Wednesday, 8 May 2019


Nigel Farage has done it again. Whatever his detractors say – and I have been among them – the man has charisma and nobody pulls a crowd quite like the bloke they are calling the British Trump. Like Trump he is loathed by those among us who consider themselves better people; the more educated, the ’creative’, the more likely to be engaged in securing powers (not rights, powers) for minorities many were unaware even existed. Like Trump he is accused of various forms of extremism, clumsily labelled far-right and like Trump he continues to defy the political calculus of the establishment.

Listening last week to the Radio 4 analysis of the Spanish elections the result was being hailed as a glorious victory for the socialists and a defeat of the far right. In reality the socialist vote was dented but the soft-right vote was slashed, it’s deserters staying away in disappointed disgust, or else backing candidates whose common sense views (far-right, to the bien pensant commentators) chimed with their own experiences, their aspirations and, well, their down-to-earth view of society.

Society, if anything, should surely be an orderly collusion to include everybody, seek fairness and try and improve the lives of the many, not the few. The few, in this case, not being Jeremy Corbyn’s imagined barons, lording it over the peasants – they inhabit a totally different realm and many of the peasants adore them for it – but the societal outliers who currently, it appears, have far too much influence over political discourse. Misgender somebody and you can end up with a criminal record – on what planet is that a proportionate response?

Ask a former Labour voter why they no longer support the party and Brexit betrayal will be high on the list. But just as important will be the rationale of feeling displaced by ‘others’, people not like them. You can’t – at least you mustn’t – force people to accept too much change too quickly. That the left’s response to this is not to throttle back on the crusade but to criminalise the ‘othering’ of outsiders is to misread the mood so completely as to render many of their better and more honourable ideas equally facetious.

So, we are pushing back. Bully us so far and we shrug it off, but step over the line and don’t expect there not to be consequences. This is being repeated across the western world as people say ‘enough’. But the form of the message is just as important as the message itself; possibly more important. You could be a near saint, but should somebody manage to apply the merest shade of bigotry to your portrait the chances are it will stick and try as people might to understand the true character, they will never be able to unsee the metaphorical swastika, the emblem du jour of those who have appointed themselves as commissioners for the thought police. Examples of perfectly decent people cast as villains abound; scarcely a week goes by without some venerable sage being un-personed.

And this is, in part, the key to Farage’s current success. He has harnessed the mood and he is dead right about our dissatisfaction. But why didn’t he stick with Ukip, you may wonder? Remember the extent to which he was vilified by those oh-so-clever media types? Remember how he had to stand up and somehow account for some of the more outlandish proclamations of Ukip candidates who were often incompletely vetted and inadequately trained for the public stage? Remember the infighting, the succession of short-lived leaders?

I honestly believe he had no choice. And I honestly believe he thought that after the referendum vote, Ukip’s purpose had been achieved. He left and he didn’t leave a way back in and I think he was right. I like Gerard Batten and I think Tommy Robinson is a formidable player, but Ukip’s day is done, while the Brexit Party is fresh yet full of experienced, principled, known figures. The BP doesn’t need a broader prospectus, like Ukip before it, it has one job. I hope to see them do it.


  1. Nice posting again thank you. Ukip deserves to be where it is, it was the triumph of style over substance. When we were working here for brexit Ukip didn't even get started until 3 to 4 weeks after the local Conservative workers did. I well remember meeting a prominent Ukip member in the street when out leafleting. I asked if they would help cover our area as my wife and I both pensioners were doing it on our own. The Ukip member replied "I will help you when the weather gets better" but somehow it never got better enough. I don't blame Nigel for leaving such a vain glorious navel gazing bunch, in our area they did almost nothing but pose and produce hot air for the media on demand.

    1. I think Ukip is being hampered by its association with anti-islamic issues which, while I believe are serious and urgent, are not the immediate issue that Brexit is. Get our country back from the EU first, then turn our attention to what we make of it.

    2. Don't judge all UKIP members by one experience. I campaigned and stood for UKIP in my local ward. I'm not a professional politician, just a volunteer. I put my hand up because I was so disgusted at Parliament’s Brexit betrayal, I wanted to give local people who felt like me a home for their vote. The Brexit Party weren't standing.

      The Locals came too early for a rebuilding UKIP. There was little support or money for serious campaigning, compared to what the Lib/Lab/Cons were able to throw at it. They had teams of people out canvassing door-to-door.

      I have a full-time job, and I was volunteering my time, for democratic reasons. There was nothing in it for me personally. I had to take time off work to deliver leaflets to 2,000 homes in my ward - in sunshine, in rain, in hail. I even campaigned near the polling station on election day, being rewarded by someone calling me a fascist. Abuse like that can disincentivize anyone.

      UKIP have pretty much had the stuffing knocked out of them in the last 3 years, which is probably the reason why some of the members seem so down/apathetic. But they are good people. The UKIP infrastructure was decimated after the referendum when everyone thought the job was done. Nigel walking away left a huge vacuum. After some joke leaders I think the party was starting to pull together again under Batten. He’s proved a safe pair of hands in the face of a hostile media. And remember, UKIP were the ONLY political party still flying the flag while the betrayal was going on in Westminster. Farage was gadding about in the States and on LBC. If UKIP had completely folded, who knows where we might be now?

      But if I'm honest, Batten's dalliance with provocative right wing influencers online has probably been the a bigger error of judgement than his views on radical Islam (which mainstream many voters share!) Some of the things Carl Benjamin has been saying, for instance, have been absolute manna for the MSM. And even if better-informed types can see through the media bias, a lot of the mud sticks.

      In truth, with the advent of the Brexit Party, it's probably now game over for UKIP. I suspect many Kippers will switch to the BP as the party best placed to deliver Brexit. They're more mainstream, have less baggage, and they can better pick up those disaffected Tory and Labour voters. I'll probably vote for the BP in the Euros and next GE. Not because I'm now anti-UKIP, but simply to get Brexit over the line. And hey, we'll never have a better chance to drain the old two-party swamp than we do with the Brexit Party.

      I do find it a bit galling though, that Nigel seems to be badmouthing his old party at every opportunity, doing exactly what he used to accuse the MSM of doing to him. But the party I know is full of solid people who love their country and deserve better. I understand why he’s is doing it - he needs to crush anything that might hinder the BP's progress, and politics is a cut-throat business. But I for one am not going to join in with kicking a dog when it's down. Without UKIP and ALL its members, the referendum would never have been won. And it still, for my money, has the only manifesto of policies that represent the mainstream views of the British public. It will be interesting to see what the Brexit Party's manifesto eventually looks like, whether it's just a watered-down Tory-lite, or something more radical and exciting which will really resonate with a new generation of populist voters. Let's hope so.

      And if it does mean the end of UKIP, let's at least say thanks for all you've done, not good riddance.

    3. Well said. I was a Ukip member. I genuinely don't think Farage deserted them for vainglorious reasons, although I could be wrong. I think the MSM inflicted heavy damage on both him and the party and then the divisions sown completed the job organically.

      As for policy I don't belive ANY political party in the UK has a manifesto I would vote for. This is a single issue affair and as you ( I think rightly) surmise, the momentum is with the BP.

  2. You may well be correct to say that in general but here their problem was a lack of organisation and a general lack of enthusiasm. It is my honest belief that most of them were happy to pontificate in meetings but lacked the courage to face the public. They did next to nothing here but I can't speak for other areas. I am sure you and I are only too well aware canvassing support for any cause can lead you into difficult situations on the doorstep but if you talk the talk and take the money?