nigel farage

Making Plans Without Nigel

Nigel Farage’s rise to prominence came in the wake of the utter implosion and failure of the BNP. After what seemed to be promising growth for this nationalist vehicle it effectively self-sabotaged to the point of complete unviability. Years of activism and goodwill pissed away. This is a subject deserving of attention in and of itself but will wait for another time. Enter UKIP, a party that although libertarian had the glimmer of nationalism in its eye with it’s main goal being leaving the EU. They had been rolling along in the background of British politics but were never really given any mainstream attention. The BNP was a eurosceptic party so the voter base could transfer over nicely to UKIP, although UKIP itself barred BNP members from joining for pragmatic optic reasons. Nigel essentially served as the frontman of the “fruitcakes and loonies” and his gift for public speaking and particularly his keeping alive of the immigration question attracted disenfranchised nationalists.

After this point, politics in the UK was overtaken by the Scottish independence debate as well as the question of Brexit. The latter obviously being achieved but poorly implemented. Glossing over this part of recent history to the meat of it; Nigel essentially forced the Tories to do something they were otherwise unwilling to do, leave the EU. Whether it was arrogance or fear that drove them to it we will never really know. What has transpired since then is a complete revelation to a great mass of people of the complete duplicitous nature of the Tory party. Nigel moved from UKIP to a new vehicle, the Brexit Party, in order to pressure the Tories into delivering a no-deal Brexit over accepting some Europe favouring deal. Post-Brexit the party has become Reform.

It was immediately clear that the Tories never wanted Brexit, indeed many of the things they publicly say they want or will do never come to fruition. It’s a party of saying one thing and doing the opposite. Nigel’s presence in British politics has been key in revealing this. When the last general election came up Reform made the decision to stand down in order to not split the vote and lose to Labour (who would have most certainly delivered a worse Brexit deal) ensuring another period of Conservative government. This is where the most recent criticism of Nigel begins in earnest.

Nigel is (dis)credited with “saving” the Tories. This is frankly preposterous. What has transpired over these last few years is a complete exposure of the true nature of this “conservative” institution. Reluctant Brexit deal, shambolic lockdown and further inability to reduce immigration. As we come toward the end of this 13+ year period of Tory rule what have they actually achieved for their voters? Nothing. Well not nothing, they’ve actually massively increased immigration.

If Reform had taken the decision to split the vote then potentially a Labour government would have been in charge of the exit deal and over lockdown. This would have given yet another excuse for Tory diehards, and the party itself, to say they would have behaved differently. Thankfully we don’t live in that reality, they’ve shown their true colours once again. Nigel has played the long game and come out of top. Are you really going to vote for a Conservative party that continue the same people that have been in power for 13 years?

As we are approaching what looks like a massive Labour win we have to remember what got us into this mess. Nigel has given the Tories enough rope to hang themselves with, the stool just needs a kick. Under a potential future Labour government we need to remember that, we can’t let the Conservatives sneak back in under the false bravado and empty talk the likes of which Suella Braverman has been deploying in recent weeks.

Rumours of Nigel as the next Conservative leader, after his appearance at the Tory conference, have been quashed by the man himself. He can’t envisage leading a party that stands for nothing and ultimately does nothing. I can only see his leadership happening if the party is completely gutted and that seems extremely unlikely at this point in time.

Nigel is not leading Reform at the moment, that task unfortunately falls on Richard Tice. A particularly boring man, a charisma vacuum, a damp rag to borrow a phrase from Nigel. If that party is to go anywhere it needs its old helmsman. I can’t think of a better place and time for Mr Farage to step back into a leadership position.

Where does that leave nationalists? Well firstly after being very kindly carried on Nigel’s back for over a decade it’s time for us to forge our own path. There is currently not a suitable vehicle for nationalism in the UK so it seems to be falling to independent candidates. I am currently only aware of one candidate that is stepping forward in the next election, Steve Laws, and would encourage every British nationalist to get behind him in this brave endeavour. The next decade is going to be critical for nationalism we simply have to get a party together, or commandeer one, and start winning seats locally and nationally. UKIP made an attempt to transform into a more nationalistic party, albeit in the vein of Tommy Robinson’s anti-Islam/counter Jihad. Although given what has happened recently, a staunchly Zionist party being the only vehicle for nationalism could have been a disaster. As I’ve said previously, we should exhibit caution when taking sides in the Israel-Hamas War. A fresh start waits on the horizon.

Mr Farage is not a gatekeeper, recently he said he believes a party will come along that makes him look quite tame. That’s us, we’re waiting in the wings but held back by our nature of being disparate and largely anonymous. Funding is also another great issue but there are plenty of content creators that surely, if they cared, could set aside some of their patron money towards the founding or funding of something tangible. Can funding be courted by actually engaging in active British politics? Potentially. The BNP had substantial membership and funds so there is certainly money out there to be had if only we could present ourselves more concretely to the British public. The Right in recent years has concerned itself with debate club topics of history and religion. These are naturally important but we can’t lose track of the ballot box if you genuinely feel that it is possible to gain ground electorally, which I do.

