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Sunday, 26 January 2014

ENGLAND - "Better off OUT"

Occasionally an article appears which is so excellent that it deserves to be quoted in full.  Below is such an article by Daniel Hannan the Eurosceptic Conservative MEP on the topic of EU membership.

There is of course the faults of his insistence on referring to the UK and his indifference to England!
On the latter point I met Daniel Hannan a few years ago.  I wanted to see if he might be a convert to English nationalism in due course, but his family background is such that I do not think that that is very likely.  However I don’t know where his allegiance would lie in the event of the dissolution of the United Kingdom. 

In any event here is his excellent article:-

"Eurocrats secretly admit that countries are better off out.

The world, we keep being told, is coalescing into blocs. No single nation can afford to stand aside. The future belongs to the conglomerates.

It’s hard to think of a theory that has become so dominant with so flimsy a basis. The story of the our age has been one, not of amalgamation, but of disaggregation: empires have split into smaller and smaller units. Fifty years ago, there were 115 states in the United Nations, today there are 193. What’s more, small territories are generally more successful. The wealthiest states on Earth, measured by per capita GDP, are Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Qatar, Switzerland, Macau, Australia, the UAE, Kuwait, Sweden, San Marino and Jersey.

So why do Euro-integrationists keep telling us that we’re heading towards a kind of Nineteen Eighty-Four carve-up, in which massive Asian, European and American superstates will call the shots? (In Orwell’s classic novel, the British Isles were part of the Anglosphere rather than Europe, but let’s leave that aside.) In truth, the claim is pure propaganda. Eurocrats don’t believe it themselves.

How do I know? Well, I’ve just been reading the EU’s report on relations with Iceland, marked “for internal use only”. Although its tone reflects the official line – looking forward to a resumption of accession talks if and when Iceland comes to its senses – the details tell a very different story. First, the paper acknowledges the main reason that Iceland has bounced back from the banking crisis:

The small Nordic country has largely recovered from its deep economic crisis, thanks to a devaluated [sic] currency and a strong trade surplus — a turnaround that was made possible in part by the country’s distance from the euro area.

Then comes the really telling passage. Discussing Iceland’s trading profile, the report notes that that frozen lump of volcanic tundra has the twin advantages of small size and few “defensive interests”. Defensive interests is a term used by trade officials to mean “sectors which a country wants to shield from competition”. In trade talks, negotiators distinguish between offensive interests (areas where they want the other party to open its markets) and defensive ones (areas where they want to prevent liberalisation). Iceland, being an open economy, has relatively few protectionist sectors. As the report notes:

This has made easier to conclude free trade agreement with bigger trade partners. The most recent FTA concluded on 15 April 2013 between Iceland and China, is expected to boost exports to China while eliminating tariffs on import of manufactured goods. It is the first free trade agreement concluded by a European country China. A second one was concluded by Switzerland in July.

There you have it. The Eurocrats may bang on in public about trade blocs but, in private, they admit that small is beautiful.

Now ask yourself this question. If Britain were not bound by the “defensive interests” of the EU as a whole, from French films to Italian textiles, is it conceivable that we would not by now have signed comprehensive trade deals with the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets, such as China and India?

We sit on few natural resources in this mild, green, damp island of ours. We depend on what we buy and sell. Yet, crazily, we have locked ourselves into a customs union with the only continent on the planet whose economy is shrinking. Ça suffit ! as we Old Brussels Hands say. ¡Basta ya!"

(Here is the link to the original >>>

Friday, 24 January 2014

Scottish Minister sells out England for £££billions!

Scottish Minister sells out England for £££billions!

The Right “Honourable” Danny Alexander, the Scottish Lib Dem, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in this Coalition Government recently announced that he was binding the British Government to underwrite all of Scotland’s share of the British national debt even if Scotland votes to go independent!

This announcement was greeted by scarsely a squeak of protest from any part of the British Establishment either political, administrative, financial, industrial or media!

This is despite the fact that there is only one part of the United Kingdom for which there are net tax revenues. That part is England and this means that in effect Mr Alexander intends to lump the entirety of the vast debts of the United Kingdom upon the shoulders of English taxpayers!

The only way out for England is of course Independence, to try to ensure that the Government’s much trumpeted term “Rest of the UK” does not include us!

Here is an article about Mr Alexander’s shameless plundering of English pockets to pay to protect the interests of his own countrymen!

