Tag Archive: Farage

Nigel Farage favours direct democracy?

According to the BBC, Nigel Farage, in an address to the Institute for Government, has said he favours the introduction of direct democracy into the political landscape.

Admittedly Farage was only ‘floating’ the idea and in doing so left many questions unanswered, but the general assumption is that the political class, in the shape of Ukip were they to win a general election, would be ‘laying down the rules’ as to when and on what such referendums would be held.

It is unclear whether Farage is suggesting ‘unfettered’ direct democracy along the lines of Switzerland or whether it is ‘part direct democracy’; and on that score one an only say the latter is not direct democracy per se. If people are to be given the right to call for a referendum on certain matters, then one has to ask what about any other matter.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, all the Ukip website has available is a link to the BBC report linked above and it is noted that on the Ukip website it states that:  in a keynote speech to the Institute for Government today UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP has said UKIP wants to give people direct democracy – with referendums to decide some policy. (emphasise mine) It would be helpful if Ukip followed others who give a transcript of speeches with the proviso that it should be checked against delivery. The Institute for Government website raises some questions about a Ukip government and it would be good were we able to read or hear that which he actually said and whether he touched on those questions.

While this is early days it is going to be interesting to see exactly what Farage intends – is he following those in the political class wanting to devolve power, but at the same time retain a form of central control? Based on the titbit offered by Farage it would seem so – but in fairness one should perhaps give him the benefit of doubt?

It is an interesting development and one which will be worth watching in the months to come.

 

 


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2014
05/22

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David's Musings

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Pot, Kettle (2)

Peter Oborne has an article in The Spectator which will no doubt cause Farage, Ukip and their supporters to preen their feathers and revel in that which he writes. The article is headed: How Nigel Farage gave British democracy back to the voters. While that which he writes may have an element of truth in it, in that a subject (immigration) is now being openly discussed when it wasn’t years ago, I must take issue with some of his statements.

First, readers of this blog will not be surprised when I question how has Farage given back to the voters something that they never had in the first place?

Second, how has Farage re-invented British democracy? If Farage had his way we would still be subjected to representative democracy; albeit with referenda on certain subjects which would be chosen by him.

Third – and I hate to mention this – but how can a man be lauded for giving back to voters something that they have never had but who, more importantly also has no idea of how that might be accomplished?

Just asking……………………………

Afterthought: No doubt critics of any criticism of their hero will be up in arms at my views. However, if it is possible for them to calm down for a moment, I would ask them to remember Farage is a politician and as such has an agenda, one which he may not have spelled out but can be summed up in one phrase: power over his fellow man. If Farage managed to gain power and subsequently extricate this country from the grip of EU rule (two highly unlikely events) believing in independence as he reputedly does, he would promptly hand the country back to those that own it – the people.


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2014
04/01

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David's Musings

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Similarities

ConservativeHome is of the opinion that Nigel Farage and Dmitry Medvedev are similar in appearance.

Medvedev-Farage-300x181

To which one could also offer the same suggestion where Stephen Kinnock and Dan Hannan are concerned?

Stephen Kinnock and his wife, the Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

DanHannan

It is also worth noting that both will be elected as a result of party placement where their respective candidacies are concerned – one in 2014 and the other in 2015.

All four believe in democracy – but democracy on their terms.

And politicians are not all the same?

Hasta la vista until El Revolucion!*

* Revolutions are about people power in motion; the flux of socio-economic trends that uproot tyrannies and replace them with democracies.

 


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Never mind the EU, Janet; lets consider ‘chez nous’

Writing in the Telegraph, Janet Daley considers democracy poses a threat to Europe  citing the remarks by the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that political parties within European countries which hamper the cooperation between EU member states are a threat to peace. She continues in her article by writing about the motor-mouths of Europe causing much anger and resentment with their refusal to address the doubts and anxieties of the populations of their member countries.

Daley cites Ukip, a relatively new political party, and considers the remarks by Steinmeier as addressed to them. Unfortunately Ukip is no different to any other political party, it being controlled from the top and, as with its ‘competitors’, still intent on telling the people what it will and will not allow them to do. When Ukip Farage eventually decides on Ukip’s manifesto – and hopefully this time he will have read it – it will be no different to any other party’s manifesto.