Nigel has expressed for years his desire to retire out of the political limelight, he was never masquerading as a saviour for our demographic woes, he just wanted Britain to leave the EU. That has been achieved, albeit imperfectly, so the future of Reform is uncertain but if it can pressure the Conservative party into genuine change then he will have done us another great service. The priority is stopping the endless tide of immigration into this country, finally carrying out the will of the British people after all these years.

As stated, the next decade will be incredibly important for nationalism in the UK, any advocacy for lowering, if not outright stopping immigration, should be pursued as our top priority. Find a vehicle that suits you and begin supporting it, either from the sidelines or involving yourself if you feel able to. The difficulty with our brand of nationalism, one that advocates for the native White British population, is that it will make you a persona non grata in many walks of life. That will change, but for now it is understandably a risk many cannot take. These issues will be hashed out in the coming years, as more speak out and as the imported problems of immigration can no longer be hidden or obfuscated the less taboo the subject will become. Indeed, given the current events in the middle east are reverberating back to our shores many are seeing the current & future demographic problem writ large.

Fundamentally, we are walking on a similar but distinct path from Nigel, we can no longer expect him to be something he isn’t. That is delusional for us and unfair, ultimately, on him. By doing that, we risk fostering resentment and poisoning what have ultimately been positive developments for nationalism when we otherwise would have been scattered and homeless. I doubt we’ll immediately separate fully from his political influence but now is our time to step into the limelight. 

Nigel Farage’s significance to British nationalism today will not be forgotten, like Enoch Powell before him, it is foundational for many. Here’s to ARE Nige! Always and forever!

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A Scotsman with a Grievance?

Nigel Farage was, somewhat predictably, booed when he was named News Presenter of the Year at the 2023 TRIC Awards in London. The manipulability of online polls in the age of loyally mischievous Twitter followings notwithstanding, the two GB News victories (its breakfast show scooped one too) arguably represent another milestone in the plucky challenger’s march to credibility and, its viewers will hope for its commercial success. 

When GB News launched in July 2021, I was living in the US and working on my second or third startup, depending on whether you only count the successful ones. I watched the go-live and for me the highlight of those initial hours of sometimes painful broadcasting (notable by the curiously low lighting) was veteran newsman Andrew Neil, whose presence lent the nascent broadcaster some grown-up editorial clout.

Personally, I like Neil, and in common with many others was optimistic when in 2020 he was lured from the stagnant BBC to become GB News’ founding chairman. As such, I was sad when, a few months later, he appeared to have flounced off – particularly as it gave the station’s detractors something to gloat about (many of whom seemed to have made up their minds before a single second of TV was broadcast, not least The Guardian’s perennial sideline sniper Owen Jones).

Yet my main regret about Neil’s departure was its manner: specifically, that he didn’t do it with dignity and discretion. Founders split all the time and there are always sensible reasons why. During the early stage of any venture there’s a vast amount of work to do, and it’s in this mad scramble that working relationships are tested. Not all will survive.

Sometimes it’s nothing to do with the individuals, but more the chemistry of a group under pressure. Yet the thing to avoid, in almost any situation, is to make a fuss upon leaving. However great the temptation may be to ‘set the record straight’, it almost always comes across as whiney.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who, years later, will say: “absolutely the right thing was to share a bunch of private stuff in public and stick the knife into my former colleagues”. Candidly, I imagine that Neil now regrets how he handled the split.

Imagine the counterfactual: Neil still left, but instead of throwing his toys out of the pram he settled on a cheerier statement along the lines of: “What a ride! Successfully launching a news station has felt like my biggest achievement to-date. Now we’ve gone live, I’m hankering for a break and will be scaling back my commitments starting immediately. I’d like to thank the team for the immense amount of valiant work to-date, particularly in the hard months leading up to launch, and I’m confident that the Board and management team will successfully steer the station to greatness going forward! I wish everyone the best of luck and will be with you, in spirit, every step of the way. I look forward to reporting on the channel’s success!”

Had he done so, perhaps he’d now be fondly (and rightly) remembered as a co-founder of a bold enterprise – rather than simply a disgruntled former employee who left on bad terms and did a media round to share his grievances, including an opportunistic appearance on his former employer’s programme, Question Time.

Water passes quickly under any bridge, and I’m surprised that Neil, with all his experience, either didn’t know this or ignored his better judgement. The momentary satisfaction one gains from a bout of bridge-burning is almost always outweighed – many times over – by the future ability to gather with former colleagues, on good terms, and share in the celebration of success while laughing about the often funny (and, in hindsight, trivial) disagreements that occurred along the way.

I suspect the wise warhorse Neil’s advice to anyone else might be similar to my own: always keep the bridge intact, however tempting the alternative may be in the short run. I’ve no idea whether he has sent any of the GB News executives a congratulatory message over the last couple of years, but for his sake I hope he has.

To quote PG Wodehouse, “It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine” – and endearingly curmudgeonly Neil appears to be no exception.

A rapprochement with his former startup would surely earn him renewed respect in the eyes of his many admirers. Perhaps he could appear as a guest on News Presenter of the Year Farage’s show? A display of convivial bonhomie on, say, Talking Pints would surely put to rest any accusations that a certain esteemed Scot is harboring a grievance.

Photo Credit.

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