Boris and Nigel

So we’re going to have an election after all. I didn’t think we’d get one. I wonder what changed Jeremy Corbyn’s mind? Perhaps it was that John Bercow wasn’t sitting in the Speaker’s chair in Parliament yesterday.

I’ve been watching Nigel Farage on LBC quite a lot recently. He’s been predicting an early election, and he was right about that. Here he is talking yesterday:

Most of the show is given over to taking phone calls from listeners. And that’s one of the things that’s remarkable about Nigel Farage: he listens to people. He seems to listen all the time. He says that when he goes to his local supermarket to buy something, people stop and talk to him. He’s always talking to people, and usually listening. He must have talked to millions of people over his political lifetime. And that’s why he has such a good grasp of how the British people think. Is there another politician like him? I can’t think of one.

I read somewhere recently that he was the most significant politician in Britain today. And I think that’s true. If Britain voted for Brexit, it’s thanks to Nigel. I don’t think it would have happened otherwise. And I don’t think we’d be having an election in a month or so if it weren’t for him. And yet he’s not even an MP. He hasn’t even got a knighthood or anything either. He’s just an MEP in the European parliament.

And it’s not as if he’s a great speaker. He speaks very simply. He makes his points clearly. Everybody can understand him.

What a contrast with Boris Johnson. our classically educated Prime Minister. Boris can (and does) quote Latin texts. He can almost certainly quote Greek texts as well. He’s written a lot of books ranging over many subjects. And he’s a journalist. And he’s now the most recognisable politician in Britain. He’s got his own unique Boris brand. He’s witty and erudite. I can’t think of any Prime Minister in the past century like him, except Winston Churchill.

But does Boris listen to people like Nigel does? I doubt it. I think he’s more interested in his own opinions than other people’s.

Nigel has said that he wants an alliance with Boris at the next election. He says that the Conservatives would win a large majority in an alliance. Without an alliance, the Brexiter vote is likely to be split between the Conservative party and the Brexit party.

But Boris doesn’t seem interested. He seems to be looking for a purely Conservative party victory. Perhaps he doesn’t like the idea of Nigel in his cabinet.

I’ve no idea what will happen in the election. But I think that the British people have been getting angrier and angrier, and they’re likely vote out the current inmates of Parliament en masse.  But I could be wrong. In fact, I probably am.

One last thought. Nigel sticks up for smokers. I saw him speak at Stony Stratford. And he went back several times to ensure that no street smoking ban was introduced there. But while Boris doesn’t smoke, he once sent me (or his parliamentary secretary sent me) a large cigar. So I suspect that Boris isn’t an antismoker. And having two of the principal actors in modern British politics not being bullying progressives might be a good sign. Maybe one or other of them might do something for Britain’s persecuted smokers that previous Conservatives have not?

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6 Responses to Boris and Nigel

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    As a classicist myself i have enormous respect for Boris Johnson. I also have the greatest respect for Nigel Farage. Neither will be brow beaten. It would be a tragedy if the Brexit vote was split and the likes of Corbyn,Swinson, and Sturgeon prevail.

  2. Rose says:

    I Like Boris and I like Nigel and as my MP is a brexiteer I will ignore that when he was a very new mp, he voted both against Mr Nuttall’s bill to let us back into the pubs and for plain packaging, but then again, when I was young and stupid I voted for the Common Market, which definately worse.

  3. Roobeedoo2 says:

  4. AndyDan says:

    I can’t help but like Boris too. However, he didn’t put up much of a fight against the Benn Bill. He could have refused Royal Assent for it or mounted a legal challenge, but didn’t. Sympathetic Lords started to filibuster it, but were stopped. He said he’d rather die in a ditch, but still sent the letter. The agreement he’s made with the EU seems actually worse than staying in.
    There’s been a move over the last 35 years or so towards more and more statism. It started with Blair, but Cameron moved the Conservatives that way too. Although it will lead to economic collapse and hardship, maybe a dose of Corbyn is what we deserve.
    I’d say to Farage that if the Conservatives refuse any further overtures of a pact, then stand candidates in every seat and to hell with the consequences.
    It could be that when people are wondering where their next meal is coming from, or when their electricity is going to be restored, nobody will be that bothered about people smoking in pubs again.

    • Joe L. says:

      It could be that when people are wondering where their next meal is coming from, or when their electricity is going to be restored, nobody will be that bothered about people smoking in pubs again.

      Sadly, I’ve come to believe that this is the quickest path to regaining our freedoms as smokers. I believe that we (Western countries) have been living through one of the longest periods free from conflict or strife, which has bred all of these busybodies and allowed them to become successful at manufacturing fear over mundane, normal things like smoking, meat and CO2. I believe all of these phantom fears will be nearly instantaneously forgotten if people have real things to worry about, like where their family will sleep at night or when they will get their next meal.

  5. decnine says:

    Nothing would damage the Brexit Party’s electoral prospects more than an open alliance with the Conservatives. Brexit’s best chances of gaining seats is in Leave voting Labour constituencies. The more it appears that Brexit and Conservatives are an item, the better it will be for Corbyn.

    The key words in the above are ‘open’ and ‘appears’.

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