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Nigel Farage: no chance Europe will negotiate new Treaty

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Nigel Farage: no chance Europe will negotiate new Treaty

Post  Panda on Wed 15 May - 17:36

Nigel Farage: 'no chance' Europe will negotiate new treaty

Ukip leader Nigel Farage says the "rest of Europe is not listening to
Cameron's ideas about a new flexible treaty" and calls his speech "old

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Re: Nigel Farage: no chance Europe will negotiate new Treaty

Post  Panda on Fri 17 May - 7:18

Nigel Farage barricaded in Scottish pub and rescued by police riot van

Nigel Farage has been barricaded by police in a pub before being whisked
away in a riot van after his visit to Scotland was hijacked by hard-Left
independence supporters.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage needed
a police escort in order to leave the pub in Edinburgh's Royal
Mile. Photo: ANDREW

By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political

7:32PM BST 16 May 2013


The Ukip leader was left stranded in the middle of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile,
surrounded by around 50 nationalists and socialists calling him a racist, but
demanding that he: “Go home to England”.

Police officers attempted to persuade two taxi drivers to take Mr Farage away
from the trouble but both refused as the protesters continued to barrack the MEP
with chants of “racist Nazi scum”.

A shaken Mr Farage told reporters: “We have never had a reception like this
anywhere in Britain before. Clearly, it’s anti-British and anti-English. They
hate the Union Jack.”

Police officers then insisted for his own safety that he enter the Canon’s
Gait pub, the wooden doors of which were then locked.

The protesters continued to jeer and shout abuse, with some unveiling a 20ft
banner that, referring to next year’s referendum, stated: “Vote Yes for

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Others among the mostly young crowd serenaded Mr Farage by telling him where
he should “stick your Union Jack”.

It was not clear how the stand-off would end, with some enterprising
nationalists disappearing round the back of the building to check Mr Farage did
not sneak out the rear entrance.

One wag joked that the Ukip leader would have to come out for a cigarette
sooner or later. However, a Lothian and Borders Police riot van was spotted
making its way up the usually gentile Royal Mile and stopped directly outside
the pub.

After a delay of around ten minutes, the doors opened and the crowd surged
forward while police ‘kittled’ Mr Farage from the building and into the vehicle

The protesters cheered as the vehicle sped away. The Ukip leader could be
seen behind the grilled windows speaking on his mobile phone.

Speaking in a radio interview afterwards, he said: “Normally I would love to
be locked in a pub, but it was pretty unpleasant. If this is the face of
Scottish nationalism, it’s a pretty ugly picture.

“This was dressed up as an anti-racism protest but it was nothing of the sort
– it was anti-English thing.” Mr Farage said the protesters were “not prepared
to have a conversation” and praised the police, saying the situation could have
turned “very nasty” if they had not been present.

He was visiting the Royal Mile to meet the Scottish press, but some Left-wing
nationalists and socialists discovered the arrangements and posted them on their
Twitter accounts.

They included members of Radical Independence, a representative of which
shared a platform with Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, at the launch
of the official Yes Scotland campaign in Glasgow.

The trouble started when Mr Farage was speaking to television, radio and
newspaper reporters in the Canon’s Gait about his hopes of replicating UKIP’s
English success in Scotland.

About a dozen protesters entered the pub only to find their target surrounded
by journalists and photographers. They appeared upset that they could not get to
their quarry but as the interviews continued grew increasingly restless.

Mr Farage initially attempted to debate with them, denying vehemently that
his party is racist or had any links with the British National Party. However,
they responded with increasingly vitriolic abuse.

As the protesters started chanting and singing, the pub’s management asked
everyone to leave, forcing Mr Farage onto the street and giving his team a major
problem in trying to extricate him.

Before the trouble started, the Ukip leader told reporters his hopes of
making a breakthrough in Scotland had been improved by next year's independence

“The SNP is selling an entirely false prospectus to the people of Scotland.
They talked about independence within the European Union – don’t make me laugh,”
he said.

