Coffee House

Nick vs Nigel: Clegg gets a little help from Farage’s mate Vlad

2 April 2014

8:37 AM

2 April 2014

8:37 AM

Nick Clegg ‘lost’ last week’s LBC debate with Nigel Farage, not for want of trying to sound reasonable or appear at ease and polished, but because there are simply fewer voters who are prepared to give someone from the establishment a hearing, or agree with him on Europe. The Lib Dem leader does plan to use fewer stat attacks and more emotion tonight when the two men meet again. But he also has a bit of help from Farage himself, who is either revealing a strong conviction about Vladimir Putin that he had hitherto kept buried or is stubbornly digging himself a hole over his comments about the EU and Ukraine.

How Farage deals with an inevitable attack from Clegg on his comments about Putin will tell us a fair bit about what the Ukip leader is really like. In today’s Telegraph, Sir Malcolm Rifkind thinks Farage risks looking like a ‘buffoon’ already. But if he loses his cool tonight over the comments, then he could, as Rifkind warns, lose his attraction to some of the reasonable voters who are interested in Ukip as a party rather than a protest. He could, though, still win quite easily even if the Putin row does blow up.

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Show comments
  • Mike

    Just shows how the establishment and the media got it wrong. Putin didn’t help anyone in either debate BUT Farage correctly described Putin whilst Clegg got all emotional ! The public believed Farage but despised Cleggs lies, spin and smears !

  • andagain

    How many UKIP voters care about Ukraine? Or about Russia, for that matter?

  • Mazzzz

    Nigel Farage will get my vote come what may from tonights broadcast. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

    • BUZZ00

      He gets my vote , too.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “Sir Malcolm Rifkind thinks Farage risks looking like a ‘buffoon’ already”

    That’s really amusing; pompous self-regarding little Scottish Tory, who was rejected by the Scots in a seat that had been held by the Tories for a long time, and who was then rejected as a potential candidate by at least two Tory associations in England, he didn’t even make the shortlist in at least one of them as I recall, and who finally had to get his chums to fix him up with a safe seat so that he could resume his tendentious europhiliac blather in the Commons, thinks that somebody else risks looking like a ‘buffoon’.

  • komment

    Anyone who has followed the situation in Ukraine since November 2013 can’t help but agree that thevUS StatevDepartment and its allies in the EU were heavily involved in the overthrow of a democratically elelected government in Kiev. The problem is one of denial. On this subject Nigel is more in tune with the public’s perception of these events than the European Union. Kerry and Nuland gambled and lost and now they are engaged in damage limitation whilst Putin remains in charge.

    • HookesLaw

      Enter thick nutjob stage extreme right.

      How did they overthrow this govt? How many government soldiers were killed in pitched battles with revolutionaries? How were they ‘involved’?
      Putin, nice Vladimir was not involved in putting in and propping up his tame govt was he? Oh no never.

      • fubarroso

        Do you not understand the term “elected government”?

        • Wessex Man

          No of courrse he doesn’t he’s a ‘New Tory.’

    • allymax bruce

      Don’t count your chickens; wait until the situation ‘develops’ !
      Not everything is, what it seems.

  • colliemum

    Clegg would be well advise to thread very carefully when trying to tie Farage and Putin into a ‘hate’-bundle.

    Here is why:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/04/01/Cleggs-private-partners-side-with-Putin-too

    • Maidmarrion

      That’s a wee cracker!

  • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

    Query: how is a picture of Putin on holiday relevant to this topic?

    • colliemum

      Isabel liked it – reason enough, no?
      😉

      • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

        Does she like him, or admire him?

        • colliemum

          I suspect she liked his pecs …
          😉

  • NickG

    “Nick Clegg ‘lost’ last week’s LBC debate with Nigel Farage, not for want
    of trying to sound reasonable or appear at ease and polished, but
    because there are simply fewer voters who are prepared to give someone
    from the establishment a hearing, or agree with him on Europe.”

    No Nick Clegg lost the vote because his pro Euro arguments were worse than Nigel Farage’s anti arguments.

    Europe will not stop buying British goods and services if we leave. We will regain rule of parliament and control of our borders if we leave and we will be able to bilateral trade agreements.

