Wednesday 24 February 2010

Dear Mr Farage,

you are a free man and thus free to speak. You are a politician and thus understandably willing to gain political points in your electorate, especially before parliamentary elections in the UK.

But it is disgraceful that you are not able to make a point without an insult that you dare to introduce with the words "
I don't want to be rude.".

Nobody claims that Herman van Rompuy is a charismatic figure, so what you start saying is so obvious that it doesn't need to be said anymore. Yet that doesn't qualify you to continue talking in a way we tell our children not to talk - and they usually learn.

You tell van Rompuy that he is earning more than Obama, but you are speaking there paid by quite some taxpayer money, too. But we don't pay you to deliver prepared insults, we pay you to deliver legislative work!

I have respect for eurosceptics and europhobics who are willing to make an argumented point, willing to openly criticise what needs to be criticised from their point of view. But you don't even want to be respected, you are not even looking for an argument, which is so low politics that it's hard to get much lower.

You don't care for anything but yourself - so why do you care at all spending you time speaking in the European Parliament?

Disrespectfully yours,



Anonymous said...

Well at least he has the balls to say what he thinks, unlike the vast majority of politicians in the UK

And for that, and the fact his party have by far the best policies i will be voting for them, along with many others :)

Anonymous said...

Hear hear! I'll be voting UKIP

Paul Williams said...

UKIP, like many other minor political parties, can say whatever they want because they know that they are not going to be in a position to have deliver.

What is striking about UKIP is that they are willing to stand for the European Parliament and take a salary from it, whilst condemning it and its institutions.

If they felt strongly that they wanted the UK to leave the EU, they should boycott the EU elections and campaign for the general public not to vote in those elections.

Thankfully, Nigel Farage and his ilk will never be in a position to remove this country from the EU, where the vast majority of our trade takes place.

TheBoilingFrog said...

@Paul Williams, nonsense on stilts; the majority of the UK's trade is not with the EU, but with the rest of the world, particularly India, China and U.S, despite the protectionist tariffs that the EU forces us to impose on non-eu goods.

And that it's not even taking into account the 'Rotterdam Effect' which grossly distorts UK trade with the EU. After this is taken into account then less than a third is with the EU and is currently declining.

And regardless of the figures why do we need to be ruled by the EU to trade with it? Norway manages to trade with the EU without being in it. UK trade is utterly irrelevant to whether it's in Britain's best interest to remain part of the EU

Anonymous said...

Well said the boiling frog!

The ignorance of some people when it comes to the EU is frightening, it really is

Jon Worth said...

@Boiling Frog - prove it. You make outrageous statements re. trade, and provide no links to the stats. See this (click 'Overview' or the top PDF here for example.

@Anonymous (top) - Farage is utterly irresponsible. He just makes cheap jibes and is no way close to delivering on anything at all. He's a showman. Full stop.

Anonymous said...

I am a europhile, but even I have to say that the new EU president hasn't covered himself in glory. His declaration following the summit on Greece was incompetent and hardly reassuring for the markets. And can anyone actually get anything without Barrosso at their side?

Anonymous said...

It is typical behavior of UK politicians. The only difference is in the UK parliament they are forced to call each other 'honorable gentlemen' before they trade insults.

He didn't have to insult to get his point across. Perhaps an attention seeking tactic....if so it worked.

Anonymous said...

@The Boiling Frog

From what I can understand of the statistics here it would seem the UK's exports and imports are both greater with EU countries than the rest of the world.

Please provide a link or two info on the Rotterdam Effect.

Unknown said...

Hurray for Farage!

The Rotterdam effect refers to the fact that a large amount of UK exports to the world outside europe are routed through Rotterdam port so appear as EU exports in official trade figures.

James said...

I'm a rare thing - a British believer in the European project (which is why I follow this blog). However, I believe there is a democratic deficit in the EU, and so I welcome the efforts of UKIP in highlighting this issue.

Regarding Rompuy, I'm reserving judgement on him for the moment, but his appointment does seem to have been designed to implement Lisbon while leaving as much power with the heads of government as possible.

