Latest Farage comments on floods indicate UKIP has abandoned anti-EU role

While it was not the press conference Nigel Farage referenced in his tweet to me yesterday, this morning he was interviewed for over 4 minutes by Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan, in Somerset, about the floods there. UKIP have put the full interview up on their website.

Despite having days in which to take on board the extent of EU’s responsibility, for turning what would have been annoying floods into a major incident that has gone on for weeks, the sum total of Farage’s effort to explain it to Sky’s audience was this reference to the Environment Agency’s role in the matter:

They seem to want to follow European Directives to the letter of the law…

This from a man whose primary focus is allegedly fighting tooth and nail for the UK to leave the EU.  Presented with yet another golden opportunity to highlight who really runs Britain, following his Farage on Friday piece before the weekend, and help voters understand and reflect about whether this is in British interests or whether we should determine laws for ourselves, he again passed it up.

Thankfully, Christopher Booker published a valuable piece about the EU’s role in degrading Britain work on flood prevention in his Sunday Telegraph column today.  At least someone with a substantial profile has tackled this head on while the politicians and lamestream media tip-toe around it and do their best to avoid any mention of the part our supreme government in Brussels has played in making flooding in recent years far worse than it ever would have been.

With a sizeable number of UKIP members not seeing leaving the EU as the number one issue for the party, it seems the leader is one of their number and EUscepticism is being forced off the party political agenda to make way for other topics.

34 Responses to “Latest Farage comments on floods indicate UKIP has abandoned anti-EU role”

  1. 1 Richard North 10/02/2014 at 12:46 am

    I think you are right. This will be seen as another turning point in the decline of UKIP as a political force.

  2. 2 jameshigham 10/02/2014 at 6:52 am

    Have to smile at Richard’s comment here. Think Nigel’s not all that popular here but even if much of what you say is so, AM, this might be stretching it a little. After all, Nigel did mention the culprit.

  3. 3 paul vickers 10/02/2014 at 7:02 am

    Don’t be so damn stupid: he’s saying that local decisions on caring for and the management of their local area should be made by local people, FOR the local people (and not for bloody birds).

    Not in Brussels
    Not in Whitehall

    And that money spent on overseas aid (including umpteen billion pounds pa to the EU!) would be better spent at home.

    I cannot imagine anything more anti-EU than that.

  4. 4 pogo 10/02/2014 at 7:29 am

    I have to agree with the last two commenters.Farage knows how to play the media the last thing he wants is to blame Brussels outright and give them a chance of getting the swivel eyed loon stories going,better to let him talk like man in the street slowly,slowly catchee monkey.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 10/02/2014 at 8:26 am

    Utter nonsense. His reference to the EU came near the end of the interview and was actually a swipe at the Environment Agency rather than the EU culprit. Directive outcomes are always followed to the letter of the law, the only flexibility is how the national government goes about achieving the required outcome. It seems Farage doesn’t even grasp that fact with his daft comment.

    When he finally makes the link, it will be buried as barely anyone will notice. He has passed up the two huge opportunities to expose the depth of EU control over this country.

    Instead, following on from his immigration obsession, he is pushing an attack on overseas aid and demanding money back that we have contributed to an EU contingency fund. No mention of EU laws *causing* the flooding to be worse that it need have been. A gift of an opportunity to wake people up to the EU’s grip on the UK has been rejected. What kind of committed EUsceptic political leader would do such a thing?

    The only people disagreeing with this assessment are party members trying to rally around the leader. Party before country once again. UKIP has abandoned the fight. It’s no different to the other three parties now, just different faces and colours on the banners.

  6. 6 Brian Lloyd 10/02/2014 at 8:48 am


    The beebs was worse and more hostile .