    • HookesLaw

      What do you mean by ‘leave’? leave the single market?
      You have proof that our goods and services are immune from such changes? Proof that all the inward investment we attract will not go to places like Bulgaria?

      • NickG

        It’s practically a science experiment, look at Switzerland and Norway. Amongst the most prosperous non EU European states, neither in a hurry to join, happy to self govern and not abrogate power to an unelected corrupt and profligate eurocracy.

        Being in the EU does not stop the UK buying goods and services from outside the EU – be they Chinese made computers, Korean cars or Singaporean made pharmaceuticals. It won’t be different for a Britain outside the EU.

        The main argument – the currency argument, that businesses won’t take the currency risk of investing in plant in the UK if it is not part of the Eurozone – has been falsified by the Euro crisis – and the now obvious wisdom of us having retained sterling.

        • HookesLaw

          Norway is in the EEA and obeys all the EU single market rules including free movement of labour. Its in Schengen. Switzerland is effectively the same.
          Norway pays into EU regional structural funds; if it were in the EU it would be the 10th biggest net contributor.
          When people talk bout a ‘trade agreement’ this is what it means. Being in the EEA would probably protect our jobs and inward investment but would not be any real difference to being in the EU.

          The Tory party does not want to join the Euro. Not sure about labour, maybe I should vote UKIP to find out?

          • fubarroso

            Norway is in the EEA and obeys all the EU single market rules

            Not true! Norway refused to implement the EU’s 3rd Post Office directive. It also only obeys EU single market rules when selling into the single market. Less than 10% of our economy depends on the single market yet we have to apply EU rules to 100% of it.

            Being in the EEA would probably protect our jobs and inward investment but would not be any real difference to being in the EU

            So being outside the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy would not be a real difference? Not being signed up to “ever closer [i.e. political] union wouldn’t make any real difference? Get real Hooky!

      • saffrin

        What proof do you have our manufacturing industries won’t scarper off to Bulgaria anyway?
        Ford have already relocated to Turkey and Turkey isn’t even part of the EU.

  • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

    “Nick Clegg ‘lost’ last week’s LBC debate with Nigel Farage, not for want
    of trying to sound reasonable or appear at ease and polished, but
    because there are simply fewer voters who are prepared to give someone
    from the establishment a hearing, or agree with him on Europe.”
    You damn with faint praise.

  • saffrin

    Farage’s anti Mainstream Media stance can only be a good thing.
    If the MSM had their way we’d be well advanced into WW3 already while the unelected troughers of Brussels that provoked this mess would be well out of it hiding in their taxpayer funded nuclear proof luxury bomb shelters.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    No, you can’t draw that inference from the comments below at all. Think you wanted to write this anyway.

  • FF42

    The comments in the Spectator on Putin’s invasion/restoration of Crimea are unusually interesting. It’s clear that most of them have rather little to do with the merits of the Russian, Ukrainian or Western positions. They are in reality about the merits of authoritarianism versus liberalism. Many approve of Putin’s authoritarian, anti-liberal rhetoric. All the leaders of the main UK parties are emphatically in the liberal camp, even if they disagree on other things. The EU can be seen as the principal symbol of the post-War liberal ascendancy. The commentators despise all these leaders and institutions. Nigel Farage and, indirectly, Vladimir Putin are tapping into a rich seam of opinion. There is a debate to be had.

    Leaving aside the question of whether we really want to return to the arguments of the 1930’s, I think the liberal tide will continue as long as people can vote with their feet. For all its faults the EU is attractive to a lot more countries and populations than the Russian empire is. Conquering territory and cowering populations is very enervating

    UKIP seems have some tension between its authoritarian and libertarian instincts.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘ some tension’ – you mean its run by a load of lying hypocrites?

      Judging from the stories about the liquid lunches Farage takes, I can’t imagine there is a tense bone in his body.

      • Wessex Man

        You really are a childish baby arn’t you, I’d still trust a drunken Nigel Farage and I never seen him in a drunken state than a yellow belly like Call me Dave, terrified of joining in the Debate!