What do you think?

England to take on ALL of Scotland's debts if voters back independence

ByMatt Chorley

The UK will continue to honour Scotland’s huge debts even if it votes for independence, the Treasury said yesterday.

In a surprise intervention, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said the move was essential to prevent investors being spooked by the independence referendum and charging a 'separation surcharge' for lending to the UK.

It follows concerns over debt being transferred to a newly-independent country with no credit history. The Treasury denied that London was letting Scotland ‘off the hook’.

First Minister Alex Salmond has insisted he will only take on a share of the UK's debt if an independent Scotland can keep the pound.

It said an independent Scotland would inherit a ‘fair and proportionate’ share of the UK’s £1.4trillion debt and would still be required to pay the money back.

But Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond hailed the move as a victory, which he said made a mockery of the Government’s claims that an independent Scotland would be barred from keeping the pound.

Some Tories questioned whether the deal was fair on English voters. MP Philip Davies warned it would fuel resentment about ‘preferential’ treatment for the Scots.

A spokesman insisted the move was designed to provide reassurance to investors looking to buy gilts, or government debt, this year.

It was feared that global investors would turn their back on the UK if there was uncertainty about who would take responsibility for the repaying the debt if Scotland became an independent country.

The Treasury paper published today said: ‘In the event of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, the continuing UK Government would in all circumstances honour the contractual terms of the debt issued by the UK Government.

Treasury minister Danny Alexander said the move was designed to provide certainty to the bond markets

However gilts sold by the UK would not be transferred, instead an independent Scotland ‘would need to raise funds in order to reimburse the continuing UK for this share’.

Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, who is an MP in Scotland, said the UK Government's new position should reassure the financial markets.

‘We want to make sure people who lend us money continue to do so at very low interest rates,’ he told BBC News.

‘Everybody knows that an independent Scotland would be likely to face considerably higher interest rates, less credibility in the international finance markets.

‘What we want to avoid is any sort of idea that the rest of the UK - taxpayers across the whole of the UK, including in Scotland between now and in September - pay any sort of separation surcharge, an extra cost on debt that causes uncertainty in the financial markets.

"But an independent Scotland would still be required to take its fare share of the debt, were Scotland to vote to separate from the rest of the UK.’

The pro-independence campaign seized on the announcement as proof it was setting the agenda and would demand a currency union – allowing Scotland to continue using the pound – in return for accepting a share of the debt.

British ministers have so far refused publicly to ‘pre-negotiate’ terms of independence for Scotland.

But Mr Salmond said the decision by the Treasury shows that UK ministers are coming to terms with ‘reality’.

He added: ‘These documents make clear that we remain prepared to negotiate taking responsibility for financing a fair share of the debts of the UK provided, of course, Scotland secures a fair share of the assets, including the monetary assets.

‘Any market uncertainty in the gilts market has been caused by their own refusal to discuss the terms of independence before the referendum and it is their own insistence that Scotland would be a new state that lands them with the unambiguous legal title to the accumulated debts of the United Kingdom.

‘That position is now beyond argument and today's announcement makes clear that Scotland would be in an extremely strong negotiating position to secure that fair deal.’

Voters in Scotland will have their say on a referendum on independence on September 18, 2014

He said opponents of independence must end the ‘bluff and bluster’ and ‘listen to the overwhelming majority of the people of England who, polls indicate, see the common sense of sharing a common currency’.

However, UK Chancellor George Osborne has ruled out allowing an independent Scotland to continue using the pound if voters choose to go it alone.

The Scottish Government set out two possible positions on debt sharing in its formal White Paper on independence last November.

It explored the historical balance of public spending and tax since 1980, when figures became available, or a population-based share.

It calculates a historical share of debt interest could be £3.9 billion in 2016-17 or £5.5 billion based on a per head share.

(Click here for the original article >>>

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Royal Navy's nuclear submarines after the end of the UK?

Last Thursday I was a guest of the Royal Navy and looking over the construction of our latest nuclear powered hunter/killer submarine, HMS Artful, at the construction docks in Barrow-in-Furness. 

It was absolutely fascinating and very impressive to see a submarine the length of a full premier division football pitch, four storeys high, being readied for its launch! 
These submarines are enormously impressive and a hugely significant element in the projection of naval sea power.  For example, just one of these submarines in the area of the Falklands could be expected to sink the entirety of an Argentinian invasion fleet!

