GLASGOW, United Kingdom – Journalists giggled and squirmed in the sauna-style venue chosen by the UK Independence Party (UKIP), where about fifteen hard left activists chanted socialist slogans on the street in protest, and where UKIP’s MEPs dominated the night.
Media types were bemoaning the fact that they didn’t hear enough from the party’s leader Nigel Farage, who spoke for around 25 minutes at the IET building in Glasgow’s Enoch Square. And yet they also moan about him dominating the headlines. One Guardian journalist was so annoyed that she sat down behind the chairs in the lecture theatre, plopped a lollipop in her mouth and starred at her phone for the whole speech.
Nathan Gill MEP, David Coburn MEP, and Henry Reilly MEP took to the stage, presenting their cases from across the United Kingdom, as to why Scotland should vote no to Independence next Thursday.
They railed at the Scottish National Party and Alex Salmond, they slammed the Westminster classes and the “men in grey suits”, and they appealed to the patriotic Scots who believe that the 307 year old union between the two countries worked in everyone’s favour.
The audience cheered for British history and the idea of national sovereignty, and booed and jeered the claim made that if Scotland votes for independence, it will more or less be ruled from Brussels.
Farage, taking to the stage after a barnstorming speech from Mr Reilly, commented: “Independence is not just a non starter, it is a complete and utter illusion.”
He said that if devolution had been on the cards from the outset, there would be no need for an in or out referendum. He said, “The men in grey suits” from Westminster had claimed that the link between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was “their union”.
“It’s not their union,” he said. “It’s our union!”
Farage noted how UKIP is the only political party in every country in the United Kingdom with serious political representation, and noted how most of England felt as disenfranchised with Westminster as many Scots do.
He told of how Salmond’s yes campaign would effectively hand power over to the European Union, and mocking referred to the new EU commission chief, Jean Claude Juncker, as “rather sociable” – a thinly veiled comment about Mr Juncker’s drinking habits.
Finally, Farage called the vote on Friday a “fake referendum offering sham Independence”. Despite the warm reception in the room, Westminster journalists weren’t happy, with one commenting, “If this was a Tory do there would have been bacon rolls”.
It appears as ever, the media elite has its priorities in order.