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Its almost enough to make you feel sorry for him (or may be not!). First there was this:
“Nigel Farage tells Fox News there are no-go zones for non-Muslims in France”
You would have to respect such a statement from one of our Euro Mp’s (who else would really know) were it not for this article pointing out that this idea originated from a 9 year old blog post created from some amateurish ‘googling’ of the French National Website by a non-French speaker…..
“Steven Emerson, a man whose job title of terrorism expert will henceforth always attract quotation marks, provoked a lot of mirth with his claim, made during a Fox News interview, that Birmingham was a Muslim-only city where “non-Muslims simply just don’t go in”. He was forced to apologise, and the prime minister called him an idiot, all within the space of 24 hours.
This was just one of the many deeply odd things Emerson said in the course of the interview, although it was perhaps the most instantly refutable: Birmingham census figures are easy to come by. His claim that London was full of “actual religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire” is harder to disprove; just because I live in London and I’ve never seen them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. But they’re not exactly thick on the ground. I blame the cuts.
Emerson also made reference to the “no-go zones” of France, where the government doesn’t “exercise any sovereignty”. “On the French official website it says there are,” he said. “It actually has a map of them.”
I just watched a video of some lovely Ukip supporters being, well… Ukip supporters.
I was particularly struck by the nice lady who suggested that a French person who has been living and working in the UK for years, should just be forcibly repatriated because “well, yeah, we all go home to our own places”. This (apparently, totally acceptable and not xenophobic at all) standpoint is justified with simple pragmatism: “This country cannot support any more people”.
It is a common view. It is also utterly misconceived.
A country is its people. There is no vague, mythical construct that “supports people”. People support each other. And in a service economy, numbers matter greatly*.
So, if you advocate deporting a couple of million people, it is true enough that you will have fewer people to support. But – and this is the bit of the equation on which Ukip and their…
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“…by marrying his version of nationalism to racist rage he gave British racism and racist violence in British streets its own peculiar shape for a time, and it bore his name, Powellism. He offered British politicians a model for racialist rhetoric which was to last for a long time – when, a decade later, Mrs Thatcher spoke of British civilisation being “swamped” the Powellite echoes were unmistakable, and successful.” Mike Phillips in Obituary of Enoch Powell 2001 – it seems you you could also add the name Nigel Farage a further decade on from Thatcher.
Nigel Farage has never hidden his admiration for Enoch Powell, the Conservative politician whose 1968 Rivers of Blood speech overshadowed race relations in Britain for decades.
Powell used a speech in Birmingham to rail against the social consequences of immigration from the Commonwealth and new race relations laws. He warned: “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.” Powell lost his job as the shadow defence secretary and became a political pariah. But polls at the time found that his speech was credited by some for returning the Tories to power in the 1970 general election. He quit the Tories in 1974 and served as an Ulster Unionist MP for South Down until he left Parliament in 1987, turning down a life peerage.
Few politicians had dared to praise him in public until 2008, when Mr Farage, who at the time had been leader of UK Independence Party for two years, named him as his political hero, saying: “While his language may seem out of date now, the principles remain good and true.”
Mr Farage added: “I would never say that Powell was racist in any way at all. Had we listened to him, we would have much better race relations now than we have got.” Then, in January this year, Mr Farage was read parts of the “Rivers of Blood” speech on Sky News’s Murnaghan programme and said he agreed with the “basic principle” of Mr Powell’s words.
Mr Farage has only ever admitted to two meetings with Powell, who died in 1998. In his autobiography, Fighting Bull, Mr Farage described how on meeting Powell as a teenager at Dulwich College, the MP “dazzled me for once into an awestruck silence”.
On the second occasion, in May 1993, Mr Farage drove Powell to a Ukip rally, where he was due to speak, on the eve of the Newbury by-election, where the party’s founder, Alan Sked, was standing as a candidate.
Mr Farage described how a group of communists outside Newbury Racecourse hit his Mercedes with “a large wooden stave”, but Powell was “totally unmoved”. He wrote: “That meeting, with a man who had achieved so much and sacrificed so much for his principles, awoke all sorts of aspirations in me which I had not even acknowledged before. It inspired me. Public service was not just about kowtowing to a party line.”
Documents unearthed by The Daily Telegraph in an archive at Cambridge University show that Mr Farage wrote to Powell asking for his support in a by-election in 1994. They also show that Mr Farage’s initial contact was followed up by repeated attempts by party officials and candidates to enlist the support of Mr Powell, including two invitations to stand as a candidate for Ukip in two national elections.
UKIP will probably win seats at the General Election in 2015 in the South Yorks area – particularly Rotherham as in the European elections earlier this year. What most locals don’t know is that one of the keys secrets to UKIP’s success is that it has the most secure funding of any political party and that comes from a local businessman (and former Scrap Merchant) who made his millions (650 of them at the last count) partly by building the Meadowhall shopping Centre.
Self-made businessman promises to do “whatever it takes” to help Ukip top the polls in May
The UK Independence Party will receive a multi-million pound boost before next year’s European elections after winning support from one of Britain’s wealthiest businessmen.
Paul Sykes, a self-made tycoon and veteran of the campaign to keep the pound 15 years ago, has promised to do “whatever it takes” to help Ukip top the polls in May.
His move deals a big blow to the Conservatives as they fight to contain Nigel Farage’s party.
Paul Sykes tells the BBC: “The only party that’s offering a clear referendum in and out now is Ukip and that’s the reason I’m supporting it.”
Mr Sykes supported the Tories under Margaret Thatcher and Michael Howard, but has backed Ukip in the past, giving the party £1.5 million in 2004.
His latest investment in the party is expected to run into several millions. He told the Telegraph that he wanted to finance Ukip’s efforts to pull Britain out of the EU.
“It is time to tell the truth and let the people decide … I want this country to get back to becoming a self-governing nation,” he said.
“That is what I am in it for. I am not going to sit here and do nothing. It’s my final thing this, it’s my Waterloo.”
A new poll by Ipsos MORI finds that 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the EU – the highest level of support since 1991 by Alberto Nardelli theguardian.com, Wednesday 22 October 2014 15.40 BST
A new poll from Ipsos MORI shows 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the European Union in a referendum – the highest support for British EU membership since 1991.
The most likely explanation for this surge in support to stay in the EU is that the rise of Ukip in the polls has polarised the debate around EU membership.
Public opinion remains though divided on the specifics of Britain’s relationship with the EU. 34% would like Britain to be a part of an economic community without political links, while only 29% would like the relationship to stay broadly the same as it is now. 14% would like closer political and economic integration, and 17% would prefer to leave the EU altogether.
A YouGov poll released earlier this morning also found diverging opinions when it comes to the nature of the UK’s relationship with Europe
A low salience implies that opinion on EU membership could shift quite rapidly as the debate intensifies, and should the importance of Europe as an issue rise in the list of voters’ concerns.
For now, Nigel Farage’s spike in popularity seems to have bought voters closer to Europe than they have been for twenty years – evidence maybe that an out campaign, as Michael Fabricant put it, would need to balance issues of the heart with tangible arguments, if it is to ever win a referendum.