Farage is an asset and Trump’s billionaires are a blessing – so says the Times op-ed page

More right-wing nonsense from Murdoch's broadsheet


As the former paper of record, The Times has a reputation for being a serious newspaper, less tainted by the bias of the tabloids.

But as we’ve chronicled many times, in both its reporting and its opinions, Rupert Murdoch’s Times is often well to the right of the Tories.

Today’s op-ed page is a case in point – even though we’re spared the likes of Melanie Phillips.

First up is Tim Montgomerie, who argues that although Nigel Farage is completely unsuitable for the role, we should use him as a sort of trade envoy to president-elect Donald Trump.

Implying Farage deserves the title of ‘Britain’s politician of the year’ for his role in the EU referendum, Montgomerie says Farage is ‘as toxic a politician as he is consequential’.

But leaving the EU requires a ‘radical resetting of our economic and foreign policies’. He concludes:

“Getting a good trade deal with the world’s biggest economy could be a key element of that reset and while Mr Farage is too undiplomatic and indiscreet for an official position, it is petty and partisan for ministers not to seek his advice and help.”

If we’re so desperate for trade deals that we need to make a neo-fascist City boy part of our foreign policy, perhaps this Brexit business wasn’t such a great idea.

Next we have Justin Webb, who sees no contradiction between Trump’s supposed populism and the billionaires in his prospective cabinet.

‘Working-class Americans’, we’re told, ‘particularly white working-class Americans, do not see a cabinet of billionaires as an affront to them’. How Webb knows this is not shared with us.

But on he goes, saying the ‘simple and devastating truth’ is that working class Americans are hostile to doctors, lawyers and teachers,

“But the rich, in their planes, in their pools: these guys don’t disparage you or order you about or tick you off. In fact (of course) you never meet them. They just smile from the pages of the magazines. And they worked hard for it and nobody gave you the bill — or at least not in a way you noticed.”

This is ignorance on an impressive scale. Nobody gave working class Americans the bill for the financial crisis, the collapse of the housing bubble and the Wall Street bailouts?

As for working hard, please. Trump inherited his wealth and had to file for bankruptcy six times. Yet show some people a golden door, and they’ll lick your boots.

Webb goes on to suggest brain surgeon (hang on, isn’t that a sort of doctor?) and fruitcake Ben Carson would be a great person to put in charge of housing, while Putin crony and ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson ought to be US Secretary of State. He writes:

“Ask yourself, would a working class American […] regard either the wealth of these people or their inexperience as anything other than a giant plus?”

If Webb believes the latter, he should have the courage to say so in his own voice, and stop patronising American workers who are harder to dazzle with shiny objects than he appears to be.

Brexit, Trump, Farage and billionaires – another Monday on the op-ed page of The Times!

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Six reasons Nigel Farage should not be US ambassador – sorry Donald

See: Donald Trump’s attacks on unions are a betrayal of American workers

See: Donald Trump is no working class hero – don’t parrot his propaganda

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

6 Responses to “Farage is an asset and Trump’s billionaires are a blessing – so says the Times op-ed page”

  1. Neil

    “neo-fascist City boy”

    …six months later and still you’ve learnt nothing.


  2. GodfreyR

    Farage is the most successful British politician of recent times and can be counted alongside Attlee, Churchill & Thatcher in terms of legacy. He set out with an objective and he has succeeded.

  3. David Lindsay

    The Government is now engaged in a combination of waiting for it all to blow over and waiting for everyone except hardcore Brexiteers to become so bored with the whole thing that they can no longer stand the mention of it. Those hardcore Brexiteers are not the 17 million of us who voted Leave, nor even those of us of that number who would do so again. Rather, they are, at most, the four million who voted UKIP at the General Election.

    That is why UKIP, in the person of Paul Nuttall, is not going to win the Leigh by-election. The fact that votes in parliamentary elections had little or nothing to do with the position on the EU of anyone apart from UKIP voters was precisely the reason for the referendum in the first place. Although that is no longer true. The Lib Dems are now the party for the people who voted Remain and who are determined to get what they voted for. So far, that has delivered a massive swing to capture an extremely safe Conservative seat. The Lib Dems are also on the march again in local elections. Whereas, in the week that the Conservatives’ poll lead over Labour narrowed significantly, they lost all four of the local council seats that they were contesting.

    Labour’s victory over UKIP and Nuttall at Leigh will be as significant as the Lib Dems’ victory at Richmond Park, which has scared the life out of the Conservatives as they consider the very serious possibility that scores of seats could turn from blue to yellow across the Remain heartland that is the South of England. UKIP has never won a seat either in the South or from the Conservatives except with the incumbent MP as its candidate. And after Leigh, even under Nuttall and even with him as its candidate, UKIP will still never have won a seat either in the North or from Labour. It will all be over.

  4. GodfreyR

    Yesterday’s ComRes poll for CNN showed that the majority for Leave has not changed.
    There was also a huge majority for NOT having a second referendum.

  5. Iynne

    Doing business with the most indebted economy! Put it right, guys! This is just a workaround!

  6. Henry Page

    Godfrey R seems to trust experts now when Leavers were not trusting them during the referendum. There should be a second referendum on popular acceptance of the conditions as the importance of this act is monumental and possibly permanent. We should not be trusting the government but seeking some kind of vote on the final Brexit deal. If people like Godders don’t want a second referendum, it’s because they’re frightened the British public may have changed their mind!

Leave a Reply