Month: July 2024

Nigel Farage is Britain’s unofficial ambassador to the United States

On Saturday, late British time, former President Trump and presumptive nominee to be the Republican candidate for November, survived assassination by mere millimetres. A bullet, fired from an AR-15, aimed at Donald Trump’s head grazed his ear instead, thanks to an unbelievably lucky turn of the head as Trump looked at the graph on immigration statistics behind him.

A shooter on the roof of a nearby building, missed through a toxic combination of incompetence and lack of coordination between security forces, shot at the former President several times before being taken down by the security forces. The forces who, it has come to light, had the shooter in their sites for several minutes before he began shooting. Arguments have erupted over whether the threat should have been neutralised sooner, or by who, but in reality he should never have gotten that close. The entire security service should hang its head in shame.

While the world rushed to condemn – or, in the particularly nasty and degenerate corners of the internet, celebrate – the 20-year old shooter, the leader of the Reform party and newly-sworn in MP for Clacton, Nigel Farage, announced that he would imminently be travelling to the US to visit his friend and fellow traveller on the populist right, to lend his support.

The necessity of this move can be debated. Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has already rung Trump and offered his wishes, and the 78 year old Republican is already out and about, back on the campaign trail and preparing for the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week. This is without even mentioning the fact that, after being shot, Trump got back to his feet, raised his fist in defiance and chanted “fight!”

Some rushed to decry Farage’s decision, pointing to his responsibility as an MP, and no doubt using this as an example of his unprofessionalism and self-aggrandisement. Others said that there is no real need, and Farage should focus on issues closer to home, especially as the King’s Speech is on Wednesday – though Farage did say he would not go before the speech.

Such reactions ignore the humanity of this situation. A man nearly lost his life, and while Farage’s medical credentials are certainly questionable in this instance, the value of having a friend speak to you and visit you after such a shocking moment can be invaluable. And while there is a world of difference between the projectiles, Farage is almost certainly fearful that one day a milkshake might be something closer to what Trump faced. Never forget that Andy Ngo once had to attend the ER in America after a milkshake thrown over him was found to have concrete mixed in.

Moreover, Farage was more than likely going to attend the RNC in Milwaukee this week anyway; this simply makes his visit more personal.

Yet, whether you agree with his politics or not, Farage’s very close relationship with the once-and-probably-future President of the most powerful nation in the world should not be sniffed at. Farage, like him or not, is going to be an asset should Trump return to the White House in January 2025 – a prospect that, more than ever, seems likely.

Rather than criticising Farage for making a decision which, it must be remembered, is entirely his prerogative – senior Conservatives visited America during the election campaign, and Lisa Nandy was in Germany for the Euros final this weekend, and rightly so – the British government should recognise Farage’s value in the special relationship.

This is not even to mention the fact that many populist parties in Europe look to the architect of Brexit with great admiration, Nigel Farage’s international profile is greater than some members of the cabinet, and is certainly more amenable to some foreign political parties.

Nigel Farage’s role in the coming parliament is likely to be one of unofficial ambassador – to the United States, certainly, and more than likely many other nations. It would be a mistake to undervalue and underestimate that.

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Rishi Sunak: MP for Anywhere

In his 2017 book, The Road to Somewhere, David Goodhart sought to explain the Brexit vote, and the furore that followed, as a rift between two tribes in British life: ‘Somewheres’ and ‘Anywheres’.

Somewheres, Goodhart explained, are traditionally-minded and attached to place. By contrast, Anywheres are cosmopolitans and attached primarily to ideals. Somewheres are often provincial and typically live in (or nearby) the communities in which they were raised. Anywheres are primarily urban and often live far from where they were raised.

For Goodhart, Brexit was a revolt of the nation’s Somewheres. Alienated by the extraordinary rate of social change in the post-Blair era, they took a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to vote against the Anywhere-dominated political establishment.

Though nominally a vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union, the referendum was essentially a vote of protest against the cross-party consensus on immigration.

The frustration of Somewheres is exemplified by voters in ‘The Red Wall’, a patchwork of traditionally Labour-supporting northern constituencies, who voted Tory en masse in the 2019 general election in the hope that Brexit might finally be settled and migration numbers could be reduced.

Though no less baffled than the rest of the establishment, The Conservative Party – unlike many of their fellow Anywheres – was willing to implement the referendum’s result. Ultimately, however, the failure to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Brexit, the collapse of the Red Wall, and a major electoral realignment was to define our outgoing government.