“If the SNP position was they wanted to be out of the United Kingdom and out
of the European Union, at least intellectually, you could respect that

He said the independence debate has prompted a discussion on EU membership,
saying: “We’ve got some things to say about how Scotland might be outside the
European Union with a reinvigorated fishing industry. There’s a gap in the
political market for Ukip in Scotland that didn’t exist last year.”

But Mr Farage admitted the “immigration argument” was not as potent in
Scotland because there has not been the same influx of foreigners north of the
Border as in the south of England.

The Ukip leader, who is standing a candidate in Aberdeen Donside by-election
for the Scottish Parliament, said he favoured the wholesale devolution of tax
powers to Holyrood.

A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: "We had no knowledge nor any involvement
in this incident. Yes Scotland seeks to run a positive campaign, and we would
condemn any form of intimidation."

A spokesman for Radical Independence Edinburgh said: “Farage came up to
Scotland to spread his racism and bigotry here – we showed he's not welcome.

"His party Ukip have always achieved a derisory vote in Scotland but Farage
thought that could change after their recent local elections successes in

"In 2014 we finally have the chance to get rid of the political system at
Westminster that pours fuel onto the bigoted fire of Farage and Ukip Scotland
wants to be a country that welcomes immigrants – but we need independence to
make that desire a reality."
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Re: Nigel Farage: no chance Europe will negotiate new Treaty

Post  Panda on Wed 22 May - 9:05

Nigel Farage's biggest problem is Ukip doesn't do details

For a populist party, Ukip is surprisingly free of the anti-capitalist
pitchfork tendency that usually defines protest movements.

Nigel Farage's pint of beer act
is fine – but a serious party needs to demonstrate a proper, realistic plan of
action and a team of expert advisers with the operational ability to implement
these Photo:

By Allister Heath

3:55PM BST 21 May 2013


Like other parties of its kind, it is patriotic and anti-immigration, but
unlike them it doesn’t indulge in endless banker-bashing, big business bating or
tirades against free trade.

It is not a libertarian party: while it is uncensorious towards some aspects
of personal morality, especially those involving alcohol, tobacco and
heterosexual sex, it supports some authoritarian policies, would end the free
movement of people within Europe, opposes gay marriage and many of its members
are disgruntled social conservatives. For free-market liberals, younger
neo-Thatcherites and the majority of business and City leaders, these are major
stumbling blocks and help to explain why many still back the Tories, despite
despairing at their lack of courage.

But neither is Ukip anti-globalisation in the way that Ross Perot was in the
US in the 1990s, obsessed with the “giant sucking sound” of trade with Mexico,
or as Pauline Hanson was in Australia in the 2000s, calling for a return to high
tariffs on imports. It has equally little in common with the kinds of protesters
who hate global brands and call for the mass jailing of “banksters”.

Ukip dislikes one element of globalisation – large-scale immigration – but
doesn’t object to the trade or technology aspect, and supports UK membership of
the World Trade Organisation. It is closer to the Tea Party or to Canada’s
Reform party of the 1990s than it is to the Poujadisme of the anti-big business,
collectivist and anti-change French right.

In that respect, those business leaders aghast at Ukip’s rise should count
themselves lucky: its ideas would be far less disruptive than those of either
the hard left (including parts of Labour), radical environmentalism or of any
other populist protest movement, and would be radically pro-enterprise on tax
and red tape. Some Ukip members hate finance and banks, and are prone to inane
conspiracy theories in private, but Nigel Farage’s background in, and affinity
towards, the City, and his opposition to the idiotic financial transactions tax,
has helped neutralise that tendency. If anything, Ukip’s leadership spends far
less time bashing banks than the Lib Dems or Labour, or until recently at least,
the Tories.

