Former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage protested vehemently the last time he was invited to be part of the paper reviewing panel on The Andy Marr Show (tm) about the ghastly foreigners who were stopping his MEP’s salary. Viewers were left in no doubt that they had done something very bad, and that he was the victim. The truth, as so often with the Kippers, was rather more straightforward.
Squeaky you're nicked finger up the bum time
The most straightforward part was that Nige, as so often, was talking well, while lying badly: he had been caught bang to rights fiddling his expenses, but the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, which this week protested about non-existent constraints on its “high quality investigative journalism”, a contradiction in terms if ever there was one, sat on its collective hands and did nothing. Now the whole story is out there.
As the Guardian has reported, “Nigel Farage is being docked half his monthly MEP salary after a European parliament investigation alleged he had misspent public funds intended for staffing his office … The former Ukip leader, who recently bemoaned being ’53, separated and skint’, will lose €40,000 (£35,500) in total, the Guardian has learned, after European parliament auditors concluded he had misspent that amount of EU funds”.
Why was this? “Financial controllers have been investigating the role of Christopher Adams, who was hired by Farage to work in the European parliament as his assistant … Auditors suspended Adams’ contract last year, because they were not convinced he was working for Farage on European parliamentary matters. Although paid as Farage’s assistant, Adams was also the national nominating officer for Ukip, where he was described as one of the party’s ‘key people’”. A nailed-on expense fiddle.
And while the BBC reported the news, including the customary victimhood whinings from those out there on the right, the angle taken by the anti-EU press faction - for which, read most of it - has been very revealing. The Murdoch Times told readers “EU punishes Nigel Farage by docking his MEP pay”. That Mr Thirsty had effectively been caught with his fingers in the Euro-till was not allowed to enter.
Where a benefit claimant fiddling £35k would have ended up
No Sirree, it was the rotten foreigners PUNISHING Our Brave Boys! The increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph copied and pasted the Guardian’s report, but added its own headline “Nigel Farage's MEP salary slashed to recoup 'misspent' funds”. The ghastly Europeans have SLASHED brave Nige’s wad! How DARE they?
The faux outrage reached its inevitable zenith at the Express, where readers were told what to think: “Nigel Farage PUNISHED by the EU as Brussels docks his salary to recoup 'misspent funds’”. See? It’s the lousy foreigners’ fault! Poor Nige is down to his last three homes and half a million - that makes him poor, honestly!
Had Farage been a benefit claimant in the UK, he’d have been slapped in the clink for a handful and the press would have bayed for more. He’d have been denounced as a scrounger, sponger and worse. Yet because he’s a gobby Kipper, it’s someone else’s fault.
The hypocrisy and dishonesty of the press when it comes to anything EU related should worry us all. Not that they will change tack any time soon. No surprise there, then.