The Incredible Disappearing Farage, and Other Electoral Oddities 622


For a decade Nigel Farage has been flung into our living rooms continually by the BBC. Even when UKIP barely registered a blip in the opinion polls, he was a regular on Question Time and the other news, current affairs and politics programme. Farage’s celebrity was a BBC creation. He served an important purpose. At a time when the wealth gap was growing exponentially, and working conditions and real incomes of ordinary people were deteriorating sharply, Farage helped amplify the Establishment message that the cause of these problems was not the burgeoning class of billionaires sucking up the world’s resources, but rather the poor immigrants also scratching to make a living.

Having undermined the prospects of a left wing reaction to massively increasing inequality, Farage has now served his purpose. The exigencies of fighting an election under first past the post are such that Farage has become a potentially serious problem for the wealthy elite. The Brexit Party is a fundamental threat to Boris Johnson’s strategy of moving the Tory Party decisively to the hard right and attempting to win seats on the back of working class anti-immigrant votes in the Midlands and North of England. More liberal Scottish, London and South Western Tory voters have been deliberately abandoned, and consituencies sacrificed, in order to chase hard racist votes. Those indoctrinated to hate their fellow man if he has a Polish accent, are now required by the elite to vote Tory, not to vote for the Brexit Party.

The remarkable result of this is that, at precisely the point where Farage’s influence will be most crucial in determining the future of politics in the UK, he has been dropped by the media. I am extremely confident in my perception that he has appeared less in the last month than at any period in the preceding decade. Having been boosted into prominence by the BBC when they were insignificant, the BBC will do everything it possibly can to dampen down Farage and his Brexit Party now they legitimately deserve coverage as a critical factor.

I am happy to state with confidence that this election will backfire on the Tories. The strong evidence from both the 2017 election and the Scottish referendum campaign, is that once broadcasting rules on equal time come into play, the impact on voters is profound of hearing direct from normally derided people and their normally ridiculed arguments.

The Johnson/Cummings electoral strategy is catastrophically bad. First past the post rewards regional voter concentration. Cummings plan is to sacrifice votes in traditional Tory areas in order to pile them up in traditionally hostile areas. The result will be to even out their vote, lose regional concentration and lose the election. They can pile on two million racist votes in traditional Labour constituencies without gaining more than a dozen seats. That will merely cancel out losses in Scotland. That people en masse are going to forget the devastation of their communities by Thatcher or the generations of fight for a decent living is far from probable. The antipathy to the Tories in parts of the UK is not “tribal”, it is the result of generations of hard experience.

The Brexit Party may have more appeal than the Tories in traditional Labour consituencies, but neither they nor the Tories will win any significant number of them. It is in the marginals of the Midlands and Lancashire where the Brexit Party may damage the Tories’ chances, not in Sunderland and Hartlepool which will stay Labour. The SNP is going to sweep Scotland, the Liberal Democrats make substantive gains in London and the South West and the Labour Party will do much better in London and the North than anybody now expects. The Midlands, both East and West, are hard to predict and the key battleground, but the number of possible Tory gains is not enough to compensate for their losses elsewhere. The Tories could end up with the largest share of the vote, perhaps 36%, but less seats than the Labour Party. That is what I expect to happen.

The fly in this alluring ointment is that the Liberal Democrats have shifted so decisively to the right on economic policy. In general I advise everyone in England to vote tactically to defeat the Tories in their constituency, but obviously both Lib Dems and Labour have individual right wing horror candidates I could never ask anyone to vote for.

Here in Scotland, Independence remains the overriding priority. We must escape from Tory domination and the right wing jingoism that so infects English politics; but also it is simply normal for a nation to be Independent. So we all have to vote and campaign for the SNP in what could be a decisive moment in our history.
Incidentally, there is not a single constituency in Scotland where there is a plausible argument that to vote SNP risks letting a Tory in. I am hopeful that we will sweep the Tories out of Scotland completely this time. I am also quite keen about the SNP helping Corbyn pass the basis of a radical left wing reform agenda through Westminster, whilst briefly on a swift route to Independence.

Now that would be a good Christmas present.

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622 thoughts on “The Incredible Disappearing Farage, and Other Electoral Oddities

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  • Chrestomathy

    Delighted you have provided means other the Paypal to subscribe. Small subscription follows. Cannot thank you enough for your blog.

  • Tom Welsh

    “Having undermined the prospects of a left wing reaction to massively increasing inequality, Farage has now served his purpose”.

    That sounds like an astonishingly blinkered opinion. Frankly, there is not and never has been (within living memory) any “prospects of a left wing reaction”.

    The only elements of the British political classes who even like to call themselves “left wing” or “progressive” are Labour and the Lib Dems. Labour is just a sub-Tory party pretending to be radical. All actual Labour politicians are emphatically conservative, in that they want to keep things exactly as they are today – with their rich friends in charge.

    As for the Lib Dems, they should all be in prison for deceptive advertising. I have never seen a more illiberal bunch, and they all loathe and detest the idea of true democracy.

    • Xavi

      Ah they’re all same yeah, Corbyn, Boris, same thing, emphatically conservative. Might as well just vote for Boris eh Tom, makes no difference after all, they’re all the same.

