The Brexit Party, latest electoral vehicle for the advancement of Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and selected chums, has been presented as a popular movement, backed by all those ordinary hardworking people that pundits love to talk about, but very rarely actually meet. But the latest actions of its chairman do not augur well for this image.
Richard Tice - a multi-millionaire
Richard Tice has initiated legal action against Femi Oluwole, after, as the Evening Standard has already reported, the campaigner Tweeted the question “How have we allowed the Brexit Party to be seen as a tolerant party when its Chairman, Richard Tice, founded an overtly anti-Jewish organisation?”
Femi Oluwole - not a multi-millionaire
The Tweet includes another Tweet, this from the Leave EU Twitter feed, telling followers “The face of the People's Vote campaign”, above an image of Tony Blair as a marionette having his strings pulled by George Soros. That Tweet is blatantly anti-Semitic.
How bad is the full version of that Tweet?
However, Tice has reminded us that he left the Leave EU campaign in 2016, and his Wikipedia entry suggests this was “just after the referendum”. As a result, he clearly takes exception to being associated with a Tweet that was put out two years later.
It's very bad indeed, that's how bad
So far, so routine, but now it has been claimed, by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog - already the preferred conduit for media releases from Tice’s Leave EU co-founder Arron Banks - that proceedings have been issued. That news was then Tweeted out by Tice’s partner Isabel Oakeshott. On this remarkable series of coincidences I will say no more. Because it’s time to move on to another curiosity.
Look who got the news first
Oluwole did not tag Tice in his Tweet. So how did he pick up on it? It does look as if someone is looking out for mentions of his name. And then there is the bullying aspect. After telling “Oluwole was asked on Saturday to delete his tweets alleging that Tice had made anti-Semitic remarks and issue an apology”, the Standard continues “Oluwole was also asked to pay Tice’s legal costs and donate £10,000 to a charity of Tice’s choice”.
Look who Tweeted it out
Wanting a retraction and an apology is fair enough. Demanding £10,000 from someone who hasn’t got it is bullying. Worse, it’s not in dispute that Tice co-founded Leave EU. The Tweet with Soros as puppet-master is jaw-droppingly anti-Semitic, and the Standard telling readers it understands Tice has suggested “that the photograph is simply a picture of two men who oppose Brexit” looks shaky. Very shaky.
Leave EU attacking Soros before Tice left? Yes they did ...
OK, Tice did leave Leave EU in 2016 - so he shouldn’t need to advance that defence, if advance it he has. But Leave EU were playing Soros The Bogeyman before Tice left, telling just before the referendum “Our co-founder Arron Banks, explains why we shouldn't let people like Soros sway our vote”, and on the day of the poll “Soros is known in the UK as ‘The Man Who Broke the Bank of England’ - and [David Cameron] thinks he wants what's best for us!?” Not as bad as the puppet master Tweet, but not good.
... and they did it twice
Richard Tice might usefully think twice before regaling audiences about “out of touch elites” in the near future. It’s not easy to play Man Of The People and free speech advocate when simultaneously bullying the less well off to shut them up.
Good of him to invoke the Streisand Effect so spectacularly. I’ll just leave that one there.
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