Tallbloke returns! But he still dodges the question

UKIP candidate and occasional commenter on this blog, Tallbloke, returned here today to leave a ‘told you so’ comment on a blog post where we said that Farage’s comments on the floods indicate UKIP has abandoned its anti-EU role, which dates back to 9th February.

The comment he linked to in his latest contribution was this one.  As it would not be spotted by most readers, we felt it only fair to give it a good airing.  Along with the reply that has been left to the comment, which is reproduced below…

——————

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.

——————

We await the reply with interest…

19 Responses to “Tallbloke returns! But he still dodges the question”


  1. 1 W*T H*L*B*T 21/02/2014 at 11:37 am

    Reblogged this on Rnm101's Blog and commented:
    Autonomous Mind on the ball as ever.

  2. 2 John Page 21/02/2014 at 1:16 pm

    As often, Farage would do well to try to follow Richard’s postings – or he’s going to look silly.

  3. 3 tallbloke 21/02/2014 at 2:58 pm

    Lisa Duffy is an extremely busy hardworking lady, doing her best for a nascent and rapidly growing party. She is not qualified or sufficiently informed to judge this issue. I groaned when she said that on BBC any questions.

    Flooding, dredging, pumping are complex issues. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to know everything about everything. She wasn’t the main speaker answering when she said that anyway, it was a brief interjection in someone else’s reply. But nitpickers and naysayers like AM will of course seize on any minor error and blow it out of proportion with glee, since it confirms their anti-UKIP pose.

    Not that proponents of ‘The Harrogate Agenda’ will be standing candidates in every election up and down the land like UKIP are anytime soon. Carping and whinging seems to be more their forte.

    Get a life.

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 21/02/2014 at 5:43 pm

    Hahahaha. Oh Rog you are too funny.

    She was put up by the party to represent it and its position on national radio, answering questions in a panel style format. The biggest story running over the last month and a half has been flooding. Yet despite that you are suggesting that she should not be expected to know about or be prepared to deal with questions and make points on the most controversial factor contributing to those floods? What kind of three ring circus are you guys running over there?

    To cap this off, despite it being explained to you more than once that the Harrogate Agenda is a campaign and does not and will not contest elections, you try to deflect the issue by having an ignorant or deliberately deceitful dig by trying to draw yet another nonsensical electoral comparison with UKIP – even though Harrogate Agenda has said nothing about UKIP.

    While I’m off getting a life, why don’t you deal with your learning impairment and work out how to discern between the views of a blogger and the actions of a campaign?

    Anthony Watts almost got you down to a tee. Crackers is an understatement.

  5. 5 cosmic 21/02/2014 at 7:14 pm

    Roger,

    What are UKIP about? Surely it’s that lack of independence is either the cause of many of our problems, or prevents us finding solutions, e.g. because EU directives and other commitments have to be satisfied rather than our government taking decisions in our interests. Therefore we have to leave the EU and run our own affairs.

    The tragedy in Somerset is a graphic illustration of how decisions are taken with parliament largely out of the loop, policy is given a legal basis in the form of EU directives, which can’t be ignored or easily changed, and so when faced with a mess like this, our government’s hands are tied and disastrous policies are hard to change, because of our EU membership.

    This is partly what’s tying our hands on energy policy and all sorts of other important things which UKIP is talking about.

    What happens in this case? UKIP are passed the ball and rather than trap it and do something with it, it hits them on the head and bounces away.

    Is it any surprise that so many are upset with them, when they’ve failed to use this golden opportunity to further the case for independence?

  6. 6 theboilingfrog 21/02/2014 at 8:14 pm

    “Lisa Duffy is an extremely busy hardworking lady, doing her best for a nascent and rapidly growing party. She is not qualified or sufficiently informed to judge this issue.”

    In contrast to unpaid unqualified “not hard-working” bloggers who are not busy doing their best? Duffy is a paid party director and Mayor of Ramsey. Yet you attempt to excuse her lack of knowledge of the basics of the EU.

    It’s not a question of knowing everything – it’s a question of knowing the basics. How come unpaid bloggers have managed it?

    Any competent eurosceptic worth their salt knows what are EU competences and what are not. The environment has been long been an “EU competence” since the Single European Act 1986. The floods should have rung big brass alarm bells at least.

    But hey… not to Duffy, even though the information appeared on UKIP’s own website. Apparently pointing out that a UKIP Mayor not knowing basic EU competences, while a paid member of UKIP, and not being aware of your own website is now known as nitpicking.