Do we in the UK not have motor-mouths that threaten democracy? Do not those motor-mouths cause just as much anger and resentment here with their refusal to address the doubts and anxieties of our own population? 

When considering that our own politicians are also ‘motor-mouths’, a prime example comes with this politician who, given the opportunity to question the current Secretary of State about flooding, obviously either does not understand the subject matter in question or is deliberately playing ‘party politics’. (Incidentally, that last article was ‘picked-up via twitter yet, at the time of writing, does not appear on his blog – why? Might that be because, having been shown to not understand that which he wrote in this post and this, he is a tad ashamed of what can only be considered a paltry question?). It becomes more and more apparent that the EU and the UK have much in common – a surfeit of ‘motor-mouths’.

Neither does it help democracy when a member of the Monarchy also adopts what might be termed a ‘motor-mouth’ attitude while also appearing a tad clueless about flooding – but I digress.

It has come to light that the call  for the introduction of direct democracy is not confined to just the United Kingdom. It will be interesting to see how this latest idea ‘progresses’ as it is obvious that it is in its ‘infancy’ and could possibly do with a little help. In that context I have this evening emailed them, making them aware of the 6 Demands – and await a reply.

Afterthought: And what might this have to do with the problem in Somerset? DECC though, apparently, has nothing to do with it – but if they don’t, who does? It would appear that weather manipulation is ‘fully operational‘.

 


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Pacts

It is indeed a rare event when one can write that the literary output of Paul Goodman can be considered a fair and reasonable effort – such is this piece.

Goodman writes of pacts; and there are some who would believe that if it served the fulfillment of his personal ambition (whatever that may be) Farage would make a pact with the Devil – however, in fairness, it can also be asked what politician wouldn’t.

There may be calls for politicians with wit, warmth, passion and imagination (see linked article in my preceding post) but how would we know that even those characteristics were real? Such is the cynicism that our politicians have managed to create for and about themselves.

When those that are supposedly honourable men and women cannot be trusted, then it is surely time to change our system of democracy to one where political shenanigans and chicanery can no longer be practiced.


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Why Ukip?

Two interesting articles have appeared about Ukip, one on PoliticalBetting and the other in the Guardian. The first queries what is it that Ukip want and the second reports the views of Godfrey Bloom about Nigel Farage.

To answer the first question it is necessary to define what is Ukip, or rather, who is Ukip. If considering Ukip as a political party one can be forgiven for being of the opinion that they appear as an amateur, rag-tag, collection of individuals, some of whom appear very ill-informed due to a conveyed impression that they seem unable to look beyond the end of the nose.

An example of this lack of forethought can be illustrated with today’s featured quote by David Samuel-Camps, Eastleigh. Before it disappears, let me repeat it:

There is an alternative scenario to the one espoused in your leading article. Ukip does not just take votes from the Conservatives; it takes votes from across the political spectrum from people who are disillusioned with the three main parties. A situation could arise at the next election where votes for Ukip do not necessarily mean a Labour government but a coalition of Conservatives and Ukip, however unpalatable that may be to the upper echelons of Conservative Central Office. This would mean, of course, that the electorate would get a referendum on EU membership sooner rather than later.

The ‘referendum now’ meme that is being pushed by Ukip, echoed by Samuel-Camps, illustrates a policy which is ill-thought through and shows a complete lack of understanding where the actualité of the subject is concerned. Just who are the Ukip spokespeople and why is it that, other than Conference time, we never seem to hear of, or from, them? When one considers the twitter output of Ukip ppcs one is forced to consider the point that were Ukip to form a government and that they would immediately need circa 120 people to form an Executive – just what the hell would they get them from. Trawl through Ukip’s list of ppcs and one is pushed to find more than a dozen who might just qualify for ‘high office’.

To turn to the Guardian article, this is a damning view of Nigel Farage, albeit one that is undoubtedly a dish of revenge served cold. If Farage is someone who does not do policy and is not interested in running his party, why on earth would any sane person elect him to run the country? With regard to Bloom’s assertion that the party is without brains, that has become apparent when one considers the number of open goals that have been missed.

