With the possibility that the UK may have to at least extend the Article 50 period, this last named after the provision in the Lisbon Treaty, all sorts of new political scenarios come into play. The extension is looking a certainty - there is not enough time to get the necessary legislation through Parliament before the March 29 deadline, and there would not have been, had the Withdrawal Agreement been signed off last week.
Squeaky cash injection finger up the bum time
Should the Article 50 period extend after June this year, then the UK will still be a member state of the EU when the next round of European Parliament elections is due. So every significant political party has to be ready to field candidates. Anyone then elected will become an MEP, with responsibilities, duties … and a fully expensed salary.
And at the first sign of money, who do we find racing to locate the nearest media outlet? None other than former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, for whom being an MEP means actually doing not unadjacent to Sweet Jack, but brings a steady stream of dosh into the bank account nominated by Himself Personally Now.
So it was no surprise to see Sky News reporting that “Nigel Farage has hinted at becoming leader of the Brexit Party after it was officially approved … The Eurosceptic party was formally recognised by the Electoral Commission on 5 February, allowing it to field candidates at upcoming elections … The former UKIP leader said he would stand as a candidate for the new party in May's European Parliament elections if Brexit is delayed”.
Having abandoned UKIP, as he would rather keep his bigotry in the nudge-and-wink category rather than the wacko and paranoid variety favoured by Adolf von Batten, Nige wouldn’t be on their Euro-list. And the far-right political landscape getting rather crowded - Anne Marie Waters’ proto-fascist For Britain is also out there somewhere - so what better than an all-new party endorsed by Nige to rally the voters?
His new party has none of the racially-tinged baggage of UKIP past or present. It has none of the For Britain screaming intolerance of minorities. It can appeal to anti-EU Tories unhappy at their own party’s shambolic mess. Just like the version of UKIP that contested the EP elections in 2014, it would be a one-man band, but it could win seats.
And that is what Farage wants to do. Never mind that he has one of the worst voting records of any MEP, and never mind that the only reason he turns up to debates is to use the time given to him to deliver pre-prepared rants for his YouTube channel, it’s all about the money. Nige has got a sniff of it. And he rather likes the idea of scoring some.
Farage has said that the “new Brexit party stands ready to defend democracy”. But the reality is that the only kind of democracy he favours is that which enables him to carry on sponging off the taxpayer. It’s not about Brexit - Nige, like so many out there on the far right, doesn’t have a plan or indeed any useful contribution to make to the debate - but about him getting a seat on the gravy train. For Himself and no-one else.
That’s how much Nigel Farage cares about ordinary Brits. He doesn’t care - at all.
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