"I couldn't work out for years in Brussels", says Nigel Farage in his address to the
campaign, to er
ban discards. On the other hand, when we look at Mr Farage's recent contribution to the discards debate, via the UKIP website, we get this result from Google:
But the killer fact, of course, is that Greenpeace does not solicit, nor accept contributions from governments and that includes the EU. Of all the major NGOs, this is the one that does not take a penny from the Commission, as we recorded in our earlier piece
. Mr Farage never "saw" any sums paid to this NGO.
Fortunately for Mr Farage, the event was chaired by Rt Hon Peter Riddell, Director of the Institute for Government, who shares the same degree of ignorance as the UKIP leader. And thus was Mr Farage able to escape unchallenged.
Similarly, as to his substantive theme the adoption of "direct democracy", Mr Farage wants more referendums, but only as a "backstop", a "safety net" which would be used to stop government doing things.
This, of course, is not direct democracy, demonstrating that as Complete Bastard
points out Mr Farage has not thought things through. "So what we're looking at is panicked policy harvesting from a deadbeat party that has overextended itself and wasted everyone's time", says Bastard
Interestingly, there were journalists at the meeting (including one from the Daily Mail
), but none get near picking up Mr Farage's errors. The only person who queried his claim was Andrew Carner (35 years a civil servant), a governor of the Institute, who told Mr Farage: "I think your funding figures on NGOs are simply not right. Very few of the big NGOs get a majority or a large proportion of their funding from government they get a few percent".
Had Mr Farage been better briefed, he could have pointed out that the WWF has been paid nearly 54 million from EU funds in the six year period from 2007 to 2012, the RSPB were paid more 14 million, and that Friends of the Earth Europe
are primarily funded from public funds. Its work programme in 2013 cost 1,368,059.00, of which the EU contributed 751,064.00 (54.89 percent). Likewise, the EEB gets most of its funding from the taxpayer.
The best bet, though, would have been to add up the Green 10 subventions for the period 2007-2012. We start with WWF grabbing 53,813,343, Birdlife is lead recipient for funds worth 25,680,683, Naturfreund gets 2,862,371, Bankwatch takes 8,178,095, the EEB is lead recipient for 13,186,263, Climate Action Network gets 2,240,616, HEAL (as EPHA) takes 4,622,921, Transport & Environment, takes 2,172,353 and Friends of the Earth was lead recipient for grants worth 13,674,033.
Putting these nine together, with Greenpeace the notable exception, the Green 10 minus one are primary or lead recipients of funds to the tune of 126,610,677 disbursed by the Commission between 2007-2012. But, as we know, Mr Farage does not do detail. But he does, it seems do fiction. And when everyone else in the room is as ignorant as he is, he can get away with it.