  7. 7 Jerry 10/02/2014 at 9:43 am

    AM, you obviously do not understand how the mass media works, and how to get ones message across, make you most important statement near the end, 98% of your audience will have forgotten what you said at the start by then. One also needs to stay on “interview”, otherwise the interview might end before you get your change, whilst being to blatant to get your sound-bite in might just mean that the mass-media doesn’t give you many chances in the future! Oh and before anyone accuses me, I carry no flame for any politico, nor any group or individual. Why is it that he, Mr Farage, uses a mere 10 words to tell us what you -in another blog, as informative and intellectual as it was- took a several hundred, how many people read your blog AM, how many will have heard Mr Farage and remembered those comments near the end of the interview?…

  8. 8 Autonomous Mind 10/02/2014 at 10:08 am

    As someone who works in PR and does this stuff for a living, I have – unlike you it seems – a very good idea how the mass media works, how to set the agenda using the platform available and how the key messages should be disseminated and followed up on.

    Farage did not sum up what has been written on the blog. Nothing like it. If you think he did then you clearly know nothing about this business. After 4 minutes of blather about overseas aid budgets no one is listening about the cause of this problem or the fact without change it will happen again – not that Farage went within a country mile of that ground. It wasn’t a payoff line in the way you try to suggest. No one will remember his weak arse comment about the EA following Directives, they will only remember overseas aid.

    He did not go on Murnaghan to talk about how this excessive flooding happened in Somerset, who was responsible (EU) and why it will happen again there and elsewhere. He went on there because he is convinced there is electoral mileage among the white working class for playing up the ‘our money is funding Indian space programmes’ line. Despite that, UKIP will be completely hammered by Labour in Wythenshawe – Labour the party that put in place the woman (Lady Young) who enthusiastically destroyed the homes of hundreds with her desire to replace communities with wetlands.

    Farage has European elections coming up yet he won’t even talk about the EU when an open goal is presented to him, despite claiming the election is a de facto referendum on EU membership. Do me a favour. And you actually try to defend that crap?

    UKIP is a long lost of media disasters and this is just the latest example of Farage thinking he knows best and doing his own thing. He did it with Towler who hung in there out of love, and it looks like he’s doing it with O’Flynn who, as a media pro and ambitious climber, won’t put up with this for anywhere near as long.

  9. 9 cosmic 10/02/2014 at 12:00 pm

    “They seem to want to follow European Directives to the letter of the law…”

    That made me start. It isn’t really true, even as a simplification.

    I get the impression that the considerable EU aspect to this took UKIP by surprise, and they still don’t seem to understand it or want to talk about it much.

  10. 10 Lemmi 10/02/2014 at 12:17 pm

    ‘Softly, softly catcher monkey’!? Just when will precious Nige mention the EU dimension in anything? This reminds me of Yes Prime Minister with the salami tactics. ‘ So, Mr Farage just when will you mention the EU, when Barroso is in Whitehall? When the US of E has been firmly established?’ I get the feeling Our Nigel is the EU’s permitted sceptic, enough to keep people thinking they will have a say but not enough to do any real damage.

  11. 11 Jerry 10/02/2014 at 7:34 pm

    @AM Sorry but you know little about PR with relation to how the broadcast media works, you know a lot about pushing your single issue anti EU agenda though, but rememberer that the Sky News Farage interview was about the flooding and NOT the EU.

    If people were to start talking about baking cakes or what ever on your blog you would soon close such comments, go off-topic on the broadcast media and you simply will not get the airtime (and remember it is at the whim of the broadcaster to say when the interview ends, especially on commercail TV and radio stations), sorry but you know nothing about how the broadcast media work.

    You seem to be as much anti UKIP as you are anti the EU, perhaps you are a disgruntled ex UKIP member, perhaps anything Mr Farage says or does will not be good enough? As I’ve said, I carry no flame and can be quite rude about the UKIP leader (liking his leadership to that of a well illuminated river Mississippi steam paddle boat), I dearly wish he was not the leader but fair is fair, he is the only political leader to have raised the EU aspect of the UK’s countryside environmental (mis)management – all others being wedded to the CO2 lie that allows stealth taxation…

    @Lemmi Never heard the tail about the boy who kept shouting Fire! Fire! ? He shouted about it for so often, for so long, that when there really was afire no one took any notice. Also, living in a flood area myself (thankfully not yet affected), I can tell you that a politico making hay out of others or my misery should we suffer flooding would actually do more damage to their credibility. Time and place for everything.

