Let’s face it, the moment belongs to Farage

by Kevin Meagher

There he was on New Year’s Eve. On Twitter, where else? A simple photo, savouring his victory. A drained wine glass in one hand a well-drawn cigarette in the other. A smile like a crocodile that has just devoured a resting zebra.

He is not bothered about the constant abuse he receives, or even the gallons of milkshake that are poured over him. Its all been worth it. Nigel Farage knows the moment belongs to him.

‘25 years ago they all laughed at me,’ he wrote, (inadvertently paraphrasing a Bob Monkhouse gag), ‘Well, they’re not laughing now.’

And, indeed, we are not. We are out of the European Union and without Farage’s constant endeavours over the past quarter of a century, there would have been no Brexit.

Boris will convert the opportunity, but it is Farage who created it in the first place. A Home Counties John the Baptist. Starting out in the political wilderness, converting an army of believers one at a time with a mixture of unshakable conviction and his reptilian charisma.

He may be a figure of loathing for the left/liberal/SJW cohorts, but he is also something they themselves want in a leader. He is conviction politician. Ideologically coherent. Authentic to voters. He leads from the front. Eternally optimistic. If only the left could offer someone with similar attributes.

You do not have to like him to concede that he has made the biggest impact on British politics since Thatcher. His influence may well be baleful, but it is pervasive. A brilliant communicator and the best campaigner since Blair, he is a worthy adversary.

Yes, he endlessly appears on television – to the chagrin of ‘liberals’ who feel people with the wrong opinions (i.e., not theirs) should be banned from the airwaves – but that is because he cuts through. He connects. You love Nigel Farage or you hate him.

In an age when insipid frontbenchers specialise in avoiding the question, Farage steams in. An old-fashioned, unwoke, steak-and-veg politician who calls it as he sees it. Unfiltered and unabashed.

All of which makes him capable of crass stupidity, (like his desperate leg-humping of Donald Trump), and intent on testing the adage about all publicity being good publicity to destruction.

Yet, his notoriety only ever seems to increase his appeal.

This is because Farage inverts the central premise of politics. He is not trying to win over everyone. He is not even trying to win over most people. He is simply about galvanising the 20-25 per cent of people who think and feel as he does. Once secured, that has been enough to make the other parties bend to his will.

His message has been simple and consistent: Europe is the font of our woes and we should leave as soon as possible. He is wrong, of course, and we will all pay a price for his alluring simplicities; but he helped to deliver the biggest expression of democratic will in British history – strong-arming the Conservatives into backing a referendum on leaving the EU and then mounting a reverse take-over to cement Euroscepticism at the heart of the governing party.

It is not just the Tories who should quake, Farage has shown he can take votes from Labour too. His decision to stand Brexit Party candidates against Labour MPs in last December’s general election stemmed what would have been bigger losses for the party in the north of England, offering disgruntled Labour voters another option, instead of switching straight across to the Tories.

What might happen in the future?

Farage’s latest political vehicle, Reform UK, is zeroing-in on the sizeable minority of voters that oppose strict lockdown measures. On first impressions it seems a remote cause of die-hard purists, but so did Euroscepticism twenty-five years ago.

Regardless, he remains the most potent disruptor in British politics.

Without the gong that he clearly craves, or his radio show that he lost back in June, or his platform as a Member of the European Parliament, he has been reduced in recent months to posting homemade videos about migrants being put-up in provincial hotels, or posing on empty beaches where they are said to have landed.

Even dressed like a real-life Alan Partridge in his blazer and slacks – defiantly uncool or even likeable – his videos are still watched millions of times, forcing out of Priti Patel the ludicrous suggestion that migrants to Britain could be processed on Ascension Island.

Ultimately, there is little point in whining about Nigel Farage. He has won – at least for now. Fellow lefties need to sit back, drink their milkshakes and try to understand just how this pin-striped rebel upended our world.

Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Uncut


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24 Responses to “Let’s face it, the moment belongs to Farage”

  1. A.J. says:

    Not a bad article – until the writer has to show his true colours by claiming that leaving the EU is a mistake. Can’t be proven, one way or the other.
    But why should anyone be surprised that Farage cut through? Any wide reading of British political life since 1945 suggests that the main, the establishment, parties have been gleefully pissing in the same pot and expecting a gullible electorate to enable them in doing so forever and ever amen. Both Tories and Labour fancied Europe for all the wrong reasons and expected the public to follow blindly – or, at best, groping in the darkness. Farage, for all his faults, shone a torch.
    Yet he ought not to be taken too seriously. Ultimate power still remains with the likes of Johnson and Starmer.

    Heaven help us all.

  2. A.J. says:

    Perhaps Farage should have been named as your ‘Politician Of The Year’ instead of Sir Keir Not-Much-Of-Anything (though not, I don’t think, ‘Tory-Lite’, as Alf would have it. It’s the so-called ‘Conservative Party’ itself that is ‘Tory-Lite’ and probably has been since around the time of Bonar Law. Margaret Thatcher is nowadays seen not to qualify as a Conservative at all, just a purveyor of neo-liberal economics). But, no, it had to be Sir Keir. ‘The Spectator’ would have done it differently.
    Farage, of course, was willing to pounce on so-called ‘Conservatives’ of recent years (Cameron, May, for example) and administer fair-sized kickings. But he also allowed some within the ‘Conservative’ Party to rewrite their own history. It’s easy to forget that Labour had the (relatively) principled position on the Common Market/EEC at least until Harold Wilson began his juggling act, and it was only when Labour finally abjured socialism that some began to seek the clammy embraces of our friends within continental Europe. Now, admitting to being a Eurosceptic if even vaguely on the Left is akin to admitting an interest in child pornography.
    But no-one ought to try gagging people like Andrew Adonis. He has a perfect right to say what’s on his mind – as, indeed, does the leader of the Labour Party. We’ll all be keeping a watchful eye on what happens to the EU states over the next few years.

  3. JoHn P reid says:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/SufianSamarrai/status/1344814070638247938

    he’s currently on 4.5% in polls the Tories at worse are 1% behind Labour, with some ex Tories who vote libdem will com,e back if Savid javids leader, add the Farage vote if he deals with the tories that give the toires a 4% lead enough for a overall majority (thats’ before the boundary changes which help tories too) labour watch it

  4. John P Reid says:

    when Ian Duncan smith become tory leader kicked out the Monday club
    And Teresa may too to The stage
    To say do you know what some people call
    Is the nasty party .within 2 years they’d got rid of him and brought In Michael” are you thinking what we’re thinking it’s not racist to be racist”howard
    If labour had a mp who got up
    At conference and said do you know the public now think we The Labour Party are The nasty party, that labour leader who let a MP say that would also beKicked out as leader But like The Monday Club they could kick out momentum
     

  5. John P Reid says:

    In2019 comedian Mark steel said
    it’s important for Gordon brown to do worse than Michael foot when we got Labour on 27% of The Vote in 83
      Now the left comics are saying
    Its important they don’t accept that they caused labour to have just had its worse ever
    Defeat in2019 here this implies they felt they’re the only Voice for the rurall left
    There’s no funny anti Woke comics

    It’s the working class who need a new party
    They feel trying to WC voted loses risking labour to lose its Muslim vote

  6. John p Reid says:

    to labour being in power The country was much more at peace with its self than it was when labour came  in,
    In his biography  Blair once said , the Tories have a ruthless desire for success to win at all cost and they don’t care if it ruins the country to do it ,aslong as they win
    But their desire to win is to stop a extremist Labour Party mucking Up The Country, so The Tories feel they must win and if things happen when they win. Like destroying the country with social division
    The country being at war with itself its ok as  the means justifies the end
     But then if labour is so extreme the Tories feel they must win at all costs to prevent labour from taking over
    It’s Labour’s fault being extremists to see the Tories win to stop it from happening.
     —-

  7. Tafia says:

    This morning (04 Jan) at 10am the Shadow Education Secretary, Kate “Good Crisis” Green, tweeted her broadcast round making clear she did not think schools should close. Echoing Sir Keir’s position set out last night (03 Jan) that he wanted a new lockdown “like November, not March”, with schools open. The Labour leader made clear his position was “I don’t want to call for the closure of schools tomorrow morning and add to the chaos”. This morning, Green added that: “We don’t think schools should close, we want schools to remain open, the right place for children to be if they can is safely in school.”

