Posts Tagged ‘Nigel Farage’

Farage’s Brexit march: the theatre of the absurd meets storm-hit Minion | Hannah Jane Parkinson

Storm Hannah gave the March to Leave protest the vibe of a Duke of Edinburgh award for seniors. You couldn’t make it up

How was your weekend? I am hoping that you had a good one. But if you didn’t, console yourself that it cannot have been as grim as the leave voters who were walking from Sunderland in the driving rain, the churning wind and the sea spitting in their cliffside faces. To wit:

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Britain’s Brexit crisis is rooted in the power of our public schools | John Harris

Learning from this mess, we must cut the ties that bind the state and key professions to a tiny number of schools

Among the myriad absurdities of Brexit, one has repeatedly taken the whole thing into the realms of the surreal: the gifting of the whip hand to the Tory faction known as the European Research Group. At the start of yet another watershed week, it is still this 90-strong band of ideologues that holds the keys to both Theresa May’s political future and the fate of her deal. Faced with a third meaningful vote, will they accept that their only remaining options are the prime minister’s version, or such a long delay that their dream will start to fade? Once more the spotlight will shine on their de facto leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg. This one-man embodiment of the mess into which we have all been dragged is reportedly coming round to supporting the withdrawal agreement, and “seeking a ladder to climb down”.

Where did he come from, this human museum piece? His late father William’s editorship of the Times, conducted according to instincts described by one obituarist as both “economically dry” and “socially conservative”, is one part of the story. Another goes even further back, to the roots of the Rees-Mogg family wealth, in the ownership of coalmines in Somerset. This is the same county where Rees-Mogg now represents such fading former pit towns as Radstock and Midsomer Norton, places replete with the ghosts of a lost industrial past and the consequences of the austerity that he has enthusiastically endorsed. At university, Rees-Mogg was a nightly presence in the debating hall of the Oxford Union. His apparent skill in matters of high finance – which, according to a recent edition of Channel 4’s Dispatches, has earned him an estimated £7m since the referendum, assisted by the fall in the value of the pound – goes back to childhood dealing of stocks and shares, and time spent in Hong Kong and the City. The most telling element of his background, however, is surely the school that saw to the key five years of his education – Eton College. This institution sits at the heart of the Brexit mess and the dismal political failings that led to it. What comes to mind at the mention of Eton? Tailcoats? The eternally mysterious wall game? Or the angry lament contained in the Jam’s Eton Rifles, with its Larkin-esque opening line: “Sup up your beer, and collect your fags / There’s a row going on, down near Slough”, that lyrical portrait of a working class serially defeated by privilege (“All that rugby puts hairs on your chest / What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?”). Eton chiefly symbolises the unbroken English link between private education and power. To quote one old boy, who did his time in the 1980s: “Kids arrived there with this extraordinary sense that they knew they were going to run the country.”

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To ignore Nigel Farage and the populist right is complacent | Nick Cohen

As we concentrate on events in Westminster, unsavoury alliances are being forged in Europe

Conventional wisdom has a remarkable capacity to recover from the many batterings it receives and carry on as if nothing has happened. Like Doctor Who, it doesn’t die but regenerates.

Last week, it was anticipating the defeat of the populist right – that combination of opportunism, utopianism, victimhood, wilful ignorance, conspiracism and racism, for which we do not yet have a satisfactory label. Even though Theresa May’s government is collapsing as if it has been hit by a wrecking ball, even though her withdrawal agreement has been defeated by the two of the largest majorities ever, conventional wisdom assures us that the Brexit ultras must support it on her third attempt.

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In filthy weather, Farage’s few hundred begin the long march

Nigel Farage and his bedraggled but defiant supporters set off from Sunderland to save Brexit from the elites

On a bleak stretch of England’s north-east coast, they gathered to save Brexit and begin the long march to Westminster. Few of the 300 cheery souls who walked out with Nigel Farage on to grassy cliffs south of Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, will make it all the way to London, but there was a determination to reach the first staging post on the 270-mile journey. Whatever happens they will always have Hartlepool – and maybe Middlesbrough.

This coast once shimmered with the gunmetal and sailcloth of Europe’s biggest fishing fleet, but the last ship built here sailed more than 30 years ago. The Leave Means Leave campaign group must have hoped for a lot more than the few hundred who turned up in weather that could only be called filthy. They may have to get used to paltry numbers. Even seasoned outdoor types expressed doubt about protesters having enough in the tank to walk 20 miles a day for two weeks on uneven terrain in uncertain weather.

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Nigel Farage and Leave Means Leave march set off from Sunderland – video

Farage and around 100 followers set off on the first leg of their 200-mile journey to London on Saturday. The 14-day march, organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign, is due to arrive in the capital on 29 March, the scheduled date for the UK to leave the EU, for a mass rally in Parliament Square

Chaotic scenes as Nigel Farage's Brexit march sets off for London

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Chaotic scenes as Nigel Farage’s Brexit march sets off for London

Row breaks out with counter-protesters as March to Leave departs from Sunderland

There were chaotic scenes as a march led by Nigel Farage left Sunderland to protest against perceived attempts to betray the will of the people over Brexit.

Farage and around 100 followers set off on the first leg of their 200-mile journey to London on Saturday. Marchers chanted: “We’re marching for our freedom,” and some described Farage as a great statesman and a fantastic leader.

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Brexit – the niche production that truly brought the house down | Marina Hyde

From Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay to the Territorial Army’s Mark Francois, bad actors are destroying the UK franchise

We focus so much on what divides parliament’s warring Brexit factions, when almost all of them are united by the guiding principle of brinkmanship: “Eventually someone will stop acting like a shit, but it certainly won’t be me.” The past few days have been like watching the Cuban missile crisis re-enacted by the Teletubbies.

Related: MPs back Brexit delay as votes lay bare cabinet divisions

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