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Can insult ever be an effective way to communicate?

11:58 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The UKIP MEP Nigel Farage has been fined £2,700 for making disparaging remarks about the president of the European Council. Do you think the penalty is justified?

Mr Farage attacked Herman Van Rompuy for having the charisma of a "damp rag", looking like "a low grade bank clerk" and the fact that he was from Belgium. The parliament's president ordered the UKIP MEP to atone for the remarks but Mr Farage insists he will not say sorry and that he'll appeal the fine.

The attack on Vom Rompuy is another in a long list of public insults that have caught the public's attention, such as Vince Cable describing Gordon Brown as "having gone from Stalin to Mr Bean" to Simon Cowell's put-downs on shows like X-Factor.

Watch Tory MEP Daniel Hanan's "devauled prime minister" speech in the European Parliament.

Singer Heather Small manages to get one up on Anne Robinson on the Weakest Link.

What do you think of Mr Farage's comments? Can insult ever be an effective way to communicate? What similar examples can you think of? You can also send us a link to your favourite "put-down".


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  • Comment number 1.

    Labour and left of centre Europeans started this method of communicating.

    To any contrary but logic argument, Mr Blair would always reply "Absurd"

    So logic left us ...

    Insult is all that is left - see Gordon Brown at PMQs .. he always uses it. So why should Mr Farage start apologising ? (also, he's right)

    I wish we didn't have this sort of politics - but we do.
    Climate change "denier" .. that is to put people on a par with holocaust deniers is it not ? It suppresses logical and scientific debate - and that is what the insult is meant for.
    There are other examples & I find this Government very insulting. The "Forces of Conservatism" of Mr Blair was supposed to be an insult and meant you are either with us or against us ... I was against .. and so I would become instantly "absurd".
    When insults are then sent back the other way they really don't like it.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Is insult an effective way to communicate?"

    Perhaps on some occasions it is necessary?

    After all, UKIPs Nigel Farage may have brought some attention to the EU and it's very very powerful bureaucrats?

    So on occasion, perhaps yes.

  • Comment number 3.

    Insults generally say far more about the person giving the insult than about the subject of them. If Farage had any specific criticisms of Van Rompuy, he would be much more convincing if he could articulate them rather than resorting to childish name-calling.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is insult an effective way to communicate?

    Whoever, came up with this question must be a blithering idiot!

    Well I tried this insult but it didn't really work did it?

    Just makes the 'insulter' look silly and inarticulate!

  • Comment number 5.

    Nigel Farage's outburst at the European Council shows what he really is: a childish, stupid man that can’t think deeply, is overpaid, and supports a party that has no genuine policies.

    The sad thing is that he believes he is standing up for the UK but he makes our country the laughing stock of Europe. Most other MEP’s think his the court jester, the funny man, brought in to entertain.

  • Comment number 6.

    This could only happen in the 21st century.

    The unelected Herman Van Rompuy has been well described by Mr Farage. It wasn't the most delicate description, however, as we now have 27 unelected commisioners, that are wholly unaccountable, representing 500 million people across Europe, I can only condone Mr Farage for having the courage to speak the truth.

    Coercing people into a federal state will only end in tears.

  • Comment number 7.

    I was sorry that Mr Farage made these curiously un-British comments - I felt they were rude and personal, and out of place in the context of the European Council. They were the kind of comments you might read in a tabloid column written by someone such as Jeremy Clarkson, rather than what's called "Parliamentary Wit". You could sense the embarrassment in the chamber when he made them.

    But where did the insults get him? Mr Farage is surely having to deal with these people day to day: does he think this incident will make it more or less likely for him to have success in any negotiations with his European colleagues? It surely all makes him and his party look rather small minded.

  • Comment number 8.

    Too many people are just far too touchy these days. As a child "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." was a popular retort for name calling. Why cant these people just grow up?.

  • Comment number 9.

    No, he should tell the EU to "stick it up their backside".

  • Comment number 10.

    It's the british people who should have an apology for having an unelected EU state when 80% of the people did't want it.

  • Comment number 11.

    You have to admit it, Belgium is a 'none' country. LOL.

  • Comment number 12.

    If he had spoken scathingly about Mr Van Rompuy's policies or politics, or about the process which created his post or appointed him, that would be absolutely fine. That's politics.

    What he did was launch a school-playground style, personal attack on the President of the European Council. I am ashamed to be from the same country as this man!

    So yes, he should apologise immediately and unreservedly.