      • Loony

        Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy were different in a number of ways. However they were the same in one important respect – they shared a penchant for killing people. It would be odd to ask someone to choose whether they would prefer to die at the hands of Dahmer or of Bundy. It is equally odd to believe that the plight of the common man will in anyway change should either Labour or the Conservatives be elected to government.

        No doubt your life will continue and you will continue to insinuate that there is no asset price bubble and that this bubble (not that it exists in your captured mind) is in any way harmful to the average person.

        If you don’t understand what the problem is then you are very unlikely to stumble across the solution.

      • Tom Welsh

        Right now there is pressing reason to vote for Brexit. Once we have got Brussels off our backs, we can think about how to ease the oppression and unfairness of Westminster.

        Before you can set about trying to pick the lock that secures the ball to your ankles, you must get free from the shackles that bind your wrists.

        Finally, one day – as soon as possible – you will be ready to overwhelm the guard and make a break for liberty.

  • giyane.

    In the suburbs of Birmingham there is a shift from an older generation that supported Labour and the welfare state and a new generation that wants neo-colonial war in the Middle East.

    The Tories and especially Boris Johnson enable young Asian Muslim men to support or participate in this fake jihad against middle eastern Muslims in countries like Syria.

    I’ve no idea if the mosques have the power to influence British politics towards this fake jihad against the Muslims of different ethnicity.
    What I do know is that a Muslim who is arrogant enough to advocate fratricide in Syria is on the same side as Zionism.

    The Tory cabinet is a poster shop for Zionist war, with Patel advocating British aid for Al Qaida in the Golan.

    • Niko

      On the outskirts of Kiev,Ukraine,there is a shift from an older generation that supported communists and the welfare state and a new generation that wants neo-colonial war in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine.

      The western stooges and especially the pResidents enable young stupid so called volunteers and jetsam and flotsem of the Junta to support or participate in this fake war against their kind in countries like Russia and Ukraine.

      I’ve got clear idea that the mosques ,churches,and the like of them have the power to influence politics everywhere towards this fake war against peoples of different ethnicity.

        • giyane.

          Niko

          The Tories have diverted the Asian rage against centuries of colonialism from themselves to the pious and better educated Muslims of Syria.

          If you are from Ukraine then it might help you understand it.
          As for me , if i had been dominated by the colonial power for three centuries , I wouldn’t start a fourth century of colonial power if i had the choice.

          It means they worship power, not God. That is the definition of political Islam

  • Ian

    Nice theory, and I wish you would be right, but there are plenty of reasons to doubt it. Unfortunately. Corbyn exceed expectations last time, but the circumstances are different this time. Corbyn picked up a lot of remain votes, which have now gone to the Lib Dems, as a consequence of his slapping down every attempt to get his party aligned with its base of members and voters, preferring the views of its antediluvian old left, most of whom are ‘advisers’ and not subject to scrutiny or accountability. And of course May was so inept, so unappealing and so wooden, that she threw away a huge lead.
    While Boris is equally loathsome, he is not so stupid, and hides behind a formidable array of hedge funds and US corporate backers, who will stop at nothing to get their way. While you fondly imagine some kind of level playing field because of the broadcasting election laws, you are living in the past if you think that is where most people will be swayed. The alt right are way ahead of their opponents in their exploitation of social media, and its manipulation. Bannon is explicit about that, as is his eager student Cummings. And two Australians , who helped a loathsome rightwing government to overturn an apparent shoe-in for a leftwing administration, have been imported for the tory cause. Labour have totally ignored they way these people have gamed the system, and made elections completely non-transparent, and much more susceptible to foreign money and influence. That, after all, is how they ‘won’ the referendum. They prosper because the establishment refuses to either believe it or do anything about it. Of course it is to their benefit to pretend it doesn’t exist. The LibDems may have sold us down the river with the appalling Swinson and her naive politics, handing Johnson the lifeline he wanted.
    We will see, but it is far from certain that the opposition can take enough votes from the tories, who know, as always that all they need is about a third of the electorate to return them to office. In other words, in a referendum, they would lose, because they need 50%. An election is a far lower bar, and they have 80% of the media on their side, endlessly repeating lies and smears.

    • Dave

      Except as Lib Dems pitching as the Remain Party all their votes will go to Labour, due to Labour promise to hold a 2nd referendum with a Remain choice.

    • Sopo

      The Lib Dems are Revoke rather than Remain, a policy position that may ignite civil war. Thankfully they will fail once again, they always balls things up.

    • Dungroanin

      Largely agree Ian except for a couple of things:

      ‘Corbyn picked up a lot of remain votes,’

      But the 2017 Labour manifesto committed to persuing the referendum result. As i suspect the new one will too – with a promise of a confirmatory peoples vote.

      Last time a curtailed by terrorist murders snap election resulted in both parties getting about 40% of the vote each – separated by a mere 800,000 votes.

      This time Labours got a run – up to it and wider electioneering teams.
      That 800k gap is likely to disappear and may pile up on the other side.

      Polls polls balls is what i always say – there os absolutely no point in public polls when the real thing is going to happen in a few weeks.

      The Cabinet Office will have their own secret ones and will have civil servants preparing.

