EVERY so often an issue comes along that transcends normal rules. Thursday’s European Elections is one of them. It is a poll that, by rights, we shouldn’t be holding.
Wokingham borough voted Remain by quite some margin – but there are many readers who want out of Europe at any costs. We respect both positions.
The path to Brexit has been anything but smooth. Far from considerable sunlit upsides, it has been a tortuous process that has left our country divided.
Parliament will not pass the Withdrawal Agreement because it is fatally flawed and it is an irony that hard Brexiter MPs were the ones that prevented their precious Brexit from happening by voting it down.
As we have noted before, some politicians seek to capitalise on this, encouraging polarising language. There is much danger in calling people traitors, enemies and snowflakes. It is divisive and unstatesmanlike.
One person using such language is Nigel Farage and this week, he is fielding candidates for his Brexit Party.
Many of us will be tempted to vote for him out of anger that Westminster has, so far, been unable to deliver Brexit. Theirs is a protest vote that tells MPs they’ve got it wrong.
Many of those voters think that Farage is a man of the people, who enjoys a pint and a fag down the pub (what smoking ban?). He is not.
Unable to get elected into the Houses of Parliament on no less than seven occasions – he lost every one of then – he has been an MEP since 1999.
His record there is appalling.
A ranking scheme measuring productivity shows that he comes 736th out of 749 MEPs.
During his three years on the fishing committee, he attended just one out of 42 meetings. When the European Parliament met to vote on the Common Fisheries Policy, Farage was in the building but did not attend.
This is not the attention to detail that you would expect from an MEP who claims to have the answers on the issue dividing the nation.
There is a more serious issue at stake here: our democracy.
Farage claims that the delays to Brexit are a denial to democracy, but he himself is in denial. He makes out this election is about democracy – which is not being denied – and wants you to sign a blank cheque allowing him to do what he wants on the other side.
He is asking you to vote for his new party next week without declaring a single policy. He is refusing to publish a manifesto until after you have voted. If anything is an insult to democracy this is it.
He is also hiding the main backers of The Brexit Party until the elections are over.
A man with nothing to hide has nothing to fear. But a man covering up his donors?
Farage is a danger because he is not being honest with us. He uses inflammatory language designed to provoke and, as constant TV appearances show, he is prepared to shout louder to make himself look good.
He is also a wannabe Emperor. If his Brexit Party comes first next week, he will claim those new clothes he so desires.
We must not give him ours.
If you want Brexit, back the Conservatives or Labour: These are the parties that working to deliver a Brexit that will not ruin the country, or the Union.
If you want to Remain in the EU, then the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK will welcome your vote.
History shows that every so often dangerous men pop out of the woodwork. Farage is one of them. He should be laughed off by the electorate, not welcomed as an emperor. Don’t give him your precious vote.