  • Comment number 13.

    What do I think of Mr Farage's comments? They were probably true, anyway. I've never heard anything or about Mr Van Rompuy until he was made president of the EU. What difference did he make to world politics before his appointment?

  • Comment number 14.

    What Mr Farage said was just childish, there was nothing intelligent or clever about his comments, they were just crass, insulting and personal. Therefore I think he should apologise.

  • Comment number 15.

    Mr Farage should not say sorry to Herman Van Rompuy, all this froth over Nigel remarks hide the real truth of the matter.

    Who is Van Pompuy? who voted for this man to be president of the EU?

    This man is now President of 500 million people, gets paid more than Obama and was voted in by just 27 people (heads of all the EU states).

    A lot of the eastern european countires are getting worried about what they got themselves in for, they all seen this before in the Soviet Union and the EU is going the same way.

    Van Pompuy should be insulted at every moment, he represent no-one, unelected, unaccountable. The sooner Britain gets out of the European Soviet Union the better.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nigel Farage is great. He tells it like it is, not some politically correct charade. Watch some of his speeches on youtube, absolutely hilarious.

    On the matter of insults,I have always liked the one with Winston Churchill and Nancy Astor.
    Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea. Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd drink it.

    One of the best recent political insults was David Cameron on Gordon Brown, he's a analogue politician in a digital age.

  • Comment number 17.

    Is insult ever an effective way to communicate?

    No, of course it is not.

    Mr Farage is not doing himself any favours by not apologising for his remarks. People would think far more of him if he did.

    There are plenty of words in the dictionary that one can use to put across your point of view without having to resort to insults, and there are many people on HYS who might like to keep this mind when writing their comments.

    I get really annoyed when I see such derogatory comments as "that clown Brown" or "that idiot Brown" which seem to get past the moderators. To me, these posters are just being downright rude and insulting.

  • Comment number 18.

    Do I think Mr Farage should say sorry? No, of course not. You know what they say: the truth always hurts. Stick to your guns Nigel, don't apologise that's why we have the freedom of speech.

  • Comment number 19.

    Calling someone a climate change denier is not a insult. Making personal disparaging remarks about someone is.
    It lowers the level of political discourse without advancing the argument one iota.
    It does not surprise me that it was a UKIP MEP(surely a contradiction in terms)who made such remarks. Being xenophobes, their small minded bigotry against all things European colours everything they do.

  • Comment number 20.

    A well-worded, well-thought-out insult can be effective at times, and is sometimes needed, but all Nigel Farage did was have a childish playground-level rant. The issue of EU power and representation needs some serious questions asked about it. Nigel Farage provided nothing of the sort and was just an embarrassment to the UK. It's very sad that such behaviour has won him some support in this country.

  • Comment number 21.

    The BBC video of the speech originally had audiable applause at the end of Nigel Farage's speech. This tape now cuts short so this is not heard and instead shows opposing MEP's attacking Nigel Farage's views. Why is it the BBC's desire not to allow the support of Nigel Farage to be heard? His party came second in the UK and this is a President none of us ever wanted.

    Insults can be insulting, we see far worse everyweek at PMQ's, this is never ridiculed?

    Political Bias. And further we now cannot see public opinoon because the recommendation feature of the HYS has been removed. WHY? And WHY is it that as soon as YouGov have a poll that says the lead by the Conservative Party has narrows are they suddenly put on the poll section and never before? BIAS.

  • Comment number 22.

    Society has become obsessed with insults; everyone is now insulted by anything and everything. People are upset at the smallest perceived 'insult'.

    Oh dear..did the nasty man call you a rude name ?

  • Comment number 23.

    Of course insults are an effective way to communicate.

    Many on the left regard it as a way of life, sniggering away at those they perceive to be little Englanders, 'conservative', etc. The mere mention of George Bush is enough to get them rolling in the aisles.

    The likes of Jeremy Hardy, Marcus Brigstock, Mark Steel, have insulting those they disagree with, in the guise of 'political comedy' as a stock in trade.

    Why should they be the only ones allowed to do that?

  • Comment number 24.

    Maybe insults have their place. But when they are used during a political debate they indicate that the insulter is not able to challenge the insulted person's ideas and has had to resort to attacking him or her personally.

  • Comment number 25.

    Mr Farage comments is a sympton of how most politicians treat the electorate and each other with contempt,alot of what Mr Farage says about the eu i agree with but lets attack the system and undemocratic way we are ruled,not insult meps no matter what there views,we all have the right to respect unless we are insulted then and only then we can in turn insult,good manners cost nothing!