      Additionally I also think it wasn’t just the SCL/CA/FB cheating that swayed the referendums – there was also actual ballot box stuffing.

      Why won’t the Electoral Commission not give a breakdown of how many postal ballots there were per counting area?

      Why won’t the EC count postal votes separately?

      Why has the EC allowed the number of postal votes to quadruple?

      Why are postal votes not collected door to door from these who are not abroad? There are plenty of postmen/women to do it.

      Why do we believe the UK is above such election rigging?

  • bjsalba

    As I understand it Farage is tuting for financial support in the USA. He has set up a 501C4 corporation – effectively a Superpac. That means there is absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY whatsoever. We don’t know who is funding it or how the money is being spent. UK law needs to be changed so this is illegal.

  • nevermind

    Here we go again. Less than 48hrs. Into an election campaign and we have Farrage and Trump slagging off Corbyn.
    Whats is even more pungent is that the BBC fakes outrage at a direct intervention by another head of state, but then amplyfies Trumps arsechants as requiered.
    4 weeks of accusations coming up. Hope his impeachment comes soon.

  • Jelly Bean

    Craig, I hope you are right that the Tories’ election gambit will backfire. I agree that the SNP are going to do a clean sweep up here, but fear that the Tories could enter some kind of coalition with the Brexit Party if the English right-wing vote wins the day down there. ll the more reason to keep fighting for our own independence anyway.

  • Gary

    There is one plausible explanation for Farage’s lack of visibility. Firstly I hear they are launching their campaign tomorrow so I imagine he’s been busy. Busy making decisions on two things which will make a massive difference to their success and the potential outcome to the election overall, regardless of whether the Brexit Party gains a single seat, or not.

    The first decision, which I gather has already been made some time ago, is over their manifesto – or previous lack thereof. They were successful in the Euros due to their status as a single-issue party. There was only one thing voters needed to know, and that was that the Brexit Party wanted to make sure we were OUT of the EU and would continue pressing the government on that. I have heard that in this GE they will write a full manifesto of policies and that they will be ‘right-leaning’ And I imagine that means leaning quite FAR to the right. Parties don’t usually release their manifestos until the very last minute so we wont get to see it until late November early December. They’ll be hoping most voters will have decided by then (perhaps even used their postal vote by then too!) but this could well prevent them from taking, as they hoped, the Labour Leave votes as they’d hoped. Even the most staunch leaver might blanch at voting for a party so right wing if they’ve voted Labour all their lives. And the second massive decision they need to make is where to field candidates, do they go for a truly national campaign or should they concentrate on those areas where they are most likely to do well? Do they compete with the Tories? Do they bother to stand in Remain areas? Concentrating their campaign could see them picking up seats (provided they are seen as acceptable by Labour voters) They could pick up ten seats or absolutely NONE at all.

    But I agree with your assessment. Boris will take up the bulk of the coverage, Farage will be forgotten.

    I predict a short, energetic and VERY dirty campaign. From my own point of view I want SNP to be returned in force giving a mandate to push yet harder for Indy2. They have done almost everything in their power to get one (I imagine legal actions WILL ensue next year) We are in danger of running out of democracy here…

  • Hatuey

    “Here in Scotland, Independence remains the overriding priority….”

    Independence has become to the SNP what socialism became to the Labour Party.

    Consider the reaction you’d get if you asked Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, when he thought we could expect to achieve socialism… I think for the first time in a long time you’d see his usually miserable face break into a smile.

    In 5 or 10 years you’ll get the same smile when you ask SNP politicians about independence.

    The only people that seem to think the SNP still want independence are the grassroots of the independence movement. It will annoy them to hear that, I’m sure, but it’s best that they hear it from someone who cares. And I hope they do something about it.

    I don’t think I’ll vote. The representative for the SNP in my area is a person I detest every bit as much as I detest Scottish Labour and the Tories. The Greens could be worth a shout but I’d be voting them for all the wrong reasons.

  • Ffrank

    Wow! Murray revealed himself as another lazy elitist, incapable of nuance. So anyone who voted to leave the EU is a nasty “racist”, right?
    Competition for scarce local resources (public transport, hospital beds, school places, GP appointments, etc.) creates social tensions regardless of race, religion, nationality. That’s not caused by “racism”.
    Likewise, the perception that EU membership benefits accrue more to people around London, Oxford, Cambridge (or Scotland, with its significant EU funding) than to those in more remote parts of the country is also not based on “racism”.
    A tactic frequently used by elitists is to demonise people with some type of slur (call them an xx-ist, yy-phobe, zz-denier, etc.) – it makes it so much easier to ignore their legitimate concerns because they’re obviously such bad, bad, people. Then the elitists get surprised when the people they’ve smeared & ignored end up voting for something, or someone, the elitists don’t like.
    While it’s true that some people voted for Farage-led parties due to prejudice against foreigners, it’s sad to see an article on this blog that uses such childish & broad-brush concepts as “racist votes”. There’s a distinct lack of nuance in this article.

    • craig Post author

      There are reasons to dislike the EU that are unrelated to immigration. But there is a whole heap of polling evidence that shows that the vast majority of Brexit voters were motivated primarily by immigration, not to mention the tone and content of the referendum campaign “taking back control of our borders”.