  12. 12 Autonomous Mind 10/02/2014 at 9:51 pm

    Jerry, you haven’t got a clue so spare me your laughable childlike assessments of my experience and knowledge when it comes to media and successful political campaigns.

    The scale of the flooding in Somerset is down to political decision making. Nothing has been said about the cause and the EU policy frameworks that have led to it, therefore the cause is not being addressed, and because of EU rules can’t be, and the same damned thing will happen again.

    If that isn’t about flooding and something people need to understand – exposing the extent of UK powerlessness and EU control – then what the hell is?

  13. 13 tallbloke 11/02/2014 at 8:54 am

    I see your frustration, but I think the time for that sort of analysis and anti-E.U. rhetoric is after the emotion has receded with the water. If Farage were to start spouting complex arguments about obscure E.U. directives which use carefully constructed obscurantist language designed to be ambiguous just now, there would be a general rolling of eyeballs to the sky from the majority of people.

    “He’s off on one about the bloody E.U. again; what about the 3 feet of water in my home NOW!”

    On the flooding issue it’s better to keep UKIP’s powder dry until we see the whites of their eyes in May. The priority right now is to shame the govt into helping these people with a simple clear message everyone can get behind. That’s why Farage spent more time talking about local democracy and executive power and the pitiful funding from E.A. than the ‘E bloody U’.

    PS: Describing other people’s genuinely held and perfectly reasonable opinions as “laughable childlike assessments” or “Utter nonsense” is not the way to promote rational debate.

  14. 14 tallbloke 11/02/2014 at 9:26 am

    From spin-meister experts the Guardian:

    Cameron, acutely aware that the suffering flood victims will have zero patience with infighting politicians at a time when their livelihoods and homes are threatened, will stay out of London for a second day to visit flood-affected areas, requiring Tuesday’s cabinet to be cancelled.

  15. 15 Richard North 11/02/2014 at 3:24 pm

    @tallbloke much as your desire to protect your hero is commendable, you really should know better than to try out your straw man arguments on this site.

    No one is in any way suggesting that Farage should be “spouting complex arguments about obscure E.U. directives … etc”, and nor have they. The essence of the argument here is Farage professing ignorance as to the extent of EU law affecting Environment Agency activities.

    The leader of a supposedly anti-EU party, an MEP with nearly 15 years experience in the European Parliament, should know – or have a very good idea – of the impact of EU legislation on the EA. If he did not, it was spelled out in some detail on my blog, to which his researchers have access.

    Further, within the context of the interview, Farage did talk about the EU … so this was hardly a question of keeping the EU off the agenda to avoid the “roling eyes”. The problem was that he then expressed his ignorance of the extent of its effect.

    Despite your attempt to obscure the issues, that is the point – Farage’s own profession of his own ignorance. No amount of squirming or casuistry will change it.

  16. 16 tallbloke 11/02/2014 at 4:05 pm

    @Richard North: As you can see from what I wrote:

    “That’s why Farage spent more time talking about local democracy and executive power and the pitiful funding from E.A. than the ‘E bloody U’.”

    I acknowledged that Farage did mention the EU regulations, as you can see from the clause of relation ‘more‘ in my sentence.

    There isn’t any doubt that the E.A. in the UK have been more zealous than some countries in the application of E.U. directives affecting wetland areas. So Farage is right to call for an enquiry to establish the extent to which E.U. directives are to blame vs the the extent to which UK institutionalised eco-zealotry is responsible. Those affected by flooding deserve no less. By his brevity, Farage has avoided the argument being made at the political level and dismissed in the heat of shortlived headline coverage. Instead he has pitched for a long drawn out inquiry which can generate stories for months. Smart move Farage.

    “squirming or casuistry”

    Nice, I’ll add those to the list of Northian gratuitous insults, cheers.