In the course of our meeting I was briefed on the general capability of our latest generation of hunter/killer submarines which would certainly be very frightening to any potential enemy; and also on the principles and the general extent of our submarine based nuclear deterrent. 

Equally interesting were my discussions with various crew members on the impact of the breakup of the United Kingdom with the prospect of Scottish independence. 

All nuclear submarines are currently based at Faslane, but in the event of Scottish independence they would have to be moved to either Portsmouth or Plymouth.  The English members of the crew seemed very happy with that prospect, whereas the one Scot that I spoke to seemed to be rather torn, in particular over the question of which nationality he would choose in the event of Scotland becoming independent.  He gulped a bit at the thought of having to choose to be English if he wanted to remain in the Royal Navy!

All agreed that Scottish independence would be extremely good for the economy of Barrow in Furness and of Portsmouth and of Plymouth.  It might also lead to a resurgence of the dockyards on Tyneside.  It maybe therefore that all those towns and those parts of England that would be likely to benefit from naval warship building and servicing etc., would be prime targets for campaigning support to English independence. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014



My first reaction on hearing about anybody’s financial ruin, even if I disagree with them politically, is to be willing to lend a sympathetic ear to the reasons why it has happened. In the case of Nick Griffin that initial sympathetic response was reduced when I read his bizarre comments about how helpful bankruptcy was going to be in freeing him up for standing in the EU elections.

This suggests a level of ignorance or silliness beyond what anyone would expect of somebody who studied Law at Cambridge University.

I then also heard stories of how he had run up an enormous bill with his solicitor fighting various, by the sound of it, hopeless cases and then it was being claimed on his behalf by spokesman (Simon Darby) that he had a claim for negligence against these solicitors.

As someone who deals regularly with bankruptcy cases I can assure anyone that it is highly unlikely that a court would have allowed a bankruptcy order to be made if any credible evidence of an even remotely arguable claim against the solicitors was put forward. No, the only conclusion from what is being said is that Nick Griffin has been behaving in a financially irresponsible and downright silly way.

The effect of the bankruptcy should however prove interesting. The first point to note is that I am told that this is Nick Griffin’s second bankruptcy. If so, he will remain bankrupt probably for his whole life as there is no automatic discharge from bankruptcy on your second bankruptcy.

Second, I am told that large sums have been hidden away in accounts and property in amongst other places, Croatia. If that is true and he does not disclose then he could well go to prison because failure to cooperate with your Trustee in Bankruptcy is a serious criminal offence. Whilst he is not automatically disqualified from office or for re-standing for the position of a Member of the European Parliament as a result of his bankruptcy, if he is sentenced to an even suspended term of imprisonment of more than a year, then that does deprive him of office and disqualify him for five years.

Even more interestingly and politically significant is the effect on Nick Griffin’s position as Chairman and Leader of the BNP. The BNP constitution is now quite an enormous morass of strange terms like “final determinator” and runs to over 90 pages.

The general law is that membership of a political party is, in legal terms, equivalent to membership of, for example, a golf club, and the same rules and principles apply to both. It follows that membership of a political party is a “proprietary interest” which along with all other proprietary interests are automatically transferred on bankruptcy from the bankrupt to initially the Official Receiver and then after the creditors have had their meeting to whoever has been appointed as the bankrupt’s Trustee in Bankruptcy.

The job of the Trustee in Bankruptcy is, of course, to gather in as much money as possible for the bankrupt’s estate, sell any properties that he has got and pay himself and the creditors as much as possible.

So one of the “assets” that the Trustee in Bankruptcy will hold is Nick Griffin’s membership of the British National Party. This means that as of this moment Nick Griffin is not a member of the British National Party. He cannot resume his old membership except by buying it from the Trustee in Bankruptcy and unlike most clubs the BNP’s constitution does not expressly provide that membership is either personal to the individual or automatically terminates on bankruptcy. Office within the British National Party would appear to be personal, but is restricted to only those who have long-standing and continuous memberships. It follows from this that Nick Griffin is legally no longer either the Chairman or Leader or the holder of any office whatsoever in the British National Party.

You may ask what Nick Griffin could do to get himself back into the position of legally being Chairman or Leader. The answer to this is that it would be difficult because the BNP has a rule against new members having office. The Chairman has the power to waive the rule, but obviously there is no Chairman at present. It follows from this that the rule would have to be applied and that imposes a probationary period on any new member before they are allowed to become an office holder.

