Thursday 5 January 2017

The political extremism of Nigel Farage

In this article I'm going to look at the increasingly warped and dangerous political ideology being espoused by former UKIP leader and mainstream media darling Nigel Farage.

Intimidation of the judiciary

Nigel Farage detests democracy. In fact he even threatened to raise a gigantic mob to intimidate the judiciary into scrapping the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. He was so keen to establish the principle that the Prime Minister can simply make up the law of the land by themselves, with no parliamentary scrutiny whatever, that he tried to raise a right-wing mob to achieve it.

It's incredible that Ukippers who never shut up about the importance of parliamentary sovereignty before the EU referendum were suddenly shrieking for the principle of parliamentary sovereignty to be consigned to the dustbin of history just in case MPs might decide that Theresa May and her Brexiteer charlatans are making an absolute mess of Brexit and put the brakes on the thing in order to sort out some kind of coherent plan.

In the end Farage's threatened flash mob for dictatorship never materialised, presumably because Farage realised that fearmongering people into voting for Brexit was a hell of a lot easier than convincing them to actually join an extreme-right street protest demanding the principle of parliamentary democracy be scrapped. 

Farage didn't want the embarrassment of threatening to lead an army of 100,000+ to intimidate the judiciary, but ending up just leading an embarrassing anti-democracy parade of a few thousand of the most crazed UkippersBiffers and assorted other extreme-right anti-democratsso he scrapped the whole idea.

Donald Trump's butler

Farage began sucking up to Donald Trump way before the orange one was elected as President. In fact it was on a July 2016 trip to the US to share his Brexit gloating with Trump and the Republican Party convention that Farage's aide was arrested by US authorities for having orchestrated a dark web drug money laundering scam.

When Donald Trump won the Presidential election Farage made a beeline for the US to appear with Trump in a gold encrusted elevator, just as all good unironic "man-of-the-people anti-establishment firebrands" surely should.

Upon returning to the UK Farage then set about demanding that Theresa May appoint him as UK ambassador to the US, which displays an incredible misunderstanding of what the role of an ambassador is.

The job of ambassador to the US is to promote the interests of the UK to the Americans. The way that Farage has been sucking up to Donald Trump makes it absolutely clear that he sees the job of UK ambassador to the US as an opportunity to promote Donald Trump's interests to the British.

Theresa May has done a woeful job of Prime Minister so far, but even she had sufficient sense to ignore Farage's ludicrous demands for her to make him Donald Trump's official state appointed British butler.

Nazi style propaganda

Nobody sensible would claim that all Brexit voters are raving xenophobic bigots, some of them had non-bigoted reasons for voting the way they did.

The reality though is that the EU referendum was won by just 700,000 odd people casting their vote one way rather than the other, and few would even attempt to deny that a great deal more than 700,000 Leave voters were of the bigoted Biffer variety with heads full of anti-immigrant hatred.

Not all Brexiters are racist, but all racists are Brexiters.

Farage knew perfectly well that he needed to bring out the swivel-eyed racists in force in order to win the EU referendum, hence the commissioning of a Nazi style anti-immigrant poster modelled on the anti-Jewish propaganda of the 1930s.

Farage's ploy succeeded and a strong turnout of bigots ensured a win for the Leave campaign, but anyone with any sense of decency on either side of the EU referendum debate was left shocked at Farage's deliberate employment of Nazi style propaganda.

Alignment with the extreme-right

Many people were shocked by Nigel Farage's attack on the bereaved husband of Jo Cox, because attacking the widow of a murder victim would be bad enough in it's own right, but when the murderer shared the same fanatical hatred of immigrants and the EU as Farage does, then it's clearly incredibly tasteless and pretty damned un-British too.

One of the most telling things about his attack on Brendan Cox was the way Farage described the anti-fascist Hope Not Hate campaign as "extremists".

Farage has never had a problem receiving endorsements and adulation from the fanatical extreme-right. He hasn't spoken out against the vile extreme-right hate group Britain First instructing their followers to vote UKIP because he sees regular Britain First endorsements as useful free propaganda.

Thus Nigel Farage is trying to spread the Orwellian propaganda narrative that Britain First and the hatemongering fascist fringe are the good guys who need defending from anti-fascist organisations like Hope Not Hate, who are the evil extremists!