  17. 17 Richard North 11/02/2014 at 4:39 pm

    The gratuitous “insults” for your sensitive little soul can go against your fatuous use of “cheers” as your payoff. It is perhaps this which obscures your ability to understand the simple point. Farage should already know the extent to which EU law affected the activities of the EA. His voters, supporters. and taxpayers generally, deserve no less.

    Perish the thought, though, that we should have a highly-paid MEP of 15 years standing actually know something about EU law – that which can be published (for nothing) on a website. Clearly, you prefer that he should express his profound ignorance and call for a public enquiry to find out something he should already know, at considerable expense to the already hard pressed taxpayer.

    That you now seek to excuse the ignorance of The Great Leader and endorse a call for even more waste of money – over and above that already wasted on Farage’s salary and expenses – says a great deal for your sense of priorities. And you expect us to vote UKIP into office?

  18. 18 Autonomous Mind 11/02/2014 at 5:55 pm


    The priority right now is to shame the govt into helping these people with a simple clear message everyone can get behind. That’s why Farage spent more time talking about local democracy and executive power and the pitiful funding from E.A. than the ‘E bloody U’.

    A simple clear message?

    First he copied others and called for overseas aid money to be redirected to be spent here.
    Then he decided to call for a civil defence corps to be created to deal with emergencies.
    After than he decided to call for a public enquiry.

    Where is this talk of local democracy and executive power?

    p.s. I have decided to treat trolls how they should be treated. Dan and Peter have only returned to attack me for criticising Farage. They are not interested in rational debate, just jealously guarding their cult leader.

  19. 19 Autonomous Mind 11/02/2014 at 6:07 pm

    Tallbloke, Farage called for a public inquiry. He didn’t offer terms of reference.

    So unless you were in the room with him discussing this beforehand how on earth do you know the inquiry is to establish the extent to which E.U. directives are to blame vs the the extent to which UK institutionalised eco-zealotry is responsible? In any case, he won’t set the terms of reference, so the EU dimension will be off the agenda. Farage isn’t displaying brevity. The word is incompetence.


  20. 20 Tom 11/02/2014 at 6:39 pm

    Why have some comments dispersed, is this site censorded

  21. 21 Autonomous Mind 11/02/2014 at 6:48 pm

    Tom/Jerry (very clever by the way), whichever trolling ID you prefer at this present moment, I have only removed one comment – yours under your Jerry ID – for falsely claiming I had removed comments and because the abuse was so pathetic. Ironic, eh?

  22. 22 Lemmi 11/02/2014 at 9:53 pm

    @Jerry or is it Tom? Perhaps you should consider the little boy who spotted something about the Emperor that everyone else was ignoring. Nigel is one of the crowd.
    @tallbloke, are you being ironic about keeping powder dry during a flood? It seems to me that Nigel is keeping the powder so far behind the lines there’s no chance of dampness. In fact he and yourself et al seem to want to keep the powder dry for ever. When are you going to suggest using it, when the UK has been split up into small regions with Governors and no chance of getting out. To read all this it appears either you have no desire to upset the EU, or none of the UKIP leadership or public apologists actually wish to leave the EU. Is the pay too good?

  23. 23 tallbloke 12/02/2014 at 9:07 am

    Richard says: “we should have a highly-paid MEP of 15 years standing actually know something about EU law – that which can be published (for nothing) on a website.”

    You really shouldn’t let your petty jealousy and your grudge against Farage cloud an important debate. It detracts from the excellent research work you do.

    You misconstrue strategy for ignorance. An inquiry will produce a nice big fat report which the E.A. don’t control the production of. It will be a useful document in the restructuring which will inevitably follow. Costly no doubt, Cost effective: certainly.

    The E.A spend £580m on salaries and £20m on river maintainance. Value for money? How much of those salaries is going on unproductive greencrap compostable reports?

    It’ll be interesting to see what the Dutch engineers recommend. Using unneeded off peak wind energy to pump water into a new reservoir would be a smart move in my opinion.

    Come on the pair of you, leave off the Farage bashing and spend some of your energy on productive positive thinking instead.