None personified this failure to understand the significance of Brexit as much as the man who was destined to lead the Conservative Party into the most recent election. This would not surprise readers of Goodhart’s work, for Rishi Sunak is Anywhere incarnate.

The hyper-conscientious child of immigrant parents who, through hard work and talent, has risen to the very apex of his profession, Sunak personifies the cosmopolitan ideals of the contemporary western elite.

Sunak’s failure as Prime Minister does not reflect a lack of merit. Of the four Prime Ministers who succeeded Cameron, Sunak was probably the most capable and accomplished.

Sunak’s relationship with his heritage is interesting. Born to Ugandan-Asian parents, Sunak exemplifies the industry and drive of that entrepreneurial group of people. Teetotal and vegetarian, our erstwhile leader married outside both his caste and ethnicity – of Punjabi heritage, his wife is the only daughter of a fabulously wealthy family of south Indian origin. In this he typifies the subcontinent’s elite diaspora who, as Razib Khan writes, have globalisation ‘etched in their bones’.

His heritage aside, Sunak’s background is that of a stereotypical Tory frontbencher. A product of Winchester College (where he was Head Boy), Sunak progressed to Oxford (where he earned a 1st in PPE) and thence to Stanford (via a Fulbright Scholarship). 

Upon graduating, he pursued a career in high finance, first at Goldman Sachs and then at two hedge funds, the latter being based in California. Notoriously, Sunak filed US tax returns while serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, not relinquishing his Green Card until 2021.

Having joined the Conservative Party following an internship at Central Office, Sunak became an MP in 2015, replacing William Hague as the representative for Richmond. Parachuted into Number 10 in the aftermath of the Truss debacle, Sunak proceeded to dismay colleagues with displays of poor political judgement, choosing to announce the cancellation of a trainline to Manchester while in Manchester, to cite but one of several notorious examples.

Whereas for most the office of Prime Minister represents the culmination of a long and bruising career; Sunak’s brief tenure as Prime Minister will likely represent just another impressive (though relatively ill-remunerated) entry in a glittering CV. It is safe to presume that, before the Tories are again returned to power, he and his family will decamp to California in order that he might resume his career in finance.

For all the bluster about his supposedly reactionary politics, Sunak’s values align with the managerialist liberalism which dominates the contemporary Conservative Party.

The Economist describes Sunak as ‘the most right-wing Conservative leader of his generation’ and claims his ‘nerdy demeanour covers an overlooked fact… [o]n everything from social issues, devolution and the environment to Brexit and the economy, Mr Sunak is to the right of the recent Tory occupants of 10 Downing Street’, but this is merely relative.

Objectively speaking, similar to his background, Sunak’s politics are blandly Anywhere, believing that a modern economy cannot function without high levels of immigration – derived from his instinctive belief in entrepreneurial mobility – and extols ‘diversity’ as both a moral good and political virtue, even at the expense of factual accuracy.

Sunak’s support of Brexit, often cited as evidence of his right-wing convictions, is misconstrued. Sunak was no ‘Little Englander’ hoping to make Britain’s borders more restrictive. Rather, Sunak saw leaving the EU as an opportunity to further liberalise Britain’s immigration regime.

With Sunak gone, the Conservative Party is once again presented with the opportunity to reinvent itself.

For a generation or more, the Conservative Party has simply failed to take the concerns of Middle England seriously. Sunak, so removed from the concerns of ordinary British people that he didn’t think it worthwhile to attend ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day, exemplified this detachment.  

If the Tory party is to regain political relevance, it must listen to the nation’s Somewheres – a constituency that remains in flux, and that the Labour Party does not speak for. The lack of enthusiasm for our incoming government is remarkable and telling. The electorate has grown tired of the Tories, but are dubious of a Labour Party who seem to offer nothing but more of the same.

So farewell, Prime Minister Sunak. We wish you well, Anywhere you go.

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Why We Shouldn’t Abandon Politics

Until a few weeks ago, I was thoroughly resigned to the fact that I would not be voting for the first time in my adult life.

This wasn’t a flippant or particularly natural decision for me. A fan of unfashionable causes from a young age, I had always bought into our democratic political system and believed that despite its faults, ours was preferable to the large majority of those around the world.

I’d argue with my sixth form college history teacher, a chain-smoking trade union crustacean, that the Cuban revolution was not a good thing actually. At university, I set up the local youth chapter of UKIP and was one of approximately three students who even signalled that they would vote for Brexit.

