It was the UKIP leader’s best speech so far.
While MPs in the House of Commons were dumping democracy and fostering a ‘Parliament against the People’ civil war without bullets by overturning the Leave result of the Brexit referendum, Gerard Batten spoke for millions of appalled citizens during a debate in the European Parliament in Brussels of which he is a member.
First, with withering irony he congratulated the President of the European Commission and the EU’s Chief Negotiator:
“I have to hand it to you Mr Junker and Mr Barnier. You have done what Philip of Spain, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler couldn’t do. You have brought Britain to its knees without firing a single shot.”
He then turned his broadside on the real target:
“But you could not have done any of these things without the connivance of the quislings, traitors and collaborators in the British Parliament and British Establishment. As Seneca said, ‘A nation cannot survive treason from within’ – and treason it is.”
Batten is not (yet) a national figure and UKIP is a formerly successful party that is only now climbing out of the pit into which it crashed after the June 2016 referendum.
But in the context of the political establishment’s humiliating and buttock-clenching subservience to the EU, and the flagrant flouting by Parliament of the largest vote in British history – it was a well-aimed, brutal attack that has an obvious historical parallel.
On 20th April 1653, Oliver Cromwell, the psalm-quoting victor of the English Civil War, Regicide and Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, dismissed the self-serving, unrepresentative and quarrelsome Rump Parliament with these words:
“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.
“Ye are a factious crew and enemies to all good government… Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
“Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place?
“Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.
“Go get you out! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
“In the name of God, go!”
Gerard Batten doesn’t have the authority, stature or military backup that gave weight to Cromwell’s words.
But well-chosen words have a power of themselves, and Batten was speaking for England when he denounced the enemies of the people who currently occupy plush leather benches in the British Parliament and who malevolently plot and plan to defy the will of the people.
He could also damn them by simply tweaking Cromwell:
“Ye sordid prostitutes of the EU who are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation, in the name of God, GO!”