So this morning Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers are celebrating ... what, exactly? They have come first in the poll to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), yet UKIP doesn’t want to engage with those rotten people who talk foreign. After getting themselves elected, just what are they going to give their supporters in return? Get ready for the bad news.
(c) Martin Rowson 2014
Will this bring the fabled Brexit any closer? No. Any move to change or even end the UK’s membership of the EU would have to be decided within the Houses of Parliament. Here, UKIP has an elected strength of precisely zero. So you can safely ignore the front page of today’s Daily Express, which follows the paper’s grand tradition of totally untrue EU bashing pro-UKIP propaganda.
What will UKIP’s MEPs do to benefit the UK? Nothing. Sure, they will tell that they are standing up for British interests, that they want to “regain control of our borders”, and perhaps even that they “want to take our country back”. But when it comes to actually participating in EP business, we will count ourselves lucky if they bother to turn up on a regular basis.
Totally untrue - so nothing new
How will they vote on the issues before them? We’ll be lucky if they vote at all. Much of the time, UKIP MEPs have historically either not turned up, or, as exemplified by Roger Helmer, used the EP as a place to have a snooze. If they are around for votes – and awake – they are most likely to abstain. Or they might vote against whatever is being decided, ‘cos they like to say no to the EU.
Can we trust them to tell us the facts about the EP and EU? No chance. One look at the stream of whoppers pitched during the campaign is all you need to know on that front. Farage – for instance – was quizzed on his claim that the EU makes 75% of the UK’s laws. His response? That was “his estimate”. You can trust Nige, he’s a man of the people, you can have a laugh with him, and sod the facts.
This is what voting UKIP means
Won’t UKIP’s MEPs be genuine individuals? As opposed to all those career machine politicians, you mean? Nope. Look at the East of England representation. Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn, former Express pundit whose paper had for years spun a litany of lies about the EU. And Tim Aker, an I-Speak-Your-Weight machine, but programmed for UKIP rather than Labour, Tories or Lib Dems.
Won’t UKIP bring a more straightforward politics? No way. This result will open the door to all those who call their opponents retards, accuse the mythical “LibLabCon” of treason, demand the hanging of anyone of opposing views, and otherwise scream petulantly that “We want out of Europe”, as if this will somehow make the world a better place. You can forget the grown-up debates.
But you can expect unintentional hilarity. So there is a silver lining after all.