The EU Leave and Remain camps fought a battle today on the Thames at Westminster.
On one side was Nigel Farage and a fleet of fishing boats protesting against the destruction of British fishing fleets by the EU. On the other side was Bob Geldof with a (very) loudhailer in an ultra-modern cruiser attended by a number of small motorboats.
The fishermen got angry and started spraying water over Geldof’s cruiser (below), and
then, according to the Guardian:
One fishing boat came alongside Geldof’s boat and drenched it with a hose. According to Bethany Pickering, a remain activist on board, Geldof told the fisherman to “fuck off”. Richard Eves, a fisherman from Leigh-on-Sea, decided to launch a boarding raid on Geldof’s boat using his rusty trawler Wayward Lad.
“We threatened to ram them first and then they let us on,” he said afterwards. “They shit themselves. I was angry.”
Eves then climbed aboard in midstream with fellow fisherman Paul Marchant and confronted Geldof. “I just felt that some of the things he was coming out with weren’t facts,” said Marchant. “He was just shaking his head. He said, ‘We’re not against you mate.’ But I said you can dress figures up to say anything you want. That’s why I wanted to go on there and explain to him my point of view.”
Some of Geldof’s companions didn’t like what he’s been saying:
On Geldof’s boat, half a dozen leftwing remain activists disembarked because, according to Pickering who was among them, “these fishermen were working-class people with genuine issues and we didn’t think they should be erased by Bob Geldof”
And in the middle of it all, Farage re-appeared, and said something remarkable.
Mr Farage was back on deck. What did he think of the Geldof stunt? The Ukip leader rolled his eyes. Geldof was an “ignorant multimillionaire” trying to “drown out” the views of British fishermen, he sighed; it was “a disgusting spectacle”. He puffed wearily on his cigarette.
Hang on. Cigarette? Didn’t you give up cigarettes, Mr Farage?
“No, I’ve sort of made my mind up about all this,” he said. “I think the doctors have got it wrong about smoking.”
The doctors have got it wrong about smoking. Well, Michael Gove did say that the British people “have had enough of experts”.
Well, I for one am very glad to hear someone say that. I was only saying a couple of days ago that…
…I no longer believe anything that’s ever been said or written about tobacco. I reject the entirety of it, all the way back to James I. I think that antismoking is a mental illness: that particular madness that elevates the placid pastime of smoking to the greatest health threat the world has ever known…
H/T prog for another link to the story. Under it were a number of comments pithily describing the encounter:
Working fishermen and supporters Vs. Former pop star multi-millionaires, rich, spoiled ad. agency brats and effete hangers-on and scroungers.
A handful of upper middle class Londoners from Chelsea and an Irish nationalist taking on hard-working, risk-taking, ordinary fisherman with an entirely legitimate grievance about the EU.
Does anybody else get the feeling that this debate is something of a class war?
Well, yes, I do think this is something of a class war. It’s a war between the wealthy, pro-European, political elite class, and the ordinary British people who’re getting more and more sick of the EU by the day.
Anyway, Bob Geldof got sprayed with water and his motor cruiser got boarded, and a number of his followers mutinied. So I think he lost this surreal battle fairly comprehensively.
I have no idea which way the vote will go next week.