Until someone sent a segment of his speech to the European Union, I'd paid little attention to the British member Nigel Farage.
After listening, I realized I'd never heard a politician like him -- blasting the EU and its president, former Belgium prime minister Herman Van Rompuy; scolding the members as petty dictators; raging that the euro currency was a disaster that would destroy Italy, Spain and Ireland as well as Greece.
Farage is leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and hasn't gotten much traction in British elections, but he's a dynamo in the European Parliament, which he views with more contempt than admiration. He's libertarian more than conservative.
It was last year that Farage was reprimanded for "inappropriate, unparliamentary and insulting" language, and had 10 days allowance as a EU member rescinded as punishment. A penalty he ignored.
According to Farage, Mr. van Rompuy has "the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk." He asks rhetorically, "Who are you? I'd never heard of you. Nobody in Europe ever heard of you... I speak on behalf of the majority of British people in saying we don't know you, we don't want you, and the sooner you are put to grass, the better."
Before Farage's outburst, Van Rompuy was known in Belgium as a writer of haiku verse and something of a "grey mouse."
Van Rompuy symbolizes the dogmatic folly of the EU and the eurozone currency that Farage feels has stolen Europe's independence, nationality, dignity and sovereignty.
He long ago warned that Greece, cajoled in adopting the euro as currency, was headed for default -- to be followed by Portugal, Italy, Spain and Ireland. To him, Europe in now divided by north and south, with Germany dominating.
He notes the irony of Germany dominating Europe (with the euro), when Britain and other countries "paid a heavy price in blood" to prevent such German domination.
Farage found the EU's hostility towards Greece's George Papandreou "a disgusting spectacle." The EU turned on Papandreou "like a pack of hyenas... and replaced him with a puppet government," all because Papandreou wanted a referendum on whether Greeks backed the EU's bailout plans for that country.
He added: "Not satisfied with that, you decided (Italy's Silvio Berlusconi) had to go. So he was removed" -- and replaced by someone who isn't a member of Parliament. Italy is like an Agatha Christie novel where we wait to see "who the next president is to be bumped off. You should all be held accountable. You should all be fired."
Farage singles out Van Rompuy: Eighteen months ago he figured he'd be "the quiet assassin of nation-state democracy. But you're not... you're rather noisy about it. You, an unelected man, went to Italy and said, 'This is not the time for elections, but the time for actions.' What in God's name gives you the right to say that to the Italian people?"
To Farage, the "obsession" of EU members to create a European state, means they are "happy to destroy democracy... who the hell do you think you people are? You are very, very dangerous people."
Agree with Farage or not (I'm inclined to), he's refreshingly fearless and articulate. A rare voice of outrage. Pity he can't get elected to Britain's Parliament!