  • Comment number 26.

    The insult, although childish, had its desired effect, to show the British people that someone is on their side with regards to the EU. The biggest insult was no referendum that was PROMISED by Brown. Everyone asks: 'who are these people that have such an efect on OUR day to day life?'

  • Comment number 27.

    I don't see anything wrong with the comments made by Mr. Farage. He was saying what a lot of UK citizens would like to say had it been possible to be there. I thought we lived in a democratic society where we have freedom of speech. It seems everyone else can say what they like except the English. Until this incident occurred I had never heard of this Van Rompuy guy and who voted him into the position of President - more jobs for the boys I suspect.

  • Comment number 28.

    The reason Farage should not apologise here is that what he was doing was simply pointing out the elephant in the room. The role of EU president was created precisely as a "personality" role, one which required a personality able to punch Europe's weight on the world stage, a big hitter, a statesman. It was created to have a single person able to speak for and represent Europe who would fulfil a role in international politics similar to the US president. It was not created as a background job for a quiet but efficient civil servant type.

    How else do you point out that Europe has been sold a pup, that the President they have come up with is none of the things we were told he was going to be, than by saying that he is lacking in the personal atttributes the role of President requires? No, it is not pleasant to hear, but Farage is to be commended for his brutal honesty - the "have another cucumber sandwich, vicar" brigade, putting perceived bad mannners above the substance of the point at issue, do us no favours.

  • Comment number 29.

    It is only an insult if the statement does not have basis in fact.
    If a person looks like they buried there cranium(head) in a manure pile then it is not an insult. Is it insulting an MP by calling him/her incompetent and corrupt. If they are incompetent and corrupt. Or saying an politician suffers from cranial rectal inversion.

  • Comment number 30.

    no he should not say sorry, what next not being allowed to throw eggs becuse they might hurt the feelings of chickens??

    a good insult is like a good wine best served with finese and styke.

    lady astor said to Churchill " if was married to you id slip posion in your coffee" he replied "madam i will drink it"

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Politicians like Nigel are national embaressment. Just to grab some media attention this 'bloke' made ppl to rethink bout traditional British politeness.
    For me worst part of his 'swearful' oration was his disrespect to a soverign nation like Belgium. It's so unacceptable.

  • Comment number 33.

    I urge all you posters here to do a little digging and see what the EU really is. It is un-elected and un-accountable people making decision about you and your life and you will never be asked if you agree or disagree with it.
    Nigel Farage is no fool, he knows what is going on in Europe and without people like him we will all be very much worse off. The EU is failing and in the not too distant future will hopefully collapse in on itself.

  • Comment number 34.

    "Is insult ever an effective way to communicate?

    YES, certainly in politics. If those in UNELECTED power, like Van Rompuy, who take the power and the pay, they should take the say!

    Also, Britain did not elect Van Rompuy. Web search his 'controversial appointment' - NO election by the people anywhere in EU?!

    I Don't agree with a lot of UKIP policies. BUT, Nick Farage IS an elected politician must NOT APOLOGISE to a 'dubiously' 'installed' non-elected and well-connected' administrator?

    In conclusion, Nick Farage IS elected and Van Rompuy IS NOT elected - therefore let Van Rompuy take it to civil law as a citizen, because that's what he is with an over-inflated and an unelected whinger?

  • Comment number 35.

    Nigel should only appologise for anything he said that was untruthfull or he was not entitled to say.

    Sometimes insult is the next step if normal conversation is ignored when something is very obviously not right.

  • Comment number 36.

    I was set and ready to vote UKIP in the upcoming election. Now, however, they have lost my vote completely.

    Is insults were deeply offensive, and sickening. There was no need for personal swipes at all. I suggest this 'man' learns how to behave in the way an elected official should, and not like a spoilt school child.

    Even more irritating was his defense on Question Time, where he insisted there are worse things said in the commons. How can that possibly be justification for outrageous comments such as the ones he made?

    He made himself look like a very immature and childish character.

    I for one will be voting for someone else. This man should stand down from politics, if he hasn't yet prepared himself to leave the playground.

  • Comment number 37.

    Both Labour and the Lib Dems reneged on their election promise to give the British people a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (aka the European Constitution) and have continued to lie to us about the benefits of the EU. Those politicians have appointed a non-descript President, on whom we were given no say. I think abuse is a legitimate defence where democratic rights have been trampled on. Mr Farage is highlighting the democratic deficit by insulting this so-called president and should be congratulated for so doing.

