Why Nigel Farage Is Not The Problem

Great Britain


Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party has successfully built on its high scoring in local elections by doubling its seats in the European Parliament, but the far-right swing has built far more violently in other EU countries, especially in France and Greece.

Here the grinning ninny who employs his German wife and who can’t articulate any policies except a vague and random dislike for foreigners has been winning the hearts if not the minds of Britons living in the Dim Parts of the country. Even more hysterical articles will now be written about this perceived menace to our way of live. But is he really?

The UKIP party, rather like those special interest parties who appear at the very bottom of the ballot sheet representing Martians or dogs, sold itself as the common sense voice of the ordinary man in the street. But of course there IS no ordinary man – or woman – in the street. It’s a would-be politician (you can’t be a politician without policies) who says he knows what you think and is representing you.

Since the 1930s, British politics has essentially been a two-and-a-bit-party system, with Labour and Tories leading and the Lib-Dems, formerly the Liberals, lurking half-heartedly on the sidelines. Although there were always lunatic fringe also-rans representing the disgruntled underclass during economic downturns – I remember all too well the horror of the National Front beatings in the 1970s - Thatcherite policies destroyed them. But the same policies also had a more unexpected effect. They granted serious governing clout to the Square Mile’s financiers, so that now David (Eton Boyz) Cameron and Ed (The Wrong Trousers) Miliband are themselves sidelined and unlikely to win a majority at the next election.

Ukip was founded in 1993 as an obscure suburban anti-federalist pressure group of the kind Daily Mail readers get excited about. An apparently populist anti-Establishment party, it exploited public fretfulness about Europe and immigration, even though its voters had little direct experience of this perceived threat. In many places it was quite the reverse, as economic migrants filled the jobs no Britons wanted to do.

But this time, instead of hanging around in the wings with no hope of power, Ukip senses that a minority-vote government will need it as a coalition – even though we know how those turn out; just look at the disastrous collapse of the Lib-Dems.

And Ukip has no hope of gaining power in London, the nation’s soaraway stronghold of decision-making, so in many respects it’s already a spent force. No party has ever risen to power in the UK with just a single negative policy in its armoury. The leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, just lost his seat. Then why does Nigel always get such column inches?

Partly, he’s good entertainment value and his busy press office means that hacks don’t have to go out there looking for stories. Partly because it’s an instantly available hot-button issue. Partly because he’s deemed the acceptable face of racism by being ‘common sense’.

It goes without saying that his one idea makes no sense. Visit any poor English area and you quickly see that the problem is not ‘foreigners taking jobs’ but reduced government financial support for local infrastructure. His voters are the same ones that used to say same-sex marriage ‘damaged the institution of marriage’.

We’ve always loved the silly underdog, the Eddie the Eagle failure, the comedy-value twit, so long as they don’t turn into something nasty. Unfortunately for the dim, well-meaning Farage, behind him stand a handful of frightened, violent, stupid racists who can see the good old days of the NF returning, as they do all over the world, especially in France and Germany (the one below is at a rally in New Zealand). And with two such weak front-runners heading to the polls next year, there’s a danger that their time has come.

At any other time this would have been a summer story, a funny news footnote, a storm in a beermug. This time, thanks to a confluence of flaws in the democratic process coming together, and the stumbling inability of those in power to short-circuit this ludicrous little circus, it has the potential to be something slightly more.



17 comments on “Why Nigel Farage Is Not The Problem”

  1. Keith Page says:

    Hmm.I fear the real problem is that for many years a great resentment has built up against an elitist liberal thought police whose policy is to shout down and brand as a racist anyone who dares to disagree with them.Do I particularly like UKIP? not really. Do I care much for any of the other political parties? not at all.Do I like the EU as it is at the moment? the answer has to be no, particularly bearing in mind the foolish way the euro was implemented.And then there was the sorry episode when the Irish were told to keep on voting until they came up with the right result.Bit of a mess all round as far as I can see, and then we have the likely prospect of Milliband and Balls taking charge whilst representing only a small minority of the population.I’ve always voted, but it’s not easy, is it?

