Nigel Farage’s Pint

In an age in which visual impressions and appearances are everything, politicians often like to transmit certain subliminal visual signals through the media to register particular impressions on the minds of their imagined constituencies.   It might be their clothes and accoutrements, the situations they allow themselves to be photographed in, the animals they associate themselves with.

One thinks of George Bush’s leather jacket; the ludicrous bare-chested Putin riding horses and prowling the wilderness with a high-powered rife; Tony Blair in unbuttoned shirt posing with the troops in Iraq or appearing on football focus (same difference – to him); the smiling Cameron riding a bicycle to Central Office before he was elected (admittedly followed by a car carrying his briefcase, but never mind, we got the point).

These messages don’t have to be subtle to be effective.   Subtlety in fact, has nothing to do with it.       In a few rare cases these visual props become so iconic that they actually become an essential and indelible component of the public persona and political message of the politician concerned, almost like a physical appendage.

The unlikely rise of Ukip has provided a new and, as far as I can recall, unprecedented addition to modern political imagery, in Nigel Farage’s unprecedented willingness to have himself photographed with a pint in his hand.     I’m not saying that politicians don’t drink: we know that they do and always have done, and that quite often their job makes them drink even more – in private.

We know, for example, that Richard Nixon was a long way from sober when he ranted and raved to Henry Kissinger about his plans to bomb North Vietnam into the stone age back in 1972.   But Nixon didn’t make a public virtue out of drinking, and it is doubtful whether he would have been highly regarded if he had.

British politicians are no different.   They might drink or they might not, but they were, until recently, unlikely to be rewarded politically if they boasted about their ability to do it in public.     All this has now changed, at least in the case of Nigel Farage.   I can’t think of any politician in British political history who has so relentlessly and fervently tied his political image to pubs, beer and drinking.

In the last two years or so Farage has been photographed so often in a pub with a pint in his hand that it is tempting to imagine that he actually lives in one, or would like to.     These associations have been carefully and deliberately cultivated.     To think of Farage is to conjure up an instant image of a man with a lop-sided grin who looks as if he has just won the lottery, leaning up against a bar, holding a pint in his hand.

Now there was once a time when you would be no more likely to trust a politician who spent so much of his time in a bar, than you would the driver who offered to give you a lift back home after a party and assured you that he was under-the-limit.

Yet Farage’s capacity for drinking appears to have become a positive political asset.     When he boasts that he likes a pint or two at lunchtime, his growing numbers of supporters don’t think that such a man might not staking out a claim to be a future prime minister.

Nor do they appear to be concerned by the fact that Farage and his fellow Ukip MEPs are picking up £60,000+ salaries even though they hardly ever appear in parliament, or that Farage appears to be too lazy to even read his own party’s manifesto.

In Farage-land, it seems, the capacity for a liquid lunch, is precisely what makes him in and his party so voteable.       So the question is, what exactly does Nigel Farage’s pint signify?     What are the essential signals that it is intended to convey?

I’ve identified the following possibilities, though feel free to add your own:

1.   Farage’s liking for a pint shows that he is not a politician but an ‘ordinary bloke’ – just like you and me, in fact.   Never mind that he is a former stockbroker who went to Dulwich, where one of his teachers once complained about his fascist tendencies. The British pub, not Westminster is where ordinary blokes and real people can be found – the kind of blokes who ‘out-of-touch’ politicians never listen to.

2.   The bloke part is important.     Farage is always holding a pint, not a half-pint, which would be a little feminine and kind of wimpish.   In Britain real men drink pints, and don’t care if the world sees them do it.   If the Ukip leader was a woman, she would definitely not let herself be seen drinking a pint or even half, and she probably wouldn’t be well-seen if she did.   In this sense Farage’s pint is the equivalent of Putin’s high-powered rifle: it shows that he is a red-blooded, flesh-and-blood male, unlike the effete Oxbridge types who are running the show in Westminster.

3.   The pint – like the pub – is a British institution.   It’s real British (English) beer, just as Farage and his party are real British (English) politicians.     It’s not something that comes from Brussels or some chintzy Euro-wine bar.   After all, as the EDL once stated on its website:

‘ We”re proud of our rich cultural heritage, the innovations we gave the world, our language, our pubs, our national football team (most of the time), our armed forces, and the sacrifices that previous generations made in defence of everything that we hold dear.’