    Yet, just over an hour after Downing Street announced an 8pm press conference (no doubt to themselves U-turn on Boris’s Sunday morning schools statement), Sir Keir changed his mind and decided that schools should shut after all.

    Funny that. One could almost speculate that Starmer has had to make a massive u-turn because one of his paymaster unions couldn’t give a toss what he or his shadow cabinet think and regard him merely as their puppet.

  8. wg says:

    Oh, dear, oh dear – Kevin continues to make the same mistake as many of the EU-fanatics.

    It’s not the mob reacting to Farage, it’s Farage being passed the ball and running with it.
    For once, can our political betters credit the people out here with a little bit of knowledge and agency.

    It’s the same with Trump – people have no love of Trump; they just know that he is poking a stick into the wheels of this ghastly group of people who believe that they should rule the world.
    Mention Trump on these pages and you are all holding your noses; mention his name in any UK back street pub and you will see people chuckling away.

    Incidentally, I don’t care – the Labour Party that I once belonged to is no longer here; and that’s the real problem – when Farage becomes more representative of the views of the average Jo/Joanne on the street the Labour Party has a problem.

    Smash as many windows and tear down as many statues as you like; throw as many milk shakes – demonise and smear the people who vote for Farage; it will make no difference.
    This culture war will continue, and it seems to be the working class, with their backs to the wall, fighting against the world.

    Not that any of this is worth saying – you’ll still bang on with your ‘progressive’ and ‘populist’ nonsense.

  9. Tafia says:

    With reference to my comment above ( Tafia says: January 4, 2021 at 7:11 pm), I see Starmer, at interview this morning, has reverted to wanting schools open.

  10. John P Reid says:

    Aj and Tafia spot On

    has anyone heard YouTube Have cancelled talk radio as they dare have
    Differing opinions from lock down sceptics

    ok private company
    But disagree with
    The elects you get no platformed

  11. Tafia says:

    I see sir Keir Mackerel says he will support any emergency legislation to stop anti-vaxxers spreading conspiracy garbage. A noble position and one to be lauded, but he really needs to look a little closer to home at his own back-benchers for example Claudia Webbe, Ian Lavery, Clive Lewis and Rosena Allin-Khan who – along with others, have all been busily tweeting etc anti-vaxxer conspiracy rubbish and the like over the last 7 days. (In fact Allin-Khan had to tweet an unreserved apology and delete a post to a government minister after slandering him in one incoherent, totally incorrect, rambling outburst)

  12. John p Reid says:

    Did anyone ever compile a list of local labour parties that pushed for notions that they recommended labour should have a 2nd referendum with remain as a option in another referendum
    And if so seeing as this policy cost labour the red wall of any of those constituencies that recommended to region , it went in the 2019
    That they took responsibility for labour having. Defeat that , if current opinion polls are right 13 months later, electorally labour hasn’t recovered from it

  13. Anne says:

    Like Trump, Farage has been a very unpleasant addition to politics. Brexit has happened, although there is still the service sector to be agreed, and a large effort to try and save the union. Trump, although he still has a following in America, he is on his way out. America has seen sense. Farage has started a new party but let us hope we have all heard and seen the last of him. Change channel on the TV if he ever comes on the TV.
    An article in the Sunday times reported on a poll which looked at if a general election was undertaken tomorrow it predicted that if The Tory Party would loose its majority and Johnson would loose his seat.

  14. wg says:

    @Anne

    Once you have got rid of Trump and Farage, what then?
    What do you do with the people who voted for them?

    It’s OK getting rid of people like Trump and Farage, but it won’t solve Labour’s problem – that the majority of working class people want nothing to do with all this ‘progressive’, woke, identity nonsense.

