Does Nigel Farage write the Brexit Party’s election communications?
He must do something in all the time he spends not representing us in the European Parliament (check out his voting record – “Absent”, “Absent”, “Absent”).
If so, then the leaflet that excreted itself onto the mat at Vox Towers today shows he is losing his touch. Let’s
laugh at examine it together (words in italics were in bold on the original leaflet; words in bold are my own comments).
It begins: “DO YOU THINK POLITICS IS BROKEN?” This is a meaningless question but I bet Mr Farage thought it was a great slogan because many people of different backgrounds and views might agree with the claim for completely different reasons. Mr Farage is trying to hoodwink voters into buying his snake-oil.
“Are you fed up with dishonest, self-serving politicians?” Yes indeed – after nine years of Conservative government, we all should be. The reference is undoubtedly to Chris Davies, convicted expenses faker who is standing again for the Tory Party – but for the people it should also include the dishonesty of people like Mr Farage and the Brexit Party, as we will see evidenced in this leaflet.
“Do you think politics needs to change?” Another meaningless, catch-all. Politics isn’t serving the people right now – but neither will the Brexit Party, as we shall see.
“Then we want to hear from you in the freepost form below.” This is presumptuous. It presupposes that you agree with all the statements so far. This is a sign of a political organisation (it’s a company, remember, not a proper political party) that doesn’t want to give you any say in what happens; the Brexit Party wants you to do what the Brexit Party tells you. I think we’ve heard of other organisations like that…
“The Brexit Party is changing politics for good.” This is a well-used party slogan. The use of the word “good” may be an attempt at neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) intended to make you think politics will be better if you vote for this organisation. That is not true, as we will see.
“We are now the fastest-growing new political party in history.” It’s not a political party, remember. It is a commercial company. “Many of our supporters used to vote Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or Plaid. But they feel betrayed by parties that no longer represent them.” Note that the reference only to parties that are known to be likely to stand candidates in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election is coupled with a claim that these parties do not represent the views of the voters they’ve lost. This is a bold claim that is not supported by the rest of the leaflet.
“And now our democracy is under threat.” Here comes a classic division tactic – Mr Farage and his people want you to think those other parties are denying you your voice in politics. This is a direct lie. While the Liberal Democrats do directly oppose the result of the 2016 EU referendum, Plaid has only argued that Brexit will harm the UK and has called for the decision to be reversed. The Tories support Brexit, of course, but it is expedient for the Brexit Party to ignore that.
Labour’s policy – as we all know – is exactly to follow the will of the people by finding out what the people actually want. This contrasts with the Brexit Party’s policy, which is to tell us all that we chose the version of Brexit that the Brexit Party wants.
I am reminded of the words of property developer and Brexit Party spokesman Ban Habib: “[In a No Deal Brexit] the property market in the UK would slow down dramatically… we’d be looking to pick off weakness in the market and get some interesting deals,” and: “The pound would fall in value… our [company] income streams would go up in value. So we’re quids in on that front.” The Brexit this “party” wants will make money for its members while the rest of us suffer.
“They told us the EU referendum result would be final.” Did they? My recollection is that we were told our decision in the 2016 referendum would determine whether or not the UK leaves the EU – but Parliament would decide the manner of that departure. And the statement ignores the fact that we were subjected to lie after lie during the referendum campaign, and to shady campaigning methods. I notice there is no reference to Arron Banks in this leaflet.
“Now we must hold them to their promise.” We? We? Who are the “we” to whom this refers? The electorate? Or the Brexit Party?
And how would the Brexit Party exert any influence with only one MP?
“Don’t you think Wales deserves better? Doesn’t Brecon and Radnorshire deserve better?” Brecon and Radnorshire certainly deserves better than the Conservative of the last four years and the Liberal Democrats of the 18 years before them. But the Brexit Party will be worse. We don’t need more liars – as you will see shortly.
“The Brexit Party is the only party that respects democracy.” This is a lie. If the Brexit Party respects democracy, why won’t it accept another public vote after the referendum result was revealed to have been skewed by lies and illegal campaigning methods?
Consider the Brexit Party’s reaction to its loss in the Peterborough by-election – a demand for an inquiry into claims of vote-rigging that it has made up. Clearly the Brexit Party’s only interest in democracy is when people vote for the Brexit Party. If we vote another way, this organisation isn’t interested in what we have to say.
“That is why we won the European elections.” Remember where I said this organisation consisted of liars? The Brexit Party did not win the European elections because it is impossible for a single-issue, UK party to win a Europe-wide poll. The organisation won 29 out of 751 seats. Does that look like winning an election to you? Even in the UK, the Brexit Party won only 29 of 73 seats, which is not a majority.
“But that is just the beginning. We are launching new policies that focus on boosting jobs and investment in Wales.” How nice. But then, the Brexit Party has no policies other than to take the UK out of the EU on the worst terms possible for the country’s population. Let’s see what it’s offering.
“We oppose the 9.5 per cent Powys council tax increase.” How would the Brexit Party fund public services, then? One MP won’t change Tory policy, which is to starve local authorities of the funding they need. Is the Brexit Party proposing to bankrupt Powys County Council, in the same way Northampton Council was bankrupted in February 2018?
“We will ensure local farmers keep their funding and lose the red tape after Brexit.” With one MP? Impossible. The Conservatives have admitted they don’t know how to keep funding for farmers, and they’ve been in government for nine years. As for “red tape”, Brexit means the end of EU regulations and the Tories are already in talks with foreign nations like the USA about lowering the standards of the farm produce that we buy.
So this is a meaningless, unfunded promise coupled with a threat to lower the quality of the food we eat.
“We will also fight for better local NHS services and more police for rural areas.” Better local NHS services? Brexit Party policy is to close down the NHS! Nigel Farage himself said: “We need to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare.” So this is another lie.
The last paragraph is unintentionally funny: “If you want to send a message to the out-of-touch Westminster establishment, get in touch with us. There may be an election at any time.” Yes – there’s a by-election happening in Brecon and Radnorshire right now. That’s the reason the Brexit Party has sent this leaflet to our homes.
The leaflet also includes an attempt to get people to submit their details to the Brexit Party’s election database, disguised as a rather pathetic questionnaire.
Nigel Farage and his cronies must think we are stupid.
I hope nobody in Brecon and Radnorshire proves him right.
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