By publicly attacking and defaming the anti-fascist movement Farage is clearly trying to align himself with outright fascists in order to win their political support, just as Donald Trump openly courted the white supremacist "Alt-Right" fascists in the US and rewarded them with a key position in his administration for Steve Bannon.

Making up self-serving rules

Before the EU referendum result came in, fearing defeat for the Brexit campaign, Farage argued for a second referendum in the case of a 52-48 win for Remain saying that such a situation "would be unfinished business by a long way". After Leave won by ... err ... 52-48 Farage has changed his tune dramatically, claiming that any attempts to stop Brexit by means of a second referendum would result in "political anger the likes of which none of us in our lifetimes have ever witnessed in this country"when pressed on the issue by Andrew Marr, Farage agreed that he was predicting riots in the streets.

So if Remain won a narrow victory Farage clearly wanted a second referendum, but after Leave won a narrow victory Farage threatened riots in the streets if there's a second referendum. This is an absolutely crystal clear example of someone hypocritically making up the rules to serve their own political interests.

Ideological purges

The resignation of Ivan Rogers as UK ambassador to the EU over the shambolic mess the Tories are making of Brexit provoked Nigel Farage into calling for a mass ideological purge of the civil service.

Like the independence of the judiciary (that Farage also hates), the concept of a politically neutral civil service is one of the cornerstones of the British political system. The idea of a politically motivated purge of the civil service in order to enforce ideological conformity is utterly abhorrent.

History tells us that it's when politicians start with the ideological purges to eradicate their opponents from parliament, the civil service, universities and the media, that totalitarianism really starts to take hold.

The thing to be thankful for is that Nigel Farage doesn't (yet?) have the political power to achieve his totalitarian ambitions. He can't sack the judiciary and he can't conduct an ideological purge of the civil service because he's nothing but a tinpot dictator with only as much political power as the mainstream media afford him with their endless uncritical coverage of his political extremism.

A "Little Hitler"

According to the top definition on Urban Dictionary the slang term "Little Hitler" refers to "a self-important tosspot who thinks he's in charge. Someone who makes up arbitrary and/or self-serving rules and has a tantrum if they aren't obeyed".

There should be absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone but the most fervent of Ukippers that Nigel Farage fits the description of "self-important tosspot who thinks he's in charge".
Just consider his foot-stamping tantrum over the judiciary favouring parliamentary sovereignty over autocratic dictatorship; the way he makes up his views on narrow referendum victories entirely to suit his own self-interest; his impotent demands to be made ambassador to the US; and his calls for the ideological purges of his political opponents to begin.

Farage is pretty much the (urban) dictionary definition of a "Little Hitler".

A "Big Hitler"?

The good thing about "Little Hitlers" is that they don't have the political power to enforce the dictatorships they pine for. They can't sack the judiciary, purge the civil service or turn our schools and universities into political indoctrination camps because they don't have the political power to do any of it, they just have one impotent tantrum after another over such issues.

The problem of course is that "Little Hitlers" sometimes become "Big Hitlers". Dictators usually steal political power by force (military coups, fascist uprisings ...), but sometimes they're handed the path to absolute political power by the electorate.

History tells us that it doesn't take anything like a majority of the electorate to turn a "Little Hitler" into a "Big Hitler".

Take Adolf Hitler himself as an example. In 1932 the Nazis won 192 out of the 586 seats in the German Reichstag, which was nowhere near enough to form a majority government. After a couple of months of political wrangling the German political establishment agreed to let Hitler serve as Chancellor, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The 1932 election was the last free and fair election anywhere in Germany until 1949, and the last open election for the whole country until the post-reunification election of 1990.

Less than one in three German voters supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in the 1932 Federal Election, but that was all Hitler needed in order to seize power for himself and immediately set about with the political repression, attacks on the judiciary, ideological purges of the civil service and education system in order to eradicate political opposition and continually strengthen his grip on political power.

Nigel Farage has already made it absolutely clear that he's a "Little Hitler" who would just love to sack the judiciary, scrap parliamentary democracy and instigate a politically motivated purge of the civil service.

It's obviously unfair to say that if he were given the political power he craves, that Farage would eventually go as far as Hitler did. However Farage's is clearly identifiable as a potential dictator by his utter contempt for stuff like parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law, and his burning desire to see the ideological purge of his political opponents set in motion.

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