Nigel Farage claims to be the guardian of democracy, when in reality, he is the defender of dictators and an archetypal demagogue.

There is a devilish simplicity in the marketing of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. “Democracy is under threat” and “let’s change politics for good” are slogans which evoke visions of the gallant English knight, ready to deliver Britain from the grasps of the evil European Union and the gluttonous political class. They paint Farage as the bastion of democracy, despite the truth being anything but.

Going back seven years, it would seem absurd that the angry man funded out of the pocket of Arron Banks would become “the man of the people”. The idea of Nigel Farage being at the political forefront would seem dystopian at best. So what changed?

Trust in our political institutions has never been lower, and it’s in toxic climates like this that populists flourish. It may be easy to blame the current societal turmoil on those who failed to see a deal pass royal ascension, but supporting Farage is not the path to democratic redemption.

This is a man who wants to prorogue our sovereign Parliament to assert his political ambition. This is a man who, in true authoritarian fashion, dismisses sceptics as “the enemy”. All whilst endorsing tyrannical dictators and human rights abusers. This is not a man who supports democracy.

Look at his party. One might assume “The Brexit Party” was a democratic institution, but its structure would say otherwise. The ‘party’ has no members, no elections and no policies. It consists of leader Nigel Farage, his hand-picked selection of candidates, and a PR team that could sell ice to an Inuit.

Unlike every noteworthy party running for parliament, paying supporters of the Brexit Party are not given any say in how the organisation is run, or who runs it. This is an institution that’s run for Farage, by Farage. A bit hypocritical for a group which claims to represent the people.

He acts as the ambassador of the 52%, but in reality, he is the chief advocate of an extremist minority. Imagine, even for a second, entertaining the notion that the people of Britain gave consent for our NHS to be picked apart by the hawks of the American medical industry. That the majority of the population voted for a failed government, no-deal Brexit and an £800 billion departure of capital out of the UK.

The thought should be ludicrous, but this is who he represents. Not the 52% who voted to see a more prosperous Britain and £350 million more a week for the NHS, but the leave voter that exists only to inflate his self-importance.

Yes, there are many reasons to be frustrated at the politics of today. And with the influx of Russian interference and the dawn of fake news, democracy is facing its greatest threat. But the solution does not lie with the likes of Farage. Instead of furthering social divides, we must treat each other with civility over contempt. As only when we understand each other, can we change politics for good.🔷

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[This piece was originally published on Mike Denata’s blog. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

Creative Commons License
(Cover: Flickr/Gage Skidmore - Nigel Farage speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. | 23 Feb 2018. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)