Tag: Nigel Farage

The Apotheosis of Nigel Farage

 

There were local election in England and Northern Ireland yesterday. Everyone is expecting the Conservatives to get a drubbing for their Brexit perfidy. But the interest is really elsewhere. The commentariat have been surprised by the rise of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party, who are not standing in these elections but are topping the polls for the European ones in a few weeks time. Below is a piece that is a wee bit different from me as I usually try not to write about myself. However, while I am far from central to the story my being there is necessary for the telling of it. As ever, apologies for my UK English…

A few weeks back I found myself driving to the city of Birmingham in the heart of the midlands. It was not my first visit as I’ve done quite a bit of work there over the years and I’ve always taken to the place. While no one driving through the industrial progeny of the ‘dark satanic mills’ lining the M6 would expect it, in many ways Birmingham is one of the most charming cities in England. York is certainly far prettier and Bath blessed with a noble heritage that is still captured in its modern setting. Yet with its canals and red brick Victorian buildings, Birmingham has a singular essence reflected in the earthy humour of its people, colloquially known as ‘Brummies’.

Indeed, apart from a few antediluvian areas, Birmingham could claim to be one of the most successful British cities at integrating its large number of ethnic minorities; a Brummie is a Brummie no matter their skin colour. Birmingham is itself a city at the heart of a greater conurbation encompassing market towns like Solihull and many old industrial areas including Wolverhampton, Dudley and Coventry – where Jaguar cars, such as the one I drive, were built.

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The “Calexit” referendum campaign has died in infancy after its leader decided to become a Russian citizen. The terminology is confusing. This proposed 2018 state ballot referendum, which Nigel Farage supported, would divide California along cultural lines into two smaller states. There is a separate campaign for California to leave the U.S. altogether called Yes […]

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Glyphs on Globalism

 

Flag-map_of_the_worldOne thing about Donald Trump that everyone on Ricochet agrees on — from the most stubborn #NeverTrump to the most enthused Trump supporter — is that Trump is a nationalist, someone who places the well-being, security, and prosperity of the United States above those of other countries. Trump’s nationalism is often among the top reasons his supporters cite in his favor, and (unsurprisingly) they often accuse anti-Trump voices of being globalists, usually in the same tones that were once reserved for heretics, traitors, and people who drive too slow in the passing lane. More recently, Trump’s rise has been likened to the Brexit vote, not only because both represent successful nationalist movements that had been scoffed at by the political establishment, but because both Trump and Nigel Farage have made the connection explicit (H/T @columbo).

But while the comparison between Trump and Brexit is real and significant, it’s only part of the story. How else, for instance, to explain why Daniel Hannan — Farage’s colleague in both the EU Parliament and the Brexit battle — is among the most vociferous anti-Trump voices on the Right? (If you haven’t, listen to Jay Nordlinger’s recent interview with him). The answer, I think, is that nationalism vs. globalism is only one of several political dimensions that deserve our attention.

For example, lost in the talk of late has been the related-but-discrete topic of whether our society should be engaged vs. closed. Both Hannan and Matt Ridley are nationalists who campaigned for Brexit, but their arguments often hinged on how the EU forced Britain to limit its engagement to the Continent rather than giving it the run of the world to seek allies, or to have its people ply their wares, travel, or find bargains.

Nigel Farage has resigned from the leadership of UKIP

 

Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage resigned his position as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party yesterday. He is in a position to request applause for his astonishing success. Under him, a party that holds only a single seat in Parliament not only moved the Tories to hold a Brexit referendum, but has done what only men like Farage used to want. This man is, in short, the only successful populist of our times and he says that his career is now over, though he will retain his job MEP through the Brexit process.

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It’s always instructive to read how the rest of the world interprets political events in one country – because, inevitably, they get things wrong. That has never been more true than in American news coverage of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU last week. Sometimes it comes from an over-reliance on particular shallow […]

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The Spectator, a weekly British publication, sponsored a debate on Brexit last week, hosted by the always-interesting Andrew Neil. The Leave side was represented by Daniel Hannan, Nigel Farage, and Kate Hoey, and the “Remainians,” as Farage quipped, were represented by the always-oily Nick Clegg, Chuka Umunna, and Liz Kendall. Spoiler: the Leave side won. Preview […]

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Should the huddled masses yearning to breathe free come here to do so? In Toronto on Friday, Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage changed the numbers from 77% in favor, 23% opposed before the debate to 55% in favor, 45% opposed by the end of the evening, even though before the debate 79% of these same […]

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The Importance of ‘Cool’

 

purple revolutionSometimes we conservatives don’t appreciate the importance of “cool” in politics. McCain and Romney, different as they are, were squares, while Obama was not. As much as we mock the Hope poster, it was one of many ways that voting for Obama became the hip thing to do and got lots of people to come out who had never voted (and won’t likely be voting for the harridan they’ll be nominating next year).

Ricochetti living in Britain will set me straight if I’m wrong about this, but it seems that UKIP has figured this out to some degree. In substance, it’s the squarest of parties, rejecting everything held dear by right-thinking people, and its leader, Nigel Farage, looks like Homer Simpson with hair. But Farage is hilarious, videos of his comic mockery of EU commissars getting hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Their choice of a rich purple as the party color was inspired, and this image, which is on t-shirts, could give Obama’s Hope’s poster a run for its money. (“Purple Revolution” is the title of Farage’s campaign book, published last month.)

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, and maybe the pollsters are right that UKIP has peaked in the run-up to the May 7 parliamentary election. Conservatives will always be at a disadvantage in this regard, being the defenders of order and bourgeois respectability. And you can’t just order up some cool from the Cool Store (across the street from the Jerk Store). But we can’t leave this field to the Left. After the Left’s march through the institutions, we are now the counterculture. Patriotism, liberty, and faith are cool in a world of brownshirt attacks on Christian pizza parlors, “Julia”-style anomie, students groaning under debt from their worthless degrees, and an elite selling out America’s workers and America’s sovereignty. It’s up to us to communicate that.