An interesting view on the Farage vs Clegg EU debate from UKIP’s candidate in the recent Wythenshaw by-election, John Bickley
Some of the media criticised Nigel for not calling questioners by their first name! Personally, I don’t like politicians calling questioners they don’t know by their first name; in my view it’s condescending. When I was canvassing in WYSE I addressed the public (as did other UKIP activists) as Sir or Madam. It might be old fashioned I accept.
Clegg was very well prepared as you’d expect from a machine politician (with the civil service behind him), however I thought he was evasive & as the debate wore on I increasingly found him to be condescending, patronising and deceitful.
It was Nigel’s first such debate (unlike Clegg) and in that context he did well. I thought his opening line about the state of the EU and why we wouldn’t join it today, knowing what we know today was telling.
Clegg’s mantra about 3 million jobs at risk if we leave the EU is a complete misrepresentation of Ian Begg’s paper ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/uk-politics-video/9822434/Claims-that-3-million-jobs-will-go-if-Britain-exits-EU-a-false-perspective.html)
Nigel did a good job to deconstruct Clegg’s jobs scaremongering. If we were to believe Clegg’s job loss claim then it follows that as the EU sells more to us than vice versa then 4>5 million jobs are at risk in the EU if we leave. It’s codswallop; the UK would continue to trade with the EU just like the rest of world does (and most of them don’t need to be a member of a club that aspires to be a superstate). Also, most of the companies who claim that they’d leave the UK if we left the EU said the same thing when we didn’t join the Euro and they’re still here. Funny that! The EU kowtows to big business & crony capitalism, making it difficult & expensive for SME’s to compete.
The claim by Clegg that the UK wouldn’t be able to stand on its own outside of the EU is utter tosh. English is the universal business language, The City is at the heart of global finance, we are on GMT 0 which means we straddle the world as the day unfolds East to West. Trading with the World is in our blood and we’re very good at it (we used to do most of it!).
If it’s good enough for the Scots to have a referendum on them becoming an independent nation why isn’t it good enough for the UK to decide whether it wants to remain in the EU? Only UKIP can be trusted to give us a guaranteed and honestly framed referendum choice. Cameron’s promise is hollow (he reneged last time – fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me).
Gay marriage. Don’t forget than none of the main parties sought a mandate from the people to make this major change to along standing institution; it was driven by EU legislation & Cameron wanting to look good with the metropolitan elite. If government is going to start making/changing laws without having sought approval via their election manifesto then we’re on a slippery slope. However, we’re already having our laws passed or changed by the EU without our consent. BTW Clegg’s claim that more powers can’t be given to the EU without Parliament’s consent is smoke & mirrors. Over the last forty years we’ve already given away significant powers and current EU treaties allow the EU to grab more power without our Parliament having the right to say no – horse, gate, bolted anyone!!
I thought it was interesting that most of the media gave Clegg the edge but the general public made Nigel the winner by a large margin.