Nigel Farage and UKIP: A Step in the Right Direction (2014), by Sean Gabb

Nigel Farage and UKIP:
A Step in the Right Direction

Sean Gabb
(Unedited Version of Article Published by VDare on 9th May 2014)

For anyone not completely in love with the New World Order, most of the news coming out of England is depressing. I will, in this article, try for an exception to the rule. I grant that, since my subject is the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and since I am a fairly enthusiastic supporter of that party and of its leader, Nigel Farage, I may be guilty of wishful thinking. All the same, the party is currently doing well, and Mr Farage seems to be doing still better. Unless you are committed to the British National Party, and are suspicious of what may be called “The Conservative party in exile,” I think I can show that the rise of UKIP is at least a step in the right direction.

In my darker moods, I suspect that all the things that have gone wrong with England since about 1914 are symptoms of an underlying decline. Let us assume: (1) that ability, however defined, is largely inherited; (2) that, in a reasonably open and expanding society, the more able will rise into the business and professional classes; (3) that the availability and acceptance of effective birth control methods will cause a decline in the birth rate among these classes; (4) that the less able classes will continue breeding at higher rates. Let us add to this the disaster of two world wars, in which the able suffered proportionately greater losses, and mass-emigration of the able, and high taxes on business and professional incomes, thereby depressing birth rates still further, and a generous welfare system to support the breeding of the less able. Take all this into account, and the surprise must be not that England is now in a mess, but that it somehow remains one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world.

But this is only a tentative hypothesis. Indeed, it may be falsified by the country’s continuing wealth and power. Whether they are symptoms of this underlying decline, or effects of a cultural change within the ruling class, let me describe the main specific grievances held by everyone who thinks England has gone badly wrong.

First, there is the exercise of power not through our own representative institutions, but through unaccountable and often invisible global institutions. England has only ever been a democracy in the sense that we were allowed to choose between options put before us by our rulers. But that was usually enough to keep us happy. But our domestic politics are increasingly a dance to an offstage band. Our foreign and military policies are set by NATO and the UN – which ultimately means that are set by the American ruling class. Our economic and social policies are set by the European Union, behind which stands the World Trade Organisation and the IMF, among others.

This is not to say that our own ruling class has become a nullity. It may be regarded as a branch of the American ruling class: it certainly has much influence in Washington at every level. As for the EU and other global institutions, whatever it really wants it generally gets. The losers have been the people at large. We have two main parties to vote for. Whichever of them wins, we keep the same regime.

Second, the draining away of power from our own institutions has been promoted by the Balkanising of the population. We have no idea how many foreigners – white and non-white – are living among us. The Government claims the population is about 60 million. Tesco, the biggest supermarket chain in the country – and this should be in a position to know how much food is bought – believes the figure is closer to 80 million. One problem with immigration on this scale is that institutions that evolved in a nation with a common identity become unworkable. There is no single public opinion. Instead, the country is becoming a patchwork of mutually suspicious nationalities, many of which believe they have more to gain by lobbying favours from the ruling class than by combining to make it accountable. This has now been as good as admitted. According to Andrew Neather, one of Tony Blair’s speechwriters, the purpose of the mass-immigration policy followed after 1997 was to rub our faces in diversity. It was to raise an impassable barrier between our old and present ways.

Third, there is the growth of a police state. This is a natural consequence of the first two. The people at large must be kept from complaining too loudly about dispossession. Also, peace must somehow be kept between the various groups of the people. You cannot have the Moslems preaching jihad against our wars in the Islamic World. You cannot have the natives complaining about the presence of the Moslems. Political correctness is the legitimising ideology of the new order of things, and many of the oppressive laws made in the past generation have been made at the demand of the racial and sexual equality fanatics. But, as said, freedom in the sense traditionally known in England is not compatible with unaccountable government and a Balkanised population.

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As a libertarian, I share these grievances, though with reservations. I absolutely reject our military and foreign policy, and our police state. I am slightly less certain about our membership of the EU. It can be argued that, since 1945, England, France and Germany have had a common interest in settling their historic differences, and organising the smaller European countries into a bloc able to stand up to the Americans and the Russians and to any other hostile non-European power. There is the more recent fact that, if our ruling class chooses to rule via Brussels, the EU is a cartel with several dozen other member states, not all of them ruled by certifiable lunatics. Without the need for oppression to be harmonised across the whole European continent, it may be that England would already be an Orwellian nightmare state. But mine is a minority view within the English right. The general belief is that national recovery is impossible unless power is repatriated to London, and made once again accountable.

