"Nigel Farage is no hero"

This letter sent to the Star was written by Veronica Hardstaff, Northfield Court

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:54 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:54 am
Nigel Farage, Picture Scott Merrylees

Your regular correspondent Cyril Olsen (February 6), seems to think that Nigel Farage should be awarded an honour.

This is a man who sat in the European Parliament for more than 20 years, taking the salary and expenses without doing any of the real work for which he was being paid.

The real work is done by MEPs in their committees, working with colleagues across political and national groups for three weeks out of four a month, amending and revising proposals for European legislation to ensure that the final version works as well as possible for everyone.

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This is what they are elected to do.

He was also fined for misuse of funds.

Mr Farage is said to have only turned up to the Fishing Committee twice over five years.

However, he was always at the plenary session of Parliament where the recommendations of the committees are approved, as he could be fairly sure of British TV coverage, not making sensible comments on the legislative proposals, but being offensive to commissioners, council members and MEPs from other countries.

Until he arrived in 1999, the European Parliament was a very civilised body, where members listened courteously and spoke courteously – very different from our own House of Commons.

The final actions of his Brexit group as they departed was typical of their boorish behaviour, while British MEPs from other groups were praised for their positive contributions over many years.

Being offensive is NOT patriotic.

Yes, Mr Farage has campaigned for the UK to leave over many years, never accepting the 65 per cent vote to remain in 1975; indeed just before the referendum he vowed to fight on if he lost 48 per cent to 52 per cent, while now, like Mr Olsen, telling those of us who support EU membership that we are bad losers.

Two effects of his disgraceful campaign were the murder of a loved and respected Yorkshire MP and a steep rise in hate crimes against EU residents in the UK after his unveiling of a poster showing desperate refugees from murderous bombing in the Middle East.

It remains to be seen whether the promised benefits of Brexit do materialise.

As a public school educated stockbroker – part of the “educated elite” he keeps mentioning – he certainly will not suffer the downsides of Brexit.

Although I fear many in South Yorkshire will, now this is again officially one of the poorest areas in Europe, but without the huge financial support from the EU received in the late 1990s to 2005 to recover from the loss of jobs in mining, steel and engineering caused by the Tory government from 1979 to 1997.