Farage calls Junker an old drunk from Luxembourg in a video that is doing the rounds on Facebook

A good example of the populism that is currently rife in the UK and influencing Brexit in one way or another is a short clip featuring Nigel Farage, distributed by RT UK. In this clip, he describes Junker as “an old drunk from Luxembourg” and says that he has “just overruled the mother of all parliaments”. This was published on the day of the Letwin agreement.

Without commenting on the content just for a moment, alone the timing of the release of the video raises an eyebrow, especially when we look at who has brought it out.

a British free-to-air television news channel based in Moscow and subsidised by the Russian government

RT UK is, according to Wikipedia “a British free-to-air television news channel, part of the RT network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow and subsidised by the Russian government”. This really tells us all we need to know. It has, in the between time, been well documented, that the Russian government has been meddling in the political affairs of the West by publishing half-truths and lies. Their goal is clear obviously, destabilisation.

The accusation is rather adventurous. Junker, says Farage,

  • has just overruled the mother of all parliaments
  • he has not been voted in
  • he is a drunk

He has just overruled the mother of all parliaments

What a sweeping statement this is: The reference is, of course, to the Benn act. “The European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, commonly informally referred to as the Benn Act, is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that requires the Prime Minister of the UK to seek an extension to the Brexit withdrawal date—currently scheduled for 31 October 2019—in certain circumstances” (Wikipedia)

To suggest that he has overruled this act is ludicrous. The act specfies the seeking of an extension for the withdrawal date. It does not say (and how could it?) that the European Union must agree to an extension. And whether they will agree or not, is at time of writing, uncertain at least.

Junker has not been voted in

This is of course, one of the central features of the Leave Campaign; the claim that the European Union is an undemocratic institution, whose members have not been democratically voted for. In this case, as in general, this is wrong. Only this year were European elections held, in which members (in the UK notably the Brexit Party) were voted into the European parliament. Jean-Claude Junker was originally voted in the same way. He assumed the presidency of the European Commission 2014 after being the leader of the party that received the most votes.

Junker is a drunk

This is an accusation that has been levelled at Junker primarily by the Brexiters, and has widely been reported by the British Press. He himself has angrily disputer that he has a drink problem, citing illness as the reason for an, at times uncertain, gait. But the accusation is in itself irrelevant as it is well know that exposure to long working hours is linked to problems with drink (British Medical Journal). The way Farage talks about a European politician however is not. Any private problems that Junker may or may not have are irrelevant. and for Farage to pick these up shows the lack of empathy that he has, this is not the way to make politics.

Farage is not telling the truth

Nothing, that Farage has said, is correct. This is just one further attempt to stir things up and deepen the divide in the British public, instead of trying to unite.

and for anyone who needs this…

photo: Christoph Scholz [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

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