Nigel Farage gave his first post-Brexit speech to the European Parliament today. Were you hoping he’d be magnanimous in victory? Me too. At a time of incredible tension and uncertainty, Britain now needs to lead a mature, diplomatic dialogue that ensures we are able to build new trade (and social) bridges with the countries we’ve just politically rejected.
Diplomatically, what Farage has just said to the EU can be paraphrased as “fuck you”. In fact, what he actually said was far more offensive:
When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me – well I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you? … You as a political project are in denial… I’ll make one prediction this morning: the United Kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the European Union… I know that virtually none of you have ever done a proper job in your lives, or worked in business, or worked in trade, or indeed ever created a job. But listen, just listen… If you were to cut off your noses to spite your faces and reject any idea of a sensible trade deal the consequences would be far worse for you than it would be for us.
This is the nasty face of Britain and the nasty face of right-wing British politics. Farage showed absolutely no regard for the diplomatic relations of Britain, he instead made it a personal power-show to gloat and goad. Farage’s speech was a grotesque victory dance, a display of superior arrogance.
It’s this attitude that fuelled the misplaced “Britain once had an Empire” and “Make Britain Great Again” mentality that so much of the populous fell for. And now, that dangerous mix of arrogance and ignorance – so often evident at this side of the political spectrum – has been laid out on the European stage for all to see.
As IanMiddletonX said in the comments box of this Independent article:
A man who has led and inspired a campaign that has, by his own admission, lied and connived to the British people to con them into voting for economic suicide, simply to assuage the xenophobia that almost totally informs his view on the world, lectures the EU about political lies and deception.
I’m so ashamed that this man is representing me in Europe and the world.