I am often taken to task by commenters on this blog for my condemnation of Ukip – aka Farage – and admonished for criticising the ‘only alternative’, come the next General Election. To which I can only reply with one question:

Just why would anyone vote for another political party headed by yet another politician who, it seems, does not do detail or policy; who would appear to care not one jot for his country or those to whom he appeals for support, but would appear to be interested in only one thing, namely – and would seem not to care by which avenue that he achieves it – power?

Until the people of this country come to the realisation that it is they who hold the power, it is they that should rule – then we will continue to be governed by self-centered, self-interested individuals with not one brain between them.


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Why Ukip can never be the answer…..

….at least, until they understand the actualité. 

Via Twitter my attention is drawn to an article on Trending Central, one authored by Barry Cooper who is Chairman of Ukip Buckinghamshire and a prospective Ukip MEP candidate in next years European elections. The article is headlined: The EU debate is hotting up; are you ready? - and immediately one can only point out that of all the people who should be ready, Ukip most definitely cannot be counted among those to whom Cooper’s article is addressed.

No doubt Barry Cooper’s heart is in the right place – unfortunately I am unable to locate exactly where is his brain situated. Allow me to state, at the outset, that while there are those who implore me to support Ukip as they are the only real alternative to the other three main political parties; it becomes increasingly difficult to so do within the course of direction that Ukip currently follow. As an aside I recently had a ‘Twitter-Spat’ with David Cockburn, another ‘leading light of Ukip, who posted on Twitter the findings of an opinion poll that was five months old. When I queried the relevance of that, all I met was sarcastic abuse in reply.

Coopers article begins: As the European Union (EU) membership debate matures, it becomes incumbent on those of us on the “out” side of things to marshal our resources and solidify our arguments. We are benefitting [sic] from being drawn in to the “mainstream” of debate, and must make sure that we are armed with more than rhetoric and sound-bites when going up against increasingly sophisticated (and slightly terrified) opponents who are determined to see the UK remain part of the EU.

For the representative of a party to complain that rhetoric and sound-bites should be avoided, perhaps his complaint should be addressed to his Leader rather than we, the public. Even Cooper himself indulges in the use of ‘sound-bites’ by repeating part of an EU report that there are 600,000 who are economically inactive and reliant on benefits. One has to ask whether Barry Cooper actually read the 282 page EU report – at least, for the benefit of everyone, someone else did.

Earlier, in his article, Cooper asserts that: In many ways, even more important (to me at least), the second “cost” of EU membership is a moral one. Fundamentally, it boils down to this – the British people are no longer in a position to hold accountable those that create and pass the laws and regulations which govern and affect them. The democratic deficit inherent in the EU as an institution makes a mockery of centuries of law and government, and indeed of the very basic principles of democracy itself. Regular readers will, I trust, forgive the required repetition but just when have we had the principles of democracy in this country? When have we ever been able to hold accountable those that create and pass laws that we must obey – invariably under pain of imprisonment – except retrospectively? That is democracy?

Cooper deplores use of the term ‘banner-bearer’ in relation to Ukip where Euroscepticism is concerned, but as the only political party opting for withdrawal from the EU, should they not – must they not – assume that mantle? Unfortunately, other than continual indulgence of rhetoric and sound-bite, they appear totally disinterested. Where are the detailed speeches and articles about how we escape the iron-grip of the EU? Where are the speeches and articles about life after membership of the EU? Where are the speeches and articles about exactly what will need to be done in relation to treaties of which we are a participant – but only because we are a member of the EU? Yes, Farage has mentioned Article 50 as a means to cease our membership of the EU – but when has he actually spelled out how he would use Article 50? When has he spelled out that which he would be demanding – other than he would want a free-trade ageement?

It is my belief that Ukip, as a political party, will never gain credibility with the British people until they begin to ‘professionalize’ themselves; to begin dealing with the actualité; of spelling out their vision for withdrawal and ‘life thereafter; and finally, drop the sarcasm when anyone attempts to engage one of their representatives in serious debate.