      There is very good evidence in these comments. You have not enlightened us as to your personal reasons for supporting Brexit, but the preceding comments making a similar critique of this article to yours all veer off into. “I am not a racist. The reason I hate immigrants is because they take our resources/reject our way of life”.

      • Sopo

        I was motivated by the EU trwatment of Greece, Craig, while you only came on board after trouble in Catalonia. You’d do well to remember there were people out here who saw further than you, rather than keep waving some poll results around.

      • Agent Green

        You can want to cut immigration by 90% and not be racist. You must have extraordinarily strange thought processes if you think that everyone focused on immigration is racist.

        • Martinned

          Because people who want to cut immigration by 90% might have that view because they’re worried about Australians moving here?

          • Bayard

            They well might, if thousands of well-educated Australians came here and undercut them in the jobs market. Whilst you were under your stone, you must have missed all the anti-immigrant rhetoric aimed at Poles and other Eastern European nations, who are white caucasians like the majority of the English, or do you believe that any criticism of anyone of a different skin colour for any reason is racism?

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Wanting to control the rates of immigration is not racist, it is common sense.

        The vast majority of cells in your body, Mr Murray, display SELECTIVE permeability. The hydrophobic membranes have proteins anchored across them which allow uptake of specific useful molecules. The brain is particularly selective about what it allows across the Blood-Brain barrier.

        So according to your logic, your brain is racist.

        Saying that anyone can come here no questions asked is absolutely ridiculous. Houses cannot be magicked up overnight, there is probably a three year lag phase between initial planning applications and houses being available to live in. So letting 1.5 million extra people arrive without houses ready for them is plain madness. I hope you put up an immigrant family to ease strain on housing.

        That does not cover school building programmes, expanded NHS services etc etc.

        Apart from anything else, economic migrants should speak good enough English not to need interpreters. Why should we pay for their ignorance? Limit translation services to refugees…they at least deserve compassion.

    • Hatuey

      “those in more remote parts of the country”

      The North East of England isn’t remote. Some of the people might be.

      I’ve never wavered from my view that the Brexit vote was predominantly driven by racism. I said that on here when everyone else was trying to be more “understanding” of them.

      I looked at the Brexit campaign in 2016 and it struck me that everything they were saying had been said before, by the National Front, and, looking back today, I believe I was absolutely right about that.

      As suggested here, the real question revolves around explaining that racism. Racism according to studies is a learned response. They’ve done all sorts of studies with children that prove this. It’s top down, in other words.

      There’s no natural or intrinsic human fear of differences like skin colour — you’ll never find racism in young children until about the age of 8, because they don’t learn to be racists in their very early years. It’s an unnatural thing.

      • Loony

        Maybe you would be better advised to try and understand some different things.

        Ask yourself exactly how many Vietnamese people you would be happy to see freeze to death in the back of a truck in order for the ever munificent British to be able to avail themselves of cheap visits to nail salons and to rest easy in the knowledge that their cannabis crops are being tended to by diligent Vietnamese horticulturalists.

        One day you will people will surely pay the price for your naked contempt for the foreign man – a contempt which you so pathetically seek to cover in the puerile rantings of virtue. People like you are undoubtedly responsible for more human misery than the most egregious slave trader could ever have dreamed of.

      • Bayard

        “I’ve never wavered from my view that the Brexit vote was predominantly driven by racism”
        How do you work that out, when the vast majority of the immigrants from the EU are white caucasian like the English? Remain lost because they totally cocked up their campaign, but I suppose Remainers find it easier to deny that and say it was because the English, weirdly and uniquely, are racist against their own race. I suppose we all hate ourselves for being white.

    • Jack

      Ffrank

      I wonder, what are the legitimate reasons to criticize immigration or is it forbidden altogether?

      Apparently, as a nation in the EU, you HAVE to accept immigrants, no wonder people want to leave:
      Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic broke EU law on refugees, says court adviser
      https://www.dw.com/en/hungary-poland-and-czech-republic-broke-eu-law-on-refugees-says-court-adviser/a-51070632

      “Incidentally” Hungary, Poland and Czech rep. is not ridden with the same problem pro-immigration have endured but apparently they will not get away with that it if EU is to decide.

        • Hatuey

          I wouldn’t worry about typing errors, most people probably threw in the towel after the first sentence.

          Why do you seek “legitimate reasons to criticise immigration” anyway? If you have views on immigration then you should air them instead of looking for “legitimate reasons”. Maybe you’re scared to.

          If someone came here asking what were legitimate reasons for criticising coloured people or Jews, we’d rightly condemn them as racists. I feel the same way about your desire to criticise migrants.

          Why don’t you focus on your own life and failings instead of looking to blame and pick on others?

          Just about everybody in this country, a country that proudly stuck its nose in all over the world, is descended from immigrants. It’s pure hypocrisy.

          And if you have concerns about the economy, social services, or the nhs, because of immigrants, why don’t you spend about 2 minutes reading about it — you’ll find they are net contributors to GDP and the tax base.

          On the subject of tax, why don’t you turn your attentions to the mega rich who stash their money offshore so as to avoid tax, whilst at the same time taking full advantage of the facilities and social structures that you, I, and the immigrants pay for?

