4 March 2013

What do Nigel Farage MEP and Gordon Brown MP have in common?

I'm grateful to @HadleighRoberts for tweeting a link to this clip of Guy Verhofstadt MEP pointing out that Nigel Farage's participation in the European parliament fisheries committee rivals that of Gordon Brown's participation in the House of Commons since the last general election.

I was also interested to see that this attack on Mr Farage prompted three bursts of applause in less than two minutes, and has now been seen by nearly 100,000 YouTube viewers.

Some of the comments posted under the YouTube clip, and especially that by 'britboy4321', are well worth a read by anyone who might be thinking that Mr Farage and UKIP are worthy of so much attention (e.g. Westminster Village media reporters, editors of BBC Question Time, BBC Any Questions, etc.)...


Roger said...

OK we get it that you dislike Gordon Brown.

Firstly unlike Tony Blair who immediately resigned Sedgefield to take up the role of Middle East Peace Envoy Gordon chose as did other postwar predecessors who was defeated in a general election and resigned as party leader (i.e. Major, Callaghan, Heath, Douglas-Home) to serve out the full term he was elected to.

And the convention generally is that former Labour Prime Ministers and leaders do exactly as Brown has been doing and do not put themselves to the fore (former Tory PMs and leaders are another matter altogether).

James Callaghan for instance spent another 25 years in the Commons and the Lords after he resigned as leader and I can't remember him saying or doing a single memorable thing in any of them.

Much the same applies to Wilson and Attlee (Kinnock of course removed himself to Brussels).

And secondly there is all the difference between not turning up to a Parliamentary Committee to which you have had yourself elected (or however they do things in Strasburg) as in Farage's case and returning to being a pure backbencher in Brown's.

Max Atkinson said...

Rather surprised by Roger's suggestion that I dislike Gordon Brown, because it's not true. But I did notice some Twitter exchanges about his non-attendance, which probably brought him to mind as a topical reference point in this context.

However, I do admit to being very unimpressed by Monsieur Farage - and especially his recent bragging about the Eastleigh by-election result, even though he hadn't the bottle to stand for it himself...