    • NotYouNotSure

      Lets see, in one the government was overthrown and now have people in charge that were not elected and are making fundamental changes to the country, in the other people voted what they wanted and they got it. Which one is authoritarianism and which is liberalism ?

      • FF42

        I stated my view on this here.

        I am now trying to make a different point. I disagree with Malcolm Rifkind. I don’t think Nigel Farage is silly and offensive. He reflects a widely held opinion. Liberalism may dominate right now, but that domination is not inevitable.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          LibLabCon are not “liberal”, lad. The are authoritarian socialist. They want to run your life, and do it eventually from Brussels

    • Wessex Man

      You believe the EU to be liberal, theres no hope with people believing such nonsense. I suggest that you view Nigel Farage- Who are you? still on catch up or read minutely the proposed Toleration Directive which will shut down sites like this.

      • andagain

        It’s more liberal than Putin’s Russia. Not that I’d call that a difficult achievement.

  • Penny

    The thought of Clegg employing more faux sincerity makes me feel quite queasy.

    • Wessex Man

      Stick with though, it’s just one more hour, although being on the Beeb Nigel Farage could get burnt tonight by their rent a gobs!

  • dado_trunking

    I figured it out:
    A rumpUK-raine (ex Crimea) is now ready to join the European superstate whilst a rumpUK (ex Scotland) will observe with great interest as to what Scotland will do next upon independence.
    My hunch is sustainable European growth and expansion will come from both sides.

  • Tony_E

    Farage has a good point about Putin: Namely that he’s a much better geopolitical operator than either the EU president and his council, or President Obama.

    Putin knows his objectives, knows his population and what they will stand for, and has clear plans to make his will reality. He doesn’t compromise, he doesn’t mind what he has to do to look after the interests of his own country.

    It could be said that his outlook is too short term in that pushing the EU to sort out its energy policy will be counter productive to Russia in the long run. It could also be said that Putin is a criminal whose wealth and power has been corruptly obtained. But presently, he holds Crimea, and it doesn’t look like the EU is going to dislodge him any time soon. It also doesn’t look like the EU is going to tell him to switch off the gas either, depriving Russia of the income it cannot survive without due to its sclerotic and kleptocratic economy.

    Putin seems to have calculated well and come out on top for now at least.

    • allymax bruce

      You make a simple mistake discounting President Obama; fools rely on rhetoric; genius shows by example. Two-term Presidency; no wars!
      President Obama has complete control of his geopolitical International Relations with the Presidents of China, Russia, & Europe; what’s more, they all rate & think very highly of him.
      Pres’ Obama ! He da Man !

      • komment

        Who said satire was dead? Ally you are so money supermarket!

        • HookesLaw

          Who said saltire was dead you mean ???

  • Alb Einstein

    “Farage himself, who is either revealing a strong conviction about Vladimir Putin that he had hitherto kept buried or is stubbornly digging himself a hole over his comments about the EU and Ukraine.”

    Oh dear – you MSM types are really so out of touch aren’t you – it’s quite scary if you think this is digging a hole. This will so backfire on you – and you just can’t see it.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/poll-nigel-farages-favourite-world-leader-is-putin-whos-yours-9226480.html

    • stewart

      I see that Vlad is now leading with 67% .That I get (A strong leader who puts the interests of the nation state first) But how did Eva Von Merkel get 13%, more even than bien pensant heart throb, King Barack?

      • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

        Now on 68% and climbing. Nobel peace prize winner struggling to break into double figures.

        • stewart

          Last time I looked it was 70% .which, interestingly,is the allmost exactly the same result that ‘exit polls’ give Farage in tonights debate -you gov 68% and ICM (for guardian) 69%

          So ” MSM types are really so out of touch”
          In fact they stiil dont get it

      • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

        Give her her due, Merkel is a canny leader.

        • Wessex Man

          yeah but you wouldn’t want to jump on it would you?