Currently, where ‘rhetoric’ and ‘sound-bites’ are concerned, at least one can acknowledge the fact that they can be considered ‘past masters’ of that regrettable art.

Afterthought: The Bruges Group are holding an International Conference on Saturday 9th November 2013, 10.30am until 6.15pm on how Britain can leave the EU. The speakers are: Christopher Booker, Professor Tim Congdon, Ian Milne, Professor Patrick Minford, Dr Richard North, Professor Roland Vaubel and Mary Ellen Synon. Now I can’t wait to see Booker, North and Synon vs Congdon (especially), Minford and Milne – I’ve got my ticket……….!

 


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The spoken – and the unspoken

A few days ago I spotted a tweet by Geoff Siddall (@GeoffUkip) highlighting the Daily Express non-story about meat labeling, promptly responding by linking to the article by Richard North, EUReferendum, in which it was explained that this was just that; a non-story. The response I received from Siddall was: Suggest you tell the d/ex yourself. If its reported in the news thats how its retweeted for comment only. It would appear that there are those who, seeing something in the media, automatically assume it to be fact – no checking, nothing! If this is a ‘blooming’ example of the Ukip mentality – and that of its members – is it any wonder that this party, which would have us believe it is the leading anti-EU voice of the people, is in such a mess?

The Daily Express article, however, is not the only one this month that has been published that totally presents an incorrect report of the actualité. On 31st August this year – and updated a day later – an article appeared in the Mail on Sunday that the EU was to implement fitting a speed limiter to every vehicle – the news of which apparently had the Transport Minister apoplectic and, if the MoS is to be believed, reacting like a volcano. It is odd that the MoS did not contact Paul Nuttall (Ukip) who would, most conveniently for the MoS, no doubt outdone McLoughlin and ‘blown his top’. The European Union went to a great deal of trouble to refute this story, maintaining that not only was it not true, but accusing the MoS – and the Sun – of misrepresenting the facts and also of selectively quoting EU officials.

It may be the case that the EU is not, at the moment, actively pursuing such an objective, but that does not mean that others are not. Why would the EU do such a thing when over them sits the United Nations Economic Council Europe (UNECE) and the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) and to whom rests the voice of authority where ‘matters vehicular’ are concerned. The subject of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is most actively being pursued and it should be noted that, at the beginning of this paper, ADAS has three categories: : information provision, warning, and control – and in respect or the last category, you do the maths.

What this MoS article – and that on meat origin labeling – shows is that you cannot trust that which you hear and read in the media; yet are the media not supposed to inform us? To my knowledge this ‘scare’ story about EU and speed-limiters was not picked up by Ukip (who could have done themselves ‘no end of good’ as a political party by refuting it), neither was it picked-up by anyone else – and if it was and I ‘blinked and missed it’, then I can but profusely apologise.

Where Ukip is concerned, if it wishes to be regarded as the voice of ‘anti-EU’ sentiment, then besides highlighting obvious ‘EU interference’ and its origins from what may be termed ‘world-governance’, it would surely earn kudos among the electorate from which it seeks support, if it also showed that the media is totally indept at the job it is supposed to do. Unfortunately, when Ukip fails so lamentably at its own raison-d’etrê, it is understandable that it is unable to look beyond its self-imposed blinkers, what some may term ‘Farageism’, thus highlighting the ‘fail’ of others.

Just an observation…………

 


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Failure “big-time” on Question Time

Richard North, EUReferendum, mentions the pervasiveness of myth where the question of Norway and “fax-government” is concerned, reminding us that Roland Rudd was on the idiots’ lantern last night, sharing his ignorance about “fax law” with the Question Time audience.

The section of the programme dealing with this subject begins at 29:00, the questioner asking: “Countries such as Norway and Switzerland have thrived outside the European Union but still have strong trading links with other EU member countries. Should the UK follow suit?”. Roland Rudd, Caroline Flint and Mary Beard all repeated the line that Norway pays into the EU and has no say over what comes out of Brussels by way of legislation. Grant Shapps dodged the point completely and Nigel Farage just didn’t mention it.

