Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, was on Robert Peston’s programme this morning where he said he was a ‘victim of hatred’ because he’s challenging the establishment.. He also suggested that the death of MP Jo Cox would hold back the Remain camp in the EU Referendum.
Now forget about the bile rising in your throat a minute as you see a figure who has caused so much division say this while making the death of Cox out to be a benefit (because that’s what he’s doing) to his side in this referendum that seems to find new depths to sink to on a daily basis.This is Farage doing his usual shtick Everyone’s a liar, the other side are cheats, use you gut, think from the heart, make Britain GREAT again while speaking in a low sotto voice to impart a sense of gravitas in something that has the gravitas of a night out at your local Wetherspoons.
On Thursday Farage unveiled his latest attack poster.
There’s no defending that as part of a sensible debate on immigration. It’s given up even trying to have that debate because Farage has never, ever been interested in that. Instead we get this sub-BNP rhetoric that ’50 million Turks will come to the UK and they’ll bring their criminals’. It’s dehumanising. It’s abhorrent yet it plays on desperate people’s fears as well as people like the person that killed Jo Cox. It creates a level of debate where because you’re not dialling it back you can only accelerate it which is what Farage seems to want to do.
Yet Farage benefits from immigration. His wife is German. His children grow up sharing her culture but here’s Farage wanting to close off the shared European culture we’ve enjoyed for decades for the majority. Now I know the Leave campaign has said they won’t extradite EU immigrants living here, but they’ve also made it clear any new immigrants would have to jump through hoops, and anyhow, those from the EU living here have been disenfranchised, dismissed, and generally hated upon by a large section of the Leave campaign which is looking to drive down wages further by not drawing in labour from the EU, but the Commonwealth.
See, if you think pulling out the EU is going to make the UK a dream where everyone works and it’s houses for all think again. The EU immigrants living here pay taxes, contribute socially, financially and culturally, and yes, some claim benefits. They’re also here within the framework of the EU, so we share universal human rights, benefits, etc. Remove us from the EU and that shared culture, economy and social life goes as many EU immigrants living here feel fearful and scared of what the UK (or what’s left of it) is going to become. Once you start drawing labour from the Commonwealth, and lets be honest here, there’s many in the Brexit campaign who are looking to draw labour from Commonwealth countries who are still basically Third World countries. Cheaper labour, less human rights, alienated and scared immigrants working within the Sports Direct/Uber model, ‘British rights for British people’, greater intolerance. There’s the vision of the future Farage is really selling you, not of a Britain leaving the EU and going back in time to pick up where it left off in Farage’s mythical past.
Farage is a bigot, a racist and a hateful figure. Yes, he’s the subject of hate because he generates so much division, hatred and spite against not immigrants or refugees, but people. The same people we share our lives with, talk to, work with, sleep with, marry, have families with. That’s who Farage is spouting his daily three minute hate against and by ignoring the source of the hate that’s blossomed from Farage and his ilk, the media make it abstract, they hide the cause of the bile, hatred, spite and violence people face every single day thanks to Farage. Even worse, treating Farage as a ‘celebrity’ normalises that hate as after all, he can’t be a racist hatemonger if he’s on funny programmes can he?
Now, I’m not saying every Brexiter is a racist but every racist will vote Brexit because that’s an inane sixth form piece of bullshit that also avoids dealing with the truth that there’s going to be racists and bigots voting to stay. There are people on both sides with very good sensible democratic reasons to do what they’re going to do.What I’m saying is that Farage is a racist, a bigot and a dangerous man who stands on the brink of having everything he’s fought for in his life validated. Whether he has a position in a post-Brexit government is another matter, but he’ll be empowered like never before and whatever happens post Brexit, he will be a force unless we make a choice to reject him on Thursday. Other Brexit campaigners like Michael Gove, a man I have no time for normally, are at least attempting to moderate their rhetoric and I applaud him for that. Farage doesn’t give a flying fuck.
Making a decision like this, based on the debate (and I use that term loosely) we’ve had isn’t going to make the UK a more progressive place. It gives power to the likes of Nigel Farage. It endorses his argument. It makes hate win. Look at Farage and think if you want to wake up on Friday with him having won and then think if you’re willing to live with the consequences of that?