  • Comment number 38.

    Nigel Farage is hilarious, no he shouldn't have to apologise!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Farge and his party are just a posh version of the BNP his insult was a disgrace.

  • Comment number 40.

    UKIPs Nigel Farage is right to shake them up - more power to him.
    In the EU one has to exaggerate and use 'non diplomatic language' to overcome the measly soft soap denials of the 3rd rate bloated beaurocrats to wake them up.
    Remember this lot has not had its accounts signed off for years - 15 years - what does that say?.

  • Comment number 41.

    Farage should face the discipline that he deserves. He is an inarticulate ill-educated man who will turn theUK into an ostracised second world far right country.

    By the way, to those who complain the EU is undemocratic, (when we have EU elections every 5 years) what about the 600 unelected peers such as Lord Ashcroft who vote on legislation in the UK yet dodge tax and don't even live in the UK? Don't you want to complain about that first?

  • Comment number 42.

    It’s about time we had a politician who speaks from the heart and Mr Farage is that politician. More of our MP’s should take a leaf out of Mr Farage’s book, maybe then this country would get back on it’s feet.

  • Comment number 43.

    I have my own objections against the EU and the institute of an EU President, but Mr Farage’s comments were absolutely beyond the pale. If he were a man with the slightest hint of decency he would apologise to Mr Van Rompuy and stand down as an MEP. He was elected to represent the political views of a part of the British electorate. Not to insult EU officials or their countries.

  • Comment number 44.

    Is it insulting or just telling the truth!!!??? No really there is no need to actually insult people. If you have a concern about their work or abilities then you have a right to raise that with explanation of why you have this concern. Throwing insults is only likely to make people angry and will result in a row rather than a debate about a serious issue.

  • Comment number 45.

    Rarely is an insult an effective way to communicate, as the recipient focusses on being insulted rather than on the reasons why the insult was profferred in the first place.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    Winston Churchill is generally considered one of our greatest leaders but also had a mouth like a sewer.... he certainly believed insults worked.

    Incidentally "19. At 3:02pm on 02 Mar 2010, LeftieAgitator wrote:

    Calling someone a climate change denier is not a insult. Making personal disparaging remarks about someone is.
    It lowers the level of political discourse without advancing the argument one iota.
    It does not surprise me that it was a UKIP MEP(surely a contradiction in terms)who made such remarks. Being xenophobes, their small minded bigotry against all things European colours everything they do."

    Can you explain how calling someone a 'small minded bigot' isn't personal or disparaging? Sounds like an insult to me.

  • Comment number 48.

    There is a famous saying (well, amongst us youngsters from Belgium) which goes "God only invited Beer to keep the Belgians from taking over the world".
    That's all I will say to dear Nigel...

    PS: What happened to recommending posts on HYS? I miss it!

  • Comment number 49.

    From this part of the world, (Finland), Mr. Farage's insults appear as rather low on dignity, usefulness and maturity, and simply serve to lower the high respect in which the UK is normally held. It isn't funny. It isn't necessary, and it certainly isn't useful. The whole business makes Mr. Farage look like a political featherweight, which would seem to be bad news for his followers.

  • Comment number 50.

    Of coarse he shouldn't apoligise. People at the top should have thick skins and be able to take it on the chin.
    But who are these EU people anyway. I believe thats the real question.
    No one in this counrty has ever voted for a European Union with open boarders etc. All I remember being asked to vote on was a trading organisation, called the Common Market full stop.
    In reality the EU has been imposed on this county @ reportedly costing 25 millon pounds per day.
    Also imposed on me is Gordon 'Buster' Brown, at least I can vote and get him out, so can I vote on the EU PLEASE.
    Democracy is DEAD I'm afraid

  • Comment number 51.

    Is it insulting to point out something that is factual. On Cable, Brown is a Stalinist who like all stalinists lose the plot and end up like Mr Bean. Rompuy does lack charisma, is that good or bad? Insults raise questions especially about people who do not listen like Brown. The financial markets fear a Labour win or a hung paliament with a run on sterling, which says a lot about what The City thinks about Brown and Darling

  • Comment number 52.

    As a UKIP member, I fully agree with Mr Forage's remarks. Just because they insulted Mr Van Rompuy, it doesn't make them any less accurate or valid.

