Those from outside the UK who stick their bugle in to our domestic affairs have in the recent past been given short shrift. So it was when then US President Barack Obama told that the UK would be “back of the queue” when it came to negotiating a trade deal if it left the EU, he was subjected to the full broadside by former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, and for good measure, compared unfavourably to other leaders.
Squeaky silent finger up the bum time
“Vladimir Putin behaved in a more statesmanlike manner than President Obama did in this referendum campaign. Obama came to Britain, and I think behaved disgracefully, telling us we would be at the back of the queue … Vladimir Putin maintained his silence throughout the whole campaign” he told, as Politico reported at the time.
So it can only be concluded that any political leader not “maintaining his silence” is A Very Bad Thing Indeed. Fast forward to this week, though, and all is changed. The Guardian has reported that “Vladimir Putin has said the UK should not hold a second referendum on Brexit, insisting Theresa May must ‘fulfil the will of the people’. Offering public support that the embattled British prime minister could probably do without, Putin said he understood May’s position in ‘fighting for this Brexit’”. Not so statesmanlike. And there was more.
“‘The referendum was held,’ the Russian president said from Moscow during his annual press conference, which is broadcast on national television. ‘What can she do? She has to fulfil the will of the people expressed in the referendum.’” So where is Mr Thirsty’s direct condemnation? Well, there isn’t any. But the Guardian does hint why that may be.
“Russia is seen as a possible beneficiary of the UK’s exit from the EU, and a prominent financial backer of the leave campaign, Arron Banks, met Russian embassy officials repeatedly during the run-up to the referendum in June 2016”. And the Guardian had another reason why Nige might not want to diss Vlad.
“Nigel Farage has named Vladimir Putin as the world leader he most admires, praising the Russian president's handling of the crisis in Syria … ‘The way he played the whole Syria thing. Brilliant’”. He has also told his followers “Assad & Putin may not be our best friends but they are not biggest threat we face today. Isis are. It is time government recognised that”. But interference is interference. So what is Mr Thirsty saying about Putin’s move?
Nothing. Nix. Nil. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Not a sausage. Bugger all. A more glaring slice of nailed-on hypocrisy it would be hard to find. And there might be another reason Farage wants to keep a low profile right now, as Bloomberg has revealed.
“Based on Bloomberg’s investigation of Brexit polling, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said in October that it is examining the secret relationships between pollsters and hedge funds. The FCA, which is the U.K.’s financial prosecutor and regulator, is specifically looking at whether such arrangements could violate laws or regulations against market abuse and insider dealing”. Farage stands accused of using private polling data to help his City pals make a killing by shorting Sterling on the night of the referendum result.
“This hysterical attempt to associate me with the Putin regime is a result of the liberal elite being unable to accept Brexit and Trump” he said recently. Except there’s no hysteria. He’s just a dishonest spiv who’s been rumbled. And now the law is closing in.
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