As one can imagine, this made me very popular amongst the kombucha-brewing techno-listening charity shop fashionistas who I stubbornly brushed shoulders with by insisting on frequenting their hipster coffee shop, where once a ‘trans’ person told me I should “stop reading the fascist Spectator”.

My earliest political instinct, that our foreign policy did not serve our interests and was based on lies (an instinct that has only grown stronger) was also, I thought, sufficiently represented in our media and political system. I voted, I got excited about elections, watched the BBC and took politics seriously.

Everything changed in early 2020. Watching the entire ‘free world’ engage in highly coordinated state propaganda, erect detainment camps, lock people in their homes for months at a time, and by hook and by crook inject the vast majority of the population with a substance they weren’t allowed to scrutinise in polite society because ‘The Experts’ told them to, changed how I look at politics forever.

I was always aware of the military-industrial complex and its influence, and of that of the financial system. What I have since learnt is that these forces of evil are joined by many other interest groups: Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Food and the billionaire-foundation complex.

The mask-wearing millions even turned my anger towards them, the public as a whole, which was a very different feeling for a ‘power-to-the-people’, ‘silent-majority’ populist as I had up until then been. What morons, I thought.

How did I ever trust in the collective wisdom, the ‘common sense’ of the public, who had en masse accepted the (even then) clearly moronic behaviour of ‘stay-at-home’ rules and wearing chemical-laden Chinese face-nappies on while alone and outside?

When the Russians entered Ukraine in early 2022, this feeling was compounded. The Covid era had caught everyone off guard, but Ukraine was something I had seen coming for a decade.

In 2014, the year when the Russia-Ukraine war actually started, I had just started university studying, of all things, International Relations and Russian language. I had a large number of Russian and Ukrainian friends. I spent my summers volunteering at educational camps not far from the Ukrainian border. After graduating, I moved to Moscow and started working in TV.

This is my way of saying that I had followed the events since 2014 in detail, with interest, and understood the positions of both sides, the actors involved and like Nigel Farage, had a very strong feeling that this was a disaster in the making. Yet this was a position made paramount to treason. Putin was Hitler, and that was it.

Back living in London and working in UK media after riding out the worst of the pandemic in Istanbul, I had become fully cynical about politics.

How could our parochial, insular and frivolous party politics ever be a solution to the powerful global forces that had transformed the world within just a couple of years? How had I believed that the political fight I had been fighting actually had any chance of taking Britain away from corrupt globalist forces and ‘taking back control’ for the people? Brexit now appeared to be window dressing.

In fact, I had come to believe that I had been seriously deceived. Years of energy were given, and the country was seriously divided, and for what? To have more mass immigration and more economic decline under more Conservative government, with biomedical tyranny and continental war to boot?

In that time, I began to believe in the devil, which was then a stepping stone to believing in God. The world, it appeared, was the devil’s realm. The compounding increase in far-liberal and ultra-progressive ideologies, and the resulting destruction of the family and social degradation, made this clearer.

I concluded that the best way to fight in a world run by the devil, was not through politics, but through free will and faith, walking towards God through this darkness. I still hold that to be absolutely true.

Yet something has happened over literally a matter of weeks that has reignited my interest in politics, and it is more than the return of Nigel Farage, although that has been the catalyst.

The prospect of total Tory collapse was first enticing only out of pure spite.

I had been critical of Farage, one of my political heroes, for what I viewed as terrible positions taken by him and his party during the Covid era, and a perceived silence on our disastrous foreign policy, after years of being outspoken and having the right idea.

Though my disappointment in and disillusionment with politics did indeed make me cynical, nothing made me more cynical than working in British media.

After working with interesting, heterodox international and expat journalists abroad, I discovered that back home it’s staffed largely by mediocrities, as fickle and, frankly, basic as any KMPG graduate or marketing intern.

Outside of the narcissism of small differences, wholly adopted from newspaper op-eds and ‘journo Twitter’ in cyclical bouts of opinion bottom-feeding, they are often not the well-read intelligentsia that they present themselves to be.

Yet the depiction given by many in sceptic quarters, that narratives are tightly controlled by explicit political directives handed out from above, a view I have been sympathetic to in the recent past, does not seem to hold water.

Don’t get me wrong, the fact that there are a small handful of news wires which provide thousands of newspapers and news channels with the same stories, they decide to put out in the way they want, is far from ideal and does have the ability to influence the news cycle.