          Answer my points or fuck off with you your narrow minded bile.

          • Jack

            Hatuey

            Sorry for the typing errors.
            I asked because one is often called a racist for airing these views (case in point Ffrank), you can go to previous page to see my post on immigration.
            Immigration isnt about race, where do I criticize the color of somone? You missunderstand why people do not like this immigration going on right now. I criticze from facts – go to number #1 of this comment section and I proved how much BILLIONS going directly to immigration while this could have gone to completely different and more important things for people already living here.

            Xavi

            Spiked is a marxist publication, I am not allowed to use leftists sources to prove my point on immigration now?
            Is that what you pro-Labour people think I dont have to prove my point beyond that how badly informed you guys have become about reality of things.

          • Hatuey

            You didn’t answer any of my questions, jack. Not one. And if you can’t see the overlap with racist views and anti-immigrant views, you’re blinded by your prejudice.

            I’ve seen a few people trying to be the thinking man’s racist on here. You don’t come close.

          • Xavi

            Jack

            You’ve been forced into playing the “Immigration isnt about race” card. Yet in your first comment yesterday you were claiming that “White impoverished people get no compassion by the Labour party” (15:51). What was that all about?

            You also claim compassion for economically disadvantaged “natives” is the basis of your own objection to immigration into the UK. Yet it is rare to encounter anybody in the 21st century who repeatedly refers to them as “low-class” people, as you did yesterday (19:53). Even the likes of Donald Trump and Charles Moore are more capable of disguising their contempt for working class people.

            As to spiked being a “Marxist” site, it is the only such one to be bankrollled by the Koch brothers and whose output consists entirely of reactionary hate pieces. It is about as authentically committed to class struggle as you are, which is to say not at all.

          • Jack

            Hatuey

            There is so much hatred by the left, you call me a “racist” and tell me to “fuck off”, proving my point through and through that one cannot criticize immigration today if leftists are to decide.
            It reminds me of israeli supporters that smears critics of Israel as “antisemites”. You would agree with me that that is bollocks, but now you are using the same tatic yourself. Do you not realize that?
            You should know that most people do not regard “racism” and thus the slur as the end of the world by being called that. People see whats going on in the world, i.e. how much immigration “cost” in the streets through crime but also by the declining economic welfare.

          • Jack

            Xavi

            Yes criticizing immigration isnt about race, I dont criticize Pakistani’ people for the color of their skin.
            And yes you can perhaps say it is a reversed racism going on, native white people are pushed back and are hit the worst by the mass immigration going on.

            Low-class is a term describing people at the bottom of the society in terms of socio-economic principles:
            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/low-class

            It says alot when I cannot even use sources from the Marxist left to tell you whats going on in this world.
            What sources are ok for me to use?

          • Hatuey

            Yet again, my racist friend, you prove yourself unable to imbibe and process basic information.

            There is no disproportionate crime problem caused by immigrants — most of them come here to work, earn, and pay tax, and most succeed in that.

            Immigrants are net contributors to the economy and tax base. That means they put in more than they take out. Can the same be said of your angry entitled natives?

            Btw, I’m not of the left. In actually fact, one of the reasons I am keen on immigration is that it adds dynamism to an otherwise deadbeat economy and labour market.

            I suspect the real reason that so many under-achievers in this country hate immigrants is because hardworking immigrants show them up for the talentless, work-shy, entitled burdens that they are.

            The irony of all this is that Brexit is going to herald a whole new economic model which will increase competition and remove welfare and protections for the labour market. The lumpen who go around today shouting about immigrants and sovereignty are first in line to be hammered.

          • Jack

            Hatuey

            That is totally wrong, outright false:

            Most immigrants are a burden for the welfare. Full stop!

            “£17bn, the true cost of immigration to the UK every year”
            “The figure includes a £1.2billion annual net cost of migrants from Europe, who consume far more in public services and benefits than they pay in taxes.”
            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3593872/17bn-true-cost-immigration-UK-year.html
            or take this article:
            “Immigrants who came to live in Britain from outside Europe cost the public purse nearly £120 billion over 17 years, a new report has shown. ”
            https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11209234/Immigration-from-outside-Europe-cost-120-billion.html

            Immigrants, refugees are commiting far more crime than natives in relative terms:
            Froom sexual/grooming cases, to gang related crimes, knife attacks, terrorism, assault, sexual assault, robbery.

            Once again you show hatred againt natives living here, it is what I have been saying over and over again, you on the so called Left/Labour have no respect for natives, white, low-class people. Just read what you just said to me – you vouch for the immigrant before native people living here – its bonkers. So that makes total sense they want to leave the EU because that will mean less power, influences by people sharing your views.
            Not to mention most people want to stop the mass immigration that is pushed by the EU:

            “Overall public opinion towards immigration remains negative: 63% of people think that immigration into Britain in the last ten years has been too high and by 32% to 24% they think it has been mostly bad for the country”
            https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2018/04/27/where-public-stands-immigration

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Legitimate reasons for criticising black people in London include inability to control their children becoming gang members associated with knife crime. Not to mention attitudes of young black men in getting women pregnant and not taking responsibility as a father.

            Of course not all black families have children running amok stabbing people and some black families are very conservative.