  7. 7 Lilac Dee 21/02/2014 at 8:39 pm

    Mr Tallbloke must be red faced with embarrassment. Every time I read Ukip supporters trying to defend the party they seem to make horrible comments to anyone who disagrees with them. It’s not a clever way to win new supporters. Mr Clegg and Mr Farage must be having a debate to see which of them leads the nastiest party.

  8. 8 Richard North 22/02/2014 at 8:05 am

    @Lilac Dee That is an interesting observation. UKIP supporters, typically do not seem to go out of their way to make friends. One sees the mantra “vote UKIP”, but these days, there is a strident edge to it, the implicit “… or else”. You either support UKIP unconditionally or you are the enemy. There is no halfway house, or room for the candid friend,

    By any measure, Lisa Duffy made a mistake. Clearly, she went onto the programme unbriefed and unprepared. That was not just a personal error. She should have been briefed by the party on the “line to take”, and schooled in responses to expected issues, of which flooding was a near certainty.

    That Tallbloke now seeks to defend Duffy tells its own story. And while a candid admission of error would have done much to attenuate criticism, his truculent, defensive style simply reinforces a distaste for a party which, in Mr Tallbloke’s eyes, can do no wrong. He should know by now that the first thing you should do when in a hole is stop digging.

  9. 9 tallbloke 23/02/2014 at 2:25 pm

    Over on Richard’s latest comment thread to his excellent research on the EU nudging of the EA decisions leading to the Somerset flooding, ‘advanced member’ ‘dodgy geezer’ writes in the second comment.

    “But I hear nobody even calling for an inquiry, which would be the first step the government would take when trying to muffle the concern and shed the blame…”

    Is he disabused of this false notion by AM or RN in any of the many following comments? Of course not. For then they’d have to admit that AM has written this very blog post about my flagging up of Farage’s call for a public inquiry on the flooding, and so concede that Farage has done the commonsense thing, which is to use the bureaucracy to defeat the bureaucracy. Far from muffling concern and shedding the blame, there would be significant public interest in an inquiry ongoing for a considerable period of time, keeping the issue alive as we head towards an EU referendum (if it happens).

    AM opines
    It’s not a question of knowing everything – it’s a question of knowing the basics. How come unpaid bloggers have managed it?

    Obscure EU directives are not ‘the basics’. Unpaid bloggers such as Richard North (and myself) spend time digging up all sorts of interesting stuff. A town mayor who is also an official for a political party with responsibility for a rapidly growing membership hasn’t got so much spare time.

  10. 10 tallbloke 23/02/2014 at 2:41 pm

    Sorry AM, not your opinion, TBF’s.

    Cosmic asks:
    What happens in this case? UKIP are passed the ball and rather than trap it and do something with it, it hits them on the head and bounces away.

    Is it any surprise that so many are upset with them, when they’ve failed to use this golden opportunity to further the case for independence?

    Politicians indulging in finger pointing while people are waste deep in water is not a good idea. It may seem like one to well informed people like yourselves, but in the eyes of the wider public, it’s not.

  11. 11 tallbloke 23/02/2014 at 2:55 pm

    AM Says:
    the Harrogate Agenda is a campaign and does not and will not contest elections, you try to deflect the issue by having an ignorant or deliberately deceitful dig by trying to draw yet another nonsensical electoral comparison with UKIP – even though Harrogate Agenda has said nothing about UKIP.

    Read what I wrote AM. I said “*proponents* of the Harrogate agenda”. That’s you and Richard North. And you both have plenty to say about UKIP, none of it constructive.

    So, you’re not putting up any candidates, and you have a banner over on the right saying “Keep calm and vote none of the above”

    What do you stand for AM?

    Bugger-all but bellicose bellyaching?

    How is that going to get us out of the EU?

  12. 12 theboilingfrog 23/02/2014 at 3:42 pm

    “Obscure EU directives are not ‘the basics’.”

    Talkbloke’s become quite an expert on strawman arguments – I guess that comes with practice.

    My comment did not mention an “obscure EU directive” (although no EU Directive is obscure – there’s a useful website called Google to help you out). My comment about the basic’s referred to the fact, as I said, that “the environment has been long been an “EU competence” since the Single European Act 1986.”

    Thus Duffy’s comments that “it has nothing to do with Brussels” goes against the fundamental and basic understanding of where EU competences lie as per major treaties – which aren’t obscure. My comment did not criticise her explicitly for not knowing an “obscure EU Directive”.

