand and taking years of flack.
    Farage will be vindicated, don’t follow the herd.

  • Paedophilia perversion? Where did that come from?
    And as for following the herd, perhaps you should have used the flock of sheep analogy.