            But the statistics on black children lacking fathers at home suggest something those communities should rightly be questioned about.

            It is legitimate to criticise any Jew who claims that the Jewish race is superior, chosen by God etc. That is the definition of racism, making all non-Jews inferior. You can call any Muslim regarding non Muslims as inferior racist too.

            The number of extreme Jews and extreme Muslims is rather like the number of white racists: single digit percentages.

  • Duncan

    Craig, I am in complete agreement.
    Using simpler arithmetic, loses in Scotland, and a resurgent LibDems cannot get Boris to 321.
    I await the bookies odds in my wager that the Tories have a net loss in the GE.
    Boris and Dom seem to forget that he (Boris) is viewd as a complete upper class buffoon in the northern estates.
    He will not win enough Labour leave seats to compensate for Tory loses to the SNP and in England to LibDem remainers.

    • Mosaic

      I am incredulous that the antisemitism denunciation meme continues to swing apparently unabated.
      The Al Jazeera documentary on Jewish/Zionist agitations and manipulations of both UK and USA politicians was 100% credible. Various groups and paid operatives are using the antisemitism charge to destroy the reputations of their political opponents and get them removed from office or from their jobs. such activities should be made illegal. IMO these charges are spurious and libellous. Corbyn and the Labour Party should fight back with countercharges of conspiracy to defame and interfere with people’s civil and employment rights. The joke here is also that a lot of the audience for this antisemitism theater performance doesn’t actually give a flying F about genuine antisemitism (if such there be; of course the far bigger problem is anti-Palestinianism). It is just part of the political kabuki—popcorn fodder.

      I am 1/4 Jewish, child of a German Mischling who fled the Nazis, and I am disgusted.

  • Ken Kenn

    For all the suspicion of ‘ foreigners ‘ interfering in our elections what do our great patriots ( Brexiteers) make of our great patriot Nigel
    inviting the US President to interfere in our politics?

    Trump for PM!

    No doubt the same patriots don’t consider Donald as a foreigner as he’s white ( very white ) and speaks English (sometimes)

    Farage has just laid bare what the real game is about.

    Johnson should be lashed with the same criticism.

    Three chancers agreeing no doubt.

    • Loony

      Maybe there are some people that do not consider Trump “a foreigner” for the simple reason that his Mother was Scottish.

      Now imagine for one moment the unending opprobrium that would fall on you should you parody the foreign origins of Sadiq Khan. Obviously you would never do this for the entirely virtuous reason of cowardice.

      The vast mass of the population have got your number – and only people like you need reminding that your number is 666. Ask why!!!

      • J

        ‘The vast mass of the population’ have never heard of him. Does accusing people of being the devil come under the definition of ad hominem?

        • Loony

          OK so the vast mass of the population have never heard of Donald Trump. Strange then how so much media attention is devoted to a man who no-one has ever heard of. What does that tell you about the influence of the media? What does it tell you about the vast mass of the population if they have never heard of Trump? Or alternatively what does it tell you about elitist bigots who assume (without evidence) the ignorance of the common man.

          • Iain Stewart

            Are you alright?

            The Rev Mr Loony is clearly on top bile-squirting form, detecting the cowardly hypocrisy that everyone constantly plagues him with, and excoriating shameless sinners energetically, but repentance is futile, for we are all doomed, and serves us right, as St John Calvin said.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I think the levels of triggered hatred induced in the UK by Trump means any ‘interference’ is a highly double-edged sword.

      Go ask Corbyn, Swinson, Lucas et al whether they think they will get more votes courtesy of Trump putting his oar in….

  • Humphrey

    It was little surprise that Corbyn was willing to reject the rigged calls that BoJoke was making for an election. Corbyn got to stand at the dispatch box and say over and over again that “The Prime Minister can not be trusted.” And no one could really argue with the point. Thus, Corbyn got to use for weeks on end what should end up being one of the main lines of attack against BoJoke’s campaign. BoJoke thinks that big promises in spending in areas slashed by Tory austerity will somehow reverse bad feeling and create Torry votes. The answer to that is to say “Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can not be trusted”. But he wants to raise the NHS. The answer is to say “Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can not be trusted”. All you have to do is to remind people that it is unwise to take at his word the guy who’s been sacked from two jobs for lying. And if that still hasn’t won the argument, the last line is that “Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson lied to the Queen.”

  • Brianfujisan

    The Dirty, Ugly Tricks are going into full swing already.. As the LidDems have been posting leaflets telling outright lies.. Being that the SNP want people to vote Conservative.. A 100% Lie.. It’s all to do with trying unseat Ian Blackford..
    Senior figures in the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour believe that Craig Harrow, the Liberal Democrat candidate, is on course to topple Ian Blackford in Ross, Skye and Lochaber and have effectively downed tools on campaigning in the constituency.
    They can Keep Dreaming

    Then there’s this 6th year Medical Student Who attempted to ask Boris Johnson a few Questions at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Today.. She spoke well about the sham visit, well done that Girl –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlh7mlNMhP8

    • Pyewacket

      As for Dirty tricks Brian, on tonight’s regional BBC NW news, it was reported that Boris may call a temporary halt to fracking at the Qaudrilla site in Lancashire. Surely this isn’t a shady attempt to influence voter support in the Blackpool South Constituency, currently held by Labour with a 2500+ majority.