    I'm more insulted about having an "EU President" that I neither had an opportunity to vote for or wanted in the first place. Mr Forage does a fantastic job in highlighting the terrible wastage and inadequacies in Europe and the back-slapping boys club that the EU Parliament is rapidly becoming (like it isn't one already) really don't like it. Check out some of Mr Forage's speeches on YouTube and you'll see what I mean.

    Regarding AM's (#5) comment earlier stating, "a party that has no genuine policies." You're as uninformed as your comment suggests. Check out the UKIP site and literature. They're far more than a one issue party and you'll find a lot of the policies make complete sense.

  • Comment number 53.

    Yes When Jeremy Clarkson called Gordon Brown a *** ***** ******* Idiot

    He latter aplogised for calling him scottish and for having a replacement eye but not for calling him an idiot.

    I thought that was rather affective and most people agreed.

  • Comment number 54.

    Agree with Post#2 'Eric'

    In the real world, this has little to do with insults, but more to do with lack of democracy and 'freedom of anger' by elected Britains and how it's freely vocalised by the ELECTED to the UNELECTED little princes who run the EU?

    Plus, whatever you think of Nigel Farage or UKIP policies etc., that I think needs some considerable work?!! ...

    ... I do agree with, and support the the ELECTED Nigel Farage in his every challenge at the UNELECTED and UNACCOUNTABLE over-powerful bureaocrats!

  • Comment number 55.

    I notice a number of comments around freedom of speech on this forum.

    Freedom of speech means that you cannot be prosecuted for what you say. It does not make your words true or appropriate.

    In this case it means that Mr Farage cannot be jailed or fined for his comments. It does not make his comments any less wrong.

  • Comment number 56.

    Isn't the truth a complete defence?

  • Comment number 57.

    Is anyone reminded of a rather seedy Rex Harrison in a movie entitled,
    "The Rakes Progress", when viewing Farage and his outrageous behaviour.

  • Comment number 58.

    The comments by nigel farage are typical of the right whingers who resort to insults when they come up against something they disagree with.

  • Comment number 59.

    Oh no, not Farage again!

    The biggest insult to human-kind!

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    To quote the great and venerable Blackadder.

    "They do say, Baldric, that verbal insults hurt more than physical pain. They are, of course, wrong, as you will soon discover when I stick this pencil into your head"

  • Comment number 62.

    When a person cannot counter an argument with policy, reason or logic, then they resort to insults.

    The only politician that I have never heard insult another politician is Nick Griffin.

  • Comment number 63.

    Yes,insults can be very effective when delivered by a master. For example, Nye Bevan's reference to Antony Eden in his Trafalgar Square speech during the Anglo French attack on Egypt, or his reference to the Tories as vermin, which expressed exactly how many people felt.

  • Comment number 64.

    He has a point though, what right has this grey little man got to be the leader. He is a nonentity the so-called president of the disunited states of Europe, who we didn't even get to vote for. I don't believe the majority of the British people would have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, if it had have gone to the promised referendum and we would have therefore, been blissfully ignorant of his name.

  • Comment number 65.

    Next up for an insult will be Mr Buzek when he suspends Nighel Farage, I suspect he may get called a Nazi! Now that would have more bite to it.

  • Comment number 66.

    #33 - "I urge all you posters here to do a little digging and see what the EU really is."

    That is beside the point. The way of addressing this is not to throw schoolchild-level insults around. That does not result in anyone serious taking you seriously. Such behaviour is damaging to the UK, and damaging to the cause of trying to deal with the creeping EU power. It is as useful as the prosecution in a criminal trial resorting to "Nyahhh, you smell". When addressing an issue you need to demonstrate that you have real and valid concerns about it, and Nigel Farage has most definitely not done that, he has merely demonstrated that he has got emotional and can't control those emotions.

  • Comment number 67.

    Let's assume Nigel Farage was wrong on every count.
    Which means Herman Van Rompuy is a charismatic, dynamic, democratically-elected and democratically-accountable colossus bestriding the world stage. The sort of man who puts President Obama in the shade.
    And he comes from a country with a long and proud history and a strong sense of national identity...
    Maybe not.
    There's no doubt that Nigel Farage was rude.
    But it appears that he was also right.

  • Comment number 68.

    Why should he, Van Rumpypumpy isn't my President nor Farages, I didn't elect him, nor give him any mandate. He is an unelected nobody. The sooner we leave the EUSSR the better...

  • Comment number 69.

