Bob Geldof vindicated over pro-EU fishing stunt, suggests broadcaster

Bob Geldof on board a boat taking part in a pro-EU counter demonstration

Bob Geldof on board a boat taking part in a pro-EU counter demonstration, as a Fishing for Leave pro-Brexit flotilla makes its way along the River Thames in London. - Credit: PA

A broadcaster has suggested Brexit has proven Bob Geldof to have been a better friend of the fishermen than Nigel Farage over Brexit.

Geldof took on Farage on the Thames days before the EU referendum vote with a rival flotilla as the Brexiteer claimed the industry was “literally being destroyed as a result of EU membership”.

Shouting down a megaphone, the Irish singer-songwriter, author and political activist told the Leave.EU leader: "Nigel you are a fraud".

Telling him he was "no fisherman's friend", he continued: “Here are the facts about fishing. Britain makes more money than any other country in Europe from fishing. Two, Britain has the second-largest quota for fishing in Europe after Denmark. Three, Britain has the third-largest landings.”

It prompted the Brexiteer to shout back that Geldof was "horrible" and "disgusting" as he claimed he was "insulting" fishermen who had come from communities in Scotland to join the Fishing for Leave protest.

Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey on board a boat promoting 'Fishing for Leave'

Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey on board a boat promoting 'Fishing for Leave' - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Now broadcaster James O'Brien has suggested Geldof may have been vindicated by the protest - nearly five years later.

Speaking on LBC Radio, he said: "If you ever thought someone was interested in your interests, you would probably not be best served to chuck your lot in with the bloke who sat on the European Parliament fisheries committee and attended one out of 42 meetings that he was supposed to attend, but hey ho, where's Nigel?

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"I struggle now when you think back to how divisive it was, one side lying, one side telling the truth but getting abused horribly by believing the liars. 

"That's where I find it hardest to stick to the contempt for the conmen, compassion for the conned argument. When you think of who turned out to have the fishermen's best interests at heart? Bob Geldof or Nigel Farage? Funny that isn't it?"

He continued: "How did you end up falling for this nonsense when it was outwardly previous obvious that if you can't sell your fish, it doesn't how much you can catch.

"Part of the reason it became a thing was because it was at least very simplistic. There is water there, there is fish in it, at the moment foreigners are catching some of those fish that by rights should be ours, vote Brexit. That's all it ever was.

"And you can see why the fishermen might have gone along with that. The idea that you don't ever open chapter two."

He added: "There's no sale or return, you buy it, you're not allowed to ask any questions. Do you want this? Do you want to catch more fish? Don't whatever you do ask any questions about who you're going to sell it to or what you're going to do with it. You see what I mean? It's populism in a nutshell."

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