If anybody from the BNP who is reading this has any interest in becoming Leader and/or Chairman of the Party, then the way is wide open. The present situation is that Nick Griffin cannot properly stand for re-election. It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks whether anyone in the BNP takes up this opportunity to take-over the Party!

I have also noticed that on Facebook and generally over the internet there are comments from Adrian Davies who I understand has been involved in some of the cases against Nick Griffin and the BNP that have led to Nick Griffin’s current situation. As a solicitor practicing this area of law I would say that I do thoroughly agree with Adrian Davies’ analysis.

The idea that all of this is in anyway beneficial either for the British National Party or for Nick Griffin is a strange one. Here is what Adrian Davies has to say:-

''How will the creditors get paid? Here’s how. The party’s constitution gives the chairman an indemnity out of party funds for liabilities incurred qua chairman. Obviously the party’s assets cannot be seized to pay his private debts, but the debts due to Gilbert Davies were indisputably incurred while acting as chairman, not for Gri££o’s private purposes.

Upon the chairman’s bankruptcy, the trustee stands in his shoes and can pursue the indemnity whether the bankrupt likes it or not. The bankrupt probably won’t like it, but that is neither here nor there.

Even though an unincorporated association has no legal personality, and is not within any part of the Insolvency Act 1986, the High Court has an inherent power to wind up an unincorporated association; see Re Lead Company’s Workmen’s Fund Society [1904] 2 Ch. 196 and Blake v. Smither (1906) 22 TLR 698. The Court also has the power to appoint a receiver of the BNP’s assets to give effect to the trustee’s indemnity.

Because Gri££in doesn’t pay his own solicitors, he has trouble in obtaining legal advice, and generally relies on an unqualified crony and barrack room lawyer. As a result, he has not anticipated the consequences of his bankruptcy and does not understand them.

No doubt the trustee will exercise these powers. Any person operating “fronts” for the party would be at risk of contempt proceedings, and orders to account to the receiver or liquidator for monies received by them on the party’s behalf. Any person assisting the bankrupt in concealing assets or assisting the treasurer of the party in concealing or dissipating funds will be made personally liable.

The last part should be a warning to any of those who may be foolish enough to hide any assets which are sought after to pay debts owed.
More so as there are two other long running claims coming up, which may be as much as 175k."

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Poor Nigel Farage? Syrian slip-up or miscalculation?

                            Poor Nigel Farage? Syrian slip-up or miscalculation?
Late December 2013 turned out not to be a very good time for Nigel Farage, not only did Nigel Farage’s one time close and only close personal friend who is in politics, Godfrey Bloom give an interview of outstanding frankness and grievous long-term damage to Nigel Farage,
(click here >>> )
but also his house was left without power over Christmas, leaving him and his family having to de-camp.  If these problems are not enough he also tried a flutter at Blair style “triangulation” and came an almighty cropper!  (If you will pardon the hunting expression!). 

But let us re-cap for a moment.  On 29th December 2013 Nigel Farage calmly announced that were he in power that he would open the “UK’s” doors to an unspecified but seemingly potentially very large number of “Syrian Refugees”. 

After the initial gasps of astonishment our left/liberal media types questioned whether Nigel wasn’t the same person as had been saying that “Britain is full”.  In reply to this Nigel Farage is reported as saying that “I have never ever said that Britain is full”.  The Huffington Post then obligingly published this article
(click here >>> in which there is a link to a BBC news interview in which Nigel Farage explicitly says “Britain is full”!  Result massive damage to Nigel Farage’s credibility as an honest politician.

As if that wasn’t enough, it then became apparent that a large number of people who had previously said that they supported UKIP or were intending to support UKIP were appalled that UKIP appeared to be as slack on the immigration issue as any Lib/Lab/Con politician. 

The initial UKIP response, as can be seen from UKIP’s Facebook page, was to try to argue that what Nigel Farage had said was totally consistent with UKIP’s published manifesto.  Frankly this point is slightly disingenuous as is pointed out in the Daily Telegraph article below. 

Nigel Farage, as the storm continued, then made a quibbling attempt to try to make out that there was a significant difference between the word refugee and asylum seeker.  However as anybody who has actually looked at the issue would  know the only difference is that a “refugee” is somebody who is in the act of fleeing, whereas an “asylum seeker” is somebody who has actually made an application through the immigration authorities for asylum.  The distinction therefore is not only trivial, but merely a matter of where a person is in the process of seeking refuge!