Is it any wonder that lies/myths gain traction when, present on the panel, was the leader of a party to whom debunking of myth and laying bare the lies of the political class should be second nature? Was his brain not in gear when he came to respond or is it that he just doesn’t know?

Interestingly, the last two comments from the audience on this subject both made the same point, namely that to hold a referendum now would be nonsensical in that the public would be asked to make a decision about something of which they know not and that there should be an unbiased education programme about the pros and cons of EU membership prior to any referendum.

How can the public be educated when those who should be doing the education either spout blatant lies or, as in the case of one person on the panel, when the golden opportunity to correct a myth is gifted them promptly fail to grab the opportunity with both hands.

It is perhaps the time to turn back on Farage a comment he made many years ago and one which he is fond of repeating. Where standards of political debate are concerned, you can’t put a cigarette paper between any of our politicians – they all seem totally incompetent.


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Home-grown EU madness

For one who would have us believe he is knowledgeable about ‘matters EU’, Daniel Hannan, time and time again, writes what can only be described as tosh and his latest article now gives the impression that he is going overboard on some form of ‘associate membership’. All one can say to Hannan is that if this article is the result of him having used his thought processes, perhaps in future he should save himself unnecessary further effort. Anyone who can write that neither Switzerland nor Norway have no voice in the framing of EU legislation doesn’t deserve a serious critique of his thoughts – and he won’t receive one on this occasion!

Hannan is one of those calling for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, as is Farage who adds that he wants a ‘free and fair’ referendum, yet neither to my knowledge have addressed the question of the conditions under which any referendum might be held that would meet the demand of fairness. Among the conditions that would ensure a ‘fair’ referendum are, for example, matters such as equality of exposure in the media, limits on expenditure and the quantity of publicity material produced by each side.

What must be avoided, at all costs, is a repeat of the events which happened under Heath and Wilson whereby on each occasion, at varying stages of each referendum, the people were duped. Consider the stunt pulled by Harold Wilson to ensure his victory in the 1975 referendum. He pretended that he had achieved a “fundamental renegotiation” of the EU treaty. The government pamphlet recommending a “Yes” vote was headed “Britain’s New Deal in Europe”. All that had happened was that some minor changes were made to agricultural prices to reduce the catstrophic inflationary effects of the Common Agricultural Policy on the housewife and some extra concessions were achieved in quotas for things like New Zealand lamb and butter. Otherwise, not much else of significance. People often say they voted to join a Common Market – a free trade area. That was never the purpose of the EEC. The intention from the beginning was always political union by imperceptible, irreversible stages. Yet the impression given by the government leaflet certainly led people to think it was a free trade area we had joined. The leaflet refers ten times to the “European Community” or “the Community” but 34 times to “The Common Market” or “The Market”. The leaflet also promised that the British government and parliament would always have a veto on any new proposals to extend the power of Brussels.

Where being duped is concerned, it is worth recalling a paper produced by Eurofacts on 31st March 2000, one entitled: “How they swung it in the 70s”. This paper from Eurofacts contained excerpts from a transcript of the BBC Radio 4 programme, transmitted at 8.00 pm, Thursday 3rd February 2000, entitled “Document: A Letter to the Times”. This programme told the story of how opinion was swung in the early ’70s in favour of Britain entering the European Economic Community, including how the BBC and ITN news programmes were influenced to support the campaign for Europe. It also reveals that the European Movement and other organisations received substantial hidden funding from the CIA. Those excerpts are well worth re-reading and some of the points made, included:

  • Back at the start of the 1970s, the greatest issue of the day was whether Britain ought to become European…. and had you been scanning the correspondence columns of the Times you might have noticed a flood of letters in support of our application to join the EEC. A good many of those letters were stage managed on behalf of the then Conservative government.
  • Every week as Edward Heath’s government inched Britain towards Europe, Geoffrey Tucker, an advertising guru who helped to market the Conservative party, organised breakfasts for the political shakers and the media movers of the day. Journalists were there and captains of industry, editors too and television people.
  • Ernest Wistrich’s European Movement was the natural organisation to front the public campaign for Europe

From the excerpts:

“TUCKER: We decided to pinpoint the “Today” programme on radio and followed right through the news programmes during the day….the television programmes, “News at Ten”, “24 Hours” and “Panorama” and from radio “World at One” and “Woman’s Hour”. Nobbling is the name of the game. Throughout the period of the campaign, there should be direct day by day communication between the key communicators and our personnel e.g. Norman Reddaway at the FCO and Marshall Stewart of the Today programme. And in 1970 the Today programme was presented by Jack De Manio, who was terribly anti-European. We protested privately about this. Ian Trethowan listened and De Manio was replaced.

