Donald MacInnes: Why do we indulge Farage? Why aren’t we storming the Lords?


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The Independent Online

Two recent events made me very, very angry.

Actually, they left me spluttering, like an outraged old colonel, my fury fed by the horrific realisation that this country might have slid forever into some wretched landfill of stupidity and greed.

I would be delighted to tell you about it, but I fear I am not best equipped to describe adequately how these two events make me feel. Therefore allow me later to pilfer from William Shakespeare’s Henry V for better descriptive weaponry.

First I must deal with this week’s revelation that the House of Lords voted against a cost-saving shared catering scheme with the Commons, the reason given being that “the quality of the champagne” would drop. I remain staggered that this story didn’t bring about a mass public assault on the Lords, with legions of plebs chanting and waving banners, as their nimble cohorts scaled the gothic structure on rope ladders, the petrol-soaked rags in their Molotov cocktails fluttering like battle colours. The fact that this is not happening makes me want to leap head-first into a wood-chipper.

The second rage-making story was Nigel Farage’s comments about immigration being to blame for heavy traffic on the M4. And this was greeted by the public with … what … a slight roll of the eye? Did I miss a memo? Since when were we living in Germany in the mid to late-1930s? How can a politician get away with this hateful nonsense? When is it too much? Is there even a line any more for him to cross? When does this sort of rhetoric cease being that of a daft old uncle whose ale-powered polemic triggers much indulgent head-shaking among his more libertarian relatives? When does it become the insidious, grinning, wholly evil catalyst for the kind of intolerance and hatred which has been ripping the human race apart since the stone age? Can’t we be better? Improve?

I’m starting to splutter again, so I must turn to Henry V. In Act IV, Scene 7, after he finds out that the French have slaughtered the non-combatant stable-boys and ransacked the English baggage train, the wrathful king turns to the French messenger.

“I was not angry since I came to France. Until this instant. Take a trumpet, herald. Ride thou unto the horsemen on yond hill. If they will fight with us, bid them come down, or void the field. They do offend our sight. If they’ll do neither, we will come to them.”

I wish those old men on their horses on the hill would come down here and fight with me. Come down here, you ermine-clad, champagne-soused disgraces in the Lords. Are you proud of yourselves? Come here, Nigel Farage. I’d like a word.

Lastly I return to Henry V as a warning to all politicians who think we aren’t watching, and who think they can do exactly what they want.

“Take care how you impawn our person …”

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