Editor ~ This is the second part. You can read the first part here on UkipDaily.
Tommy Robinson described in an interview with Infowars how the police proposed to him that they could make all the harassment and intimidation stop and they could make him the leader of the right in the UK, so long as he agreed to work for them.
I think there’s no doubt Nigel Farage was a genuine eurosceptic, spending over 20 years of his life travelling up and down the country speaking to meetings and building a fledgeling party into a formidable force when he could have instead continued a lucrative career as a commodities trader. Maybe though, one day the powers that be paid him a visit and said: “We’ve got something on you and we could really make your life a misery unless you play ball.” These people don’t mess about. Perhaps Farage and others in UKIP might regard working with the intelligence services as patriotic.
A few years ago the BNP put about a conspiracy theory that UKIP was an establishment plot to draw popular support away from any genuine grassroots patriotic movement and funnel it to this intelligence agency-controlled front organisation. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they? Nevertheless, the rise of UKIP’s popularity did syphon votes away from the BNP and contributed to their decline.
Leave wasn’t supposed to win the referendum. Maybe Farage was in on that. Maybe that’s why he did so much to foment divisions in UKIP and the Leave campaign in the run-up. Maybe Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan were right when they believed Farage had to be neutralised in order for Leave to win. He certainly appeared a bit too ready to prematurely concede defeat on the night.
Maybe, as the sun came up on 24th June 2016, Farage knew he was in trouble. The powers that be had been humiliated, were now expected to follow through on the result and would be livid. He knew he had to destroy this populist monster he had created – UKIP – which now posed a real threat of sweeping away the cosy political setup in the UK – and which would be an example to the rest of the Western World.
But UKIP couldn’t just be shut down. There were too many supporters, committed activists, a network of branches up and down the country, MEPs, AMs and councillors elected to terms of office. Even if Farage threw in the towel, they would want to carry on.
No … UKIP would have to die a death of a thousand cuts. It would have to be subjected to leaderless confusion, internal battles, management incompetence, public ridicule, political inaction and failure after failure, which would drive away voters, demoralise its activists and convince the public we’re has-beens.
Something interesting has happened in the wake Nigel Farage’s highly unhelpful comments endorsing a second referendum and his support for Henry Bolton’s continued leadership. He has all of a sudden become criticisable in these pages – even by such figures as John Bickley and Steve Crowther. Whereas he was previously our once-and-future-saviour who could say and do no wrong, the scales now seem to be falling from people’s eyes.
Here in South Wales, we’ve had experience of how Farage and his friends operate. In the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections, where UKIP was in the polls at the time meant that whoever was at the top of the regional party list was almost guaranteed to be elected. It seems that a certain young lady, who – and I have to be careful how I word this – some people believed to have been far too close the Nigel Farage, had been promised a job as an AM and Head Office was keen to see her placed at the top of the list.
Party members in Wales, however, had the temerity to elect someone to top the list who they felt was far more qualified for the job. This led to a dirty tricks campaign to try to remove the selected candidate and an almighty row on the NEC. The NEC backed the Welsh members and their chosen candidate. This was then portrayed by Farage and his friends as another example of how the NEC was not fit for purpose. The fall-out between the Welsh AMs and Farage’s allies continues to this day.
We have come to expect the media to be biassed against UKIPpers. It’s disappointing though to find, as in the above saga, that many of the most damaging stories emanate from senior party sources to undermine rivals.
I was relieved and somewhat surprised by the media coverage of Nigel Farage’s resignation. They faithfully broadcast his triumphalist spin that he had won. He had achieved what he set out to do, he wanted his life back and he was going out on a high. I fully expected them to talk about the party infighting and to suggest he had been forced out – just like they would had it been any party leader – but they gave Farage and easy ride.
… Except that we hadn’t yet achieved Brexit and Farage isn’t a man to retire from the spotlight or to relinquish control of UKIP.
I put Farage’s resignation down to his need to find a new income, having been so successful as to persuade the electorate to vote his job as an MEP out of existence. He didn’t get a job working for Donald Trump or establish himself on the US after-dinner speaking circuit. Then he became a talk show host for LBC. Despite the hopes and calls of many in the party, I never expected him to come back as leader. That said, he’s still an MEP until March 2019, and leader of EFDD, so he’s still in politics. And I’m sure he could live quite comfortably on a radio presenter’s income, plus a £73,000-a-year pension from the EU.
UKIP’s problem now is that it was, and likely always will be Nigel Farage’s party. Most of its successes can be put down to Farage – and on the downside, most of its failings too.