After all the fawning publicity, all the favourable opinion polls, and all the faux victimhood, the Brexit Party, latest vehicle for Nigel “Thirsty” Farage to promote the cause of More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now, decamped to the South Wales town of Merthyr Tydfil yesterday evening. To ensure as many faithful supporters as possible could be accommodated, the rally was held in a large car park.
Photo (c) Jonathan Guard 2019
And to make finding the venue as straightforward as possible, the car park in question was that of Trago Mills, their Merthyr outlet being more or less adjacent to the main A470 road. The Brexit Party bus arrived. Farage and his perma-smiling sidekick Richard Tice arrived. But, sadly, the faithful failed to arrive. The rally was a dismal flop.
The Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, who went to school just down the valley in Radyr, was concerned: “Nigel Farage & Richard Tice give literally not one fuck about Merthyr Tydfil”. She need not have been, as Jonathan Guard confirmed “Haha there's no one there. And they've shipped people in from all of South Wales, and Herefordshire”.
The poor turnout, though, could not possibly be the fault of The Great Farage. So it had to be someone else’s fault, and preferably the Rotten Remainers™. So it was that Christopher “No” Hope of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph claimed “It's all happening in Merthyr Tydfil. Nigel Farage is preparing to give a speech tonight to his supporters in a supermarket car park and now anti-Brexit campaigners have blocked the roads so the Brexiteers cannot get in”. This, to no surprise, was not true.
No more than 18 minutes later, Hope confirmed “Police now called. Five to 10 protesters removed from the road at the entrance to the supermarket. A just fight broke out as someone tried to leave the supermarket. Traffic now moving freely”. A “just fight”? Was that the biblical interpretation? Or was it a variation on “Just Eat”?
No matter, this was what Farage needed to go on the attack and excuse his lack of pulling power. “Remain campaigners have just blocked the road to stop the public from attending a Brexit Party rally in Merthyr Tydfil. This attempt to stop democracy from taking place is a total disgrace. We would never behave like that”. Of course not, Nige, you’d just get your security goons to rough them up. Like they did in Chester, remember?
And exactly how “We” would behave was confirmed by one peaceful pro-EU protester, who confirmed earlier “Been to Brexit Party's rally in Merthyr Tydfil this evening, to show Mr Farage and his friends that we don't all want Brexit. Had loads of supportive beeps and waves from folks driving underneath me on the A470, then set up on the roundabout exiting rally at Trago Mills”. So how did “We” behave?
“I’m not sure the 200 or so (mainly elderly) supporters who left in cars & vans at end appreciated it much - got #CalledATraitor, wanker, scum, nazi, told to get to the gallows, go F my M, that I should be ashamed, spat at a few times & offered a drink, by way of a flying beer can”. So Farage was lying about that, too. What a surprise.
The Brexit Party is a mirage, a sham. It has no manifesto, no policies, and all it is there to do is to keep Farage and his pals on the gravy train. Last night, Wales saw through it.
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