  2. Wayne says:

    I got a flyer though the door and read it and decided…..


    Sorry if thats to blunt but honestly do we really need to step back into the dark ages?

  3. pheeny says:

    What is interesting is the media coverage of UKIP – the green party have more councillors than UKIP and an MP but do you ever see them as being touted as a force to reckon with let alone invited on Question Time et al week after week?

    I also noticed that when the (supposedly) neutral BBC reported on the various gains/losses It was in the form of “Labour have gained control in x number of councils Conservatives have lost control in y number of councils and UKIP have won z number of seats” whereas of course it should have ended “UKIP have no overall control of any council” – otherwise you are comparing apples with bananas, and making UKIP look bigger than they are – particularly as their percentage share of the vote actually DROPPED

  4. Alan G says:

    I voted for Boris at the last mayoral election for no better reason than to get rid of Ken. And for a bit of a laugh as I did not expect him to win. He did and he is indeed a laugh – for all the wrong reasons.

    I’m worried the same might occur with UKIP. That in the absence of political Leaders who deserve the name people might continue to find Farage amusing and refreshing. But that’s great for a night down the pub, not for running a country.

    I am going to hide under a bridge for a decade or so. Snowy – can I borrow your foil hat?

  5. Dan Terrell says:

    All that said and done, it seems bad enough, but… you can do nothing if your state has a kept-in-sight carry permit as is now in effect in many U.S. states, including my own. And some of the characters that carry these tank-stopping weapons… It’s a “I will carry a firearm because I can and you will see that I have one on my hip. Comfortable with that, are you?” You must always ask yourself: “How hair-trigger are these people?” And a shopkeeper can’t just ask them to leave his/her shop. It’s permitted.
    We just had our latest gun-elated murders, too. How does the old song go? “Bang, bang, my baby shot me down.” Hell, your baby is only a part of the problem. It’s the pissed off stranger with the fire power in the dark with the 400 rounds on the seat beside him.
    Well, I feel better… actually: No

  6. John Griffin says:

    I’m afraid I live in the West Midlands which outside of Birmingham is awash with racists – UKIP did spectacularly well and only Labour’s vote held up. It is simple – despite years of experience of people with different colour skin, most people round here think all the nations ills will be cured if we send ethnically different people somewhere else. I call it mindless racism. Nobody here seems remotely in contact with reality, very few have the vaguest idea about economics, politics or anything else – they just don’t like coloured people.
    TG no guns in UK, or else we would see racist shootings daily.

  7. JJ says:

    I haven’t read the Bryant &May sagas yet but have been really looking forward to getting started from the first book. So it was a terrible mistake to look at this website thinking it might be a fun introduction to the author. Gosh how I wish I hadn’t. What an insulting blurb. With comments such as the derisory “poorer parts of the country” err everywhere outside of London you mean? Throwaway reference to “martians” and “dogs”. Blimey you really don’t want people to read your books do you? Perhaps the old adage of not talking about politics should have been resoundingly adhered to here.

    I live in the eastern part of the country. I’m a tolerant, cheerful soul who loves to disappear into books. I’m also an avid historian and I know with painful clarity that 70 years ago we had strong borders and were not afraid to fight for them. Nothing wrong with that as far as I knew. Until now. That’s the whole point really. Borders. Countries like Australia, USA, Canada etcetera would laugh in your face if you said you wanted to bring down the borders and have a free for all. The area I live in has been massively invaded from eastern Europe and it’s not a cosy scenario. Massive strains on infrastructure, rise in crime and don’t get me started on the antisocial behaviour that has had a massive affect on the area. They are not all angels you know and although I could go on and on but this isn’t the place. There’s nothing wrong with having a limit to the numbers of people coming here. No country can even remotely cope with millions of people suddenly descending on it from wherever they originate. Amongst your readers will be people desperately, desperately looking for work, or facing loss of work and wondering how they will pay their bills or build any sort of future and they look to you for escape into their imagination and in between sending out hundreds of applications and facing despair you then insult them! You would no doubt approve of all the recruitment agencies around here that have sprung up purely for eastern Europeans and no one else need darken their doors. That is true racism and I utterly despise it in whatever form it takes.