  15. John P Reid says:

    Anne why is farage unpleasant, has he incited violence, has he turned a blind eye to rape, or throwing civil liberties such as female safe spaces away
    Has he convinced himself in his mind terrorists are peaceful

    Did gd support a illegal war that killed a million people

  16. A.J. says:

    A third lockdown is like manna from heaven for goodness knows how many Guardian readers keen to do their ‘civic duty’ now that some of the froth has been blown off Brexit (although some ‘Rejoin’ faction of Labour is apparently up and running, boasting a membership of around two thousand and committed to internationalism, banging on about climate change etc. Surely it’s time for the goofy Layla Moran to switch parties). It’s clear from reading their Comments section that Covid-19 is a right-wing, ‘populist’ creation foisted upon an unwilling population of virtue-signallers as a punishment for refusing to bow down to Thatcherism, Trumpism, the free market, the alt. right, take your pick. And the answer? Oh, far more police involvement, naturally.
    It does make me wonder, though, what will happen when the police overstep the mark in, say, Brixton and use their new powers to conduct a bit of 70s style SUS. The Guardianistas will then have to do a good deal of tap dancing on egg-shells to explain that particular aberration away.
    Some bright spark even suggested that plain clothes coppers wander around in supermarkets checking on what people are buying. Could it be, say, a packet of fags?!
    There is a strong whiff of leftist totalitarianism in the air that a Tony Benn or Michael Foot would have been onto like a shot. Scientists admit that we live in a western liberal democracy and so can’t bludgeon people into submission. It’s evident that some of them wish it was otherwise.
    As for the police themselves, they’ve made themselves figures of ridicule and contempt – or, rather, a succession of Labour and so-called Conservative dimwits have ensured their relationship with the public, whom they ‘police by consent’, is at rock-bottom. I think I’ve seen a copper once during the past year, some fat bird clambering out of her car outside a Co-Op in Lincolnshire. Actually, it could have been a machine-gun toting lollipop lady.
    As for protecting the NHS, Guardian-readers, go back and do your fact-checking. Bevan and his supporters wanted it the way it is. It’s too late to reverse the position now. Bevan – passionate, arrogant, complacent, sometimes rather unbalanced. Compared by a senior Labour figure with Oswald Mosley. The NHS is there to protect a public that didn’t ask for it, not the other way around.
    Mind you, wait until Covid is brought under control. Then the shit really will hit the fan.

  17. A.J. says:

    With a degree of malice, aimed at one or two people with whom I’m acquainted, I rather hope Coronavirus is to be found lurking at Waitrose or – even better – is being spread by delivery drivers from Ocado and Abel and Cole.

  18. Tafia says:

    Anne An article in the Sunday times reported on a poll which looked at if a general election was undertaken tomorrow it predicted that if The Tory Party would loose its majority and Johnson would loose his seat.

    You wrote that comment on 05 Jan. The poll to which you refer is by FocalData and was an MRP poll (MRP polls are extremely large – this one involved 22,000 people across every single constituency). You can only accept all of it or none of it. In it, it predicts the LibDems reduced to 2, and Labour being totally exterminated in Scotland. Transposed across the seats, the Tories remained the largest party and Labour would only be able to form a majority government if it went into coalition with the SNP – which it won’t because it knows what the SNPs price will be – the immediate devolution of the Section Order and IndyRef2 within the first year, with Westminster keeping it’s nose out. And no, the SNP will not back down from that – they couldn’t give a toss about ‘UK’, are solely focused on independence at all costs, and the more unstable Westminster is, the more it suits them.

    If you’d made half an effort to keep up, you would have known that there was another highly publicized poll by DeltaPoll (a leading polling company who do a detailed poll every month) released a couple of days later (and the day before you wrote your comment), showing a 5% lead for the Tories. Interestingly that one (like the FocalData one and several others recently) also showed UKIP and BXP polling 6-7% combined.

  19. A.J. says:

    Perhaps the British working classes would benefit from a new party. But I doubt it. Sometimes I wonder if the problem is democracy itself. Too few people understand it or take it seriously. MPs now imagine (and with some justification) that they can breeze into or retain their seats simply by getting the postman to deliver a leaflet. I refused to vote at the 2019 election because it was very much Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. In fact, it’s been that way for years (putting me in mind of Schlesinger’s ‘Kennedy Or Nixon: Is There A Difference’?) Labour, ‘Conservative’, Liberal Democrat – all spouted the same tired, unimaginative tripe about the environment, ‘our NHS’ etc. etc. It was a good thing the leaflets came in different colours.