  • Michael Droy

    “Having undermined the prospects of a left wing reaction to massively increasing inequality, Farage has now served his purpose. ”

    This is absolute nonsense. The left failed to represent those suffering from inequality simply because it failed. It wasn’t shouted down, it wasn’t starved of oxygen, it plain ad simply failed to say anything. 30 years of reversal that took inequality back from the 1980s to the 1930s and the left vanished. Blame Blair perhaps.

    There is massive support for anyone to campaign on inequality out there. Desperate to hear anyone doing so.

    All that anger about inequality came out as Brexit because it was the nearest thing to the message people wanted.
    They wanted “government has failed the bottom 70%”. No one took that line so they jumped on up yours Delors, Brussels and Westminster.
    They wanted “wages for the 70% have been squeezed and squeezed and no one is doing anything about it”. They wanted “manager to worker pay ratios have gone from 3 to 10 and Headmaster to teacher ratios have gone from 2 to 5.” They got “we must close the male/female pay gap from 5% to 0% and look how many Black Female LBGT barristers we have now”.
    Farage said immigrant workers were a small part of the cause of inequality so voters jumped to the Brexit man. Who else could they vote for.

    US was identical – Trump listened to workers where median earnings are up 0% in 30 years – which put him a long way ahead of the Dems who failed even to listen.

      • Loony

        Ah revisionism – dontcha love it!!!

        The functional left in the UK met its emesis in 1984 (less than 40 years ago and within the ambit of the Thatcher regime) Take a look at those that were crushed – Scargill, Foot, Benn and a youthful Corbyn.

        Next up see how they all loathed the (EEC) EU. Foot loathed the (EEC) EU to such an extent that he was happy to share a platform with Enoch Powell in order to make the anti (EEC) EU case

        Foot and Benn are now dead – but neither ever recanted with regard to the EU. Scargill lives and remains implacably opposed to the EU and Corbyn…..? Well aint it hard when you discover that you’re really not where it’s at.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Michael Droy
      Great post, pretty much sums up my feelings about the Labour party since Blair, and yes, Brexit was a reaction, a lashing out, by ordinary people like my wife and I, who were considered too old (at 50), too expensive, so were dispensed with for younger, cheaper models from abroad. People need to know that it is the EU forcing EU states to impose austerity measures on their people, and who does that hurt? Not the ruling elite or politicians, but the poorest in society.

      http://www.tuaeu.co.uk/eu-austerity-measures-driving-millions-into-poverty/

      https://www.redpepper.org.uk/the-trouble-with-being-both-anti-austerity-and-pro-eu/

      • Dungroanin

        Austerity was a political choice by the ToryLibDems supported by their partners in crime, NuLabourInc.

        The EU had fuck all to do with Gideon Osborne’s budgets.

        You know that. So why keep saying otherwise?

        • Andyoldlabour

          Dungroanin

          Such a pity you have to resort to swearing, and ignoring the truth. Please read the links and then come back to me when you have digested the information. If a state is an EU member, then it has to get its budget approved by the EU, something Greece, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands have failed to do in the past, having to rethink and then set in place austerity measures.

          https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/europe-austerity-eu-facism-italy-matteo-salvini-league-five-star-movement-luigi-di-maio-a8619791.html

          https://www.ft.com/content/8bfcda3a-877c-11e9-97ea-05ac2431f453

          Mind you, folks such as yourself will never see any wrong in the EU.

          • Dungroanin

            Swearing?
            I wasn’t swearing at you, was I?
            There is much worse in the msm, it would shock you!

            I read the Indy can’t get behind firewall on FT but i get the idea. Now answer this to my satisfaction;

            When a EU member state fails to adhere to the agreed EU tragets what happens? Do they get kicked out if they break the parameters?

            Tell us of the about the punishments imposed. If Greece or Italy or France transgreses? Or the UK? What actual legal remedy has the EU applied?

            As far as I see it is a slap on the wrists – a fine – any austerity is a political decision by the state imposing it. A choice

  • Martin

    Stick to writing what you know about Craig.
    This article is bollocks, the UKIP MEPs are a pretty ethnically diverse bunch.
    A new party is needed, look at the mess the last 1200 days has been thanks to career politicians.
    Peter Hitchens sums up the Labour/Tory situation perfectly, they are two corpses propping each other up, the sooner one falls the better for everyone.

  • Theophilus

    Up to a point Lord Murray (it cannot be long delayed). It is perfectly possible that Farage’s silence has to do with his embarrassement at the position in which he finds himself and not just the wicked BBC. The facts are that the BBC ignored Farage for as long as they could and it was in 2009 that they finally acknowledged UKIP’s consistent position in the opinion polls. He has a real problem. If, as is very likely he contributes to the defeat of the only party even moderately serious about Brexit, it will be the end of him as a serious force in politics and the end of his party. They are naturally divided over what to do.
    You also overlook the fact that the Johnson Cummings strategy was forced on them by party rebels, a biased speaker and dodgy Euro-marinated judges. To quote General de Gaulle, ‘it is a question of march or die, which does not mean we wont die anyway!’