Farage's tirade was certainly scathing. I'm sure Rompuy doesn't need my sympathy, but he did seem very perturbed. Farage may have crossed the line, but he has successfully brought an important issue to the fore.

Blaat said...

Erm, the so called Rotterdam effect applies to Dutch and Belgian import/export statistics. e.g. Dutch export to Britain is higher compared to British import from the Netherlands.

As for Mr.Farage, I guess he wants a more charismatic President of the Council.

Anonymous said...

This moron doesn't even have the intellect to know how to articulate himself! .57seconds 'You are from Belgian' No, you moron, He is not. He may be from Belgium & He may be Belgian but at least try to get your own language correct!

Anonymous said...

God i love Nigel farage haha

Anonymous said...

You are deliberately, missing the point. Nigel Farage is an elected MEP and as such is there to represent his constituents, not to 'deliver legislative work' by which I assume you mean to help implement the federalist agenda. Farage's views are well-known and as an elected representative he is entirely within his rights to attend the European Parliament (and draw salary/expenses for doing so) whilst advocating an anti-federalist view.
The EU is ineffectual and has seriously little democratic credibility. I'm with Nigel, we need to regain control over our own destiny. Then if we sink, we take responsibility. But I really can't see any benefit whatsoever from being part of the post-democratic EU.

Julien said...


Thank you all for your comments, I appreciate the debate.

@last anonymous

I am not deliberately missing the point.

Mr Farage has every right to speak in the EP and every right to earn his salary. He has the right to pursue an anti-federalist agenda (though I don't think that the EP is the right forum to do so). And he has every right to attack van Rompuy politically.

Yet, criticising van Rompuy for being who he is is the wrong choice , not to speak about the way it has been done. Van Rompuy has been chosen to chair the meetings of the heads of state and government of 27 EU countries, and these heads of state have decided to take such a non-charismatic personality very probably because they didn't want to be overshadowed by a charismatic leader who made the EU appear like a federal union. Van Rompuy was the most intergovernmental choice one could have made and Mr Farage should be glad that they didn't pick someone more powerful. Or he should attack the heads of state and government, not van Rompuy as a person.

And doing "legislative work" can also mean to reject proposed legislation, to create a substantive public debate whenever the EU tries to take over competences Mr Farage doesn't want to be taken over by the EU.

In other words:

Mr Farage deliberately insulted a person although all he wants to say is that he doesn't like the EU. He complains about the salary of van Rompuy because he doesn't make the EU a global player (which Farage doesn't want which is quite inconsistent) while earning his living with EU money, too. He thus never wanted to make a substantive argument, and I just don't think that is good politics.

Good politics would be to run the UK elections on leaving the EU.

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, every member state has the declared right to leave the Union, and so there is a good reason to run on this issue nationally. If UKIP wins a majority on that agenda, they have received democratic legitimacy to make the UK leave the Union - and then they should do it.

This is the democracy Mr Farage is advocating for, but for that he doesn't need to spend his well-paid time in the European Parliament insulting people.

Krigeren said...

Apart from the insult of ‘damp rag’ which is much akin to the ancient insult of ‘toe rag’ Nigel has told it how it is.

We have only recently heard of this man who is EU President.

Who did elect him?
On what basis did he go through any selection procedure?
Who stood against him?
How long is he in for?
What are the performance criteria for him to stay in the job?
What are the mechanisms for removing him?

What are the mechanisms for removing his office?

The People of Europe did not vote for him!

John Doe said...

I'm an citizen of a country in the UE and I approve Farage speach. I would repress the comment on the looks is unnecessary but the rest is just right.
The Lisbon Treaty was vote against and then with bureaucratic tricks it was approved I call it tricks because they knew that this would fail by popular vote. Lisbon Treaty is a treaty for corrupt deputies and UE bureaucrats. They are corrupt because they failed in their representative power, because they never cared to explain the treaty, because they didn't care with popular opinion.

By the way, and since I'm Portuguese citizen, did you know that the commission Barroso it's not well regarded in Portugal?
Two reasons:
a) One time he gave a speech saying that Portugal was very badly economically. What happened next the trust in the economy fell and the conditions worsen.
b) When he left for the commission, Portugal was left without a prime minister, and a second one was nominated. The second prime minister stayed in power for 4/5 months before the parliament was dissolve. It was not his fault, but he failed the promise that he gave to lead the country.

