The ‘brexit’ demagogue provokes both attacks and a torrent of donations to volunteers who help sailors
Nigel Farage’s accusation of the volunteer organization that helps sailors off the British coast of having become “a taxi service” for immigrants crossing the English Channel from France to England has given new prominence to the inspirer of the ‘ brexit ‘and his new TV show. But some side effects hurt their cause.
The launch of GB News, a new television channel promoted by the American group Discovery, has not been brilliant. It suffered from technical setbacks common in startups, and its poor set design was criticized. Then came the tragicomic dismissal of a presenter who knelt in the studio to show his sympathy for the English footballers who received racist insults after the defeat of England in the final of the Europe.
GB News presents itself as an information and opinion channel that will talk about issues that are not of interest to the cosmopolitan and liberal elite of the BBC. It would be the people’s television, a channel that defines itself as patriotic and that gives voice and comfort to those who criticize the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. That is why he suspended journalist Guto Harri, who was Boris Johnson’s communication director when he became mayor of London.
The populist politician presents a program on a new network that wants to challenge the BBC
He said on the air that the aid organization is “a taxi service” for those who cross from France to England illegally
As chance would have it, Farage criticized the volunteers of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution days after his resignation. Harri is one of the 40,000 RNLI volunteers who offer a 24-hour rescue service at sea with 444 boats and act as lifeguards on some two hundred beaches. They rescue some 30,000 people in distress each year.
Donations to the organization were multiplied the next day by thirty with respect to an average day. Farage’s criticism also prompted volunteers who went to the RNLI station in central London, the busiest across the organization to respond to alarms on the Thames, were insulted by followers of the program.
The charity’s CEO, Mark Dowie, responded to the criticism. “When we launch a boat, we operate under International Maritime Law, which states that we are allowed, that we are actually obliged to enter all waters, regardless of their territoriality, for search and rescue purposes,” he said. “And when we rescue people trying to cross the Channel, we don’t ask why they are in trouble, who they are or where they come from. All we know is that they need our help.
The cause of the referendum
Farage led the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), whose initial breakthrough in conservative constituencies led to David Cameron calling the 2016 referendum. He then deployed his rhetoric and energy to spread his message, focused on immigration. , to the Labor areas. He is the most influential politician in the UK so far in the 21st century.
One of his virtues is to show that he has his feet in the reality of the country, something not so common in the political class. One example was their response to floods in 2014 in the Somerset region of south-west England. Environment Minister Owen Patterson came with shoes; Prime Minister David Cameron in knee-high Wellington boots; Farage paced free and dry before the cameras with a river-fishing wader.
Had Farage now been shipwrecked criticizing such a popular institution as the RNLI? The now GB News host responded to the insults and donations the day after provoking them. He recalled two episodes, one when he worked in the Financial City and another when he was a parliamentarian in Brussels, in which he raised money for the association on the street. And he clarified his criticism: the RNLI would be doing the task that corresponds to the border force ‘Border Force’; it has four coast guards. He did not explain who will save the immigrants undetected by those ships.