Nigel Farage is increasingly keen to stoke up publicity for his party by saying and doing ridiculous things. Experience has taught him that every time some fruitcake Ukipper politician came out with some absolute drivel (like the Somerset floods being God's revenge for gay equality legislation), his party was rewarded with a massive load of free publicity by the mainstream media. The more outrageous the drivel, the more free publicity.
Farage has resigned as UKIP leader so that he can dedicate himself to his new career of being Donald Trump's butler, and he's clearly learned a lot from his new master. Trump's Presidential campaign was characterised by such extreme displays of bigotry and divisiveness they really put Ukipper fruitcakery into the shade. The more outrageous Trump's attacks on women, Mexicans, immigrants, blacks, liberals, climate scientists, Muslims or the left, the more free publicity Trump was granted by the mainstream media.
Farage used to regularly expel Ukippers for talking contemptible gibberish and tried in vain to police Ukippers' use of social media to prevent storms of negative media publicity. What he's learned from Donald Trump is that negative publicity is still publicity, and that as UKIP leader he should actually have been saying as many outrageous things as possible in order to win mainstream media coverage, not actually trying to stop his fellow Ukippers from spouting so much hateful and bigoted nonsense.
Farage's latest efforts to increase his own public profile by courting mainstream media controversy involved blaming a terrorist attack on the leader of the country that got attacked, and then accusing a man whose wife was recently killed by an extreme-right terrorist of "supporting extremism".
Such despicable victim-blaming tactics should be enough to fill any decent person with revulsion, but the problem is that after four decades of hard-right "I'm alright Jack" Thatcherite dogma, Britain is such an unequal, divided and resentful place that decency is an increasingly uncommon virtue.
There are many problems with trying to blame Angela Merkel for an attack carried out by (at that point) unknown terrorists. The most obvious one is that it's a massive leap of logic to blame Merkel's policy towards Syrian refugees when the perpetrator was unknown.
Another major problem is that Angela Merkel's acceptance of refugees from Syria is an absolutely clear and undeniable demonstration that ISIS are wrong when they try to tell Muslims that they're hated by the West. In accepting Syrian refugees Merkel demonstrated that compassion and decency are western virtues. In spreading so much anti-migrant and anti-Muslim hatred the likes of Farage and Trump are actually guilty of acting as ISIS recruitment agents. ISIS and the extreme-right are two sides of the same hateful equation because they're both intent on fostering hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims in order to bring about the violent clash of civilisations they crave.
|After four decades of hard-right "I'm alright Jack" Thatcherite dogma, |
Britain is such an unequal, divided and resentful place that
decency is an increasingly uncommon virtue
The accusation that a guy whose wife was recently assassinated in the street by a right-wing extremist is a supporter of extremism would be bad enough coming out of anyone's mouth, but it's particularly appalling when uttered by a guy with such clear and undeniable links to extremism himself.
After a Latvian MEP quit UKIP's rag-tag parliamentary group in 2014, Farage needed to find a new member as quickly as possible in order to avoid losing their lucrative political subsidies from the European Union, so he cobbled together a deal with the extreme-right Holocaust-denying Polish party KNP to allow one of their politicians (Robert Iwaszkiewicz) to join the UKIP group.
The KNP leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke has openly stated that women are too stupid to vote, that disabled people should not be allowed on the television, that trade unions and workers' rights should be destroyed and that democracy is "the stupidest form of government ever conceived".
Iwaszkiewicz himself has said that wife beating "can help bring a lot of wives back down to earth" and argued that it's not wrong to praise Adolf Hitler for his low-tax policies during the Nazi occupation of Poland!
Having struck such a dodgy deal with bigoted, misogynistic, anti-democratic, Holocaust-denying extremists like these, anyone would think that Farage would have the sense to steer clear of accusing other people of "supporting extremism". The problem is that Farage just doesn't care that decent people will see his staggering hypocrisy for what it is. As far as he's concerned, decent people are a now minority and him and the extreme-right can win political power by appealing to the basest instincts of those without basic human decency.
Farage's justification for accusing Brendan Cox of "supporting extremism" is that the Jo Cox Foundation contributes to the anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate. In Nigel Farage's warped worldview the fascists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other extreme-right groups that Hope Not Hate oppose are noble freedom fighters, while those who oppose their extreme-right bigotry are the nasty extremists.
Hope Not Hate have said that they are considering legal action against Nigel Farage for his defamatory comments that they are an extremist organisation, and I hope that unlike Nigel Farage (who chickened out of his threat to hold an anti-democracy march in order to intimidate the Supreme Court into giving Theresa May free rein to make up the law as she goes along), Hope Not Hate end up actually following through and ensuring that Farage ends up in court over his warped, outrageously hypocritical and blatantly defamatory bullshit.
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