  • Golben Amduke

    The last debate should have been a walkover for Farage, given the sentiment he was playing to, and the person he was debating against and his well-known “gissa job” Europhile views – the sign in front of Clegg at the last LibDem conference said “In Europe In Work” which was actually a statement of Clegg’s career ambition not LibDem policy.
    But it wasn’t.
    Farage blew up quite spectacularly, with his Nixonian sweat and shouty tone. If he compounds the mistake tonight I don’t doubt some UKIP floaters will be wondering wehther they really should vote for a glorified golf club secretary.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Well he might be sweaty and shouty and even a glorified golf club secretary but he isn’t Clegg, or Cameron, or Miliband.

      • Wessex Man

        and he won by a country mile, by the way Colonel, you haven’t upset Hooky have? he seems to have disappeared.

        • HookesLaw

          Why are you so worried about me?
          If the land of Putin is so wonderful I suggest you emigrate. Then you will realise why people in Ukraine would rather die than be sucked back in.

          • Wessex Man

            oh I see, typical toryboy, losing an argument tells me an Englishman to emigrate because I’m totally opposed to the EUSS and his cowardly party.

            You won’t be happy comrade until there is no UK and no England just a heavily overpopulated suburb of the European Empire that our friend Barroso pronouced after coward Brown signed away our rights in Lisbon!

  • swatnan

    Farage, not another Kim Philby, surely.
    But hilarious to see one pompous buffoon calling another pompous buffoon a ‘buffoon’

  • Makroon

    The BBC shares the Spectator’s wish to paint Farage as a Putin apologist, (and Putin as a Brezhnev type figure), and the usurper government in Kiev as having some sort of “mandate”, so no doubt Dimblebore will try to “shape” the so-called debate.
    As for Rifkind, come on now, this bloke is a five-star buffoon from way back.
    It promises to be another snooze-fest.

    • Kitty MLB

      I got you confused with someone else last week when you responded
      with the words’ Pray tell my Lot’ .. The person above with the name
      Mynydd was the one I confused you with- I am quite good at becoming confused 😉

      • Makroon

        Kitty, it’s all part of the CH’s rich tapestry – wink.

    • MirthaTidville

      sadly only the Speccie seems to take Rifkind seriously, but they are so anti Farage/UKIP that they would give quote space to Abu Hamza if it suited them

    • HookesLaw

      What usurper? Where was the military coup? Where was any violent overturning of the govt? the ‘president ran away.
      Was the overthrow of the Berlin wall a usurpation?
      I’ll tell you what was a usurpation – the overthrow of Dubček.
      The previous election was fixed and the govt was busy shooting its own people as they legitimately protested.
      Go ahead make a fool of yourself by siding with Putin – a past expert at electoral fraud.

      • NotYouNotSure

        If your podgy beta male Prime Minister was surround by an angry mob, he probably would not run for his life he would scream like a girl and beg for his life.

        As for the elections being “fixed” you offer zero proof, what is a fact is that Cameron has gotten less votes from the electorate than many of the politicians you hate, Cameron got few votes and for those few who voted for him has not kept his promise, why side with Cameron.

        • HookesLaw

          What a pathetic load of childish dribble. The willingness of your ilk to side with totalitarianism is very revealing.

          The elections?
          The small matter of the opposition leader being in jail is a modest indicator about democracy as it was in Ukraine.
          The opposition leader’s husband was in political asylum.

          After the parliamentary elections in 2012 the head of the OSCE
          long-term observer mission Audrey Glover said that there was ‘backsliding’ in the democratic process in Ukraine and the head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation Walburga Habsburg Douglas said that in order to hear the position of one of the key politicians in the country, ‘one should not have to go to see them in prison’.

          • HookesLaw

            And
            Previous Ukrainian elections have suffered various degrees of
            malpractice. The external observers’ report on the 2012 elections noted that they “were marked by the abuse of state resources, lack of transparency of campaign and party financing, and the lack of balanced media coverage”.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/ukraine-crisis-election-monitors-will-be-under-extreme-pressure-9162833.html

            • Maidmarrion

              Just nipped over to see that poll , seems like Mr Putin is doing ever so well! And that is despite the vilification in the media , surely the people of these islands are waking up and a new dawn beckons!

          • NotYouNotSure

            She went to jail because she was proved guilty because of corruption charges, and yes all the politicians are corrupt there, but how does that make her a saint for your left wing world order ? I have been following the region much longer than a dim witted oaf like you, its not a Tom Clancy novel.