Ukip and Farage are proud of all that too.     And photo-shoots in pubs are one way of showing how proud they are.

4.   The pub, not Westminster, is the place where the great British conversation is taking place, and Farage’s pint shows that he is part of that conversation, not the pseudo-debate taking place in Westminster.

5. A man who’s not afraid to show that he likes a good, honest pint is man you can trust, unlike the slippery, grasping, expenses-drawing, immigration-facilitating, EU-loving traitors who have sold our green and pleasant land down the drain and allowed the Bulgarian and Romanian hordes to take over.

6.   Farage is almost always photographed alone, smiling with a pint in his hand.   This isn’t because he is lonely.     On the contrary, these images are an invitation to you, ordinary voters across the land, to have a pint with Nigel.   You are his drinking companions, and the ones who will help him get to Westminster.

So come on into the Ukip Arms, mate.  Let Nigel tell you how the EU has destroyed our proudest traditions, our national and cultural identity, and flooded the land with Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians, foreign criminals, and Islam.   Talk about the dictatorship in Brussels and the European super-state and human rights out of control and political correctness gone mad.

Come and talk to a man who knows the truth – just like you – and isn’t afraid to tell it.

Sit down and have a pint with Nigel.  And find out why he’s always smiling.





Discussing Breivik

Yesterday I appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service programme World Have Your Say to debate the Breivik trial, which is still available here.   The programme was an interesting format; it’s basically an open discussion with only light chairing from the presenter, involving participants from various countries who speak to each other as though they were in the same studio.

It was also an hour long – a long time for the radio – so that the discussion covered a lot of ground.   Participants included a Norwegian journalist; a young student who lost a friend at Utoeya island; a criminologist from Manchester University; a student from Tunisia; a Swedish journalist and expert on the European far-right; Park Dietz, the forensic pathologist who worked on the Unabomber case, and – somewhat unexpectedly – the EDL leader ‘Tommy Robinson’, standing out like a tarantula on a wedding cake.

Robinson came across as a total bigot (surprise, surprise) and it was actually quite sickening to hear his condemnation of Breivik as a ‘monster’,  given the connections that Breivik had with the EDL and his open admiration for its activities.  Not to mention the overlap in ideas.

Hardly had Robinson finished his perfunctory condemnation of the Norway murders, than he launched into a diatribe about Islam, which drew on virtually every cliché from the counterjihad textbook: Islam is not a religion of peace, no Muslim country has ever been at peace, Muslims have killed 70 million people, Mohammed was a paedophile etc, etc

It was pure hatespeak, despite Robinson’s insistence that he was against Islam, not Muslims.  There was not a word in what he said that Breivik could have disagreed with, whether it was his characterization of Islam or his bitter invectives against ‘multicultural lovenests.’

Robinson is cunning though, insisting that his organization was not far right and presenting himself as a humble man of the people, speaking truths that are denied by the politically correct elite.

Apart from his dismal contributions, which were thankfully brief, the discussion covered a lot of ground.  The decision of the Norwegian authorities to televise the trial was a  recurring theme, as participants considered whether such publicity would give Breivik a platform or whether television would allow the Norwegian public and the world in general to gain a better understanding of his crimes.

Breivik clearly longed for the opportunity to propagandize about his ’cause’ and perhaps to become a celebrity in the process, and he relished his day in court yesterday.   Some participants argued that he should not be given the chance to express his views, given the risk that others may be ‘inspired’ by them.

I’m not convinced by this argument.    In my  view, it is essential to look at the wider background behind the events of last July, and the trial provides an opportunity to do this. Breivik may have acted alone, but his views about multiculturalism and Islam reflect a wide consensus that spans the political mainstream to the far-right fringes- and his belief in an impending European ‘civil war’ is not unique to him.

The scale and barbarism of his crimes makes it difficult to find any form of commensurate justice from the point of view of his victims,  whose relatives and friends will be forced to witness the hollow posturings and self-glorification of this pathetic narcissist day after day.

But his crimes were nevertheless political crimes, and it’s important to see them as such, and to give them a public airing.   The prosecution is seeking to prove that Breivik was insane, and I wrote a piece for  Ceasefire  magazine yesterday on why I hope that does not happen, which you can find  here.