Anthony Z said...

I would be more than happy for the people of Europe to vote for a directly elected president, but since that's a more federalist position than any major European government is willing to take, I'm surprised to see eurosceptics use it as an argument against v Rompuy.

Farage's "speech" was the rhetorical equivalent of a drunk teenager in a shop doorway shouting "fuck off!" at people walking by. National embarrassment.

As for Boiling Frog's line about Norway - Norway are ruled by the EU more than we are, since they have to accept most EU rules in order to trade in the market, but have no voice in setting the rules. Only a true sovereignty obsessive would think that was a better position from a democratic standpoint.

Unknown said...


You are misjudging the situation.

I voted for Farage and so did many of my friends and my entire family and we are delighted with his recent performence in EU parliament.

We did not ask for a political union with Europe and despite well over 50% of the UK population being in favour of leaving the EU all 3 main parties rufuse to give us a referendum.

In light of this we will continue to send politicians to Europe who we know will engage in abusive verbal attacks on their fellow MEPS and seek to disrupt parliament business at every opportunity.

We seek to make the UK as unpopular as possible within the EU. We do not want our representitives to engage constructively.

It is a the political equivalent of a dirty protest.

Francis said...

« La bave du crapaud n'atteint pas la blanche colombe »
('toad slime does not reach the white dove' for the monolinguists amongst you)

Maybe the british don't realize, but a large part of the real europeans are fed up with the 'Britain rules the waves' attitude.
Britain not being (or never been) so great anymore not only if one considers the relative value of the £, but also if we consider British representatives like a (to me unknown) Farage 'the coarse' representing british stone-age & verbal hooliganism & who don't want to give people the chance they rightly deserve.

Personal question: 'Mr Farage were you drunk or are you just badly educated?'

As for my compatriote Mr Van Rompuy, the least we can say is that he has manners, intelligence & leadership. The way mr Van Rompuy managed a one-year-belgian-premiership during deep crisis was an example that his opponent Blair has not been able to meet during a much longer premiership under easier circumstances in Britain.

Van Rompuy has been elected DEMOCRATICALLY.
And Europe rejected Blair for obvious above mentioned reasons & not only because of (bigmouthism).

So, try being civilised, rather then behaving like frustrated & spoiled children & construct rather then criticise without content.

Europe is the europeans future and will succeed through compromise just as for the Euro.

... and history will prove that Van Rompuy played a major role to accomplish this...

Sorry, folks,

a proud Belgian

Anonymous said...

Don't bother folks. The rock on the 'side' of Europe is crumbling from inside out. Look at the british trade deficit of 92.6 billion euro's. They probably manage that on their own, right? Look at the standard of living of the average Brit and with what they have to deal. A National Insurance that doesn't work, a transport system that doesn't work when weather goes bad. What about the pension system and MP's that do not know the difference between personal and business allowance. A police force that is operating as if everybody is a terrorist. Media that is biased. Education that is considered an industry and so on and so on. We have entered a new century dear Brits, where relying on colonies and therefore calling yourself an empire belongs to the history pages. Get over it. If you don't want to accept to be part of Europe then lets not be hypocritical and walk. If you do then start working together and start with accepting the Euro. You maybe realize now how the Scotts and Irish feel. Do you wonder why a former British Prime Minister wasn't elected for the EU Presidency

Anonymous said...

March 4:

While Mr Van Rompuy has personally refused "to stoop to the level" of Mr Farage by joining calls for the Ukip MEP to be punished, the European Parliament authorities have been less "phlegmatic".
Jerzy Buzek, the parliament president, on Tuesday fined Mr Farage £2,700 for the "damp rag" comments.
"I consider that, unfortunately, some of the comments that you made were offensive both to Mr Van Rompuy personally and to the member state from which he comes," he wrote in a letter to the Ukip MEP.
"Such behaviour is, in my view, inappropriate and disrespectful to the dignity of the parliament. The very foundation of parliamentarianism and democracy is that freedom of expression should respect others."