    Nigel Farage is there to speak for the voices of the people who elected him. Insults or otherwise, he should be allowed to say anything he wants. Only voters at an election have the power to get rid of him if they don't like the way he is representing them.

    I think it's wrong that he gets reprimanded when he criticises the president / EU (this isn't the first time). If he can't say what he wants without penalty then the EU is a dictatorship, not a democracy.

  • Comment number 70.

    The sad thing is that the country which is shouting and acting like a hooligan in Europe is the country with the worst Child crimes, the worst violence, the biggest binge drinkers and the worst education. I think the UK needs to know its station and that is sitting at the lap of the US, only with Europe can Britain detach itself from the extreme US foreign policy........ if it wishes! and as the rest of europe pull out of an illegal war and ill treated combatants without trial! britain will find itself even more out of touch witht he civilised world!

  • Comment number 71.

    The democratic deficit in the EU will only be resolved when the European Parliament,whose members are directly elected, have the power to make law, raise taxation and the governance of the EU is done by elected representatives.
    Those like UKIP who complain that the EU is undemocratic but whose only solution is to leave do us all a disservice. Especially when they stand as MEPs and draw their allowances.

  • Comment number 72.

    British politics is redolent with the heady, hormone-charged public school atmosphere of our superiors.
    I just wish these clowns would stop thumbing their noses and making "clever-clever" remarks and just get on with what we pay them to do; look after our (their employer) best interests.

  • Comment number 73.

    What an unpleasant character Farage is. He makes me ashamed to be British.

  • Comment number 74.

    He shouldn't be allowed to say sorry. Saying sorry is not acceptable, not good enough and pointless. If he had been charged with a verbal offence, incitment to racial hatred for instance, saying sorry to that would not be acceptable, and it isn't here either. He should be removed from office and forced to fight an election again for his seat. He will also try to use his apology as some sort of indication that he is nice and fair, and does what he's told by the EU even though he hates it, makign him a nice man and a martyr. He isn't, he is a rude bigot who my old headmaster would have lashed in to submission with his intelligence, shame Nige never got that from his.

  • Comment number 75.

    Somebody had to speak up on the subject. Nigel Farange did an excellent job.

  • Comment number 76.

    Yes Farage should apologise.
    Whatever mixed motives UKIP and its man has for being in the European Parliament, Farage and his cohorts are seen as representatives of their country. That's MY country. I object to childish and quite pointless insults being thrown at someone who has probably forgotten more about statesmanship than Farage will probably ever know.

    Apolise, please, Mr. Farage, then do the decent thing: RESIGN. Thank you.

  • Comment number 77.

    Decent people should never use personal remarks to attack others.His points were good but were spoilt in the way they were expressed.

  • Comment number 78.

    It certainly can be but wasn't in this case, he would have been better putting his case properly because he actually had quite a good point to make but it got lost in the insults.

  • Comment number 79.

    Obviously, our Continental neighbours are not used to the robust cut & thrust of adversarial politics in the UK & who could blame them for not wishing to rock the boat because the EU is all gravy on a plate to them. They need to grow up & take the truth on the chin.

  • Comment number 80.

    Mt Farage is so right in many things he says. We are being ruled by unelected representatives - where did democracy go? One point raised by mrmandeville (#62) I have never hear Nick Griffin insult anyone either - admittedly he does not get much airtime and when he does he is usually being yelled at.......

  • Comment number 81.

    Specifically - three cheers for Mr Farage. Let's have more of it in our parliament.It would certainly liven things up. That great Englishman, wartime Prime Minister and master of the English language Sir Winstone Churchill was famous for the put down of opposition MPs. What Mr Farage has done, albeit without the same eloquence of language, is to nail one of the faceless EU Brussels bureaucrats, that now dominate our lives, for what he and the EU is, and stand up for Britain. Lets' come out of this bureaucratic circus - vote UKIP and take our sovereignty back.

  • Comment number 82.

    Was it effective ? Of course it was effective as it was the only speech on that day that got reported through all the media and now there is a BBC HYS blog about it. Whether one agreed with it or not, it was most certainly effective as it gave Nigel Farage and UKIP the publicity he would have been denied if he had been more polite.
    It also reminded everyone about the effect of the EU Constitution (renamed the Lisbon Treaty) which was put through despite 3 countries voting against it in referenda, and the UK being refused a referendum despite a manifesto commitment by Labour. I hope people will remember how much Labour manifesto commitments are worth when deciding how to vote in the next election.

  • Comment number 83.