In this dangerous period, when the established far-right and counterjihadists are gaining ground across the continent,  when the conspiracy theory/Islamophobic fantasy of a plot to transform Europe into ‘Eurabia’ enjoys widespread credibility,  and even mainstream politicians deliver coded condemnations of ‘multiculturalism’ as alien and un-European,  the Breivik trial provides an opportunity to consider where such tendencies can lead.

I’m not sure that a televised trial was necessary to bring about this outcome however, because television has a special ability to convert almost anything into a voyeuristic spectacle, and there is a danger that wall-to-wall coverage of the trial might lead to a Stockholm syndrome relationship between viewers and Breivik.

But I hope that the next ten weeks will galvanize men and women of goodwill to come together and reject not just Breivik, but the politics that produced him, and work to build a Europe in which the twisted hatred that he expressed so horrifically last summer will become nothing but a freakish aberration.







Lights out on planet Clarkson

That Clarko’s a card isn’t he? Some of you may remember the truly horrific episode that took place in Morecombe Bay on 5 February 2004, when at least 21 Chinese cockle pickers were drowned after being cut off by rising tides while working at night.

All of them were ‘illegal’ workers from China’s Fujian province and they were working in the dark in these dangerous conditions without any safety procedures to avoid the English cocklepickers, who had previously attacked them in an attempt to drive them away from the beach.

Some of the cocklepickers died calling their relatives from the roof of their van on their mobile phones, before the tide overwhelmed them.

There are a lot of things that one could say about this, but not many people would think that it was something to laugh about. But Clarko is an amusing guy who often finds fun and laughter in the most unlikeliest places. In his Sun column yesterday, Clarkson criticized synchronized swimmers at the Olympics, who he compared to ‘Chinese women in hats, upside down, in a bit of water’. Showing the deft and easy wit for which he is famous, Clarkson added the kicker ‘you can see that sort of thing on Morecombe Beach. For free.’

Now go on laugh. It’s just a bit of fun. You don’t think so? Well maybe you’re just too politically correct. Or maybe the ‘race commissars’ got to you. Or perhaps you just don’t get Clarko.

Because for our man in the fast lane,  the dead cocklepickers are a natural object of laughter for three reasons:

1) They were Chinese and foreigners are  always intrinsically hilarious to our Jezza, who can rarely resist a contemptuous smirk at the locals as he whizzes back and forth through lazy Mexico and diarrhea-stricken India.

2) They were ‘illegal immigrants’ and therefore even funnier, for such people are never going to get much respect or empathy from Clarko, the little England crypto-fascist Repton boy.

3) Clarko is rich and famous and drives fast cars and is a friend of David Cameron and he can laugh at whatever he wants to. He may have satnav but he clearly has no moral compass. Lost in his own bloated ego, he seems to get a special kick out of mocking the ant-like little people swarming somewhere down below him.

So loosen up you pious lefties, strap on your safety belts and get on board the Clarksonmobile.  Like Stephen Lennon aka Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League.  Now there’s a man with a sense of humour. The EDL leader told the Daily Star that he recently posed for a picture with Clarko. According to Lennon they talked about ‘Islam’.

You can bet there were a few laughs in that conversation , but Lennon won’t reveal what they were, telling the StarI don’t want to say anything else because he will just get stitched up. But I’m a big fan of him.’

No doubt.  And one suspects that the feeling is probably mutual, even though Clarkson has said that he has no recollection of the photo and doesn’t know who Lennon is. Maybe, but then again maybe not. Because even though these two are definitely reading from the same jokebook, even Clarkson may be aware that not all company might be acceptable to his employers.

But he probably needn’t worry too much. Because the problem with Clarko isn’t just Clarko. The problem is that millions of people find this utterly worthless little England racist worthy of admiration and share his essential worldview, and they just can’t resist a head-shaking little chuckle whenever he opens his mouth to mock another bunch of foreigners who aren’t and never can be like us.

The problem is that the BBC employs him and the Sun gives him the space to spout his self-aggrandising bile, and they really don’t care too much about who it is directed against, because it’s just Clarko innit? And the cars are sooo cool and he makes sooo much money.