  • fwl

    It’s probably good not to identify too strongly with a position or badge. Whether that is Brexit / Remainer or Tory or Labour or SNP or Christian or Muslim or Atheist, or pro Islam or anti Islam or Israel or whatever. Some of the posts above are so entrenched in the belief that they are right and the opposing view is wrong that they are depressing to read.

    Whatever happened to the wonderfully intelligent outlook of Montaigne and of questioning, continuously questioning one’s own current position. Yes in the short term the pack benefits by adherence to its fixed badge, but as an individual one stagnates and fails to develop.

    It would probably not be great for every constituency in Scotland to vote in the SNP. They do not have 100% support and other voices should be heard. Therefore it would be better for Scotland to have some Tory, Liberal, Green and About MPs just so that those voices are heard and the SNP does not stagnate, which with 100% it would.

    On Islam and its pros and cons where to begin. There is a lovely book by Robert Irwin about his own youthful experiences of visiting a monastery in Algeria in the 1960s. He is still a muslim and at the end of that book he has some interesting, honest and balanced reflections, but I particularly like his Wittgenstein quote:

    “The solution to the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time.”

  • Baron

    You’re wrong on immigration, Mr. Murray.

    Immigration is what colonisation was in the past except for the travelling arrangements of the two key parties to it that are reversed, it’s not the middle class son who packs his bags departs to distant lands where the locals serve him i.e pick bananas, look after him, but it’s the locals from foreign lands who come here do what the sahib wants them to do i.e pick carrots, serve the lattes, look after his kids.

    Immigration is a purely economic phenomenon, it benefits the middle classes (and the poor immigrants who earn more here than at home), and since it’s the middle classes that run the country it, the immigration, is unlikely to be curtailed much, the statistics will get muddled, rehashed, restructured to hide the uninterrupted flow of new immigrants.

    How will it end, now that’s an interesting question for which nobody wants to have an answer.

  • Ruth

    Unfortunately you haven’t taken into account rigging. There’s a major flaw in the system. After councils receive and process the postal votes with rigid checks that they are valid, the actual ballot slips in their envelopes are put into large boxes ready to be taken to the counting centre on election day. There the envelopes are opened and the ballot slips are mixed with the polling station votes. They are counted to check that the exact number of votes registered at the council offices matches the number of votes. If a government was so-minded/desperate for a certain result, surely it would be very simple to get its agents to enter council offices and swap boxes making sure that the total number of votes correspond to the number of council registrations of the postal votes sometime before election day. Postal votes make up about 20% of the vote. If postal votes were counted separately, this would eliminate major rigging as their result would be expected to tally more or less with the polling station vote.
    This article on the Scottish referendum gives a good idea of how it was done: The Postal Ballot at the Scottish Independence Referendum – Fraud? http://www.thescottishstandard.scot/scottish-politics/the-postal-ballot-at-the-scottish-independence-referendum-fraud

    • Alyson

      Indeed

      A TORY MP is a director of a company that has become a major player in how elections are managed in Scotland, it has emerged.

      Concerns have been raised with the Electoral Commission about the involvement with Idox of former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley, who is a senior non-executive director.

      Idox has had a hand in providing count software, including postal vote management support, among other services, for elections since at least 2012.

  • Republicofscotland

    As usual the three unionist branch office parties at Holyrood intend to pull their votes to oust SNP candidates. They really want Ian Blackford out of his Highland constituency, where its a two horse race between the SNP and the Lib/Dems.

    Labour and the Tories, will stand back or help push a Lib/Dem vote in order to help oust Blackford, if I were a Labour or Tory voter in the Highlands I’d be fuming at them for throwing my vote away.

    The unionist branch offices of Labour/Tory/LibDems, care more about thwarting the SNP and Scotland’s interests than they do about their constituents, their London masters truly have them on a short leash.

  • Martinned

    Who are this “wealthy elite” you speak of, who are apparently so keen on Brexit? Dyson, the Wetherspoons guy, and who else?

    Or do you believe the (financially illiterate) conspiracy theories about disaster capitalism?

  • Agent Green

    Mainstream, establishment media is an irrelevance now. Nobody is watching it. Farage is followed massively on Youtube, online, Twitter etc etc.

    It is the non-mainstream media that will control the election had have the biggest impact. The BBC and even Sky are just relics of a previous age.

  • Iain Orr

    Craig: Whaur’s yer wee sleekit Nigel cowerin’ the noo, laddie? I’ve just been watching the Brexit Party launch and was struck by the similarities between political leaders and revivalist preachers. Here’s my first stab at filling out current comparisons:

    Nigel – Billy Graham
    Jeremy – Hewlett Johnson
    Jo – Aimee Semple McPherson
    Nicola – Charles Spurgeon
    Boris – The Rector of Stiffkey

    Any better suggestions?

  • Athanasius

    You’re mixing up left wing and independence politics, Craig. The SNP is killing itself – and Scotland – with “woke” politics, and if it gets any further down that rabbit hole, you can kiss independence goodbye.

  • Alyson

    I just heard that Farage has a regular weekly show on LBC Radio, targeting the Midlands and North-east. He actually had Trump on his show yesterday, and is threatening Boris he will put a Brexit Party candidate to stand in every constituency if Boris won’t do a deal with him….

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