    Jeremy Clarkson was more or less forced to apologise to Brown for what was a factual remark.

    How many people leaving comment on this HYS are those who have referred to David Cameron being a 'toff', having 'evil eyes', resembling Hitler and many other insulting comments.

    As someone has pointed out Farage eas elected whereas the Belgian was not.

    Farage is leaving as an MEP and standing for Parliament at the election.

  • Comment number 84.

    Sometimes insults can be effective in politics, when they are witty and remain respectful. One thinks of Denis Healey's "dead sheep" remark concerning Geoffrey Howe or Vince Cable's "Stalin to Mister Bean" comment.
    Nigel Farage's remarks were not witty and were entirely lacking in the respect that every individual is due. His comments were boorish and I am embarrassed that a representative from this country has behaved in this way. He should apologise and his failure to do so smacks of narcissistic petulance

  • Comment number 85.

    I don't believe Mr Farage has anything to apologise for. I accept that he's a rather unpleasant man with absolutely no cogent policies and heads up an equally unpleasant party, but at least he has been elected, which is more than can be said for the current EU President and any of his cohorts on the EU Commission.
    What a bunch of useless beaurcrats we have landed ourselves with. More charisma (and sense) would be obtained from a pile of damp blotting paper.
    The sooner the UK quits this bunch of no hopers and goes back to our real allies, America, Australia, Canada, etc the better!
    Of more importance, what on earth have the HYS moderaors done with this site? This is an improvement? You have got to be joking!

  • Comment number 86.

    @22. At 3:06pm on 02 Mar 2010, Cyrus P Turntable wrote:
    Society has become obsessed with insults; everyone is now insulted by anything and everything. People are upset at the smallest perceived 'insult'.

    Oh dear..did the nasty man call you a rude name ?


    I agree, society has become obsessed with insulting people and how clever & funny they all think they are when they do it, when in actual fact it shows that the perpetrator has no real wit to hand.
    This has been encouraged by many TV shows in which insulting people, for the sake of it, has been portrayed as somehow elevating the insulter at the expense of the insulted. You know, look how clever and forceful I am compared to that dumbo I'm insulting.
    It's kinda like these people with personalised number plates that believe that everyone else thinks they are a bit special, when in fact most people think they are self important twits.

    TBH It doesn't really bother me when these self centred, self important people insult me as I know who I am but it does perpetuate a bad taste in the mouth and makes me think on how shallow these people are and how they basically need to get a life.

    Lately it has become more acceptable in this country to be nasty and bitter than it is to be kind and open, nothing wrong with a bit of banter but this is not that, it is an entrenched, unfunny bitterness that is poisoning the nations psyche.

  • Comment number 87.

    Good way to make a point, when uttered by a minor political player against a powerful one. Yes. The political insult has such a role. Think of Churchill in opposition Aneurin Bevan, Denis Healy who all came up with brilliant insults. But they can rebound when the mighty insult lesser mortals. Anne Robinson sounds and looks ridiculous when doling out insults, so does Simon Cowell.

  • Comment number 88.

    Farage has made a total prat of himself, but I'm sure that will make him a hero in the eyes of some sections of the electorate.

  • Comment number 89.

    They say the truth hurts and in respect to this PETTY argument, that is the REAL BONE of this matter. Mr Farage spoke what so many of us would like the opportunity to say but are denied by this MOCK DEMOCRACY called 'The European Union'..

    Germany and France will only be happy when we are dumbed down into non-existence, Germany because they lost the war, France because we had to bail them out...

    Save £14 Billion a year to pay our debts and tell them to take a long walk of a short pier!

  • Comment number 90.

    "62. At 4:24pm on 02 Mar 2010, mrmandeville wrote:
    When a person cannot counter an argument with policy, reason or logic, then they resort to insults.

    The only politician that I have never heard insult another politician is Nick Griffin."

    How can you argue a policy to a vitual dictatorship, that has been imposed on the people, who's ideology was planned in Nazi Germany in 1944 and initiated in 1950's as the common market.
    Problem is most of the populus as been brought up to think the EU has always been there, IT HASN'T.
    Please do your research on who actually started this off and you will be very suprised.
    Oh and Nick Griffin tells it as it is, not like the lying bunch of vote grabbing political animals we call ministers & MP's, ( with exception of the few Good'ins of coarse)

  • Comment number 91.

    Who is this Farage bloke.. I'm sure he looks familiar.Hmm maybe, he does look a bit like my refuse collector but for the seriously dodgy hairdo..

