So, Nigel’s retired from politics then

So he tells the Telegraph. But the one big thing did get done, as Matt Ridley reminds us:

Not now, not after the vaccine fiasco; now it is easy to explain Brexit. Britain signed up early to buy the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine and approved it swiftly. The EU’s leaders: first, accused us of cutting corners on safety, thus encouraging anti-vax nonsense; second, found themselves at the back of the queue after incompetently negotiating a bad deal; third, took an age to approve it in a display of astounding bureaucratic lethargy; fourth, castigated AstraZeneca for failing to give in to pressure to allow them to jump the queue; and fifth, tried to impose a hard border in Ireland just to stop the Northern Irish getting vaccines. These are not the actions of an ally and friend.

In part two, despite wanting the vaccine so badly they were prepared to tear up contracts and treaties, in a fit of pique at the fact that it was British, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel started speculating falsely that the Oxford vaccine was ineffective in the elderly, thus putting their population off it so much that millions of doses accumulated unused. And now Mario Draghi stops exports of this supposedly unsafe and ineffective vaccine. Has there ever been a more petty – and contradictory – display of populist isolationism? Donald Trump must be open-mouthed with envy.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that we’ll mess things up on our own. But it was right that we left that nonsense.

14 thoughts on “So, Nigel’s retired from politics then”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    Well quite.

    And yet remainer tears continue to flow in such abundance that remainers now parody themselves as this from Matthew Parris in yesterday’s Times (£££).

    The headlines:

    Frost’s fight with the EU is political thuggery

    Britain’s reputation will be shredded by kneejerk decisions about Northern Ireland that look like patriotic posturing

    I especially enjoyed this:
    After the EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, was inept enough to propose a similar suspension of the protocol to stop the export of Covid vaccines to Britain across the Irish border, she backed down almost instantly.
    So that’s all right then.

  2. So long Nigel, and thanks for all the Brexit. It’s a sad loss for Reform, but he’s given so much of his life for his country already and deserves to enjoy his semi-retirement.

    In a sane and just society he’d be festooned with the sort of baubles we currently bestow on worthless civil servants, TV slebs and sullen blacktivists. But we’re not a sane and just society, hence the need for Reform.

    Donald Trump must be open-mouthed with envy.

    DJT-phobia is a reliable tell of someone who either doesn’t understand the game or isn’t serious about winning.

    Unlike Matt, Nigel understood what Donald Trump represents.

  3. If there’s a handful of giants of post-WW2 politics, he’s amongst them.

    I feel sorry for the bloke, though. He’d have a pint off me if we met again (I think I bought the round that time). But he’s got fuck all out of it. Perhaps immense pride that he achieved something in his life. But he should have an equivalent of Blenheim Palace from a grateful nation.

  4. Theo – I’d assume so, but we’ll see. We’re in an increasingly unstable political and social environment.

    Re: Matthew Parris. I always enjoyed his
    cool, charismatic appearances on Dictionary Corner, his descent into being a swivel-eyed fruitcake who’s always banging on about Europe is a sad one.

  5. By the wording I suspect there may be vermine in the wind. Of course who’s raising the draft & the degree of puff is another matter

    Insurgent parties are inherently fissiparous – without strong and charismatic leadership”
    Certainly describes Labour & Tory

  6. ‘… thus encouraging anti-vax nonsense…’

    Dismissing as ‘anti-vax nonsense’ reasonable scepticism and asking pertinent questions about untried, hastily tested, gene therapy being passed off as vaccines, of unproven effectiveness and unclear side-effects, and rushed through the regulatory process in a matter of months is precisely the ad hominem behaviour Matt Ridley abhors in others.

    And the jab at Donald Trump, just for good measure – what relevance is that to this topic?

  7. Theophrastus (2066)

    John B

    It took just four months for American microbiologist Maurice Hilleman and his team to develop a vaccine for UK flu in 1968. Vaccine technology is much more advanced now, and m-RNA vaccine research has been going on for a decade.

    Anti-vaxxers are so ‘open-minded’ about vaccine risks that their brains have fallen out.

  8. @ Theo
    I think people are becoming increasingly wary of the way politicians like to create narratives & how they’ll stick to them regardless of whether they’re describing reality. It’s what we’ve been having with Global Warming AKA Climate Change. Any weather event is fitted to the narrative. The solution is renewables & a wonderful green future. Fossil fuel cars will be phased out within a decade. It’s obvious that none of this is working out as it’s supposed to. Or likely to. Yet politicians still stick to the narrative.
    Same thing’s happening with vaccinations, the cavalry ridding to rescue the realm from Covid. Politicians have so much invested in it they can’t afford it to fail. There’s to much incentive to push something that might turn out to be less effective than hoped. Or even more harmful than the problem it’s supposed to solve. Would you trust politicians’ choices when all the “right” answers are the ones save politicians’ careers?

  9. And that vax is the reason flu no longer exists and hasn’t killed 100,000s of –mostly old/ill–people since 1968.Est efficacy of flu vax shots—10% if memory serves.

    You are giving being a mug a bad name Theo.

  10. Its easy to continue to support farage: just get involved in his investment advice company.

  11. Shame poor Matt trying to remain relevant by jumping on the Trump-bashing bandwagon. Oh well better a has-been than a never-were.

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