  24. 24 Richard North 12/02/2014 at 10:32 am

    @tallbloke You really should avoid the tendency to project your own thinking onto my motives. You don’t know what I am thinking, you don’t even know me and you have no idea what motivates me – and you have next to no idea of what happened between myself and Farage, much less why.

    You simply repeat the standard damage limitation meme perpetrated by the Farage circle that, because I criticise Farage and UKIP, I must have a “grudge”. This, of course, allows the intellectually challenged to put the criticism in a box that they can deal with and thereby discount it, instead of addressing the issues raised and dealing with them.

    Thus, you describe considered criticisms from a seasoned campaigner and expert EU commentator as “petty jealousies”. This, in what passes for wisdom you consider an effective technique for dealing with issues that you can’t (or won’t) otherwise answer satisfactorily.

    You then balance this with a patronising observation about my “excellent research” and then project the meme that I mistake Farage’s stupidity for “strategy”, in an attempt at ex post facto justification of his lame, derivative call for an inquiry as something clever and considered – when it was neither.

    Yet, you then have the unmitgated gall to instruct AM and I to “leave of Farage bashing” – another pathetic attempt at downplaying reasoned criticisms that you can’t or don’t want to deal with.

    What you are doing, Tallbloke, is attempting to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse … and it won’t wash. Farage messed up, missing a magnificent opportunity to “bang the drum” on the EU, and all you can do is come snivelling his his wake trying to justify his cock-up.

    Excuse us if we are not impressed by your scintillating arguments.

  25. 26 Paul 12/02/2014 at 8:34 pm

    Check Farage’s twitter feed, his blog, google his name and references to EU floods directive, the UKIP website.
    Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Nuffink on EU floods directive.

  26. 27 Tom&Jerry (but which one is my alter-ego?) 19/02/2014 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for putting my legitimate comment(s) back. The trouble is that you have blown your own showboat out of the water now , many will now see that in your mindset any criticism of yourself, your POV or the site as “Trolling”, which rather says far more about you than anyone else – even if you remove this comment and no one ever got to read it, people don’t need to be told about anything and everything all the time, they can and do think for themselves.

    As much as you don’t understand the media or PR you understand the web even less, thus why you use WordPress no doubt, anyone with a clue knows this is your site and you will do as you like (such as remove comment that you don’t like), just remember that the real “Trolls” can and will do a far better job far more effectively from outside your site than within – using the same socail media tools that you use yourself, what goes around also tends to come around!…

  27. 28 tallbloke 21/02/2014 at 9:50 am

    Just listened to Farage on LBC radio taking up Clegg’s challenge to debate UK’s EU membership. So much for ‘abandoning UKIP’s anti-EU role’
    He also repeated his call for a public inquiry on the flooding ‘to determine to what extent the EA followed EU directives in abandoning dredging’. Exactly as I said here last week.

  28. 29 Autonomous Mind 21/02/2014 at 10:54 am

    Nice to see you back here after chickening out of answering the question here. But now you’re back, don’t be silly, Rog.

    Farage has deliberately avoided linking the EU to a number of consequences of Brussels governance over the last year. His shortsighted call for a public inquiry has seen him change his narrative. He has now chosen to define this mythical inquiry in terms of abandoning dredging, but did not do so previously as you will see in his quote below. In fact even your previous comment makes yet a different case for a public inquiry, so it’s not actually what you said at all. In any case he has been caught on the hop by Clegg, and his refusal to immediately accept the offer of a debate has undermined confidence in him.

    For clarity, do tell us, why is an inquiry necessary? Is it to explore dredging, or is it to help resolve UKIP’s internal confusion and lack of knowledge? The previous question asking you just what the UKIP line actually is, still stands for reasons the quotes below make all too clear.

    1. ‘Ms Reding’s visit took place at the same time as the consequences of heavy rainfall compounded by the effect of EU regulations, have brought about widespread flooding, suffering and the destruction of property.