PRESENTER, CHRISTOPHER COOK: Ian Trethowan was then the Managing Director of BBC Radio and a known friend of Edward Heath’s. Another of Geoffrey Tucker’s guests was Lord Hattersley, a leading figure in the pro-European faction of the Labour party.

LORD HATTERSLEY: The one breakfast I went to was a very chummy affair. We were all fighting the European cause to the extent that some of the protagonists actually drew Ian Trethowan’s attention to broadcasters who they thought had been anti-European, and asked him to do something about it. Now I was so shocked that I decided I couldn’t go again. It sounds terribly prissy but it really did shock me at the time and, frankly, remembering it shocks me still.

SIR EDWARD HEATH (PRIME MINISTER 1970-1974): The support in public opinion polls steadily mounted until we got to the point of finally concluding negotiation and had just on 50 per cent support which was very considerable.

PRESENTER: How helpful was the European Movement?

HEATH: Very helpful. They worked very hard and they received funds from supporters which enabled them to publish their own literature as well as ours.

DR RICHARD ALDRICH (political historian) – on being asked what was the documentary evidence for the alleged CIA funding – I was absolutely astonished to discover that the library (George Town University in Washington) had the entire archive of a CIA front organisation which documents from start to finish funnelling millions of dollars into Europe, into Britain, with correspondence, for example, from British Labour MPs. The whole accounting structure of the European Movement was designed to hide the fact that CIA money was coming in.

HATTERSLEY: – on being asked for his comments  – All those years, all the Europeans would say “Let’s not risk trying to make fundamental changes by telling the whole truth, lets do it through public relations rather than real proselytising” and they were always inclined to “spin” the arguments rather than “expose” the arguments.

PRESENTER: And that clearly, in your view, was the wrong approach?

HATTERSLEY: Not only was it wrong for us to deal superficially with what Europe involved, but we’ve paid the price ever since because every time there’s a crisis in Europe, people say, with some justification, “ Well, we wouldn’t have been part of this if we had really known the implications. Joining the European Community did involve significant loss of sovereignty, but by telling the British people that was not involved, I think the rest of the argument was prejudiced for thirty years.”

Fraudsters who have pulled a trick once will continue to repeat that trick until they are exposed. Pressure is being exerted by the United States on Britain not to end their membership of the European Union and today we have the US State Department’s Philip H Gordon, the Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs ratcheting up the pressure even more; meaning no doubt that history will repeat itself and the fraudsters will repeat their trick once again by accepting yet more dollars to fund their efforts.

Years ago the function of the Foreign Office used to be to represent Britain abroad. It was said that an ambassador was an honest man, sent abroad to lie for the good of his country. Little known is that the Foreign Office now has a section called “EU (Internal)”, responsible to Mr Hague. Thomas Barry is the current Deputy Head Europe Directorate – Internal (appointed March 2011) among whose responsibilities is a team of twelve working to develop and deliver UK Government policy on European Union issues. We can be damn sure that part of that remit entails lying to the British people for the good of his paymaster.

In any event all this talk about a referendum is pointless – something which both Hannan and Farage should know full well, but give the appearance of not – as Richard North, EUReferendum, has just pointed out with this post. Politicians would have us believe they are not stupid, yet here we have two politicians who should know better calling for a referendum now, when they know damn well said referendum cannot and will not happen; coupled with a prime minister who states that he has no wish to leave an organisation whose aims and construct in 4 years time he knows not.

The world has truly been stood on its head.

Update: Calling England has kindly added to the excerpt above in the comments section with this link.

 

 


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