Something stinks about Farage’s latest Thames stunt, and it isn’t the fish

Nigel Farage on the river Thames
Wilson Belshaw

Nigel Farage’s latest stunt on the Thames saw him tossing dead fish into the river. The former UKIP leader said it’s a protest against quotas that force the fishing industry to discard edible fish. The performance has drawn attention to Farage’s history with fishing though, and it’s leading some to suggest he may be using the issue for his own ends.

Absentee

Before the referendum, Farage complained that fishing had been gutted by the EU. In response, Greenpeace revealed that he only attended one of 42 meetings when he was a member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee. Greenpeace also pointed out:

In 2013, Nigel Farage was again present but chose not to vote on the part of the reform of the CFP [Common Fisheries Policy] that introduces an obligation on governments to give more fishing quota to sustainable fishermen who contribute the most to the local, coastal economies. This would see the government giving more fishing quota to local, low impact fishing fleets, such as the fishermen featured in UKIP’s poster.

The internet doesn’t forget these things, which is why Farage’s latest caper has drawn the following responses:

Dead in the water

The internet being the internet means that responses like the following were out there too:

https://twitter.com/Coldwar_Steve/status/976435006032801792

But does he have a point?

Farage was joined by Fishing for Leave co-founder, Aaron Brown. Fishing for Leave also organised the Thames flotilla before the Brexit referendum in which Farage and Bob Geldof competed over who could make the biggest arse of themselves.

Speaking on 20 March, Alan Hastings of Fishing for Leave said:

The platitudes we’ve been offered — the grandstanding of “taking back control” — has just been a smokescreen for a sellout.

And:

David Davis is the weakest, simplest, most ineffectual, useless, and spineless man that’s ever existed. He’s a national disgrace

Hastings claims that the UK’s lack of a veto in the proposed transition period will leave British territory open to European fishing boats. Scottish Tory MP John Lamont has also threatened to vote against any final Brexit deal that isn’t favourable for the fishing industry.

It’s certainly the case that most people don’t want Brexit to make things worse for British industry. So far, the government hasn’t achieved much in the way of securing a better future post-Brexit though. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that Farage didn’t do something to improve things for UK fishing when he had the chance.

Featured image via Farage22 – Wikimedia

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