  20. A.J. says:

    If the photographs in the ‘Daily Mail’ are anything to go by it only takes about six coppers to arrest one exceptionally frail-looking OAP or a youngish woman. Brave. Very brave. If this was a Labour government – and the Labour leadership ought to be breathing a collective sigh of relief that it isn’t – the right-wing papers would be having a field day. As it is, Johnson and his fools seem intent on making a new set of political enemies. As for the police, they know not what they’re doing: handing out leaflets at Tesco. Clear-up rate for burglaries in the neighbourhood I lived in as a child: 4%. Honest, guv, says one senior officer, we’re pro-active. Some poor couple even had their dead babies ashes stolen.

  21. A.J. says:

    Comments on the BBC website give me cause to hope that the country is at last coming to its senses. The proposed revival of doorstep virtue-signalling is going down like a bucket of cold sick. I loved it back in the first lockdown when our dozy neighbours had a quick shufti up and down the street to see who was clapping – while all the time the woman next door – a tough piece of goods who happens to be a nurse – lit up a fag, read her text messages and waited for the next person to pop round for a chat.

  22. Tafia says:

    Anne An article in the Sunday times reported on a poll which looked at if a general election was undertaken tomorrow it predicted that if The Tory Party would loose its majority and Johnson would loose his seat.

    You wrote that comment on 05 Jan. The poll to which you refer is by FocalData and was an MRP poll (MRP polls are extremely large – this one involved 22,000 people across every single constituency). You can only accept all of it or none of it. In it, it predicts the LibDems reduced to 2, and Labour being totally exterminated in Scotland. Transposed across the seats, the Tories remained the largest party and Labour would only be able to form a majority government if it went into coalition with the SNP – which it won’t because it knows what the SNPs price will be – the immediate devolution of the Section Order and IndyRef2 within the first year, with Westminster keeping it’s nose out. And no, the SNP will not back down from that – they couldn’t give a toss about ‘UK’, are solely focused on independence at all costs, and the more unstable Westminster is, the more it suits them.

    If you’d made half an effort to keep up, you would have known that there was another highly publicized poll by DeltaPoll (a leading polling company who do a detailed poll every month) released a couple of days later (and the day before you wrote your comment), showing a 5% lead for the Tories. Interestingly that one (like the FocalData one and several others recently) also showed UKIP and BXP polling 6-7% combined. That 6-7% are not left wing voters and if they didn’t have a candidate from their own party to vote for would invariably vote Tory as well.

  23. A.J. says:

    I hadn’t realised until this morning that the power-crazed little chap who calls himself the West Midlands Crime Commissioner was formerly a Labour MP. Silly of me, because our local equivalent is a failed Labour candidate and close friend of another, former, disgraced Labour MP who ensured that our new Chief Constable got her job because of her commitment to ‘diversity’. So there we have it. I expect many voters will be seeking to vent their fury on this shambolic government – understandably so – but it would only be jumping from a New Labour-lite frying pan into a BLM-fancying, rainbow laces, Clap For Whoever Appears To Be Fashionable This Week type of frying pan. As Peter Hitchens has it in another context, vote Labour get Green, vote ‘Conservative’ get Green, vote Green get Green etc. etc. But then the main political parties have been more less copying from one another at least since the 1950s.

  24. A.J. says:

    Back to lockdown/anti-lockdown, I’m hugely discouraged from sitting on any park bench on this frosty morning less something resembling a paramilitary traffic warden asks me my business.
    I used to have a bit of time for Patel (she arrived at the same University as me the year after I left; we Keeleites have a habit of sticking together), but now regard her as odious as Hancock and Gove (well, perhaps not quite but very nearly).
    Someone commenting in the ‘Daily Mail’ wonders just how long it might be before a copper is killed. I wonder – looking at the mayhem in the United States – how long it will be before a protestor is killed. Then what?
    The Labour Party is, needless to say, as supine and cowardly as ever.

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