Yet on the day-to-day, factory-floor level, the reality is that the media, and politics, is largely made up of people who are subject to the very same waves of information warfare, perception manipulation and social acceptability that the general public and all of us are to an extent. 

If it is indeed the case, as I now believe, that the enemy is not only far weaker than it has led us to believe, but has never been weaker than it is now, we do not only have the possibility the shift the Overton window through politics, which the media have no way of hiding from, but that we have a duty to be happy warriors and believe that it is possible to effect change.

For those still rightly enraged about the collective amnesia over Covid era mandates and who therefore see Reform as invalidated by not choosing to campaign on that, the reality is that its leadership now hold the correct view of the lockdowns and the jabs, even with the benefit of hindsight.

This won’t satisfy everyone, and I am completely sympathetic to that, but as Bismarck famously said, politics is the art of the possible, and what is possible at the moment is to mobilise around our current problems. Immigration is the obvious issue that will galvanise serious support against the uniparty – and our demographics are our ultimate destiny.

The rise of Reform to neck-and-neck polling position with the Tories is indeed an impressive feat. In fact, the campaign of the Conservatives in this election, which suspiciously feels like it is being directly run by the Labour Party for their own benefit, has got many wondering if this is not an orchestrated handing over of the baton.

In late March, Barack Obama, the man rumoured to be de facto running the Biden administration and campaign, dropped in to see Prime Minister Sunak, for reasons undisclosed.

In the following weeks there was talk by Andrew Bridgen MP that Sunak had been ‘told by the generals’ that we would officially declare we were at war against Russia in the summer ahead of a major escalation. The PM, it is alleged, responded that he did not want to be a wartime leader and a couple of weeks later had abruptly called an election.

All of this, alongside Rishi’s announcement in the rain, which bloggers have called a ‘humiliation ritual’, has led some theorists to believe the Tories are basically throwing the election. Reform, so the theory goes, is ‘controlled opposition’ designed to contain the Tory exodus.

There might be elements of truth to what I have just outlined but my personal experiences with Reform’s leaders do not lead me to that final conclusion. Farage and his team are genuinely running an anti-establishment revolt.

Not only is he running on the same issues which have only gotten worse since Brexit, our broken economy and the rapid demographic transformation of the country, but there is plenty of red-meat for sceptics; railing against the Tories for ‘taking away our freedoms’, hitting out against the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum, fighting against debanking, a cashless society and Net Zero lunacy. It’s not a bad platform.

The Andrew Breitbart doctrine is that ‘politics is downstream from culture’. It might then seem obvious that culture is therefore downstream from media, but as I have outlined, that is in fact not the case.

Our media is downstream from both politics and culture. Farage is very successfully using will to power to shift the Overton window and provoke the media into discussions they would ordinarily not have.

Whether you trust him to stick to these positions when push comes to shove almost doesn’t matter as much as his proven ability to act as a battering ram against our established political elite. In any case, he has been consistent on everything and on the Covid saga he has now come to the right place, which is more than can be said for others.

It has been Farage’s positioning on Ukraine, however, that has clinched it for me.

Despite the potential to alienate much of Tory Boomer-England who display their Ukraine flags with the same zeal that Corbynista students do with their trans-Palestinian-EU ones, Farage has stuck to his long-held position that this horrendous conflict was a long time coming.

The establishment, smelling blood, sought to use this to neutralise him, but he hit back harder and spent days making speeches outlining the failed wars of the uniparty, the lies they were based on and their horrific consequences. Labour in Iraq, the Tories in Libya and Syria and yes, Ukraine. “Foreign policy matters!” he’s been telling energetic crowds.

The power of taboos is a force more potent and yet more vulnerable than we imagine. A few hundred thousand of us silently crossing boxes in polling booths do have the power to change the parameters of acceptable discussion by the fallout it can cause for years to come. We should not scoff at that.

At a time like this, when all signs are that the most dangerous and corrupt elements of the collective West are itching for a global conflict, the man who proudly bellows to large crowds that “We only go to war as a very, very last extreme; I will campaign for peace wherever it is possible”, has my vote.

As it says in Psalm 146, Trust in God, Creator and Redeemer:

“Do not place your trust in princes, in mortal men who have no power to save.”

– Psalm 146:3

I won’t, but I will not abandon politics as a way of shifting the dial to expand public consciousness and as a way to take us off potential paths of ruin. Not yet.

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