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This very British combination – and because it is led by men who would have
been at ease in the 1980s Tory party – is what makes Ukip such a threat to David
Cameron, despite its amateurishness and lack of heavyweight support. This helps
to explain why it has reached 22pc in a Survation poll, a mere two points behind
the Tories.

Ukip’s problem is that its policy positions are uncosted aspirations, rather
than properly thought-through proposals. Until this is sorted, they risk being
torn to shreds as media scrutiny increases. Those who simply wish to protest
against a snooty establishment, or who like how Farage “represents people like
us”, won’t mind; but much of the country will, and Ukip’s bubble would deflate
almost as fast as it takes its leader to down a pint.

In particular, Ukip doesn’t have a plan to exit the EU and to introduce
alternative trading arrangements that reflect the complexities of the modern
economy. The challenge is especially acute when it comes to complex rules of
origin for manufactured goods, and to protect London’s financial services
industry against protectionism. This problem is shared by the broader
Eurosceptic movement, including in the Tory party; a lot of work is needed, and
fast. For those of us who agree that the European project is a busted flush and
that the UK’s ties with the EU need to be significantly loosened, this is a
source of major frustration.

Unlike the Cameroons, Ukip understands that the state needs to be shrunk,
that regulations need to be torn up and taxes cut. Ukip’s leadership
instinctively grasps that lower taxes will unleash growth by bolstering
incentives to work, save and invest – supply-side, Reaganesque thinking snubbed
by George Osborne’s uber-mainstream Treasury. Again, however, there are huge
black holes at the heart of Ukip’s proposals. The party promises spending hikes
– on the uniformed services and on student fees – as well as tax cuts, without
detailing how the sums would add up. It backs taking minimum earners out of
income tax, and merging national insurance with income tax, two excellent but
seriously revenue-reducing policies.

Depressingly, Ukip is currently arguing among itself about its flat tax
policy. Some members resigned when Farage recently appeared to ditch the policy,
calling instead for a top rate of tax of 40p; in theory, the party has yet to
make up its mind. A flat tax, if executed properly and gradually, and
accompanied by an overall reduction in spending as a share of GDP, would be
brilliantly transformative, but the devil is in the detail, something that
Farage’s party doesn’t do.

Ukip is more ambitious at cutting waste than the Tories, and sensibly wants
to slash foreign aid – again, however, merely talking about all of this isn’t
enough. The pint of beer act is fine – but a serious party needs to demonstrate
a proper, realistic plan of action and a team of expert advisers with the
operational ability to implement these. Ukip has neither. To say that this
didn’t deter the Lib Dems isn’t good enough.

The Tories want to slash immigration while remaining members of the single
market, so are having to cut back on non-EU incomers, including students; Ukip
wants to quit the single market to restrict Eastern European migration. But, if
negotiated badly, exit could mean that French or German professionals could no
longer move here, and that Brits could no longer retire in Spain, and could
create massive problems for business. It is this area where the gulf is greatest
between a public deeply worried about immigration, and the City and economists,
who are far more liberal. Those of us who utterly oppose the EU’s political
project but support the original four freedoms – the free movement of goods,
services, capital and people – across Europe, albeit accompanied by radical
reform of the welfare state to prevent abuse, are in a small minority.

Another worry is monetary policy. Osborne’s position is inadequate, but
Farage appears to believe that the Bank of England should focus more on
“growth”, or perhaps adopt a dual, US-style jobs and inflation mandate. But one
reason why so many traditional conservatives support him is because nobody cares
about inflation anymore. Going soft on this would be senseless.

Cameron’s decision to embrace corporatism, high taxes, endlessly cheap money
and state-directed credit – and jump into bed with big business – has alienated
his base. Farage has an opportunity to outline a more traditionally Thatcherite
approach to the economy – but he needs to reach out to business groups and
recruit some serious figures. Most important of all, he needs to sort out the
detail of his policies – at the moment, they simply do not stand up to detailed

Allister Heath is editor of City AM

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