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Analysis

Farage wants voters to ‘trust’ him. That’s rich

by Luke Lythgoe | 25.04.2019

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party won’t be discussing policy in detail during the European election campaign. Instead it is appealing to voters “on trust”. Early polling suggests Farage has a shot at replicating Ukip’s 2014 success, when his former party won over 27% of the vote. But if Farage’s track record proves anything – from his dishonest Leave campaigning to disappearing when the going gets tough – it’s that “trust” is the last thing voters should give him.

Don’t trust him with the truth – just look at 2016

It was Farage who kickstarted the Leave campaign’s “Project Fear” with the lie that Turkey would join the EU as soon as 2020, saying its 75 million citizens would have unfettered access to live, work and claim benefits in the UK. The official campaign, Vote Leave, followed suit when it became clear how effective this falsehood could be.

Other referendum lowlights for Farage included: the racist dog-whistling of his notorious “Breaking Point” poster and denying Brexit would cause any problems for the Irish border. What’s more, having popularised the lie that the EU costs us £350 million a week (he used the figure £50 million a day), he distanced himself from the number the day after the result.

Don’t trust him to stick around

Less than a fortnight after the referendum vote, Farage resigned as Ukip leader. He left others with the impossible task of fulfilling his promise to stop following EU laws and end free movement of EU citizens, while not tanking the economy. By spring 2017 Farage was even telling callers to his LBC radio show that if Brexit was a disaster he’d “go and live abroad” – not an easy option for most people, and ironically one that would be made much harder if we left the EU.

Don’t trust him with your money

Farage has made a career out of criticising the Brussels “gravy train” – but is not afraid of abusing it. Last year, he was docked over £35,000 from his MEP salary for misspending taxpayer-funded EU money.

Don’t trust him to fight your corner

When given the chance, Farage has also proven unwilling to speak up for the very groups he claims to stand for. Take local fishing communities, which he claims to champion. During three years on the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, Farage attended one of 42 meetings, Greenpeace research showed. He missed several key votes, including one on giving higher quotas to smaller, sustainable fishing fleets in coastal communities.

Don’t trust him if you normally vote Labour

Farage said that in European elections his Brexit Party would be going for the Labour vote in a “very big way”. But the former Ukip leader’s politics couldn’t be further from traditional Labour values. He’s on record in 2012 suggesting the NHS should be privatised along the lines of an “insurance-based system”. He also described increases to maternity pay as “foolish” in 2010. Underneath his man-of-the-people act, intensively cultivated in recent years, what does Farage really believe?

There was a point when Farage seemed keen for a public vote on the terms of our departure from the EU. But he’s weaselled out of that too, saying victory for his Brexit Party should reduce the chance of a People’s Vote. What changed his mind? Is he worried that the public have seen through his lies to the almighty mess at Brexit’s heart? One thing you can trust him to do is to try to pull the wool over voters’ eyes in the campaign ahead.

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Published and promoted by Hugo Dixon on behalf of Referendum Facts Ltd., Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

Edited by Hugo Dixon

5 Responses to “Farage wants voters to ‘trust’ him. That’s rich”

  • In any rational debate Farage would lose all credibility.It should be much easier to demonstrate this now that the statements that he made at the time of the referendum campaign and since can be shown to have no basis whatsoever in reality ( eg ‘ Taking back control ‘)

    What is very worrying however is that this man is still being taken seriously apparently by large parts of the UK population. As for his standing for the European Parliament, an institution he claims to abhor and wants to see disappear, how can such conduct be tolerated ? What does it say about a man who can behave in this way ?

  • It is staggering that this man has so much influence. Why is he so anti EU? Ideology? I doubt it. Every single thing he says about the EU is negative, destructive and full of hatred. He goes on about the ‘gravy train’, a phrase used by ordinary leavers who have no idea how accurate it is. If there is a gravy train then Farrage is on it! Taking his salary and very generous pension from an organisation he wants to destroy. I truly resent this.

  • I think one of the single greatest deceptions in the 2016 Referendum (next to the £350 weekly claim for the NHS, and the imminent Turkish entry to the EU), was Farage’s claims about asylum seekers and economic refugees.
    He tried to link these to the EU’s Freedom of movement. Who can forget his “breaking point” photomontage at the head of a queue of ethnically mainly non European looking faces. With Merkel allowing about a million refugees, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, to enter Germany in 2015, this was very convenient for Farage. What he “forgot” to point out was that to exercise the EU’s freedom of movement, you need an EU passport. Turning up at Dover showing an Afghan or Iranian passport won’t work. I actually heard him trying to defend this on radio by suggesting Moldova as a route refugees could use to obtain EU status. Firstly, refugees streams into Moldova are modest in the extreme, and secondly Moldova isn’t an EU state.
    Most refugees in recent years have ended up in Germany. To qualify for a German passport you, as a rule, need 8 years residence. Something Farage will have been well aware of, having an ex-German wife and part German children. I doubt the qualifying time in other EU countries will be much less, but anyway, the large majority of refugees ended up in Germany.

    You really have to laugh a bit when Farage asks to be trusted. You need only recall what his right hand man in the Referendum, Arron Banks, said when appearing before the Commons Select Committee; “we may have led people up the garden path”, a slightly nicer way of saying, lying.

  • Maybe you should sit down with Nigel and ask him his response to all these points instead of insisting these biased statements are facts.

    Finally the £350 million per week for the NHS on the big red bus is not a lie, it was in fact an estimate, which now our Remainer Prime Minister has gone over the figures should we leave, and she has admitted that our country will be so much better off because of Brexit and the actual figure would be £394 million a week! The likes of David Lammy etc on Question Time are quoting the lie on the big red bus. They know fully well that’s not true our PM has spoken so once again our Remainer MPs are blatantly lying!

  • The single big fact is that if “the people” follow Farage (aka Mr. Ed the talking horse) again, they simply deserve what’s coming at them. In that case it probably is quite necessary for those with half a brain to quit England.