Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nigel Farage – The Likeable Face of the Fourth Main Political Party

by Ruth Richmond
 
(source: GQ)
Don’t get too excited or outraged – I did not vote for UKIP in the recent European election. I am not a UKIP supporter nor am I likely to be in the future. But dare I say that I sort of like its leader Nigel Farage: I am impressed with the way he speaks to reporters and the ordinary person in the street. I have been watching him very closely, listened intently to what he says, over the last few weeks as UKIP has had so much exposure by the media. I watched him on Sunday morning on the BBC talking to Andrew Marr and I actually thought the following: ‘I like this man’, ‘I like his ordinariness’, ‘his humour is fresh and welcome in British politics’, ‘I could imagine sharing a pint with him and engaging with him politically’.

Of course, I have grave concerns regarding the UKIP manifesto, that some of the UKIP supporters are racist and/or homophobic, and its strong and dangerous euro-sceptic stance. These are reasons I won’t be supporting UKIP now or in the future. BUT Nigel Farage is engaging, funny, charismatic, and is someone in British politics who, at the moment, says what he thinks (whether you like it or not) rather than saying what will produce some soundbite for tomorrow’s papers. When was the last time we heard Cameron or Milliband laugh, or at the very least, smile? You might these qualities to be superficial and meaningless, and fundamentally are. But the mainstream politicians have become so bland, cardboard and people are losing interest.

As Russell Brand said recently: “I have never voted. Like most people I am utterly disenchanted by politics. Like most people I regard politicians as frauds and liars and the current political system as nothing more than a bureaucratic means for furthering the augmentation and advantages of economic elites.”

 Farage has injected a bit of life and debate into British politics that has been missing since Thatcher (we love you Maggie!). That is why people are listening to Nigel Farage – and unless the other main parties respond, he will go from strength to strength. And that is something I do not welcome!

6 comments:

  1. Personally, I think he is dangerous for the very reason Dr Richmond likes him.

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  2. He's able to be like that funny bloke down the pub precisely because - just like that bloke - he doesn't actually have to be responsible for anything he says or does. Four and a half years ago Nick Clegg was, believe it or not, the most popular man in politics. Then he got into power and actually had to make some proper decisions. It's not ended well for him to say the least, and Farage would be the same story if he even got a sniff of actual power. As for Nigel being ordinary: he's a white, middle-aged privately educated male who used to work in the City. I don't think you could come with a better description of a member of the establishment. In the end, I have faith in the wisdom of the British public. They always rumble a chancer and they won't be touching Farage with a barge pole by the time the general election comes.

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  3. I'm afraid to say I was disappointed with this article. Initially, you immediately set out to defend yourself about being labelled a UKIP supporter which frankly shows the reason of UKIP's meteoric rise: no party dealt with them seriously enough, either dubbing them 'fruitcakes', 'closet racists' or potential worse ignoring them.

    You also make the catastrophic error of saying that you are afraid of supporting UKIP because some of their supporters are 'racist and/or homophobic' which is again a pitiful reason to be opposed to something, I believe you should merit UKIP on their policies, not their supporters. You also have 'grave concerns' about the manifesto, which manifesto would that be then? Because no political party has an election manifesto yet and Nigel Farage has already said that the last one was 'dribble'.

    Thanks

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    1. Of course it's a valid reason to oppose a party. If UKIP were to get a whiff of power, it'd be people like Roger Helmer and Janice Atkinson who'd have some sway.. and they're both nasty pieces of work.

      And yes, all the parties have manifestos. We've been having elections every year for the last 41 years (i.e. local elections) and each party puts out literature. Besides, Farage helped to write that 2010 "dribble"...

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  4. "As for Nigel being ordinary: he's a white, middle-aged privately educated male who used to work in the City. I don't think you could come with a better description of a member of the establishment"
    Why are you stereotyping? What does it matter if he's white if or he's a man? Let's not discriminate here.

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  5. 'As Russell Brand said recently'. Since when has Russell Brand been intellectual? Can't really see him knowing a great deal about politics considering he can't even put a sentence together which makes sense.

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