    ‘The evidence is that EU directives put wildlife before people. It is starting to be clear that DEFRA and the Environment Agency have been zealous in implementing EU directives’ – William Dartmouth

    2. ‘Well it’s not Brussels’ fault is it?’ – Lisa Duffy

    3. ‘I don’t know the truth of the extent to which the Environment Agency is now bound by European Union rules and laws. I just don’t know. That’s why we need to have a public inquiry.’ – Nigel Farage

    So which is it? Let’s see if you can answer without re-writing history again.

    Just so you know, should an inquiry be held it will be chaired by an on-message appointee, the terms of reference will not address what Farage has belatedly chosen to call for, the witnesses will be chosen so as to minimise any adverse reference to the EU and the findings will not change EU laws one iota. So what exactly does Farage think he will achieve? It’s as meaningless as his call for a civil defence corps. It is just more badly thought out, scattergun rhetoric as he speaks first then tries to decide what he meant by it later, while people like you interpret in a myriad of different ways and put your own spin on it, irrespective of what was actually said.

  29. 30 ansel61 21/02/2014 at 8:34 pm


    You’re wasting your time here. You must have realised by now that nothing Farage or UKIP says will ever be good enough for some people. The Harrogate Agenda will save us so no need to worry. :) Getting involved in arguments on blogs is just a time sink and you’ll achieve nothing by it. Better off going for a pint and influencing some real people who don’t have an axe to grind.

    I just started reading this blog again after a few months off but I don’t know if it’s worth the effort. The constant carping is still here but there’s now an arrogant, condescending nastiness that I hadn’t expected. If I keep reading I’ll be lured into responding in a similar fashion and I promised AM that I woudn’t.

    I can afford to waste some time because I’m semi-retired but I would have thought you’d have had bigger fish to fry.

  30. 31 Autonomous Mind 21/02/2014 at 11:57 pm

    If all you want is a ra-ra site that slavishly splutters the party line and ignores the problems that hold UKIP back then you should go somewhere else Ansel. I blog to express my views, not to indulge others or seek their approval and adoration. If people want to read it and engage, great. If not, good for them. It makes no difference to me.

    When UKIP gets it right, we will give it the credit it deserves. But it is stumbling from one cock up to another, is getting pasted in the media for elementary errors and there is a clear absence of vision and strategy with no positive reason for voters to rally behind the party. That’s why the party has fallen back over the last year and is firmly rooted around 13%.

    Against the incompetence and dishonesty of Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems, UKIP should be seeing wins in by-elections, polling of consistently over 25% and the news agenda being set by what uncovers and chooses to make the focus on attention, speaking with authority and expertise. It is a million miles from that. If your opinion is that demanding UKIP ups its game is carping then that’s up to you. We gave due credit when Farage finally embraced Article 50, just after Rog had berated us for our stance and pushed the ‘it’s a trap’ narrative. So it’s not all one-way.

    As for the ‘nastiness’ you refer to, having taken more than our fair share of abuse from UKIPpers, many of whom who set aside reality and treat Farage as infallible and attack us for not following in tribal fashion, we decided to respond in kind. As for attacking the Harrogate Agenda, which is not an electoral vehicle and has not said one thing against UKIP, simply because I support it, well that is worse than childish.

    In short Ansel, if all you want are your biases confirmed, then don’t stick around here, click that mouse and go and read other blogs that say what you want to hear.

  31. 32 ansel61 22/02/2014 at 8:36 am

    More nastiness. Message received.

  32. 33 Autonomous Mind 22/02/2014 at 8:48 am

    If you think my last comment was nasty then you need to get out more. It seems the UKIP house definition of nasty these days is anything where people challenge what its supporters think and refuse to put up with any rubbish they hurl in response. Criticism is a one-way street on planet UKIP, they can dole it out in spades but no one else may offer any at all. I’m sure you will be very happy elsewhere among people that all nod and agree with each other’s comments and seek to isolate themselves from anything that doesn’t confirm their biases. Be happy!

  1. 1 Tallbloke returns! But he still dodges the question | Autonomous Mind Trackback on 21/02/2014 at 11:21 am
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