Nigel at his best
The scene is the European Parliament. The EU Parliamentary President requests Nigel Farage to respond to the speech earlier given by EU President Manuel Barroso, on The State of the Union"; Barroso is sitting at the table next to Nigel, two seats away to his left. Nigel stands and.......
"For this grand occasion, Mr Barroso, you're State of the Union speech doesn't quite, I think, put you on a par with President Obama because there is one fundamental difference. He, of course, is elected and you are not; and 48 million watched his address and here, in the European Parliament, we even have to beg to get the MEPs to turn up to listen to you. And you completely, you completely ignored the State of the Union.
You said how you thought things were going, you pointed your way forward. The Eurobarometer Poll, the Commission's own polling organisation tells us the truth. That in the last six months there has been a dramatic drop in confidence in even belonging to the Union. a 10% drop in Germany, a 17% drop in Greece, a 9% drop in Portugal, and less than half of EU citizens think that being a member of the club is worth it.
Even more revealing is that in your own country of Portugal in the last six months a further 1 in 4 people have lost total faith in EU Institutions. That, Mt Barroso, is hardly an endorsement of success or belief and yet for most people today there seems to be this great self-satisfaction. Well, don't be too satisfied, because the people have worked it out for themselves. The real State of the Union - it is that increasingly it is loathed, undisguised, and yet some claim this is because they want more Europe. Mr Hoffstadtt said 'People want more Common Policies'. NO! The evidence is clear. (At this point there was barracking from a German member). It is interesting, Mr President, that when I barrack people I get threatened with fines, but never mind. (Applause) The evidence is the more common policies there are the less people like it. People have recognised the devastation of the Common Fisheries Policy, they have recognised the inequality of the Common Agricultural Policy, the lost business opportunities of the Common Commercial Policy, and, of course, the big one! The Common Currency - this ill-conceived, political attempt to force people into a monetary union without ever asking any of them whether they wanted to be there.
Well, it is perfectly clear that this currency doesn't suit Germany and it doesn't suit Greece; one is now trapped inside an economic prison - and you can pretend the crisis has gone away, but it hasn't! Because the Bond Spreads are now 8% on 5 and 10 Year Bonds - (barracking from Herr Schultz, Germany) - you can smile Mr Schultz but you know nothing of financial markets or how these things work. And in your own country, well, why should the German taxpayers increasingly 'pick up the bill'?
This form of Government isn't working and yet what we heard today is that we are going to have a Common Defence Policy, and a Common Foreign Policy. And the other reason why these Polls are where they are is people don't respect you. Because you cheated to get the Lisbon Treaty through - and we were told it would simplify everything, that we would know where we stand. Well, we don't - who is in charge of this EU?
Is it you, Mr Barroso? Is it my old friend Herman Van Rumpuy? Is it the Belgian Presidency? Now, that really is good stuff, isn't it You still can't form a Government in your own country and yet you are President of the European Union. I mean, which ever way you look at it the whole thing is a bit of a dog';s dinner, isn't it really?
The EU has never had so much power and yet it has never been so unpopular. But not satisfied with the 2.4 billion euro's a year that is now being spent on EU propaganda, you want the overall budget to increase by 6% and personally you, Mr Barroso) are to have a full-time TV crew we understand traipsing around with you - new Press Officers - new Web Masters - you are not analysing why this is going wrong. Mr Barroso you simply don't get it." (Applause)
There was a second intervention and Nigel was asked to speak. He said .....
"The row over the Roma in France today is, of course, caused directly by failing European Union policies. It was a huge mistake to allow Bulgaria and Roumania to join the European Union whilst there were millions of people, millions of Roma in those countries, being heavily discriminated against. It is no wonder that now they are part of the Union they are seeking to move elsewhere. And this goes with everything, doesn't it? Every single one of these policies fails, leads to a problem, whether it is this, whether it is the Euro, and all the way through we see this fanatical political ambition to create the United States of Europe regardless of the consequences and at no time has any of this been endorsed by the voting public. That, Mr Barroso, is the true State of the Union".