The UN Convention in any case does not require the UK to take any Syrian refugees/asylum seekers since they should be seeking refuge or asylum in the first safe neighbouring state, rather than in a country many of thousands of miles distant. 

As the storm of protest amongst potential UKIP members and voters continued, Nigel Farage then tried to play down the level of his earlier commitment, seemingly claiming that the only refugees that should be accepted were Syrian Christians.  A group which, I might point out, although in a terrible situation, are not the only minority group in Syria who are being genocidally targeted by murderous Islamist gangs that our government was recently talking about offering significant logistical support to! 

Needless to say Nigel Farage’s comment provoked outrage amongst all the secularist, Jewish and Muslim groups which he had until recently been seeking to bring into the UIKP fold!

So all in all Nigel Farage managed to achieve one objective in getting lots of media coverage, but in doing so he managed to annoy not only the left liberals in the media that he was seeking to placate, but also any sensible ordinary English people.  That is people who are simply fed up with the open door policies of mass immigration which have so changed the character of our country without any democratic mandate to do so over the last 50 years.  This has happened at a particularly alarming and unsustainable rate during the period of the last Labour government whose intention, as we now know, was to “rub the noses of the right” into the (dog mess?) of diversity like an incontinent naughty puppy subjected to old fashioned house training methods! 

Why has this PR disaster happened?  Well from my discussions with Nigel, I think he has a great need to be liked and to be the centre of attention.  Also he came across to me as somebody very likely to want to be “nice” and with a nostalgia for Britain’s old imperial position as the world’s policeman.  I think his position on immigration generally and asylum seekers or refugees, in particular, has evolved in quite an opportunistic fashion from being someone who is quite comfortable with immigration.  As he often says his surname derives from a French Huguenot refugee and he is of course married to a German.

The issue of immigration was simply taken up as a populist positioning on the aspect of EU membership and the single European market:- free movement of people. 

So in short I think Nigel Farage was giving expression to his genuine view that Syrian “refugees” should be allowed to come here, but I suspect he also thought it would get a lot of extra coverage during perhaps a news starved holiday season and also some useful Blair style “triangulation”!

One of the things it does however show is that now that Godfrey Bloom is no longer Nigel’s confidant there is no-one else in the leadership of UKIP that Nigel will go to to sense check things before he makes any announcement.  I wonder if this is going to be a recurring problem?  In any case I bet Nigel regrets giving vent to this particular flight of fancy!

Here is Paul Goodman’s and the Telegraph’s take on the whole Farago.  What do you think?

Does Nigel Farage want to join the Conservatives?

By urging ministers to accept Syrian refugees, Ukip’s leader has played a canny game

 Why did Nigel Farage say this week that Syrian refugees should be admitted to Britain – a view apparently at odds with his party’s outlook on immigration, and certainly in conflict with the instincts of its supporters? There are three possible explanations.

The first is that he said it because he believes it. Such a straightforward explanation would fit nicely with the breezy, plain-speaking, straight-from-the-shoulder persona that the Ukip leader wants to project.

The second is that he was merely repeating Ukip’s present position. The party’s website helpfully explains that “immigration Policy is currently undergoing a review and update. The full policy will be published in due course.” However, its holding “statement of principles” explains that “Ukip would allow genuine asylum applications in accordance with our international obligations”. So what Mr Farage said was in accord with his party’s policy on the matter, such as it is.

The third is that – since politicians are seldom as simple as they like to appear – the Ukip leader is up to something. What could it be?

Let us consider the evidence of his former colleague and long-time Brussels flatmate, Godfrey Bloom. Interviewed recently, Mr Bloom – a member of the European Parliament, until recently representing Ukip – claimed that the party “is in the grip of an internal battle for its future”, that senior staff “are all stabbing each other in the back”, and grassroots members are being “purged”. He declared: “This is 1933 Germany, night of the long knives. I’m waiting to be dragged out of the pub and butchered.”

Who was the Führer in this bloody metaphor? Mr Bloom left little room for doubt that he had Mr Farage in mind. And as if evoking the Nazis was not bad enough, he went on to name an organisation that strikes almost as much fear and loathing into the hearts of Ukip members – namely, the Conservative Party. Mr Farage, he said, has always really been a Tory and is “desperate to be a Conservative again”. He is “looking for a deal with the Tories”. Indeed, “the deal has already now been done”. Ukip will allegedly stand down candidates in key seats, and its leader will be rewarded with a title and a seat in the Lords.