  8. admin says:

    I’m not insulting you, but I’m allowed an opinion – that is why we live in a democracy.
    I’ve travelled all over the country and throughout migrant nations, and what I see in parts of Britain more than anything is not down to immigration. I know they are not all angels, but demonising foreigners for taking the opportunity to fill empty jobs makes no sense to me. I have yet to meet anyone who has had their job stolen from under them.

    ‘Patriotism is not enough – I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone.’ – Dame Edith Cavell.

  9. Matt says:

    J J seems to have his knickers in a twist. Such a shame. I am politically neutral but I have picked up some issues with ukip as have many others, personally I would never vote for them.

    Admin, your a nice guy don’t let people get under your skin!

  10. andrea yang says:

    I have not been to England in years but it has always been a favorite place since I went to college there in the early Eighties. When I visited in the 1990s and early 2000s with Asian relatives it was an entirely different experience. I saw family deal with overt racism unlike anything encountered in our home state of Texas. It was eye opening.

  11. Vivienne says:

    I’m afraid I still feel that we are all in thrall to multi-nationalist capitalism and no-one really has the courage to come up with different policies that might upset the bankers. People are disaffected because they are not stupid and know when they are being lied to, or worse, offered patronising half truths. The LibDems have lost most because they did seem to be clear about what they stood for, but then reneged on the student loan thing and have been swallowed up by Cameron. Farage is powerless – well he is too cowardly to exercise the power he has as a Euro MP – and so can say what he likes.

  12. Charles says:

    Agree with what you say , to a point. Stop looking down your nose at people who don’t live in London, it s not that great in London. I used to live there, it’s an over crowded shit hole. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them dim. You sound more and more like the ranting Daily mail you hate more and more every day. After all a few articles back you were moaning about rich foriegners buying property up. So, poor foriegners are ok, not rich ones?

  13. admin says:

    I knew this would be a hot-button topic. Charles, I think you’re confusing topics here. The earlier column was about the acquisition of property as portfolio investment. The latter column is about racism masquerading as ‘common sense’. I agree that certain areas have irrevocably changed, and not for the better, but laying the blame at one group is nonsense.
    Our country has a centuries-long history of economic migration that cannot be stemmed. East Anglia needs low-paid agricultural workers, so who will do the work? We won’t, but others will. Walthamstow in North London is largely Polish now. Does that make it worse? No, actually it’s improved. Brixton is black; I used to live there, and it’s a great place to be. London is overcrowded and parts are ugly – is it because foreigners came in? No, it’s because of an Old Etonian mayor who’s only interested in making money.
    This is a rich subject and there’s no easy answer. I think I’m with Keith Page (first comment) on this one.

  14. Wayne says:

    Something else to think about is this, the vote only represents 1 in 10 people of England only a third of those old enough to vote bothered to vote leaving two thirds not bothered enough to care what happens.

  15. Bob Low says:

    I think Wayne makes one of the most important points about these elections. A lesson should have been learned from our experience in Scotland.

  16. Bob Low says:

    I think Wayne makes one of the most important points about these elections. A lesson should have been learned from our experience in Scotland.

  17. Bob Low says:

    Sorry-I’m not sure what happened there. My comment came up twice before I’d finished. Probably my fault. Anyway, in the elections for the Scottish Parliament in 2011, about half of the electorate couldn’t be bothered turning up to vote-as a consequence of which, the SNP managed a ”landslide” victory, with only 23.5% of the votes of the electorate, as a result of which, the future of the UK is potentially in the balance this September. If you care about our country not being taken over by single issue obsessives, or dangerous Little Englanders, and Little Scotlanders, get off your backsides and vote. Before it’s too late.

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