            But lets go back your dear leader, why support someone who got few votes and someone who regularly breaks his promises for those that did vote for him ?

            • HookesLaw

              Really? ho ho ho…
              In the same way Damien Green was guilty or Andrew Mitchell.

              Strange and oh so convenient nhow people who do not agree with Putin end up in jail.

              • Wessex Man

                So Hooky you are now saying the The Police Federation are in league with Putin? you are getting madder by the day, next you’ll be saying that it was Putin’s fault that the Yanks and their puppies dragged us into war after war.

                Go and lie down in damp dark room and consider.

  • Wessex Man

    Well that’s amazed me, I cut the comment short because of my old fashioned reference to what Rifkind said bearing in mind censorship here!

    The simple fact is that most people I speak to totally aree with Nigel Farage and not the EU Establishment regarding the Crimea and the Ukraine, go asked our small exhausted armed forces!

  • Wessex Man

    Sir Malcolm Rifkind thinks Farage risks looking like a buffon already, now that’s classic pot kettle black, Rifkind represents everything that wrong with the establishment!

  • stewart

    So your contention is that Farage backing Putin would damage his image with the voting public ?

    The Independent also see it that way and have run this piece of Farage bashing
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/poll-nigel-farages-favourite-world-leader-is-putin-whos-yours-9226480.html
    Problem is ,so far, 59% of respondants agree with Farage

    • Alb Einstein

      The journos in the MSM are either just presstitutes – happy to take the 30 pieces of silver, or need to get out more and meet people outside London.

  • James Strong

    Clegg plans to use ‘more emotion’ ,does he?
    Why is this a good thing?
    Who thinks that increasing the emotional input is a good way to make major policy decisions for the country? And if you do think that, please explain why.

    And Clegg didn’t ‘lose’ the debate last week; he lost it. No equivocation is necessary on that point.

    • Makroon

      Calm down, it’s just show-biz.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …or at least, that’s how you marketeering Camerluvvies play it, as we know. All smoke and mirrors, show biz, focus groups and trickeration.

    • Alb Einstein

      oh great – cue the fake tears – that’ll really work well with the cynical British public I’m sure.

  • Mynydd

    Nick Clegg ‘lost’ last week’s LBC debate with Nigel Farage. More importantly Mr Clegg ‘lost’ the debate with country when he binned his signed pledge on tuition fees. He will not be given a second chance.

  • DWWolds

    If Clegg wants to rely on “facts” he should make sure he gets them right. For example, he keeps repeating that leaving the EU would cost us 3 million jobs. The research on which he bases that figure actually stated it was trade with the EU on which those jobs depended. Doesn’t Mr Clegg realise that “membership” and “trade with” are somewhat different from each other? The academic who led the research that came up with the 3 million jobs figure has expressed his dismay at the way in which the results have been -and are – misinterpreted.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    Most reasonable people in Britain will be appalled at the endless diet of xenophobic anti-Russian bigotry on show in the UK media. Russia is one of our oldest allies and has fought on our side in two world wars (unlike Germany, Italy and Vichy France). Rifkind is a fool who has little support and no audience within his own party. Any reasonable analysis of the Crimean issue will show that a.) Crimea has always been part of Russia b.) the majority Russian population in Crimea wanted to be part of Russia again and they voted for just that. Contrast this with the voters of France and the Netherlands who voted against a new EU constitution, but got the Lisbon treaty anyway. No wonder Putin doesn’t take our commitment to democracy too seriously!

  • Frank

    Rifkind was the nutter who wanted us to take military action in Syria. Hopefully we will hear less of him when and if Scotland goes independent.

    • Colin56

      Amen to that. Independence for Scotland will have the very welcome by-product of removing a while lot of Scottish politicians who somehow don’t think that Scotland is enough for them and are drawn to the evil Westminster like moths to a flame. Gordon Brown, for me, is the key example of a wandering Scot without whom we all would have been much better off. The useless Darling is another prime example of someone who should have stayed north of the border as are Malcolm Rifkind and the two Alexanders – Dougie and Danny. In fact, there has been a completely disproportionate over-representation of Scots in government for the past couple of decades. Back to Edinburgh with the lot of them!

