Farage’s brand-new ‘Brexit Party’ refuses to publish a manifesto, or to recruit members. So it’s difficult to know what it stands for, apart from (obviously) Brexit, and of the ‘hardest’ kind, and of course Farage himself. It has also found ways of keeping the sources of its donations secret, although everyone knows that the Insurance millionaire Arron Banks, with Russian connexions, is heavily involved. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Brexit Party is predicted to come out top of the poll in our British EU elections tomorrow, with around 30% of the vote.
In order to fill the information gap, a group called ‘Led by Donkeys’ has been posting genuine quotes all over the country which they claim represent a sort of unofficial ‘manifesto’ (see below); and one S Holloway has gone to a lot of trouble to worm out the views of many of the party’s candidates. Oddly, I can’t cut and paste the link to his post – it appears but then mysteriously disappears, in a flash – but you can get it up by googling ‘Holloway’ and ‘Everything I discovered about’, over the past few days.
It’s very long, but you don’t have to read it all – just a selection will do – in order to see what kind of people these Brexit Party candidates are. Firstly, they’re emphatically not the ‘ordinary’ people Farage claims to represent, ranged against the ‘elite’; most of them are pretty wealthy capitalists of one kind or another. Secondly, they nearly all have extreme right-wing views, ranging from Thatcherite to overtly Fascist; and an agenda which suggests that ‘Brexit’ is really the least of their concerns, by the side of – for example – privatising the NHS, restoring the death penalty, abolishing workers’ and women’s rights, and even legitimising child pornography, on ‘libertarian’ grounds. None of these policies would have attracted much support if it weren’t for the false appeal of ‘Brexit’; which by this token appears to be merely a ‘populist’ cover for a deeply reactionary and even proto-fascist movement. It’s no wonder that Farage doesn’t want to reveal his full hand of cards, until (presumably) he’s won.
Here’s a post on those ‘false’ manifesto posters: https://www.indy100.com/article/brexit-party-manifesto-nigel-farage-quotes-led-by-donkeys-poster-campaign-8918151. One hopes that people will get the irony.
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It’s not only Brexit that benefits from being a one issue party in this election, but the Lib Dems as well, and amazingly many are undergoing a fit of amnesia about the 2010-5 coalition years when the LibDems colluded in imposing austerity, tuition fees, fixed term parliaments, and much else. They were punished in 2015, but Clegg and others having received their knighthoods have left for more lucrative pastures (Facebook!?) but Vince Cable remains as a ghost from the past rubbing his hands in Uriah Heepish glee at the turn of events. The Lib Dems also have a distinctly neo-liberal attitude to Europe and the single market, hardly surprising given the alacrity with which they went into a coalition with the Tories. Meanwhile, British Steel is on the brink of collapse, but the government are citing EU unfair competition rules to rule out nationalisation.
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Well put. I’ve decided to go for the Greens for this one, returning to Labour at the next General Election. The more unambiguously pro-EU votes, the better.