Wednesday 27 August 2014

Mr Boris Farage & Nigel Johnson

 "These are my principles and if you don't like them, well I have others" Grouch Marx

Having been away for a couple of weeks - thanks to ND for manning the ship though a long, and err, wet, summer - it has come to my attention that after an enormous amount of fumbling about two of the 3 great demagogues of our time have finally got round to finding seats to stand for at the next election for the Westminster parliament.

With Labour having won the demagogue leadership game with Tony Blair for 13 years it has been a long time coming for the right wing of British politics. Alex Salmond, peddler of sweet nothings (in a literal sense) to the Scots I doubt will be seen much in Westminster in future.

So that leaves us with Mssr's Johnson and Farage. Both claim to be disciples of Thatcher and her 80's reforms. Both claim to be anti-Europe and both lay claim to be libertarians. However, as any even slight analysis shows, Boris can be both pro- and anti Europe at the same time. His vision of libertarianism is mainly confined to reducing taxes over which he has no control and shows little light when faced with tough decisions like tackling London air pollution. Such is the power of his rhetoric though, that when matched with the short attention span of voters, he comes across well.

Farage too has the happy knack of being a man of the people whilst being no such thing. A well made City man from Kent, he has styled himself with some success the people's champion. Farage is probably more posh in strict terms than even Boris. Farage too claims to be libertarian but is against gay marriage and is for much that is socially conservative. At least he is committed to something in wanting to leave the EU which it is unlikely even Nigel will renege on.

Yet here we are with both likely to be elected to Parliament and if they are then it will be with a weak Labour PM and a vacancy to lead the right win in British Politics. If Scotland has voted fro Independence, then they will have a real struggle to sort out the future of England between them. Oh what a lovely war to watch.

It's odd though that two men with much in common and the same skills in may ways will be fighting it out in 2015 in such a manner. In fact odd enough that if Labour could find a real John Major type man of the people they would be well placed to capitalise on their already lucky fortune of the current electoral cycle.

 "These are my principles and if you don't like them, well I have others"


James Higham said...

It s sad that they bicker but that is mainly the Tories doing under Cameron. There was once a way but Cameron decided not to take it.

BE said...

Having watched the debates which basically were about which team has the best way of squeezing free stuff out of the English, I hope the Scots say yes. I hope that it is a narrow yes, that the scare stories about capital flight and bank runs are correct. Not because I have any particular dislike of the Scots but it is about time the English woke up and started asking about the setup they live under. Scots, Welsh and NI MPs get to vote on English-only matters - how is that in any way defensible? Salmond keeps going on about Scotland getting the government it votes for but the same applies to England. The main parties would have to make some dramatic shifts under an English parliament.

I have gone off Boris now he has started to set out national positions, such as exit visas for visiting countries he doesn't like.

Farage is not a libertarian, despite what Mr Devil's Kitchen says.

But I want both to do well, so that politics is shaken up a bit. The UK has become dangerously settled politically. Nobody, not even Farage really, is challenging the social democratic consensus. Those of us with a liberal/free-market bent have no political party to put our views forward. The electoral system is so broken that only a tiny number of people have any real say in a general election. Our politics is fat, lazy and self-content, so no wonder people get pushed towards the anti-establishment fringe.

Timbo614 said...

@BE - Agree entirely. And we need someone who will face up to the problems that are now apparent in multiculturalism.

(Timbo, Living in Surrey, your £5 is forfeit.)

andrew said...

Funny how John Major's standing
- a pm widely reviled by all even in his own party when he lost power -
has done nothing but go up, not least when he is compared to what came after him.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Labour has a man of the people who would make an excellent leader; Alan Johnson. They're just too stupid to realise it.

As for Johnson and Farage, they're both good comedy turns and do a good impression of a normal human being, but they're no fit to run a mennodge, as we say in Glasgow.

Jan said...

Do you really think Farage is posher than Boris? I'll never forget the look on Boris's face when he found out on "Who Do You Think You Are?" that he was descended from George II. He was pleased as punch.

I would be too if I had any illustrious forebears. Maybe it explains a lot about his personality. At least he has a personality even if it gets him into trouble occasionally.

Neither he nor Farage will have use for a slick PR machine. Neither of them is afraid to say what they think which makes a refreshing change.

Bill Quango MP said...

Neither of them is afraid to say what they think which makes a refreshing change.

Not sure I'd go with that. More likely, at present,that they can , mostly, say what they think without scrutiny.

So Boris can be both for and against the EU. Nigel is against the EU but has an EU job, etc etc.

Once the "Clegg" scrutiny begins, and that means high office, then they have to be more afraid of who they uspset in those delicate marginal races.

CityUnslicker said...

Carswell a nice turn today, Cameron won't like that at all!