  • Nkaplan

    Also did Clegg really state so many more facts than Farage in the debate last week?

    Clegg did of course say, over and over and over again that he was stating facts – but this is not the same as actually stating them. I don’t recall him actually giving significantly more facts than Farage did, although I am perhaps missing something as everyone else seems to believe that he did – or were they merely persuaded by Clegg’s Grandgrind like insistence that he was speaking in facts?

    Another problem for Clegg on this front is that a fact (by definition) must be true and much of what Clegg said simply wasn’t. I think, in particular of his claim that the House of Commons Library had ‘proved’ that only 7% of our laws are made in the EU. Now one can disagree as much as one likes with the way that HoC Library worked out its figures (it means of counting seems to me absurdly generous to the EU), but what one cannot disagree with is the fact that that report concluded that “it is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 50% or thereabouts”. My maths is a bit rusty, but the last time I checked 7 does not lie between 15 and 50. I am therefore forced to conclude that far from speaking in facts, Clegg was perfectly willing to lie to he audience during that debate. Nobody, that I am aware of, has taken him up on it. Instead you’re all too busy criticising Farage for daring to say something controversial (i.e. with which you disagree) about the Ukraine.

    • Nkaplan
      • HookesLaw

        Which seems to point to neither knowing what they were talking about.

        One interesting and indeed vital point that factcheck make is about the problems of getting a trade deal if we leave.
        ‘Farage argued that in the event of an exit, the UK would “hold the whip
        hand” in trade negotiations with the EU due to the EU’s trade deficit
        with the UK. We’ve looked at this in detail
        – the key point is that while this is true in the area of goods, when
        it comes to services – a crucial and thriving area of the UK economy –
        this is not the case.
        So with that logic, EU countries would have
        incentive to strike a deal with the UK in goods but not services
        including financial services. Secondly, the process for leaving the EU –
        the so-called Article 50 – actually involves less control for the UK
        than is often assumed, including a Qualified Majority Vote on the final
        deal in which the UK will not take part.’

        • an ex-tory voter

          If the QMV goes the wrong way Merkel will have them vote again and again until they get it “right”. One way or another Germany and the rest of the industrialised EU need access to the UK market.

          • HookesLaw

            I rather think the boot is on the other foot. If 430 million are desperate for our 60 million, where does that place our 60 million?
            As the above comment points out, its not so easy to dismiss our financial services which fronts up a lot of tax and jobs is not so easy to dismiss.
            If we were outside the EU would Hitachi be moving their world wide rail business to Newton Aycliffe? Nutjobs moan about the London centric westminster bubble but a huge part of our export generating industry is located in the NE and is there because of the EU single market.

            • Wessex Man

              would Ford bring back the jobs they sent from Uk as a member of the EU to Turkey outside the EU if we left the EU?

              This sort of propaganda from you Hooky is a sad reflection on the once proud Tory party that is now just an attack dog for the EU.

            • an ex-tory voter

              Our financial services industry is in great danger from the EU which is trying not just to control the industry but more importantly is intent on imposing a “transaction tax”. The purpose of that tax is to provide the EU with a direct tax rather than one which is collected by national governments. Given time they will ramp the level of that tax higher and higher in order to feed the bureaucratic monster. As the tax is to be levied by the EU it will not be possible for national governments to adjust it’s rate, or to repeal the tax because QMV will prevent that. It will be “taxation without representation”.

        • Nkaplan

          It seems to me that both you and Clegg have failed to understand the nature of negotiations.

          It is obviously true that in any zero-sum negotiation the party with more clout is likely to do best, and that having size and clout is vital to success.

          However I see no reason for this to be the case in negotiations about something of mutual benefit to both parties.

