Saturday 10 May 2014

Nigel Farage came to Edinburgh and the demonstrators managed to picket the wrong building.

The UKIP leader Nigel Farage came to Edinburgh yesterday to address his followers at the Corn Exchange,  and tell them that they are on course to win one of Scotland's six European parliamentary seats. For their part the 200 demonstrators who turned out to greet him were only noticeable for their inability to even start their demonstration at the correct building. The Corn Exchange is pictured behind the crowd in my photo, but for some reason they all charged to the end of the road and began to block access to a large vehicular archway which led into a residential block.

A crony joined me in going along to watch what we hoped would be some good sport, and about seventy demonstrators blessed the same bus that we were on with their presence. When it arrived at its destination,  the crowd piled off and began to walk in formation down the road and straight past the building where the UKIP leader was due to speak. Along the way they seemed to merge with a slightly smaller group of about fifty who at least were standing in front of the correct building and swept them along to the bottom of the street where some policemen stood in front of the archway.

The only confrontations came when one small group of men, gathered some distance away, were challenged and accused of being fascist activists; "Nazi scum off our streets" came the chant, as they were chased under police protection into a nearby cul-de-sac.

Alas this is not true as there was only one man who you can see in this video of mine, standing on the right of the frame, wearing dark glasses. All he did was point out what wallies the Trots were for missing the building where the meeting was about the start and for his pains he was roundly abused by the vanguard of the proletariat:

Far from being hustled away by the police he then just sauntered off after having amused himself.

Eventually, someone with two brain cells managed to get enough people to walk the fifty yards or so to the correct building where Farage and his people were meeting so the the demonstration could begin in earnest. Alas, they were unable to do anything other than posture as some pretty serious muscle had been shipped in from Glasgow to guard the doors to the building.

Various UKIP types were in the pub next door and after finishing their pints, those who wanted an escort into the ticket-only event were walked into the meeting by some more heavyweight muscle. The rest just wandered in unhindered as the crowd seemed to be in no mood for matching itself against what looked like a team of seriously tasty nightclub bouncers.

The two groups of demonstrators and Kippers were easy to tell apart. The former were mainly students, a surprising number of whom were seriously pretty girls. The Great Unwashed were represented by around half a dozen white people with dreadlocks and charity shop clothes and the few Trots were recognisable thanks to their slack-jawed expressions. The Kippers were easily spotted owing to their Sunday best suits, freshly polished zimmer frames and iron permed hair. To describe the two groups as being separated by age is putting it mildly; the division was more like centuries.

As the meeting began inside, and as the crowd outside continued to chant insults, your correspondent and his mate decided that the children on the street and the walking dead inside the hall were probably not going to provide us with any decent blood sport so we chatted about our next move. Being possessed of a raging thirst we then got on a bus and went off to a pub to pour beer down out necks to quench it. 

By all accounts both the meeting and the demo passed off peacefully, as did our evening down the pub.

11-May-2014: More video has emerged. Click this link to see it.


  1. Good post, but tell me, who did you dislike the most, UKIP or the demonstrators?

    1. What a very odd question !!

    2. Trots are scum, and say what you like about dear old Uncle Joe, he had the right answer to them. Kippers are just a bit sad... As to which group I despise the most, well, that has to be the Trots, but there were too few of them to provide decent sport for the bouncers last night.

  2. Ukipers are good people, the nasty people are those real nazi's outside. They don't like democracy & free speech. All they can do is abuse people they dissagree with. They are scum

  3. Most of the demonstrators were actually in a party mood. There was no violence, and taunting political opponents is all part of the rough and tumble of political discourse.

  4. Thanks for this, it makes a change from the usual hysteria which surrounds reporting of UKIP events on many sites. It looks like a good time was had by all, but why didn't you try to get inside with the other media people? That way you could have commented on events inside as well.

  5. Truth be told, John, but the idea never occurred to me! I was possessed by a great thirst, as I said in the posting, so I did try to get in the pub next door to the Corn Exchange, but the bouncer said it was regulars only that night. That thirst then took control of me and led me back to the bus, which took me away from the area to a more welcoming hostelry where it was suitably quenched.


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