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Tuesday 16 May 2017

Nigel Farage’s German Skewering

Former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage might have thought it a good idea to let mainland European media have the benefit of his questionable wisdom, if only so he could lord it over all those ghastly people who don’t speak English properly. But when he allowed German newspaper Die Zeit to quiz him, it turned out to be a campaign that progressed not necessarily to his advantage.
Squeaky hard questions finger up the bum time

We already got an inkling that all did not go as Mr Thirsty might have hoped, with Laura Schneider Tweeting “Nigel Farage walks off interview with German @DIEZEIT after questions about his ties to Russia & Brexit consequences”, and the Independent tellingNigel Farage dodges question on why he met Julian Assange before abruptly ending interview”, but the full account of the meltdown is infinitely more satisfying.

Nigel Farage sits on a black leather chair at his office in the European Parliament in Brussels” begins the Die Zeit article, showing us that Mr Thirsty might hate the EU, but has no problem enjoying the benefits of being an MEP. He was not comfy for long.

ZEIT ONLINE: Who financed your leave campaign?

Farage: Who financed the whole Remain campaign for more than 50 years? The government!

ZEIT ONLINE: You have not answered the question.

Farage: individuals, individual citizens from the United Kingdom.

ZEIT ONLINE: Also with money from Russia?

Farage: There was no Russian money, it's ridiculous. That’s just a conspiracy theory. I would not have accepted a penny from Russia, even if it had been offered to me. This campaign was not about money. It was about messages - good, clear messages.

By now, Farage might have figured out that this would not be the same as the softball of adoration that so much of the rabidly Europhobic press in Britain might offer him. He was right to make that deduction - because things became yet more uncomfortable.

ZEIT ONLINE: Why did you visit Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy?

Farage: Oh. Only for journalistic reasons.

ZEIT ONLINE: What? Because you wanted to write an article about the wanted WikiLeaks activist?

Farage: For journalistic reasons. I will not say anything else. But I did not do it for political, but for journalistic reasons.

In case anyone missed that - Farage admitted his visit was to see Assange.

ZEIT ONLINE: What journalistic reasons are they supposed to be?

Farage: I do not want to say anything more. Look: I used to do politics 100 hours a week. Now I am only doing it for 40 hours a week, so I have a lot of time to do a lot of other things. I work for Fox News and LBC, and I write.

By this time, Nige’s press aide was interrupting the interview to suggest the conversation should be about trade. Farage would like to talk about trade. But Die Zeit did not.
ZEIT ONLINE: You surely went see Julian Assange on behalf of someone. What was the subject of your visit?

Farage: That has nothing to do with you. It was a private meeting.

ZEIT ONLINE: Just now you said it was a journalistic meeting, so for the public?

Farage: Of course.

ZEIT ONLINE: So will you soon publish an article about your links to WikiLeaks and the meeting with Assange?

Farage: Wait. I meet a lot of people all over the world. I always like to help.

The interview moved on to Russia. Farage may have thought he was now out of the woods. He was not.

Farage: We have no connections with Russia.

ZEIT ONLINE: So you never met the Deputy Russian Ambassador in London?

Farage: No.

ZEIT ONLINE: Not in 2013, before the Brexit campaign was designed ?

Farage: Ah, wait a minute. He came to my office in the European Parliament. Maybe I met him in London. So what?

ZEIT ONLINE: Why did you meet with him?

This wasn’t going at all well. Farage’s press aide jumped in again. When would the interview talk about trade between Germany and Britain?

Farage: We British are the first, but other countries will also leave the EU.


Farage: We'll see: Greece. Maybe Denmark or Sweden. We will see.

ZEIT ONLINE: Greece had the option in the financial crisis and decided against it. Are you actually a journalist or politician after Brexit?

Farage: I change public opinion. That's what I've been doing for 20 years. For this I use television, the media. To influence the public, which I do rather well.

ZEIT ONLINE: So you had to meet Julian Assange?

Farage: That, that is another point in the whole thing.

ZEIT ONLINE: How can you understand this point?

Farage: Well, you will not understand. I met him very briefly and we discussed a lot.