          Trade negotiations are of the latter not the former kind. Each party has much to gain from the other lifting trade barriers. There is no reason to think that one could only get a good deal by having more clout than the other party, because anything either party offers will be to the benefit of both.
          That this is so is supported by the fact that countries such as Iceland have been able to negotiate highly advantageous trade deals with China despite their tiny size – China simply has nothing to lose and much to gain by coming to an agreement – they therefore have no need to exercise leverage over Iceland in any such negotiation.
          Our problem is that, being members of the EU, we are unable to enter such negotiations ourselves. Instead we must negotiate as a Union. This means that any deal we get will be on terms determined by the majority of the EU. We have thus exchanged our ability to independently negotiate our own trade deals for a 1/27 say in trade negotiations in which, as a whole, we have more clout but in relation to which clout is largely irrelevant.

      • HookesLaw

        The factcheck also points lout how Farage lied over our costs of membership.

    • Athelwulf
    • AnotherDave
  • Colonel Mustard

    “The Lib Dem leader does plan to use fewer stat attacks and more emotion tonight”

    Oh dear. The twin evils of modern politics we could do with much less of, statistics and emotion.

    Objectivity and truth might be good for a change. Or facing up to reality. At the very least not pretending or presuming we are all signed up members of the hair trigger offence taking, hugging and copiously weeping, fluffy bunny street party, teddy bears and flowers, seal clapping QT audience, BBC red guards and girl guides together retarditude.

    • Colin56

      Objectivity? Truth? Reality? Oh dear. I’m afraid that none of these feature on the long-range weather forecast for the Westminster Bubble, Colonel. It seems you are doomed to be disappointed. As are the rest of us in the current generation of politicians. These ‘debates’ are a a charade designed and intended to entertain and mislead, not inform. Why would we ever think otherwise?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Doomed to be determined. I read now that another Bubble half wit, one Andrew Miller MP (Labour and bearded), the Commons Science and Technology Committee chairman, wants climate change sceptics to be “shut up” and the BBC to have to get special clearance before interviewing them.

        It is a measure of how far Parliament has descended into collective insanity that this idiot can propose something like that with little or no outrage from the other “representatives of the people” who are besmirching that place.

        I fear for our democracy when lunatics like that have their hands on the levers of power and think they have a mandate to control what people say.

        • MirthaTidville

          Well said Colonel…the Facist Liebour Party..The new Nasty Party indeed

        • Colin56

          On a parallel note, I do fear for the freedom of debate in this country at parliamentary level when the rigid party system and ‘discipline’ – which are justified as the means of getting the government’s legislation through – effectively imposes dogma from both sides and thus stifles debate, and of course discourages people of independent and intelligent mind from taking part in a politics that effectively disenfranchises them. Maybe political parties should be abolished!

          • saffrin

            ‘Maybe political parties should be abolished’
            Don’t worry, the EU is working on it.

    • Conway

      Answering a question might not come amiss, either.

  • WatTylersGhost

    If you want to wind up Clegg and The Independent, click Putin in this survey.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/poll-nigel-farages-favourite-world-leader-is-putin-whos-yours-9226480.html

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Done – Putin way out in the lead with 59% at the minute. CMD on 5%.

      • Wessex Man

        The British people of all persuasions seem to be falling very rapidly out of love with the nutjobs who have ruled us these last forty years. Putin now on 60%.

      • MirthaTidville

        Vlad now on 67% with their favourite leftie, that idiot in Paris who cant keep his pants up, unsuprisingly on 1%…just slight below CMD

  • Nkaplan

    It amuses me that almost everyone in the media seems to think that Farage’s (perfectly reasonable – although not necessarily correct) comments on Putin and the Ukraine will somehow see voters leaving him in droves.

    NEWSFLASH: most people do not care about the situation in Russia – it will make no difference to how they vote. This will do nothing to dent Farage’s popularity, that the media think it will confirms just how completely they have failed to understand the rise of UKIP. If anything the fact that the entire media seems to be attacking Farage for his comments may actually assist him. It is the very fact that Farage says what he thinks without a care for what the media or the 3 main parties will say that makes him popular. Support for him is not based on people agreeing with everything he says, rather it is a result of the fact that he annoys so much of the political class. By throwing their toys out of the pram and whining like petulant children because Farage had the temerity to disagree with them, the three main parties are playing straight into his hands.

