Leader of U.K. Independence Party Praises Putin

Credit: Euro Realist Newsletter/wikimediaCredit: Euro Realist Newsletter/wikimediaLast week Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and Nick Clegg, British deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, faced each other in the first of two scheduled debates on the U.K.’s membership in the European Union.

Polling suggests that most Britons who watched the debate believed that Farage beat Clegg in the first debate, which was more of an extended Q and A session with a studio audience than it was an actual debate.

In the build-up for the second debate, scheduled to take place this Wednesday, Farage is being criticized for comments he made about the crisis in Ukraine during the first debate and for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin as an "operator" after being asked which world leader be admires the most in a still-to-be-published interview with GQ magazine.

Farage said in response:

We should hang our heads in shame. The British government has actually geed up the European Union to pursue effectively an imperialist, expansionist – and even Mr Barroso the commission president once himself said we are building an empire. We have given a false series of hopes to a group of people in the western Ukraine. So geed up were they that they actually toppled their own elected leader. That provoked Mr Putin. I think the European Union frankly does have blood on its hands in the Ukraine. And I don't want a European army, navy, air force or a European foreign policy. It has not been a thing for good in the Ukraine.

Watch footage of Farage’s response below (starts at 57:35):

The BBC has the following to say about Farage’s comments on Putin in an unpublished GQ interview:

In an as yet unpublished interview for the magazine GQ, details of which have been released, the UKIP leader was asked which world leader he most admired.

He reportedly replied: "As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin. The way he played the whole Syria thing. Brilliant. Not that I approve of him politically. How many journalists in jail now?"

Without reading the whole interview, it sounds to me like Farage is praising Putin’s brutal effectiveness and commitment, not his moral judgments. That said, Farage's recent comments on the crisis in Ukraine and Putin do betray a strange understanding of moral responsibility that is unlikely to help him attract more support in future elections. 

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  • Restoras||

    Didn't Feeney make his case against Nigel Farage not passing the Libertarian Purity Test last week? Do we really need another one? Besides, he's right. Putin as a politician played the feckless West like an organ grinder.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Repetition is the key to learning. That is why we get so many double-posted articles.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Repetition is the key to learning. That is why we get so many double-posted articles.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Was that intentional, or are the squirrels just developing a sense of humor?

  • Winston||

    How exactly are his comments on Putin any worse than Ron Paul, Raimondo or many commenters here?

  • Cytotoxic||

    They're actually far less insane, but they're still bad.

  • Cytotoxic||

    DeERP. By 'they' I meant Farage's comments.

  • Winston||

    I find it amusing that Reason publishes articles condemning a nonlibertarian for saying things that Reason refuses to attack actual libertarians for saying.

  • Calidissident||

    Wasn't there an article here critical of Paul's comments?

  • Winston||

    I think you mean this one?
    http://reason.com/blog/2014/03.....ty-preside

    Eh it's more like a neutral attempt to look at an argument between Paul and McCobin rather than explicitly critiquing Paul.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Winston,

    How exactly are his comments on Putin any worse than Ron Paul, Raimondo or many commenters here?


    WHAT comments have been made in favor of Putin by either Ron Paul, Justin Raimondo or anybody commenting here? Don't be intellectually dishonest.

    By the way, Farange is only pointing out the obvious - that Putin was more savvy than the so-called leaders of the "free world".

  • Calidissident||

    Paul's comments here are extremely biased in favor of Putin, even if they aren't explicitly praising.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2.....er-crimea/

    Immaculate Trouser posted a linked a few weeks ago to a post at the Ron Paul Foreign Policy Institute that explicitly stated something along the lines of "Putin is a real leader that actually stands up for his nation's interests" which is explicit praise. And given his past transgressions, Ron Paul can no longer use the excuse of "I personally didn't write/approve of that" when it comes to things written in publications that bear his name.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Calidissident,

    Paul's comments here are extremely biased in favor of Putin, even if they aren't explicitly praising.


    Again, it is a demonstration of crass intellectual dishonesty to say that justifying the actions of a government in the face of the aggressive actions of another (Russia's in the former case, America's in the latter) is the same as "giving praise" to a single man.

    Immaculate Trouser posted a linked a few weeks ago to a post at the Ron Paul Foreign Policy Institute [sic] that explicitly stated something along the lines of "Putin is a real leader that actually stands up for his nation's interests"


    Give me the link, because I will not take the expression "somewhere along the lines" as meaning "verbatim". Most of what I've read from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (the real name of his institute) is criticism against the American foreign policy being pursued in Eastern Europe and the anti-Putin propaganda being disseminated which only serves to antagonize his government, nothing "in the lines" of "Putin is the greatest thing since sliced bread!"

  • Winston||

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/ar.....raine.aspx

    Overall, U.S. and Western leaders should be lining up to thank Vladimir Putin for a painful but thorough lesson in how the adult leader of a nation protects his country’s genuine national interests.

    And speaking of intellectual dishonesty what I said was that what Feeney is attacking Farage for saying isn't all that different from what Ron Paul and co. are saying. Something that you agree with!

  • Winston||

    anti-Putin propaganda being disseminated which only serves to antagonize his government

    Since all critiques of Putin can be considered propaganda does that mean criticizing Putin is in of itself pro-war?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Worst of all is his giving credence to the unsupported contention that the Ukrainian Revolution was triggered by the EU.

  • Winston||

    Doesn't that make him more libertarian though?

  • Cytotoxic||

    No.

  • Winston||

    I was being sarcastic since that is what Ron Paul and Raimondo believe.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Cytotoxic,

    Worst of all is his giving credence to the unsupported contention that the Ukrainian Revolution was triggered by the EU.


    And he would be wrong because it wasn't triggered by the EU. It was triggered by a CIA-backed NGO called the National Endowment for Democracy.

  • jmomls||

    Oh dear. A biased sensationalist headline that isn't even true. I came here to get away from that crap.

  • Restoras||

    I'm starting to think that maybe Farage killed Feeney's dog or something. Or rejected his advances.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Yeah, if what amounts to calling Putin a "magnificent bastard" counts as 'praise' we're going to have to revise the term.

  • Robert||

    Farage's recent comments on the crisis in Ukraine and Putin do betray a strange understanding of moral responsibility that is unlikely to help him attract more support in future elections.


    Why unlikely? It works for Putin.

  • RishJoMo||

    So, how do them people like that?

    www.GotzAnon.tk

  • Jensen||

    Hell, I kind of agree with him. In terms of political apex predators, Putin knows what he's doing. In both Syria and Crimea he's been poking the Obama Administration, found its obvious weakness, and exploited it. The man's a shitlord autocrat, but he's a fairly competent shitlord autocrat when it comes to realpolitik foreign policy.

    Just cause I hate the playa doesn't necessarily mean I can't respect his game.

  • VangelV||

    Farage was right; Putin outmanoeuvred the EU and US, mostly because the voters in both areas have had more enough with black flag operations and beating the war drums by the same group of individuals who lied us to war in Iraq and justified bombing Serbian civilians so that Kosovo could determine its own fate even as they now deny the Crimean people the right to determine their own fate. It seems to me that Farage has learned a lot from the Ron Paul campaign and has figured out that standing for nonintervention and peace plays well with voters and is the appropriate position to take for anyone who cares about morality.

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