ZEIT ONLINE: You did not want to be discovered? it’s only because someone took a picture of you, otherwise your visit would not be known at all.

Farage’s press aide interrupted again. Would the interviewer care to ask him about the UK economy? He’d like to talk about that. By now it was getting heated.

ZEIT ONLINE: The fundamental freedoms of the EU include the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons. Those who leave the EU risk losing the freedom.

Farage: When I was elected to the European Parliament in 1999, no one argued about borders or refugee immigration. Why? Because it was not relevant.

ZEIT ONLINE: Brexit could create a new frontier in Europe.

Farage: You live in a fairytale world. You must be crazy. I've never heard anything so stupid. Because of Brexit I should not be able to travel to Hamburg? You should appear in a comedy show.

At which point The Great Man and his press aide decided that was enough. But it was more than enough to show how easily Farage can be discomfited by someone willing to do more than play softball with him.

Nigel Farage lied about meeting the Russians. His claims of further departures from the EU were easily debunked. And he admitted his visit to the Ecuadorian embassy was to visit Julian Assange, with whom he “discussed a lot”.

Although the Die Zeit interview is excellent entertainment, the lesson for our free and fearless press is clear: stop toadying to this spiv and give him the kind of grilling he deserves. After all, there’s nothing like the aroma of grilled Kippers.


Arnold said...

"We British were the first, but other countries will leave the EU"


Anonymous said...

Oh I see.

Brexit was a plot instigated by Assange and the Russians.

Couldn't you fit North Korea, Venezuela and Syria into this Absolutely Fabulous scenario somewhere?

And what about the Trump Armada? How come that's disappeared off media radar screens like the genocide in Yemen courtesy of British Aerospace, and drowning refugees in the Mediterranean?

Funny that......Or maybe not.

Tim Fenton said...


Many comments made in response to posts on this blog pass moderation, but that does not mean they are considered agreeable or credible.

Farage had a car crash. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Farrage DID have a car crash.

No surprise there.

What is surprising is that Assange and the Russians crashed at the same time and in the same place.

Yes. Very odd, that. I wonder what the actuarial odds are?

SteveB said...

Brexit was a NOT plot instigated by Assange and the Russians. But it was a view which worked very well in favour of the Russians (and some Yanks) who fear EU strength, so it would be logical for the Russians to want a way to help it along. Wikileaks and Assange are also things which work in favour of the Russians. Farage obviously believed in Brexit without Russian pushing, perhaps it's a coincedence that he and Russia have another mutual interest in Assange. Very odd that as a "journalist" he visits a hot topic like Assange and then doesn't want to publish anything. As for his comments:

" I used to do politics 100 hours a week. Now I am only doing it for 40 hours a week, so I have a lot of time to do a lot of other things. I work for Fox News and LBC, and I write." and he pockets a very healthy sum for being MEP which apparently isn't a task on the to do list!

"I met him very briefly and we discussed a lot." - that's a good trick!

"Because of Brexit I should not be able to travel to Hamburg? " well possibly, UK can ban non-EU nationals from entering on the grounds that it would not be condusive to the public good, Why not Germany to a nonEU Farage after what he has said about Germans (amongst others..)? And why does he want to visit Hamburg anyway, I thought he'd split from his wife, is he still visiting the in-laws??

Unknown said...

Russians or not there are credible links to him and Cambridge Analytica and illegal funding of both Ukip and Brexit.

Anonymous said...


Good points, well made.

But why not emphasise the POSSIBLE US advantages too? They're just as likely as the Russians to seek to make the most of the situation as the Russians POSSIBLY might. Farrage's US links are far more substantial than any he MIGHT have with Russia.

The point being, this is all hypothetical with not one shred of evidence to connect either country with the instigation of Brexit.

What is ugly about this situation is the continued sly (and often open) allegations (particularly by crackpot paranoid Yank politicians) that Assange is some kind "traitor". Whereas the man has ACTUALLY helped expose the sheer corruption and downright evil of government actions. It also highlights the disgusting hypocrisy of mainstream media, whose job it was to identify these actions in the first place. Which is of course why so much of msm has either turned against him or simply ignored his continuing isolation. Given Brit msm ownership and overwhelming bias, is this any real surprise?

