Tag Archives: Hooray Henry

Is Farage more out-of-touch than the Tories?

Hooray Henry? Nigel Farage sends himself up - or perhaps he really is like this [Image: Independent].

Hooray Henry? Nigel Farage sends himself up – or perhaps he really is like this [Image: Independent].

Politics must be completely corrupt if Nigel Farage is accurate in his claim that he doesn’t know anybody in politics as poor as himself and his wife.

Don’t sharpen the knives yet – it doesn’t seem likely.

He makes his claim during a new Channel 4 documentary, Steph and Dom Meet Nigel Farage, in which the UKIP leader – who will contest the South Thanet seat in Kent next May – chats over drinks with the ‘posh’ couple from Gogglebox.

It’s an extraordinary remark, considering he once claimed his salary and expenses as an MEP were worth £250,000 a year (£3.75 million so far), while his wife – also on the EU payroll – makes £30,000 per annum.

His current official salary is £79,000, plus office allowances of £42,600 a year. His wife’s salary brings the total up to £109,000 per year, according to The Independent.

According to that paper, “The UKIP leader says he only has one ‘small semi-detached house in the country’, that he does not drive a ‘flash car’, and that he and Kirsten Farage ‘don’t have expensive holidays, we haven’t done for 10 years’.”

He should tell that to people living in fear of eviction from their flats because of the bedroom tax, who have never had a car of any kind and must rely on sketchy public transport services instead, and who have not had a holiday of any kind since before the Coalition came into office.

What response do you think he’d get?

His household earnings of £2,096 per week are more than four times as much as those of the average UK full-time employee (£517pw) and that house of his is said to be worth £540,000 alone.

He doesn’t understand poverty. In the documentary he falls down steps and smashes a glass of champagne. Champagne!

In a Radio Times interview about the show, Farage says he had drunk two-and-a-half pints in the pub with the couple, and then enjoyed a “steady consumption” of five or six glasses of wine and champagne. He goes on to blame the smashed glass on his injuries from the plane crash in which he was involved on the day of the 2010 general election (which itself tells you a great deal about his lifestyle).

It’s a good story because – like David Cameron’s use of his late son in defending the Coalition’s cuts to the NHS – it stops others from questioning him as that would suggest a lack of respect for what he went through.

However, Vox Political doesn’t believe it’s true for a moment – unless Farage is blaming his incessant (in the media) alcohol consumption on the crash.

Isn’t it more likely to have been because his lifestyle owes more to the Hooray Henries of the 1980s than the White Van Man of today?

Flood defence lies have put lives at risk

140208floods

The BBC has actually dared to run a story criticising the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government! Perhaps its editors are worried that the social media are getting a better reputation for news reporting.

It seems the UK Statistics Authority has attacked the Treasury for giving a “false impression” of government investment in areas like flood defences.

The government chart, released with the Autumn Statement, appeared to show an even spread across sectors, but used a ‘logarithmic’ scale – with gaps between £1 million, £10 million, £100 million, £1 billion and so on represented by increments of the same size.

The scaling appeared to show flood defences getting at least half as much funding as transport and energy – the projects that received the most money.

The Treasury's 'logarhythmic' chart, apparently showing a relatively even spread of funding.

The Treasury’s ‘logarithmic’ chart, apparently showing a relatively even spread of funding.

In fact, would you like to know the proportion of money actually being spent on flood defences, compared with energy infrastructure?

Two per cent.

The UK Statistics Authority's more representative chart, showing that flood defence (third from left) receives two per cent of the funding that goes to energy (second from left).

The UK Statistics Authority’s more representative chart, showing that flood defence (third from left) receives two per cent of the funding that goes to energy (second from left).

Last Wednesday the same BBC that broke this story told us that severe flood warnings – signifying a danger to life” – had been issued for part of the Somerset Levels.

People were in danger of death because the government had neglected anti-flooding plans.

This year the government is spending £60 million less on flood defence than in Labour’s last year of office (2009-10) – and that’s after factoring in new spending to combat the current deluge.

“The government has denied attempting to mislead the public,” according to the BBC report.

Well it would, wouldn’t it? But how often has it done anything else?

Does the Coalition not tell us every day that we are better off than before – when we know the pounds in our pocket buy less and less, the longer they are in office?

Is it not telling us that more of us are in work, when we can unpick DWP press releases to reveal the tawdry tricks they have played to create those figures?

Did it not tell us the National Health Service in England would be safe – and then ruin it, especially with the current drive to maim accident and emergency departments?

How much longer can we afford this cavalier gang of Hooray Henrys, playing fast and loose with the facts?

They couldn’t care less if their irresponsibility causes somebody’s death.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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