Is Farage the EU’s US Ambassador?

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I am  cross with the post US election consensus in British politics. There seems to be a role for Britain “taming” the American right – that starts with neutering Donald Trump. This is total nonsense. Not only is it silly and impractical, it is fundamentally arrogant and disrespectful of the American people.

Meanwhile Trump is putting down markers on who in Britain , he is prepared to talk to. That list includes Theresa May who Tump regards as the New Thatcher (Casting him as the new Reagan?).

Despite our Foreign Minister’s determination to get himself into the argument. I have not heard any reports of Trump being interested in talking with him. Johnson is falling over himself to distance himself from the “collective whingorama” and be “overwhelmingly positive” about the opportunities of a Trump presidency. I suspect that Trump may remember Johnson branding him “out of his mind” a couple of months ago.

I am not at all sure that Britain is using Nigel Farage as a “go-between” – as reported by the Telegraph. As far as I can see, the only person who currently has a “special relationship” with Trump is Farage (though May has again skilfully avoided the Johnsonian banana skins.

As I’ve mentioned before, I had a chance. a few days ago to talk with Farage in a pub and ask him about his view on Trump.

“an imperfect candidate but a necessary agent for change”.

That strikes precisely the right balance for me. Trump is often distasteful, sometimes disgusting and rarely someone who I like. But he is the next President of the United States and he is the businessman icon that the American people have chosen to change things for them.

It strikes me that Farage is speaking from personal conviction and that Johnson is speaking the kind of inflammatory nonsense that makes matters worse.

If we are to have an ambassador to America, Farage may be the right man. Not only is he out of British office but he is in Trump’s office.

We need to be grown up and accept that working with Trump does not mean condoning what he says and does.

On the things that matter to all of us, the global issues of Climate Change and Trade, we have leverage on the United States only through co-operation. There is no reason for Trump respecting the Paris treaty , he can rip that up as he can build a wall between him and Mexico, or stop Obamacare. The point we should be making is that it is in the mutual self-interest of both our countries not to destroy the planet for our children.

My conversation with Farage did not suggest that he wasn’t interested in his children nor that he disagreed with the aims of the  Paris agreement.

More importantly, Farage is someone who is greatly respected by a huge number of British people and an increasing number of Americans.

If we really care about people “just getting by’  or the “rust-belt blue collar workers”, then we cannot dismiss Trump and we cannot ignore Farage. We should recognise that they are part of an answer rather than the problem.

I speak as a Liberal, someone who has spent the last few weeks seriously questioning my liberal values and asking whether they are in fact self-serving. I have come to the conclusion that I am deeply out of touch with most people in Britain and that the world has moved on (and I haven’t).

Which is why I am more interested in Farage representing our interests in the States than Johnson and why it is time we started taking Donald Trump as more than a pantomime villain.

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Footnote

Since publishing this blog we have had the awkward  sight of “Brussels and Berlin” convening a supper to discuss what to do about Trump (or perhaps Trump and Farage).

High on the agenda were issues of security; but the two chief military powers within the 28 (France and Britain) snubbed the event. So did Hungary whose leader dubbed the EU response to Trump “hysterical”.

The supper’s  failure illustrates another issue: diplomats and analysts have repeatedly called for Germany to show more leadership on European topics. Yet when it does, others fail to follow.

Instead, the EU leaves a vacuum – a gap that a grinning Mr Farage is happy to fill

 

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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7 Responses to Is Farage the EU’s US Ambassador?

  1. Accurate and incisive assessment I wold say. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phil Castle says:

    Henry – I’ve only voted liberal once at a General Election and tat was when Nigel Farage stood to become my MP. Not because I didn’t consider voting for him to be my MP, but because of the often racist or zenophobic opinions of many other people who would have voted for him.
    Your article is very good Henry. As a liberal minded person who sees a broad spectrum of NON city people, I don’t think I am out of touch, I think I see many of the risks of becoming out of touch and vote accordingley balancing my principles and priorites. Your article makes sense as a balance of these principles and priorities. Johnson has burnt his bridges with the US president elect I suspect (and so have I), Teresa May and Farage haven’t.
    For the stability of NATO and eastern EU/NATO coutnries, we need to make sure Trump’s USA remains committed to maintaining that bit of the status quo and to do that we need someone who can talk to him without p*ssing him off.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gerry Flynn says:

    “Farage is someone who is greatly respected by a huge number of British people”, he is also hated by a equal amount of people if not more. He is a xenophobic racist liar dressed up in a collar and tie to try and give his brand of right wing rhetoric legitimacy. No wonder he gets on so well with the likes of Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders. You should watch the attached interview it is very good at exposing what a fraud Farage is http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/james-obrien/watch-nigel-farage-v-james-obrien-live-from-1130-9/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brian Gannon says:

    I agree with pragmatism but being out of touch with other people’s views is not the same as disagreeing with them. if you have no principles that you believe in then that is fine. but if you believe that people like trump are immoral bigoted bullies espousing nationalist racist bile then those views are not given credence just because a majority of others believe those views too. Hitler got to power that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Colin Meech says:

    You’ve crossed a line with this one Henry…you’ve obviously forgotten the referendum campaign and his poster…Adolf Hitler had a gold lift too. Correlation is not causation, of course. But still.

    Like

  6. Adam Saunders says:

    Bit too much swearing generally for my delicate sensibilities – but the Jonathan Pie rant has some genuine thoughts in it about liberal approaches to arguments we disagree with. Not a comfortable watch: I would have put a link (but it was about a million characters long) if you just search for: ‘Jonathon Pie Why Trump Won’ – his video diatribe (all his videos are diatribes, but often quite funny) has some sobering thoughts contained within it. His character is as an irate journalist ranting his actual thoughts to camera before he smiles sweetly to deliver the piece (which you never see) that actually gets filmed for broadcast.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Henry, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments, analysis and conclusion. Happy New Year.

    Like

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