Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Nigel Farage's un-resignation

So what can I say about Nigel Farage's un-resignation?

I can't say that I'm surprised about it. It's not difficult to see that, despite his own admission that "it's frankly just not credible for me to continue to lead the party without a Westminster seat", he's pretty much irreplaceable to them, given that the rest of the party is made up of a collection of failed Tories, bitter angry old men, outright bigots, teabagger style neoliberals, embarrassingly under-qualified amateurs and even a smattering of hopelessly confused left-wingers.

I had hoped that UKIP might be able to move on from Nigel Farage's deceitful attempts to be everything to everybody and establish themselves a position as a genuine right-wing libertarian party because, even though I strongly disagree with the right-wing libertarian stance, I don't see why right-wing libertarians should be so completely unrepresented on the political compass as they are at present.

Another reason I would have liked to see UKIP attempt to take a more genuine right-libertarian stance is because I see right-wing libertarians as slightly less dangerous than the kind of extremist right-wing authoritarians who dominate the current Tory government. As a left-libertarian I imagine that I would have been able to find much more common ground with a UKIP taken in a right-libertarian direction (stuff like standing up for personal freedoms, and opposing the ever encroaching surveillance state), than a party doggedly sticking to the fundamentally dishonest ultra-Thatcherite in Tory constituencies / more-Labour-than-Labour in Labour constituences shtick.

I would obviously have preferred them to move toward adopting a genuine political stance, but there's probably a hell of a lot more votes for them by maintaining their deceitful efforts to appeal to the uninformed and undereducated by telling them whatever it is that they think they want to hear.

The really big problem for UKIP, and the reason they couldn't let Farage go, is that his own admission that it is "frankly not credible" for the UKIP leader to not be holding a Westminster seat obviously applies equally to every other UKIP politician bar their sole MP Douglas Carswell, who although an interesting character, is hardly what anyone would call a charismatic bloke with mass appeal and leadership potential.

Aside from being a bit of an unappealing oddball, another obvious problem with Carswell is that he's still clearly tainted by the fact that until 2014 he was a Tory MP, and by his appalling voting record during his time as a Tory MP. It's was always going to be difficult for UKIP to pull off the "plucky anti-establishment outsiders" look while being led by a guy who was a member of the ruling government party less than a year ago, especially since ever more of the UKIP rank and file are realising where UKIP's money is actually coming from (90% of it from Tory party donors).

Even though Farage's undignified climbdown makes him look like an unprincipled snake who won't stick by his word when he makes an all or nothing "elect me or I resign" gamble and then loses it, I don't suppose it matters to to most 'kippers that he's displayed such an appalling lack of dignity.

If 'kippers had any standards they should be seriously unhappy about the fact that their leader make a ridiculous "elect me or I resign" gamble, then lost it, then made himself appear embarrassingly unprincipled when he un-resigned within half a week, making himself (by his own admission) an uncredible leader.

Most of them won't be bothered at all by it though. They'll be so busy celebrating the return of their uncredible hero, and so confidently immune to cognitive dissonance, that they'll be able to reimagine the whole thing as a heroic triumph over adversity by their straight-talking, never deceptive or dishonest, fag smoking, beer swilling everyman of a privately educated former Tory party activist and commodities trader turned "people's champion".

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