    You ask: “How is that going to get us out of the EU?”

    Well how is a Eurosceptic party, which deliberately ignores EU issues – when it had the media platform to lead the debate, going to get us out of the EU?

    The short answer by its current actions is – it won’t.

  13. 13 tallbloke 23/02/2014 at 3:55 pm

    TBF: IIRC the comment from Lisa Duffy was elicited by Vaz, in one of his interminable monologues which soaked up 40% of the BBC AQ programme, said in passing, something along the lines of:
    “We’ve just had the wettest winter on record…I’m sure Lisa Duffy will try to blame Brussels for the flooding.”

    While there is definitely a case for arguing Bussels directives had a hand in events in Somerset, it’s not so easy to lay blame at the EU’s door for flooding elsewhere. And it has indeed been an exceptionally wet winter in southern England.

  14. 14 Autonomous Mind 23/02/2014 at 4:25 pm

    What part of the evidence are you struggling with? Clearly you don’t agree with William Dartmouth and what he said on the UKIP website. So what is the UKIP line? The Dartmouth line, the Duffy line, or the Farage sitting on the fence again line?

  15. 15 cosmic 23/02/2014 at 10:13 pm

    Tallbloke,

    The UKIP position doesn’t need to be much more than the view contained in this letter to a newspaper.

    https://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/floods-not-one-party-has-been-this-honest-not-even-ukip/

    Which doesn’t immediately go for the EU, but certainly encapsulates the relevant factors, one of which is the EU, which it places the EU squarely in the frame, but in the background and fundamental to the whole thing.

    Of course, it should be more than that.

    They really hadn’t thought about this at all. It doesn’t seem to have occurred how it related to their fundamental purpose, and they handled it woefully, largely by being caught off guard.

    I wouldn’t expect them to drone on about the EU as being the culprit, on cue. People are certainly looking more from politicians at such a time than axe grinding, but they also want explanations of how this came about and how it’s to be fixed and stopped from recurring. I’d expect UKIP to link that to their fundamental purpose, especially in this case as the link is so well documented.

    A lot of the problems we face are not black and white down to the EU, it’s far more complex and the EU doesn’t really work as a foreign government imposing edicts. However, UKIP are saying that we must leave the EU, so they must give reasons why, unless they are going to be trapped into stacked economic arguments and FUD, and they must show how they understand it and be able to explain the role it plays in creating problems like this, and how voting UKIP is going to change things, or at least place solutions within reach.

    If they don’t take advantage of opportunities like this, they are allowing themselves to be drawn into fighting battles on ground the enemy has chosen. Note the way that the EU debate, such as it has been, has been entirely about economics and assisted with huge amounts of FUD from the likes of the BBC.

  16. 16 tallbloke 24/02/2014 at 12:32 pm

    Cosmic: People are certainly looking more from politicians at such a time than axe grinding,

    I’m glad you agree with me about this.

    but they also want explanations of how this came about and how it’s to be fixed and stopped from recurring.

    It’s up to government to provide those explanations and plans. UKIP are waiting to see what is offered so they can then criticise. Too many times recently, the government has (half-heartedly and ham-fistedly) adopted UKIP policy without acknowledgement. This time we’ll let them make the running, and then offer the alternative in a manifesto prior to the 2015 elections. Making up policy on the hoof in the heat of immediate aftermath when you’re not in a position to implement it is often later realised to be a counterproductive kneejerk reaction. Yes, there are some obvious measures, but there are also longer term considerations to be calculated.

    I’d expect UKIP to link that to their fundamental purpose, especially in this case

    I hope and expect they will.
    Cheers

  17. 17 cosmic 24/02/2014 at 9:06 pm

    Tallbloke,

    If all UKIP are doing is pressing hot buttons and demonstrating no understanding, and offering no coherent view to link the hot topics together, they risk turning into a protest vote depository, much like the Lib Dems have been, and have proven. This is only going to take them so far and probably not even as far as the LibDems got in terms of MPs, because UKIP support is wide spread.

  18. 18 Pakaian Pria 28/02/2014 at 6:48 am

    May I simply just say what a comfort to find someone that
    actually knows what they’re talking about on the internet.
    You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it
    important. More people really need to look at this and
    understand this side of your story. It’s surprising
    you are not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.


  1. 1 Why Farage’s call for a flooding public inquiry is senseless | Autonomous Mind Trackback on 21/02/2014 at 1:25 pm
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