What really, do a bunch of illegal cocklepickers matter compared to all that? So get over yourselves, you killjoys, and just enjoy being on planet Clarkson. And for those of you that can’t, maybe you should take a look at Stewart Lee’s brilliant take down of the moral wasteland that is Top Gear:

Now that is funny.

Twilight in Gellerland

As an example of callous brutality and gimlet-eyed hatred, the latest take on the Norway killings by American ‘counter-jihadist’ Pamela Geller takes some beating. According to Geller, the Labour Party summer camp at Utoeya was in fact an ‘anti-semitic indoctrination centre.’

How does she know this?  Because one of the survivors of the massacre told ABC news immediately afterwards how ‘Some of my  friends  tried to stop him [Breivik] by  talking  to him. Many people thought that it was a test …comparing it to how it is to live in Gaza.’  Well that proves it, doesn’t it?   But in case there was any doubt, Geller reports a visit to Utoeya by the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who told the assembled youth that the Palestinians ‘must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now.’

Still uncertain about the dark purpose behind this seemingly innocent island, you skeptics? Geller has definitive proof, in the form of a photograph of smiling youths in a boat with Palestinian flags and banners calling for the defeat of the Gaza blockade.   All of which demonstrates that ‘ Glenn Beck was not that far off when he compared it to the Hitlerjugend or Young Pioneers.’

No he really wasn’t, was he?  And all this kinda puts Anders Breivik’s decision to massacre these kids in perspective don’t you think?   You don’t?   Well consider what Auntie Pamela has to tell y’all

[stextbox id=”alert”]Breivik was targeting the future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives, including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole… all done without the consent of the Norwegians.
The day before the shooting, a pro-Palestinian rally was held.[/stextbox]

So there you have it.   Quid pro quo.   But don’t you go thinking that Pam approves of what Breivik did.   She makes it clear that she doesn’t, telling us that

[stextbox id=”alert”]Of course, the genocidal leftists will twist what I write here; I am not condoning the slaughter in Norway or anywhere. I abhor violence (except in regard to  self defense). But the jihad-loving media never told us what antisemitic war games they were playing on that island. Utoya Island is a Communist/Socialist campground, and they clearly had a pro-Islamic agenda.  Only the malevolent media could use the euphemism summer camp and get away with it.  The slaughter was horrific. What these kids were being taught and instructed to do was a different kind of grotesque.  There is no justification for Breivik’s actions whatsoever. There is also no justification for Norway’s antisemitism and demonization of Israel.[/stextbox]

Do you see now readers?   There is no justification for Breivik’s actions, but then Norway is antisemitic and demonises Israel, so maybe in fact there is some justification after all.   And if Geller approves of violence as self-defence, and if the pretend summer campers were really brainwashed communist kids playing anti-semitic ‘wargames’, and if Breivik was responding to an act of cultural aggression/betrayal (something he himself argued), then doesn’t that mean that his actions were legitimate?

Far be it from a genocidal leftist like me to jump to the conclusions of the malevolent media.  But then why did Geller’s photograph of the youth gathering at Utoeya originally contain the caption ‘Note the faces which are more MIddle [sic] Eastern or mixed than pure Norwegian’ – a caption that has since been removed?  What exactly was her point here?

And  just in case any of you were still so disturbed or distracted by the mass slaughter of teenagers on Utoeya that you were in danger of taking your eye off the ball,  Geller reminds us where the real danger lies

[stextbox id=”alert”]Only days after a deranged Anders Breivik claimed creeping Islamization of Norway as an excuse for cold-bloodedly murdering 76 people, the majority of which were children, a group of British Muslim extremists have seemingly mocked the tragedy by hanging bright yellow posters in several  London  boroughs declaring them “Sharia-controlled zones.”
One has to wonder about the timing.[/stextbox]

One really does.    And one also has to wonder why this ridiculous and utterly marginal Muslims Against Crusades outfit does anything at all, or what its yellow posters were intended to achieve except to reflect back and magnify the fantasies of bigots like Geller and the EDL.    But what one really has to wonder about is the hypocrisy, the glib illogic and underlying savagery of the Queen of the counter-jihadists and her fellow ‘freedom-fighters’, who claim that they wish  to save civilisation, even as they sink deeper and deeper into their own dank swamp.