As the tragedy of little Alfie Evans was played out across the media, one political has-been decided he would rather like a piece of the action, and so it was that former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage appeared on Fox News Chanel (fair and balanced my arse) to tell the viewers of Rupert Murdoch’s cable new outlet exactly what they wanted to hear. He did this by, as so often, talking well, but lying badly.
Squeaky deliberate defamation finger up the bum time
Mr Thirsty’s rant was in response to prompting by host Laura Ingraham, herself facing an advertising boycott for attacking students who protested against school shootings. He pretended to show sympathy: “Any parent in the world who’s got a child that’s sick would move heaven and earth if somebody else could offer them a different treatment”. But no-one was offering little Alfie any treatment that was different.
Then came the lies: “Yet what happens here is our state-run medical system decides there’s nothing else that can be done and backed up by the state courts, they make a decision that those parents are not fit to move their child somewhere else”. We don’t have “state courts”, and those courts were not making judgments on parental fitness.
There was then just time to pretend, falsely, that Farage was an outsider - “It’s classic of the establishment closing ranks, the state being all powerful” - before dropping the most vicious libel: “And frankly what is happening today and what is happening right now is a form of state-sponsored euthanasia and I hate it”. State-sponsored euthanasia.
Now, I’m sure FNC viewers, who have been fed a diet of knocking copy aimed at putting them off seeing that the USA has less good healthcare outcomes than the UK, yet spends more than twice as much getting there, will lap that up. But it’s no less defamatory for that. So it was no surprise when Ben Janaway, who you can call as he’s a doctor, called out the former head kipper for his premeditated dishonesty.
“So @Nigel_Farage demonstrates absolutely no understanding of a complex medical issue. Uses a child’s life as a way to blast the NHS and libellously accuse Doctors of ‘Euthanasia’ and for no other clear reason than promoting himself. Pathetic … Nigel Farage should face criminal charges for his abusive and manipulative libel at the expense of the NHS. Irrelevant has been trawling the gutter to stay in the limelight”.
And after Farage implicitly lied once more, ranting “The state should not own our kids”, Janaway was back on his case: “Nigel you are uninformed, ignorant and inexpert on all facets of the case. Why you believed your opinion is relevant, useful or significant is beyond me”. Self-promotion. No other reason enters for Mr Thirsty.
The result was that Farage set off a pile-on from his fans by frothing “This guy wants to throw me in prison for disagreeing with him and the medical establishment. That says everything you need to know about so-called ‘liberals’”. That wasn’t true either.
Janaway rightly gets the last word here: “Nigel, simply calling for you to justify your actions in the eyes of the law and country you so vehemently protect. Protecting the actions of the NHS does not constitute liberalism, it constitutes being an empathic human … RIP Alfie. Let us hope this renews public and state interest in funding medical research so this does not happen again”. As if Farage cares by now, though. Thus the problem.