  • Comment number 92.

    The way Mr Farage has behaved and his unstatemanlike language do only harm to his cause. Its a pity as some of his points are valid. Alas these are lost in the drama and he just looks silly.

  • Comment number 93.

    "73. At 4:51pm on 02 Mar 2010, blah wrote:
    What an unpleasant character Farage is. He makes me ashamed to be British."

    Nah your European now, no such thing as Britsh, all signed and delivered, thanks to Buster Brown & the apathy shown by the gutless electorate of this country.
    Just watch him get a plumb job & pension in the European dictatorship organisation back in the fatherland.

  • Comment number 94.

    After years of pretending that Farage and UKIP don't exist because they want to believe the only political parties that do exist agree with their centre left prejudices the BBC has finally reported on something Farage has said. To that extent it would appear insults are effective.

    Wonder if this will pass the "new" moderation rules.

  • Comment number 95.

    6. At 2:39pm on 02 Mar 2010, SimplySimon wrote:

    This could only happen in the 21st century.

    The unelected Herman Van Rompuy has been well described by Mr Farage. It wasn't the most delicate description, however, as we now have 27 unelected commisioners, that are wholly unaccountable, representing 500 million people across Europe, I can only condone Mr Farage for having the courage to speak the truth.

    Coercing people into a federal state will only end in tears.


    How many unelected people are there in the House of Lords?

    As for Farage, he said that he'd never heard of Mr Van Rompuy, yet I'd never heard of Farage before he poked his nose into politics. I do wish he'd return to anonymity, he's an embarrassment to the UK, a fool and completely out of touch, as was demonstrated on 'Question Time' last week.

  • Comment number 96.

    It may well have been childish and rude, but there is a serious side to it.

    Putting to one side how anybody would wish to be elected to a body they feel should not exist, he does have a right to question the effects of legislation, in this case the appointment of a "leader" who he feels does not fit the requirement.

    The ex Belgian Prime Minister is not a name, face or presence to represent the EU on the world stage and if anything, is a caricature of what many see Brussels as representing. A faceless bureaucratic irrelevance.

    Of course he has the right to question this appointment, and did it rather eloquently, albeit rudely.

  • Comment number 97.

    Mr Farrage rather masked the validity of his points by his 5th form insults. The fact is that the system, where the President is appointed by the 27members of the Council, is deeply undemocratic and will always end up in appointing a compromise candidate who is percevied as being weak or at the very least not independent.
    The system is a bureaucratic nightmare where we have been landed with 3 Presidents ( Commission, EU and rotating country)ensuring no major decisions and no strong leadership. A corporation with 3 bosses would soon be bust. You have only to observe the conflicting statements over the Greece crisis and lack of decisions by these myopic political pygmies.
    Obama said it all by refusing to attend the Madrid "summit". Kissingers question as valid as ever, 'Who do I telephone when I want to talk to Europe?.
    I voted for the EC, but not for this wasteful out of touch undemocratic bureaucracy more concerned with its own dignity and perks than effective government that we have been landed with which will bankrupt us all in the end.

  • Comment number 98.

    Reasoned argument is what changes people's minds, even when it is dumbed down to suit the lowest common denominator - hurling cheap insults impresses no-one and simply makes the person throwing them look utterly stupid. In this case, Farage has completely buried an important message about the creeping power of the EU as a result of his childish gratuitous jibes. I expressed that view to UKIP. Here is the response i got :

    "We are in the business of toppling tyrants and saying in public what most people are saying. Wearing its patronising smile the EU elite is crushing democracy while pretending to promote it.

    When you confront someone who is stealing the sovereignty of your electorate, courtesy and restraint are not always appropriate.

    Yours sincerely

    UK Independence Party"

    These people seem to believe their own sorry propaganda

  • Comment number 99.

    Well if all elected officials acted in this way then no constructive discussion would be possible. But perhaps this is what the English Nationalists want.
    Why bother with the pretense, we should run our affairs by putting up a boxing ring and the hardest guy standing at the end gets to make the laws for the rest of us.
    Alternatively we could have informed intelligent debates that concentrates on what is best for us all and not just a small embittered minority. That last comment was not an insult BTW, just an observation of the truth!

  • Comment number 100.

    When it comes down to it, UKIP are short on argument , even shorter on any positive ideas about what would solve the UK & the world's problems (leaving the EU is apparently the panacea to cure all ills), but extremely strong on rudeness.


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