Farage to abandon UK, after screwing it up for everybody else

Rats are well known for leaving sinking ships. Usually the rats themselves aren’t directly responsible for sinking the vessel in question but, in this case, it’s one of the rodents chiefly responsible for gnawing through the hull that’s now thinking about jumping ship:

Reviled by many Britons, including those who voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit campaign that he helped spearhead when he was head of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage has expressed interest in moving to Maine.

Farage cites the animosity he has encountered in Britain and his fears for his family’s safety as motivating his desire to emigrate to the United States. He fails to mention that even his erstwhile supporters became angered when, shortly after urging Britons to vote to leave the U.K., Farage resigned as the UK Independence Party’s leader in a classic political cut and run.

What the good people of Maine will think about introducing this specimen of alien vermin into their native ecosystem remains to be seen, although the author of this article, Pamela Ballinger, sounds suitably unimpressed:

Why should we roll out the welcome mat for a man who sowed divisions in his own country, helped destabilize Europe and then shrugged his shoulders and decided to move on to greener pastures? We’ve got plenty of homegrown political cowards and cheats without having to import one from across the pond.

One wonders, too, what particular appeal (apart from its natural beauty) Maine holds for Farage. Perhaps it’s as simple as the promise of a “new” England in which Farage can reinvent himself.

Or maybe Farage is attracted by Maine’s demographics and nurtures a fantasy of homogeneity and whiteness, one that underwrote his Brexit messaging and led him to exploit the European refugee crisis for political gain.

Or perhaps he’s drawn to a state with a governor who tilts at windmills, given that one of Farage’s first meetings with Trump after the U.S. election involved a discussion in which the president-elect urged Farage and his associates to oppose a proposed wind farm that would affect the view at Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Or maybe he just thinks we’re simple rubes who won’t know enough about his brand of lies and sleaze to call him out on it. Whatever the reason, we should not normalize such behavior by making Farage feel comfortable here.

However fast Farage runs, let’s hope that his dodgy expenses fiddles still  catch up with him.

Cross-posted here.


Global Trumpist tantrums

What is this, International Throw Your Toys Out of The Pram Week?

“It will be a lot easier and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you Republicans are not going to own it,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, in the UK:

Cabinet tensions over Brexit intensified today as Tory sources accused Boris Johnson and Michael Gove of trying to force Theresa May into storming out of Brexit talks.

An insider told the Standard the pair were using the row over Britain’s divorce payment to the EU to bring talks “crashing to a halt” to engineer a “hard Brexit” with no transitional deal.

“They want a situation where the EU just say ‘enough is enough’ and show us the door,” claimed the source. “They want the hardest of hard Brexits.” Mr Johnson last week caused a furore by saying the EU could “go whistle” for the money it is seeking.

And these are the sort of people who go around calling Remainers “saboteurs.”

Be careful what you wish for

You know the United Kingdom, that country which had to leave the EU because the EU was constantly forcing rules and policies on it? Was this the same UK which:

  • negotiated the creation of Regional Funds, then complained that Regional Funds were stupid and the UK should be allowed to spend its money how it likes
  • led the way on coordination of foreign policy in Europe, then complained about having to collaborate in some areas of foreign policy
  • renegotiated the Common Fisheries Policy, then complained that the revised CFP had damaged its fishing industry
  • headed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, then complained that the CAP had always been bad for the UK
  • secured an agreement to fine community members which didn’t live up to their responsibilities, then complained that it was terrible the European Court of Justice could fine the UK when it didn’t live up to its responsibilities
  • pushed for former Communist states to join the community, then complained that the EU was full ex-Communist bloc citizens
  • helped to bring WEU defence programme into the EU, and led greater defence collaboration, then complained that the UK has no idea why the EU needed a military, or why it was pushing for further defence collaboration
  • voted to speed up Turkish accession (and was the only country fighting for that by 2010), then complained that the EU was pushing for Turkey to join
  • convinced the EU to adopt energy-efficient lightbulbs, then complained that the EU was forcing energy-saving lightbulbs on the UK.
  • negotiated opt outs, then complained the EU forced the UK to do things it didn’t want to, because the UK had lost 76 out of 2,466 votes (those 76 lost votes included ones the UK didn’t even take part in because they were in the area of its opt outs)
  • secured open voting reform, then complained that the EU had forced the UK to replace unanimity with Qualified Majority Voting?

Examples courtesy of this splended Tweetstorm, which includes citations.