  • Kitty MLB

    Pray tell, must we be constantly benighted with images of Putin’s chest-
    you would not want to give Cleggie idea’s now would you?
    Some say Cleggie won, but I say regardless of not being polished and
    somewhat more honest that Farage won- he came across as quite endearing also
    I might add.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Well the image is somewhat OTT but I cannot help comparing it in my mind to an image of the Right Reverend Dave in trendy sand shoes and kidult shorts holding his wife’s hand at the beach and looking soppy. The human blancmange that is Mr Blobby’s slightly more sensible brother can pour itself into a suit and try to look determined as it wags its pink finger at Mr Putin but he will no doubt be thinking about Angry Birds and sniggering.

    • Maidmarrion

      It appears to be one of the only 2 photos that the UK media possess – that one and the one on horseback.
      I’m sure the chap wears a suit a great deal of the time but a photo like that wouldn’t fit with the gay icon image they are trying to present.

      • Kitty MLB

        They also have a photo of Farage impersonating Cromwell in trying to blow up parliament with gunpowder. But yes they seem to
        need some more photos of Putin, but maybe not 🙂

  • WatTylersGhost

    Malcolm Rifkind. Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Has Rifkind learnt nothing from the antics of Ken Clarke?

    If Clegg goes down the Putin path he needs to be very careful, there are many EU skeletons in that closet.

    • Wessex Man

      Hey you pinched my comment but never mind you beat me to it!

    • allymax bruce

      Farage is clever; Nigel knows that Putin scored a big big hit with everyone in the way he ‘played’ ‘the endearing father’ to the gay hysterics over Sochi; and Vlad’ also garnered massive credit over his ‘no shots fired’ Democratic save of Crimea. Nigel knows that simply by association, Vlad’, by his honest, credible, no-nonsense traditional values to politics, is popular enough in these islands to help Nigel, in Nigel’s political ethos.
      Contrast that with Ed Miliband, of whom is ‘associated’/tarnished with his father’s Marxist ideologies; you get the picture.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …and contrast that with you cyber gnats, who buzz annoyingly around our heads celebrating a yes vote that has as much chance of happening as Vlad opening his seaside dacha to the Maidan.

  • ButcombeMan

    Wrong,

    Clegg LOST (and not in quotes please) because he spoke in sound bites that have no basis in reality.

    No one seriously believes his 3 million jobs, no one believes the European Arrest Warrant is essential or was ever essential to international criminal investigation and extradition. Clegg just does not make sense. He is defending a monumentally undemocratic organisation alien to Britain and the British. We were sold a free trade area, we got a route to a political union of a kind that Britons will never accept. that by nature and independence of spirit we could, never accept.

    The wise public see through Clegg.

    As for Farage’s remarks about the Ukraine, he is is correct. Change in Eastern Europe and even Russia will come, but pushing it, as the EU did, was bound to provoke Russia. Patience is a great virtue in diplomacy. Prodding the injured Russian bear never did make sense. Putin will not be there forever

    And yes Putin has been outwitting and out thinking the west for some time, to acknowledge that is not to defend him.

    • Lungfish66

      Farage was just stating the bleedin’ obvious as usual. He did not particularly praise Putin, just pointed out that he has been getting one over on the West of late.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      It’s probably closer to the truth that we have lost 3 million jobs as a result of EU membership.

      • HookesLaw

        We have more people in jobs than ever.

        • Wessex Man

          oh you’ve woken up, well yes it’s just as well that we have record employment if you believe the Westminster spin machine, because if we didn’t we’d be sunk what with ten million extra people in the country.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          .and would have had more had we not been in your beloved straitjacket.

  • asalord

    England will vote for ukip – Scotland will vote for independence.

    • Petkov

      Right you are!

      • Wessex Man

        Yes off you go and enjoy yourself.

    • Kitty MLB

      Indeed, I can envisage next year, a Salmond Presidente and a Lovely Kipper
      in Downing Street. We are always told that fish is good for our brains and
      health in general.. we may find out….asalord, you grumpy looking Celt.

  • In2minds

    Rifkind knows a lot about being a buffon!

    • Maidmarrion

      I’m sure you mean a buffoon or was it bassoon ?
      He’s been around too long , far too long .

      • In2minds

        Well spotted!

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