To be fair to Mr Farage, Mr Bloom is scarcely a disinterested observer. The former withdrew the whip from the latter, during the Ukip conference earlier this year, with an ease that demonstrates the dominance he has achieved within the party. Mr Bloom’s chief crime was to have hit a journalist on the head with a Ukip brochure. Mr Farage will surely have been tempted in his time to hit the odd journalist over the head with a Ukip brochure himself, but clearly felt that the timing and the manner were unhelpful.

Of course, Mr Bloom’s suggestion of a clandestine deal between Mr Farage and David Cameron – with the Ukip leader perhaps merging his party with the Conservatives, and certainly going to the Upper House – is preposterous. The Ukip leader has no time whatsoever for the Prime Minister, whom he sees as a conviction-free member of an interchangeable political class. But Mr Bloom undoubtedly touched a nerve.

Mr Farage has helped to build Ukip up from almost nothing. In 1997, it won just over 100,000 votes. By 2010, that had grown to just under a million. In between, it won some 15 per cent of the vote in two sets of European elections – beating both Labour and the Liberal Democrats last time round. It has come second in several by-elections, including a major contest in Eastleigh earlier this year, and now holds about 150 council seats. It would be surprising, at the next election, if Ukip were to reach the 10 per cent or so of the vote that it currently boasts in opinion polls. But it is hard to see it being squeezed back down to the 3 per cent it took last time round.

Because Ukip tends to take more votes from the Tories than from any other party, its showing could make the difference in 2015 between Mr Cameron remaining Prime Minister or Ed Miliband taking office. So far, so good for Mr Farage – or at least, so powerful.
But his strength is a wholly negative one. He may be able to turn Mr Cameron out, but he cannot put himself in. Ukip cannot possibly hope to match the third of the vote that remains the Tories’ electoral base. Indeed, first-past-the-post leaves it unlikely to win a single seat in the Commons. For all the distance the party has travelled, it remains as far from office as ever.

This leaves Mr Farage with precisely the choice suggested by Mr Bloom. Does he want to settle down in his snug in the European Parliament – making speeches, writing books, cracking jokes, provoking headlines and ending up as a “national treasure” (heaven help him), secure in his salary and pension? Or does he want to do something rather than just be something – that’s to say, become a man of government rather than a man of opposition?
Mr Farage is clever enough not to answer such questions directly, but also smart enough to show a sense of direction. Though scornful of the Prime Minister, he has been guardedly respectful of other senior Tories, such as Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. He has said that he could “have a conversation” with the London Mayor – who, more sweepingly, has described Mr Farage as “a rather engaging geezer” and, in a Bloom-type moment, as “someone who is fundamentally indistinguishable from us”.

Like the Ukip leader’s earlier attack on the vans advising illegal immigrants to go home or face arrest (which caused just 11 of them to leave the UK), the intervention over Syria was a reminder of Mr Farage’s desire to keep his party respectable – one with which a future Tory leadership could deal. It was also a sign of his growing electoral influence. Fear of what Ukip would say will undoubtedly have been a factor in the Government’s decision not to admit Syrian refugees. Mr Farage is able to have it both ways: first frightening ministers off admitting the Syrians, then attacking them for being hard-hearted.

The headlines he won for the move (and the discomfort he has caused Downing Street) may not be worth the anger it sparked among many of Ukip’s members and supporters – in narrow political terms, at least. Mr Farage seems to agree, since he backed down yesterday, stating that only Syrian Christians should be admitted.

But the Ukip leader seems to have his eyes on a bigger prize. Perhaps, at some point in the future, there will indeed be a Tory-Ukip rapprochement: not the unworkable electoral pact that some are proposing at the moment, but the assimilation of part of the smaller party by the bigger one – in much the same way that the Conservatives swallowed up the National Party and the Anti-Waste League during the early Twenties. And maybe the Ukip leader will be part of such a realignment.

But in the meantime, he has other fish to fry – winning headlines, tilting at David Cameron, striving all the while to push his party just a little nearer the mainstream of British politics. So was he speaking his mind on the Syrian refugees, or repeating his party’s position, or proving some of Mr Bloom’s fears correct? The answer turns out to be: all three at once.