It seems that the Peterborough by-election, whose conduct he disparaged so openly but which has been confirmed to have been above board, is not the only recent democratic act that has incurred the displeasure of Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage: yesterday’s secret ballot of MEPs, held to confirm Ursula von der Leyen as the first women President of the European Commission, has also displeased him.
Squeaky shoot yourself in the foot finger up the bum time
Democracy never does suit Farage unless it is the kind that favours him and his pals; in yesterday’s vote, Ms von der Leyen secured 383 of the 732 votes, with 327 voting against her confirmation, and 22 MEPs choosing to abstain. Mr Thirsty wasn’t taking that lying down. “Ursula von der Leyen has scraped in by 9 votes. Power but no legitimacy” he moaned, somehow failing to do his sums for the folks at home.
Legitimacy? Listen who's talking, Nige
While Nige got out his abacus (don’t mention spreadsheets, he’s a technophobe who needs someone else to do that sort of thing for him), one helpful Tweeter intervened to remind him that Ms von der Leyen had just proved him wrong: “at 4pm you said she would not win and the EU would be ‘in a serious crisis for 2 months … in paralysis’. Happy to remind you of your own words frogman”. So he was sore cos his prediction was crap.
And after doing his sums, or maybe not, Farage might have realised that the new EC President had been confirmed by a majority of 52% to 48%. What he seemed not to realise was the significance of that percentage split. So Adrian Heald, who you can tell as he’s a doctor, reminded him: “A bit like a certain referendum, only this time no foreign money involved or Cambridge Analytica”. Remember that referendum, Nige?
LBC host James O’Brien was thinking along similar lines: “For once, I’m inclined to agree with the belch of beery flatulence made flesh, although as usual he’s got everything backwards. A 52% to 48% split bestows power with, for him, questionable legitimacy”. Winning by 52% to 48% is, for Mr Thirsty, not only a triumph, but entirely legitimate. It’s only wrong when someone else does it. And the foot-in-mouth wasn’t over yet.
Following the exercise in democracy which Farage so disliked, he was outside the European Parliament building sharpish to tell Sky News in his usual multilingual style (which means speaking English very slowly and very loudly) “In an election, having a choice of one is hardly open and democratic. This was a total stitch-up from the very beginning”. Sadly for him, there was a very obvious flaw in his argument.
It was left to the Tweeter known as Tamara Essex to tell “Someone just called [Nigel Farage] and asked when he was ‘elected’ as leader of the Brexit ‘Party’. Niggle was FURIOUS!!!” Farage effectively appointed himself leader of the Brexit Party for as long as he wants to remain leader. There was not, and cannot be, any democratic challenge to his position. Brexit Party fans do not even have a choice of one. They don’t get a vote.
But when there is a democratic process to confirm the EC President, Ms Thirsty says it’s wrong. When Ms von der Leyen is confirmed by a 52% to 48% majority, he claims she has no legitimacy. But when the 2016 EU referendum turned out that way, it was fine by him.
Nigel Farage is the ultimate conflation of fraud and hypocrisy. No change there, then.
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