In many of his ideas, Mr Farage stands alone.
In the rise of any economic or societal shortcoming, people will often blame the current government, and as a result many frustrated souls will turn to those offering a more radical and extreme approach. This has happened many times in the past. Those with a faint knowledge of 20th century history will know that Germany in the 1920’s/30’s witnessed such an uprising, in the form of the National Socialist (Nazi) German Worker’s party.
A similar situation has occurred in Britain in recent years. After the worldwide banking crisis in 2008, the floodgates were opened for radical political ideas and methods to sort the country out. First with the infamous, and frequently ridiculed British National Party, and now however, there appears to be another prominent right-wing party. Not as outright extreme as the British Nationals I might add, but in a similar territory of the political compass – with much more appeal and who are gaining more support. They are the United Kingdom Independence Party (or UKIP, as an abbreviation).
They are led by Nigel Farage. The phrase “you either love him or you hate him” could be appropriately applied to this man. To some, he comes across as an honest, strong character and a good British patriot who actually cares about the average British man, as opposed to the “leftist establishment”, as he has often cited in the past. To others, he is a fallacious bigot/homophobe/xenophobe/sexist/racist, a view which is obviously rooted in comments that he or his party have made in the past.
I personally do not consider Mr Farage as a major racist, however he may possibly have indifference towards Africans and Indians, which he may not want to proclaim out loud – in fear of being shunned in the same manner that Nick Griffin of the British National Party had been. His views however, can generally get him categorised in the terms I mentioned above, by 21st century standards – giving the impression that he is an outdated lunatic, as some would say.
Despite this, even if Mr Farage was the least racist person possible, his party still is clearly a magnet for those who do hold racist views – such as those who would like to “stop em from comin into our country” and so on.
Not only that, many of the UKIP candidates have been penalised for making racist or xenophobic comments. Examples of this are former UKIP councillor Dave Small, sacked just six days of gaining office after complaining how he felt like a foreigner in his hometown of Birmingham; another was Andre Lampitt, who said “Most Nigerians are generally bad people.. I grew up in Africa and dare anyone to prove me wrong”.
It is therefore comprehensible that UKIP would attract such people. A radical right-wing party which plans to strongly limit immigration will be held dearly by those with racist or hateful orientations.
Despite Mr Farage not being as racist as his minions, I still see one problem with his ideology, which appears to have escaped the views of many of his supporters, including workers who support the party. Many times in the past, he has professed his admiration for Margaret Thatcher. This is evident from his autobiography, and comments he has made in the past – a year after Margaret Thatcher’s death, he wrote in The Times newspaper that he was the only politician who was “keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive”, as well as writing “if Margaret Thatcher was still the leader of the Conservative Party today, there would be no need for UKIP”. More recently though, he has had to adapt the party to make it more appealing to the workers – something nearly all parties do near to a General Election.
There is also evidence of Mr Farage claiming he will privatise the NHS – evidence which he would likely deny now, of course. Please open the link in a new tab below, and watch the video at the top of the page – http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/12/film-nigel-farage-insurance-based-nhs-private-companies?hc_location=ufi
One more key issue to bear in mind is that UKIP, while they blame immigration and Europe for the countries issues, will never mention tax evasion or inequality of wealth as significant problems. In fact, Mr Farage actually voted against the EU tackling tax evasion. Yet the two issues I implicated are statistically proven to be more detrimental to the country than those in which Mr Farage claims.
Falling for the bait cast out by UKIP is an unfortunate trap for many workers to fall into. Politicians will often say many things to simply gain votes. Even the Conservative Party are saying that they are the real party for the poor and the working class – yet anyone with a fairly decent grasp of politics will know that this is just not true.
A more extreme example of this manipulation of the working class’ minds is the party I mentioned at the beginning of this article. The Nazis did exactly the same thing – told the working class exactly what they wanted to hear in a time of economic hardship, and scapegoated a minority group, merely as an aim to achieve their end goals.
Unfortunately people have still not learnt from the past. Yes, the main UK parties might not be as competent as many people hope. However that does not automatically validate UKIP as a sensible option for the country.