Founded in 1993 by the historian Alan Sked, UKIP began as a single issue movement. Its whole object was to leave the EU. During the previous twenty years, both Labour and Conservative Parties had found it occasionally convenient to sound Eurosceptic. But Conservative and Labour Governments in the 1960s had applied at different times for British membership. A Conservative Government got membership in 1973. After a pretence of renegotiation, followed by a biased referendum in 1975, a Labour Government kept us in. The 1983 Labour manifesto promised to take us out. Margaret Thatcher made Eurosceptical speeches, but her Government deepened our membership, as did her Conservative successor, John Major. Long before it came to power again in 1997, Labour had given up even the pretence of Euroscepticism; and the Blair and Brown Governments were full partners in the creation of a federal European state. From the 1950s, the Liberal and then the Liberal Democrat Party had been unwavering in its Euromania. UKIP was set up to fight and win elections until it could gain a big enough majority to withdraw from the EU.

Though never a member, I was a witness to the early debates within UKIP. Broadly, there were two factions. One, centred on Professor Sked, saw the party as purely concerned with leaving the EU. The party would have no other policies. This would allow it to draw support from across the political spectrum. Do you want higher or lower taxes? His faction would ask. Do you want state or private ownership of the railways? Do you want more or less immigration? We take no position on these. But vote for us, and we will give you back a political system that will respond to your wishes on these things.

The other faction was made up of renegade Conservatives. They hated the EU because it stood in the way of delivering the economic liberalism and national renewal promised by Margaret Thatcher – promised by her, though never delivered, and still promised without measurable inclination to deliver by the next Conservative leadership. By about 2000, they had won the internal struggle. This was probably inevitable. Since the 1980s, the white working classes had been withdrawing from politics. The core Labour vote was increasingly made up of tribal loyalists, by ethnic minorities, and by interest groups whose interests were best advanced at a European level. There was limited Labour defection to UKIP. But Conservative voters came over in their tens and hundreds of thousands – Conservative voters and activists, and even a few politicians. Then there is the question of ideology. There is a traditionalist Labour case against the EU – the protection of jobs and living standards for British workers, working class patriotism, and so on. But the required policies of protectionism and state direction were out of fashion. Economic liberalism and middle class patriotism, on the other hand, were still in full bloom; and these provided the main case for national independence. The more Conservative UKIP sounded, the more support it got. I have called it the Conservative Party in exile. That is what it was made by the feet on the ground. Every UKIP activist I know started in the Conservative Party.

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UKIP has failed in every parliamentary election. But our electoral system is biased in favour of the two established parties. Electors have only one vote, and the question they must ask is “Which party do I want to have a big enough majority in the House of Commons to form a government?” More recently, the question has become “Which party do I most want to vote against?” The answer to both questions is either Labour or Conservative. The Liberal Democrats have enough concentrated support to get a few seats. So have the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists. But the main political game is between the two biggest players. Bye-elections are a different matter. But, while UKIP has done increasingly well in these, it has not done well enough yet to win a seat in the Commons.

Elections to the European Parliament are a wholly different matter. This is a body with little real power. Most decisions in the European Union are made by the Commission, which is its permanent bureaucracy; and the Commission’s main rival is the Council of Ministers, which is an ad hoc committee of politicians from the individual member states. The five-yearly Euro-elections, therefore, are seen as an opportunity for people to vote for the party they really like. Here are the UKIP results for the past twenty years of elections:

European Parliament

Election year

total votes

 % of overall vote

seats won






















Source: Wikipedia

The next elections are a few weeks away, This time, the opinion polls suggest that it will win them outright – beating the Conservative and Labour Parties, and possibly annihilating the Liberal Democrats.

Because of its past and expected success in these elections, UKIP has, for this year’s Euro-elections, been given equal status by the media and the Electoral Commission with the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties. It will have the same number of election broadcasts on television, and its policies will be given equal weight. After its first decade of virtual blackout in the media, and a second of at best limited coverage, a party flatly opposed to the existing order of things will fight the coming Euro-election as an insider.

Much of the credit for this remarkable achievement belongs to Nigel Farage. He has fully accepted the logic of UKIP’s position. He stands for EU withdrawal on “Thatcherite” grounds. His economic policies are free trade and low taxes and skeletal regulation. His other policies are to secure the borders and deal with illegal or fraudulent immigration, and to restore our traditional liberties by stripping all political correctness out of law and administration. I have no reasonable doubt that he believes what he says. I have spoken in private with him several times, and watched him speak with others. What he says in private is an abbreviated and more scathing version of what he says in public. UKIP is a force in its own right. But that force is greatly magnified when its leader is a man of conviction.

