The opinion I held prior to the British election remains the same. I like Boris Johnson. I don’t trust Jeremy Corbyn or Corbynistas, and despite my scepticism of some Brexiteers, and their claim to be freedom-loving, I favoured Nigel Farage.
Goethe once stated, ‘unqualified activity, of whatever kind, leads at last to bankruptcy.’ [i]
Likewise, wrote J.R Miller, ‘in all of life it is the quiet forces that affect most. It’s false to consider noise to be evidence of strength, or to think that we are doing the most when we make the most bluster or show.’ [ii]
Both were talking about life and character. I think these to varying degrees are the perfect summary for the UKIP (2016) and later Brexit Party leader.
Nigel Farage is an ex-Tory. He wasn’t a contender for parliament in this last election, but he has been a consistent force for Britain’s independence from the E.U. since it’s inception in the early 1990s. After the Brexit referendum win in 2016, he distanced himself from any desire to be seen as a career politician, stating “my aim in being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union.” Farage’s quiet persistence had paid off.
Obstructionist politicking, however, delayed his plan to move on. Obstructionists effectively paralysed the U.K. Government from acting on the 2016 people’s mandate to leave the EU. Rather than bow out of politics, this made Farage dig in for the long haul. The Leave victory was won, but the long battle for Brexit was just beginning.
As the Goethe quote goes, the efforts of obstructionists didn’t ruin Farage. He regrouped. Thus, The Brexit Party emerged. Firstly, with the sole purpose of seeing that the 2016 referendum was honoured. Secondly, protecting the mechanism of referendum – undoubtedly one of constitutional democracy’s most potent means of communication between citizens and those the people chose to represent them.
The creation of The Brexit party was itself a brilliant political move. The manoeuvre distanced Farage from the elitist bickering of Remainers, liberating Farage to focus solely on campaigning against the potential abuse of power, first, by ensuring that the rite of referendum was respected, second, by ensuring that the voice of the people was respectfully acted upon.
Farage’s campaign culminated in Boris Johnson’s Tory victory. Johnson now an elected Prime Minister in his own right, was given a landslide mandate to not only act on the 2016 referendum but also put the word United back into the United Kingdom.
His influence isn’t hard to gauge. Despite the divided Tories changing leadership three times in three years, his defence of the 2016 referendum, and by default, his defence of the rite of referendum never faulted. He led a smart political campaign designed to protect this key mechanism of freedom.
Rollback the layers of contributing factors, such as Labour’s radical socialist platform, and three years of upheaval and instability within the Tory government, Boris’ massive win wouldn’t have seen the light of day, had Nigel Farage, and the army of discerning citizens who joined him, not donned the blue and white Brexit Party hat.
Post-election, whichever way Farage decides to go, he will, in my opinion, remain a necessary voice of accountability in the world of Western politics. Given his popularity among conservative voters on both sides, it’d be a monumental mistake for him to dismiss this role.
As Peter Hitchens suggests in the 2018 updated edition of is ‘The Abolition of Britain’, it’s naive to think that the Tories will move back towards a sane, Christian, moral and social conservative position, when the British have been psychological conditioned by the Left to see this hard-won plausibility structure as the enemy, ridiculously placed alongside Nazism in their collective consciousness. This is a sobering fact for those hopeful that Boris Johnson will pull Britain back entirely from the brink of its Leftist freefall into the abyss.
Farage is a seasoned political opponent, who’s continually shown that his only allegiance is to the British people, both past, present and future. He can keep both parties accountable. He has no allegiances to either Labour or the Tories. Since 2016, he has brilliantly outflanked Labour, and in so doing he became an indispensable ally in the Tory’s quest, not only to win the battle for Brexit but save what’s left of Britain’s unique identity.
Elaborating on this, Farage stated in a 2015 (pre-Brexit referendum) article for The Sun that,
[I’m] not religious, but as a country, Britain must be upstanding and [the British must] defend who they are. We are a Christian country with a Christian constitution and a Christian monarch.
Whilst I would not ever-present myself as being a person of deep religious conviction I absolutely believe in Christian values that have made this country great.
Also worth noting, Farage isn’t a fan of polling and has expressed no great trust for Boris Johnson. For now, it’s evident that Farage will stick around to ensure Boris sticks to their gentlemen’s agreement, which saw Farage step down Brexit Party candidates in key conservative seats. The primary reasons for this being a) Boris’ tune had changed, and b), he wanted to head off a Remain coalition led by Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, from delegitimizing the referendum mechanism by holding a second referendum.
On the flip side, there’s also the British public, who, if Boris is the genuine student of Winston Churchill that Boris claims himself to be, he will be paying very close attention to the voice of the public.
The Tory victory is as much as a credit to Nigel Farage’s qualified political prowess as it is to Boris Johnson’s own political nous. Farage deserves a great deal of credit, not just for the Brexit win, but for holding politicians to the rite of referendum, effectively stopping what would have been a gross abuse of power, and the regression of one of the most powerful mediums inherited from our forebears, for communicating an informed position on key national issues.
J.R Miller was right, ‘noise should not be mistaken for strength’. With Farage’s persistence; his resolve, and careful determination it’s easy to see why Rowan Dean calls Farage, “the greatest political figure since Margaret Thatcher.”
[i] Goethe, J. Maxims & Reflections, #9
[ii] Miller, J.R. Rev. Dr. 1894. Building of Character, Ed. Bruce Fry, 2006.