My guess is that Farrage is the only "useful idiot" in all this, and much more useful to US interests than Russian interests. The most reactionary US interests have long sought to limit European influence, whereas the Russians have always tried to augment it - for rather obvious geographic and economic reasons.

rogger said...

In a consciously hypocritical and cock-snooking fashion, Farage takes, and has been taking for many years, his large MEP's salary, while doing no work on behalf of his constituents. This is rogering taken to its audacious limit, and reveals his supporters as having no moral compass or grounding.

Anonymous said...

An idiotic interview in which Farage's press aide seems to have played a more prominent role than Farage himself!
That he met Assange or some Deputy Russian ambassador is completely irrelevant. In any case, after Brexit, he will cease to be an MEP. So why would anyone even bother to talk to Farage.
The idea that everything is rosy in the EU is completely false. The media have stopped reporting about Greece. Presumably because Greece is completely back to "normal".
This was not "car crash" at all. "Car crash" is the speciality of Diane Abbott & Emily Thornberry. Just google it.

Anonymous said...

This seems unambiguous: 'Stanley Johnson, Boris Johnson's father, has penned a political thriller about behind the scenes in the run up to the European Union referendum.

Stanley Johnson’s novel, entitled Kompromat - coming from Russian term for compromising materials about a politician or other public figure - is a political thriller which will imagine the "skullduggery" which may have gone on behind the scenes internationally in the run up to the EU referendum, and is described as “the most audacious geo-political coup since Genghis Khan and his hordes swept across Asia into Europe”.

Johnson, who is said to be "well-placed" to write this novel, commented: “Britain’s referendum on its membership of the EU in June 2016 was a political showdown a British prime minister thought couldn’t be lost. But the next morning Britain woke up to a shock result. Kompromat explores the skullduggery that might just have gone on behind the scenes, from the steppes of Russia to the UK and across to America, with a global cast of characters, from world leaders to spin doctors and journalists.”'

Anonymous said...

There is no better expression of this country's swing toward the far right than the appointment of Bullingdon Boris as Foreign Secretary.

I wonder if he and the other Bullingdon Hoorays will soon visit the homeless in Paris and burn €50 notes in their faces. It is after all one of their group ritual requirements. Doubtless the Tory Farage would be delighted to join them.

That "novel" might make interesting reading......for readers of the Beano, the Sun, the Daily Mail and, of course, jailbird Jeffrey Archer.

All of which only goes to reinforce the information released by Assange and Wiki leaks. British media might even summon the guts to deal with the implications of it. But I wouldn't make book on it, not after they also quickly ignored Roberto Saviano when last year he labelled London and its "financial services" the world centre of corruption. Incidentally the very "services" Sadiq Khan is quick to defend against fair tax proposals.

My bet is the Assange/Wiki leaks stuff has loosened more than a few bowels on both sides of the Atlantic. More power to his administrative laxative.

Trotskys Poodle said...

Tim Fenton is your classic doughy beta male whose regressive views are simply a reflection of his suppressed resentment toward the bigger boys from his schooldays. It's a relatively common and under acknowledged pathology in which psychosexual issues manifest in a pseudo intellectual apologism for authoritarian doctrine that rules the proles for their own good. The hallmark is the barely concealed glee at the capacity to destroy a heretic by the promulgation of scurrilous rumours.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you say, Trotskys Poodle.

Whatever it was you said.

Too Daily Mailish for me.

SteveB said...

@anon 0817
Clearly US policy NOW has swung against the EU but at the time of the referendum I think the Obama administration viewed a strong EU as (slightly) better than weak, mainly because of the Russians who were a bigger concern. A strong united EU would be useful when organising sanctions etc. So at the time of the referendum campaign OFFICIAL american policy probably wasn't to support the Brexiteers. Maybe if Russia had been less awful they would have viewed a strong EU as a higher threat to their control of the world. Obviously there would have been American business people who had different priorities, and that's before we even get to the Trump mob....

Anonymous said...

@SteveB 09:52.

"Maybe if Russia had been less awful..."

In what way "awful"?

More "awful" than the USA and Britain? How? Where?