What Nigel Farage should have said at the beginning of the AV campaign….
Scene: Press Conference in a venue near the House of Commons
Ladies and Gentlemen. As you’ll have just heard from this bright new coalition: we will be having a referendum next year. But not the one you and I were hoping for on the EU! Nor indeed the one promised by the coalition parties – OH NO !
Instead we are getting something nobody asked for, nobody expected and nobody wants !! THE ALTERNATIVE VOTE OR AV!
Nick Clegg tells us he thinks AV is a miserable little compromise and so do all his Libdem supporters!
Labour say they don’t like it…except when they are about to be beaten in an election! Then they start toying with it [impish grin].
David Cameron’s Conservatives say they don’t like it as it will mean they are even more likely to miss a wide open goal like the one Gordon Brown presented to them in the General Election.
[Bellowing and wagging finger at audience] BUT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE THIS AV REFERENDUM ANYWAY!
What a staggering yet perfect illustration of how out of touch this political class really is. Nobody wins the General Election so they start making up new policies nobody voted for to fill the void that now lies at the very heart of Westminster !
And do you know what else about this AV system – IT ISN’T EVEN A PROPORTIONAL SYSTEM. In fact it is virtually no different to what we have now !!! Oh except a few more Libdem MPs obviously [grins knowingly], but three out of the last four elections would still have resulted in a Labour majority. In fact in 1997, AV would have given an even BIGGER majority to Tony Blair.
So you can forget any idea that the new electoral system is going to be fairer to ALL the parties of Britain, including UKIP. [In an apparent aside] And I can tell you this much: no-one in UKIP is going to put any of the LibLabCon down as THEIR 2nd preference so AV is completely useless to us.
[Re-finding his stride]
One wonders what planet Nick Clegg is on. Here is a third party who’s ENTIRE existence has been focused on introducing PR. AND WHAT HAPPENS !? He finally gets where he wants to be – a coalition government – and he opts for more of the same !!
[Calming down a bit] The simple facts are these:
1. This political class are now totally out of touch like never before. They don’t only deny us a referendum on the EU that the public are crying out for. But they ask us to vote on this nonsense instead.
2. The Libdems are now COMPLETELY washed up as this country’s third political force. They have shown that when it comes to it, they have no stomach for real change – they’re just as bad as the rest. And maybe that’s because as the country’s most EU-fanatical party, they know it is increasingly academic what happens in British General Elections anyway!
[Serious] Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for REAL change. It is time for a party that is here to truly break the mould, break this political class and their backdoor deals, and bring politics back to the people.
It is time to VOTE NO to political stitch-ups.
IT IS TIME FOR UKIP.
[Sits down to enthusiastic applause from UKIPers in the room]
Time for 2 Questions
BB: Benedict Brogan from The Telegraph. I just wanted to ask Nigel Farage why he thinks David Cameron would put his political career on the line for AV, which is clearly the case judging by my soundings among his backbenchers?
NF: Ha ha! You’ll hear a lot about this over the coming months…..how Mr Cameron is so staunchly in favour of First Past the Post; how AV would be a disaster; how there would be coalitions every 5 minutes. IT’S ALL GUFF I TELL YOU. In the event of a Yes vote, there will be some minor wailing on the Tory benches but once the tears are over, all Cameron needs to do is pop along to the ’22 and demonstrate how AV would have produced even bigger majorities for Mrs Thatcher and for dear old Maastricht-loving John Major in 1992.
He will also tell the ’22 that we will now NEVER be threatened by PR because “after all chaps, we’ve just had a Libdem-sponsored referendum for fairer votes and they won [exaggerated wink]. Nick has even told me me the Libdems would be emotionally committed to their new AV trophy. So why on earth would we need another referendum?”
As I’m talking to you now Mr Brogan, I can just imagine the little smile spreading across Cameron’s face as he says all this, and the penny drops with the 1922 committee. This is a referendum that in reality Mr Cameron cannot lose, which is precisely why he agreed to it in the first place !!
SR: Steve Richards, The Independent. Does Nigel Farage not see that AV is actually the first crack in the dam towards real fair votes? I know Mr Farage was astonished by the 2005 result where Labour won a big majority on such a small vote. Surely he wants real fair votes and PR?
NF: Well yes of course I’d be quite happy with PR [playful grin]! And yes I was very dismayed by the 2005 result – it showed our current voting system at its worst. But AV is not PR !! It isn’t proportionate AT ALL as even dear old Roy Jenkins found out when he looked at it. It’ll still result in the same old parties, same old stitch-ups, same old political class arranging things among themselves. And as I indicated in my previous answer, if there is a Yes vote to AV, all three OLD political parties will quickly become wedded to it. So that’s Conservative, Labour AND Libdem ! How on earth are we going to jump to PR in those circumstances particularly as this political class is not too keen on referendums as you may have noticed [grin]?!
As for our relationship with the EU, again do you really think in the brave new world of AV, that things will be any different towards the EU?!
I have absolutely no doubt that between now and next May the good sense of the British people will prevail and AV will be thrown out. And with any luck, this wretched coalition will go the same way.
Press Conference ends