Our Annual Banquet in the Harry Savoy Ballroom on October 15th featured good company, good food, and a riveting speaker. Nigel Farage is the former head of the UK Independence Party, which demanded and won a 2016 referendum on whether the UK should withdraw from the UK. Since the “Brexit” vote, he has been much in demand as an advocate for nationalist (anti-globalist) political movements in various countries – including the United States where he has become a Fox News contributor.
Pat Barron’s introduction reprised the speaker’s career and ended by referring to him as the “world’s greatest Englishman.” High praise indeed, but the designation seemed to fit and Mr. Farage set out to live up to it in a wide-ranging talk that was animated, witty and delightfully pointed.
The Brexit vote wasn’t a victory over Brussels, said the speaker, but rather a proper comeuppance for a career political class in the UK that had been engaged in an act of national betrayal for 50 years. And he would go on to make clear that this victory for the British nation should not be taken for granted just yet.
Unlike some of his political opponents, Farage does not consider himself a career politician. To the contrary, he had a “proper job” in the securities industry (started with Drexel Burnham in the US) for two decades before getting into politics.
Hillary is in London today, he commented, trying to sell her book (“What Happened”) about the 2016 election. Her comments and his response had been duly reported. Hillary Clinton still blames me for President Trump. I’m proud to have her as an enemy, UK Daily Telegraph, Nigel Farage, 10/15/17.
To hear Ms. Clinton tell it, the UK should reverse the Brexit vote. And that was consistent with the statement of former President Barack Obama when he visited the UK before hand and said that if the UK withdrew from the European Union they would be sent to the back of the line in trade negotiations. Really, said Farage, “could we have won it without him?”
The outcome of the Brexit vote reflected the desire of the British to take their country back, and when the US elections took place a bit later, “you followed us for a change” (quite a contrast with 1776, when England was the establishment). “That’s why Hillary sees me as the pied piper of the deplorables.”
Farage recalls being asked by Trump to speak at a campaign rally in Mississippi, on short notice and with no advance discussion of what he was going to say. The hall was packed with a crowd of 18,000, which was jumping with energy, enthusiasm, and patriotism. He told those “ordinary, decent people” that they could beat the establishment, and things couldn’t have gone better.
A year on, the establishment is fighting back – both in this country and elsewhere. Negotiations for the UK to withdraw from the European Union are dragging, and Farage was amused when the New York Times reported that the FBI considered him a person of interest in the “Russian conspiracy business.”
So make no mistake, “2016 didn’t mark the end of revolution, it is just the beginning!”
Farage had a plane to catch and his time was growing short, but he took several questions before departing;
Q. What do you think about the Catalonian bid for independence? A. I don’t necessarily favor Catalonia seceding from Spain, but the Spanish reaction was awful, e.g., a female demonstrator being dragged away by the hair. The European Parliament seemed too quick to say Spain used “necessary force,” probably out of concern about Catalonia pulling out of the EU. I’d like to see Europe leaving the EU, not just the UK.
Q. What’s your impression of Theresa May’s leadership re recent terrorist attacks? A. She’s shown zero empathy for ordinary people in a time of crisis, Queen Elizabeth did far better (in meeting with victims), and there’s about a 50% chance of another attack before Christmas.
Q. Who is responsible for the shiploads of Muslim refugees coming across the Mediterranean? A. Trace it back to Angela Merkel, she legitimized this influx – about 70% of whom are young males. Europe has made a terrible mistake. President Trump is trying to prevent the US from making the same mistake.
Q. What do you make of the boom in cryptocurrencies? A. The central banks have been irresponsible, and Bitcoin, etc. may have some future. But the stock market seems to be doing OK, and you might want to buy some silver.
Q. What are your favorite pubs in London? A. There are lots of good pubs, but I don’t like the ones that provide cannabis.
Q. Will UK withdrawal from the EU be settled in five years? A. I don’t see why it should take that long. The key is to let the private sector deal with the transition, because bureaucrats love to take forever to deal with problems so long as they are getting paid.
Q. Should Greece pull out of the Euro and go back to the Drachma? A. Absolutely. The Greeks and Germans just don’t share the same philosophy about economic and financial matters.
Someone mentioned during the Annual Banquet that Mr. Farage would be on Fox and Friends at 8:20 the next morning, and sure enough the segment aired right on schedule. It began with footage of Hillary Clinton’s comments during her book tour in London about how he had lied to the British people, etc., followed by his devastating response. Making a sad, sorry spectacle of herself – acting like the high priestess of globalism – why is she doing this unless she wants to take another tilt at the presidency in 2020? “Hillary plays the blame game,” foxnews.com, video (4:02), 10/16/17.