Monday 18 December 2017

Farage's 'lookers' fly in to give No side a timely boost

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

RA, ra, ra! The UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader and all-round Hooray Henry, Nigel Farage, arrived in Dublin yesterday promising to help the No side by bringing a good-looking Danish MEP mate.

People were also put on notice that a "female assistant" would be at the Shelbourne Hotel press conference, too, where attendees dismissed Danish MEP Morten Messerschmidt as dapper but definitely not dishy.

And while Mr Farage, the dapper Dane and another two MEPs outlined their reasons for a No vote, the mysterious, posing assistant was asked why she hadn't spoken yet.

"Because she's an assistant rather than an MEP," explained Hermann Kelly, the group's Irish spokesman. "If she would like to . . ."

Francesca Salierno, an Italian lawyer who is fluent in English, Spanish and French, assured us she was very concerned about the injustice of Ireland having to bail out its banks

"I'm here because I truly regret the injustice of the Irish debt failures of having to pay private bank debt," she put it succinctly.

Mr Farage's European umbrella group, Europe of Freedom and Democracy, is spending €200,000 distributing anti-treaty leaflets in Ireland during the campaign and they've obviously been doing their homework on Irish politics.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has been targeted as the bogeyman du jour in the polished leaflets, which also include attacks on "Yes men" like Micheal Martin. One cartoon has Big Phil reduced to a defecating pitbull dog, while another has him being chucked into a bin. It's no wonder he hasn't been seen since the referendum starting gun was fired.

"What we can do and have done in previous referendums is something the No campaign doesn't seem to be placed to do, which is to actually get something out through the doors," Mr Farage said. "This is the third time we have used this exercise."

And then Mr Farage took a moment to fondly remember our last Taoiseach.

"Biffo, you called him!" he haw-hawed.

Yes, WE called him Biffo.

Irish Independent

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