Happy will be Milliband but really, I thought with the end of 2008 recession we would come into a place of relative peace a la the 1990's for a while.

I doubt this now, it really is the 1970's again.

dearieme said...

If Labour had the sense to ditch Milliwatt and appoint the ex-postie, they'd walk it. Mind you, they'll probably walk it anyway, what with the gerrymandering and postal voting.

Anonymous said...

Has something happened? Have tectonic plates moved? Or is it deckchair time on the Titanic?

"The electoral system is so broken that only a tiny number of people have any real say in a general election."

We appear to be moving more towards the Russian system of oligarchs. I suppose 1984 has arrived but we do not see it yet.

Budgie said...

With Carswell defecting (and doing the honourable thing by causing a by-election) and the Scots about to vote to secede from the UK, Cameron is toast, so it's Boris for leader of the opposition.

Whilst I don't trust any politician much, they do vary. I would trust Farage over Boris any day.

BE said...

Carswell's comments about the Tory party ring very true. Party members with their opinions are seen as a drag not a resource. Kein Wunder that a rival rightist party has attracted so much grassroots support.

I wonder whether this is the first of several defections or a one-off.

I agree with Budgie.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Scotland won't vote out. Most of us don't want the McANC in charge. A few foaming nutjobs shouting at the rather civilised Mr Darling does not a majority make.

The real danger is having figured out some years ago they won't persuade the majority of Scots, the fishy pair have decided to attempt to provoke the English beyond endurance.

hovis said...

BE: absolutely agree that politics needs a shake up. Go over to what you now see as the "fringes" without pre-judgement you will find interest even if not agreement.

The the arteries of the political system are clogged with the fat of smug, tin earred self satisfaction...imho :-)

"..even slight analysis shows, Boris can be both pro- and anti Europe at the same time"

A form of Schroedinger's euroscepticism then?

Budgie said...

SW, yes you are right that "the fishy pair [?] have decided to attempt to provoke the English beyond endurance". However I think what is not understood by most Scots (from whichever side) is that the very action of seeking secession is provoking.

Just think if the boot had been on the other foot: suppose the Scots were as happy with the Union as the English were 10 or 20 years ago; suppose then that the English had manoeuvred a referendum to throw out the Scots, and the Scots were not even allowed an opinion. How would the Scots feel about that?

I hope you are right, SW, and the Scots vote to stay in the UK. But I fear you are wrong and the union is now damaged anyway.

Nick Drew said...

suppose then that the English had manoeuvred a referendum to throw out the Scots, and the Scots were not even allowed an opinion

it's what Cameron should have hit Salmond with on the day the grinning git walked into his office waving his 'mandate'

BE said...

Agree again Budgie. I am all for self-determination, home rule, whatever it might be called. But what sticks in the craw is the one-sided debate. Today Dave has waved further powers at Scots voters as an incentive to stay in the UK.

Hold on a minute, when did he consult the English about this? When do I get a say on any of this? My city has twice the population of Scotland, when do we get a chance to legislate/reform welfare/keep a better share of our tax money?

By all means let's have a constitutional debate but as a country not as a bribe.

Budgie said...

There are lots of things Cameron "should have" done, and could have done, but hasn't. Cameron is neither as grasping nor as deluded as Blair - or anywhere near - but in his own quiet, lazy way he is even more incompetent.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

@Budgie: fishy pair? Does Salmond and Sturgeon really need explication?

Please don't assume we all share the SNP hatred of England and the English. Most of us are in the A.G. Macdonell camp.

BE said...

As Budgie says, it doesn't matter if 99% of Scots are warmhearted Anglophiles, holding the vote is enough to show that Scots are in it for whatever they can get out of the English taxpayer. The No campaign has focussed on how much more money there is for the NHS and pensions when the English are paying than when going it alone. Gee, you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Stop Press - Government raises UK terror alert status from "Tower Hamlets" to "Rotherham".

Budgie said...

SW, no I don't suppose that all Scots "share the SNP hatred of England", I had hoped that what I have said shows that. What I mean is that most Scots seem blithely unaware that the mere process of secession is itself a provocation to the English.

Then there is the fact that Salmond wants Scotland to be part of a union - the EU; just not part of the other union - the UK. I find that most peculiar.

According to the latest dna research the Scots and the English are virtually indistinguishable. We are also very similar culturally and legally. So we are nearly the same (apologies to any English or Scots nationalists but facts are facts) and we are both very different to any continental country.

I suspect that the UK establishment's deliberate suppression of UK patriotism, let alone nationalism, is a big factor in both the rise of the SNP and the rise of Pakistani nationalism in this country. There has been a patriot vacuum.

Budgie said...

SW, fishy pair? Sorry I was too slow - my excuse is that I am familiar with Salmond but less so with Ms Sturgeon.