New Cross and Hither Green - A foreign land for Farage

This weekend, Nigel Farage told his party conference in Torquay that parts of Britain have become "unrecognisable".

Curiously, he chose a train journey from Charing X to Kent to illustrate his point, claiming that he rode through London Bridge, New Cross and Hither Green to Grove Park before his nerves were calmed by the sound of English being spoken, saying:

"Do I think parts of Britain are a foreign land? I got the train the other night, it was rush hour, from Charing Cross. "It was a stopper going out and we stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green, it was not til we got past Grove Park that I could hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage. "Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes it does. I wonder what is really going on. I am saying that and I am sure that is a view that will be reflected by three quarters of the population, perhaps even more."

The idea that London is a great black and brown "other" is a popular one with UKIPers (and much of the rest of the country) but his example is as incredible as David Cameron's 'black man in Plymouth' story, since any journey out in to the Kent countryside is dominated by white English people, who get on at Charing X and thus ought to have been a reassuring presence for him during his trip - they didn't all embark at Grove Park.

Tourists increasingly hang out at London Bridge and foreign students sometimes swamp New Cross, but Farage describes a train carriage we've never seen. As for Hither Green, it's a happy hunting ground for native-Londoners priced out of other parts of London.

There are disturbing scenes every Friday night at London Bridge, featuring people who speak in unknown tongues, but they're pissed-up Brits on their way home, after a night at the Barrowboy & Banker. Some great British traditions don't change.

23 comments:

Ballbag said...

Adds to the decrepit charm of New Crap

Monkeyboy said...

Nigel's press secretary responds....

AlarmBell said...

Anyhow, since when Kentish commuters speak audibly to each other on the train?

Brockley Nick said...

The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Foreigners is that Good Kentish Men Say Nothing

AlarmBell said...

Edmund Burke?

Tenticles said...

In addition to that being total nonsense, it's blatantly made up as Charing X trains don't stop at New X at rush hour. Boom.

Max Calò said...

They do. They do. On Saturday I took the same train to Hither Green and couldn't read my book because of this woman sitting to me who was pretty much like the protagonist of Brief Encounter and with the same kind of traditional English middle class worries, she was travelling with her Mum and daughter and was very loud, very well spoken but very loud, like a head-mistress in assembly. It really came to my mind that she may have been trying to prove Nigel Farage wrong.

terrencetrentderby said...

Farage gets the train, what a peasant.

B said...

Speaking another language does not mean you are not a 'native londoner'

OffDutyBill said...

What a prat. As an Irishman who took that train to HG for two years before recently relocating to Honor Oak, I must say I am a bit offended. I would beat Farange in an English exam any day haha!

Brockley Nick said...

no indeed

NAT said...

Doubt it, if you can't spell his name.

Outraged of Tonbridge Wells said...

Poor Nigel, someone turned London into a touristy theme park without asking him. Much to his consternation the British, having little appetite for crappy service jobs for minimal pay, have left if to the world and his brother to pick up the slack. If only he could turn the clock back. To some great age when his fellow travelers on a London commuter train sat silently in first class. Pinstriped and bowler hatted, doing crosswords and penning letters to the Times while an army of deferent cockney characters did all the manual labour and made the tea.


There is strange world out there in the Shires where the narrow minded persist in the sort of attitudes that preserve a grey mediocrity.

OffDutyBill said...

Ahah oops

Only making plans for Nigel said...

I feel sorry for Nigel, a decent chap more English than English of course, all he wanted to do was pass the time in idle conversation with fellow passengers about one not being able to smoke freely in public and the spiraling price of sherry. What does he get instead? The foreign hordes yapping into their mobiles, shouting into his pristine hairless ear hole. That will teach him to never give Jenkins the day off from chauffeuring him to his places of business in the Bentley.

Andrea said...

I don't know why people get so wound up by Farage. I like him most of the time and I think he's a good politician who is able to engage with the public. I can recall having a similar experience on a train and in other locations but for me it's not an issue. He's just tapping into some people's anxiety about immigration. Labour suffered because of their unwillingness to deal with this. There is no main political party that doesn't want to control immigration in some way and I think it's difficult to determine the boundary of racism. Unless we have a complete open-door policy on immigration there will be some restriction that could be construed as racist. One of UKIP's many problems is that it does attract a few loonies and Nigel does tend to go a bit off the rails from time to time. I can't wait for him to rip Cleggy to shreds though.

Monkeyboy said...

because he's an ignorant biggot. his party has no credible policies about anything, its all based around fear of outsiders. Neil Hamilton was considered by them to be a sensible campaign director just about sums up the level of stupidity of that ludicrous organisation.

Tony Kiernan said...

The Mirror did it's own (also deeply unscientific) take on this.
http://ampp3d.mirror.co.uk/2014/03/03/live-how-many-people-are-speaking-english-on-rush-hour-trains-out-of-charing-cross/

Tim said...

You know, I think Andrea is on to something. UKIP are by no means perfect, but they appear somewhat human, with associated human flaws. I can actually imagine having an interesting conversation with Farage, even if I were to disagree with much of what he says and thinks. I like the fact that they appear to say what comes into their head, rather than what the spin doctor has briefed them to do.
You know, my grandmother hates Japanese people. Why? She was in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in WW2. Is she racist? Sure. Is she a bad person? No. Are her general opinions valid? Yes.
I don't think it's good enough for mainstream politicians just to shout "bigot" and "fruitcake" at UKIP. If they're so crazy, why are millions of people turning away from the mainstream to vote for them? It's because mainstream politicians have failed to recognise the zeitgeist and desires of vast sections of the population.
Monkeyboy blindly sl*gs off UKIP as "ludicrous", but I think breaking your own golden rule on borrowing at the height of a credit boom is fairly ludicrous, as is removing dividend tax relief from pension funds.
Farage has at least had a real job, even if lots of people will instincively and ignorantly shout "banker" and "fat cat". I contrast to Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg and George Osborne, and I wonder who is more in touch with certain sections of society - sections of society that we "sophisticated" Londoners may not relate to, but aren't bad people, like my grandmother.

Monkeyboy said...

My dad was also a bit on the racist side (ironically), doesnt mean that UKIP have sensible views. The fact that Nige has a 'real' job is also no guide to how reasonable or seriously we should take him.

Up to you, I place them on the border between ludicrous and inherently biggoted.

Tim said...

Well ludirous and bigoted as they may or may not be, vast swathes of the country will be voting for them. You might want to think about why that is because, hard as you and other might try, millions and millions of votes cannot be ignored forever.

UTB said...

UKIP trying to pick up Labour voters in the Northern heartlands with language like this?

Mark Racz said...

Are you sure about these "millions and millions"? It's a very common expression used by UKIP-ers (take the Guardian comments). Millions and millions of voters, millions and millions of immigrants. Quite a transparent sophism, don't you think?

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