DAN HODGES: Remainer’s repulsive tweet to blame for Farage
DAN HODGES: Repulsive tweet that reveals why Remainers have only themselves to blame for Farage
Last Tuesday, an image began to circulate on Twitter of a Nigel Farage rally. Showing a predominantly white, relatively elderly audience, it was quickly seized upon by Matt Kelly, editor of the pro-Remain New European newspaper. ‘An actual Nigel Farage audience,’ he commented. ‘Marvel at the diversity, behold the spread of demographics. And bring a mop to clear up all the leaked piss afterwards.’
On Thursday, Britain votes in the European elections. If the opinion polls prove to be even remotely accurate, they will be won decisively by the Brexit Party.
At which point anxious Remainers will take to the airwaves and print, and commence a tortuous search for the reasons why.
This tweet was written by Matt Kelly, editor of the pro-Remain New European newspaper
Nigel Farage’s impending triumph needs no scholarly deconstruction
The media – inevitably – will shoulder much of the blame, accused of failing to effectively interrogate, challenge and expose the Brexit Party’s leader. Farage will be castigated for nefariously pulling the wool over the eyes of a gullible electorate. Theresa May will be pilloried because that’s basically all she is useful for now. And it will all amount to nothing more than an exercise in self-indulgent, pseudo-intellectual denial.
Farage’s impending triumph needs no scholarly deconstruction. All it requires is for Remainers to open their eyes and ears, and grasp three simple facts.
In 2016, Britain voted to leave the EU. It is now 2019, and Britain has not left the European Union.
Mocking, abusing and belittling people who perceive a basic injustice in this democratic disconnect will not result in them reversing their opinion. It will result in the brutal political backlash about to be administered to Britain’s mainstream politicians in four days’ time.
The Remainers place great store on the perceived ignorance of their opponents. Their supposed narrow world-view, simplistic Brexit prospectus and casual Little Englander prejudice. They are pledged to take the fight to them right up until 10pm on polling day.
But they would be better served doing a little less fighting and a bit more reflecting. Reflecting on their own ignorance of the forces that are about to be unleashed.
Farage is one of the most highly scrutinised politicians in British political history. His childhood, medical history, private life, business life, financial relationships, political relationships, drinking habits, driving habits, sartorial choices – just about every aspect of his existence has been examined and headlined on one of the major national media platforms. And the bandwagon keeps rolling.
Rather than the reincarnation of Churchill, Farage is Brexit’s Del Boy Trotter – the fast-talking chancer whose patter is ultimately doomed to failure
There is no killer fact waiting to be revealed. There will be no definitive exposé. The silver bullet Remainers keep praying for does not exist. And it doesn’t exist for one simple reason. Nigel Farage is fooling no one.
Certainly not the British people. Contrary to popular Remainer wisdom, they know full well who and what the Brexit Party leader is. He does not engender the starry-eyed devotion of Blair, the awe of Thatcher or cultish idealism of Corbyn. Rather than the reincarnation of Churchill, he is Brexit’s Del Boy Trotter – the fast-talking chancer whose patter is ultimately doomed to failure, but will burst the conceit and pomposity of the Establishment in the process.
The British people are also aware of something else. Whatever distortions and sleight of hand Farage may have deployed in previous campaigns and incarnations, in the 2019 European elections he is telling the truth.
Before the Referendum, we were told by the Prime Minister of the day – and in a taxpayer-funded leaflet delivered to every home in the land – that it was our choice. We could vote to stay in the European Union, or we could vote to leave the European Union – and the politicians would implement our will.
Britain chose to leave. At which point the politicians turned to the nation and said: ‘Sorry, but you’re staying anyway.’
Farage describes this as an act of betrayal. To which Remainers respond by accusing him of peddling incendiary invective.
But what do we actually call it when someone delivers a solemn pledge, you accept it in good faith, then they do precisely the opposite? What word is in the dictionary to describe such an act?
Amber Rudd will not be standing in the upcoming Tory leadership contest.
‘No, I’m not going to be running,’ she tells me. ‘I want to take the time to sit back and watch, and see who emerges.’
Rudd is well respected by the party’s modernising wing, and her endorsement will be significant.
Start lunching her, guys.
In this campaign, the truth is not Farage’s enemy, but his friend. Yet for some reason, Remainers are utterly blind to this basic fact. They are setting themselves against the will of the people as freely and fairly expressed via the ballot box. They are abusing those who want that result respected for being too stupid, too old or too white. Then they wonder why they are losing the argument. And the European elections.
Perhaps they ultimately don’t care. As in 2016, initial shock at the Brexit Party’s breakthrough could simply give way to further defiance. If the voice of the voters has been ignored once, why not again? Maybe the end will be seen to justify the means.
So long as Britain remains in the sainted EU, the implosion of the main parties and fracturing of parliamentary democracy is a price worth paying. But that it will have to be paid is no longer in doubt. The patience of the British people has been tested to destruction.
Our politicians have been given – and ignored – too many warnings. They have taken the voters for granted for the final time.
This morning the Remainers are struggling to understand what lies behind the Farage Surge.
On Thursday they will be given the answer.
Baker… and the Boris ultimatum
Boris Johnson has surged into a commanding lead as the bookies’ favourite to replace Theresa May. But I understand he is about to be confronted with an ultimatum from the ranks of the influential European Research Group.
Friends of Steve Baker, the pro-Brexit group’s unofficial ‘shop steward’, tell me he will demand a pledge from the former Foreign Secretary, along with fellow leadership contender Dominic Raab, that they will vote against May’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill when it is introduced into the Commons next month.
Both Johnson and Raab reluctantly voted for May’s plan in March, and I’m told Baker is planning to stand against them if they don’t go back to opposing the Prime Minister. ‘Steve’s been contacted by a number of colleagues asking him to run, and so far he’s been listening to them out of politeness,’ an ally tells me. ‘But Boris and Dominic need to understand that if they vote for the second reading, he will run against them.’
It’s unclear how much support Baker would garner from Tory MPs, but he is popular with grassroots members who admire his stubborn refusal to back down over the Chequers deal. Boris has a tricky decision to make.
As Change UK’s Euro campaign falters, I’m told that hopes for a new centrist political realignment now hang on the outcome of the upcoming Lib Dem leadership election.
The contest is set to be a straight fight between Jo Swinson, who favours a new LD/Con/Labour alliance, and Ed Davey, who wants to keep the defectors at arm’s length.
One Change UK MP tells me: ‘Jo has told us if she wins, she wants to establish a whole new centrist party. But Davey doesn’t want anything to do with us. If he wins, the idea of a new party is dead.’
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