The leaders of the three mainstream parties in Britain are effectively interchangeable. David Cameron (Conservative) is related to the Queen. Ed Miliband (Labour) is an ethnic Jew. Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat) is half Dutch. The differences end there. All three are rich. They all have the same politically correct opinions, and are committed to the same globalist agenda. In foreign and military policy, they all take their orders from Washington. None has had a proper job outside politics and government. They are all patronising liars. Their only meaningful point of difference is over which of them should lead the dance to the off-stage band.

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Mr Farage has made UKIP unbeatable in any fair debate. Its policies have solid and growing support. Any fair discussion of them will only increase their popularity. Because he believes in them, Mr Farage is a devastating advocate. In March and April 2014, he took part in two televised debates with Nick Clegg, who as well as leader of the Liberal Democrats is also Deputy Prime Minister. The idea was to put Mr Farage against one of the most intelligent and engaging front men for the ruling class, and give their debate maximum coverage. The organisers believed that Mr Farage would be revealed as a bag of wind mouthing a few populist slogans. If this what they truly believed, it must be evidence for what I suspect about national degeneration. I cannot imagine what hubris led the Deputy Prime Minister to agree to these debates. He lost the first round, and was utterly crushed in the second. The only complaint anyone can make about the Farage performance is that it might have been even better than it was. He is now the most popular politician in the country. No one doubts the opinion polls, that UKIP will win the European Elections. The only question is whether UKIP can break through to win seats in Parliament in 2015.

But fair debate is only part of the ruling class response. Ignoring UKIP has failed. Arguing with it is failing. But smearing it may still work. Therefore the steady drumbeat in the media of claims that UKIP is filled with racists, sexists, homophobes and general lunatics, and that Nigel Farage is a bad man in his own right.

In 2006, before he became Prime Minister, David Cameron said in a radio interview that “Ukip is sort of a bunch of … fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists mostly.” In 2013, Andrew Feldman, one of Mr Cameron’s university friends, and a close political ally, called UKIP activists “Swivel-eyed loons.” He later denied this to the newspapers, but hardly anyone believed him. Before he could issue his denial, there was a further surge of Conservative defectors to UKIP. Also in 2013, Michael Heseltine – a strong supporter of the EU, and one of the Conservative politicians who helped bring Margaret Thatcher down in 1990, called UKIP a “racist party.” He said: “Of course it’s racist, who doubts that? Farage isn’t racist but his party is very attractive to a racist agenda.”

Every utterance made on the Internet by a UKIP activist or candidate is trawled by the media and political classes, and carefully examined for evidence of political incorrectness. One has been exposed for calling Islam an “organised crime under religious camouflage,” another for suggesting that Nigerians are criminals. Godfrey Bloom, a UKIP member of the European Parliament, was reported to have called the Third World “bongo bongo land.”  Earlier this year, a UKIP local councillor was given national coverage when he suggested that the winter floods were God’s punishment for allowing the sin of gay marriage.

Turning to Mr Farage, he has been subjected to repeated and vicious attack. The mainstream media are filled with claims that he fiddles his expenses in the European Parliament, that he is an adulterer, and that he runs UKIP as a tyrant.

I have to admit that the words reported appear to be true, and the specific accusations against Mr Farage appear to be substantially true. But nothing reported comes close to suggesting that UKIP or its members are preaching violence against homosexuals and the ethnic minorities, or calling for Christian theocracy. The words reported are either fair comment, or used to be part of the common currency of politics when England was a free country. As for Mr Farage, no one is perfect. The mainstream politicians mostly lead private lives of astonishing squalidness. And the only alternative to autocracy in a political party is rule by monomaniacs with a partiality to five hour committee meetings. Mr Farage tyrannises over UKIP, and good luck to him in my view. Certainly, the claims have failed. They are given wall to wall coverage in the mainstream media. The talking heads solemnly assure each other that Mr Farage will struggle to survive. Hardly anyone pays attention. UKIP remains on target to win the European elections. Wherever he goes, Mr Farage draws bigger crowds than the Prime Minister.

One further criticism is worth dealing with in the current forum. This is that UKIP and Mr Farage are not sufficiently nationalist. My simple answer is that I like economic liberalism and middle class patriotism. But UKIP has occupied nearly the whole ground vacated by the British National Party since its implosion; and, if opposed to mass-immigration, it has no interest in doing business with the European nationalist parties. My longer answer is that the defeat of political correctness is the first step to overthrowing the present order of things. After that, we can argue about what comes next. For this, UKIP is a more powerful opposition movement than the BNP ever was. Economic liberalism and civic nationalism are the default prejudices of the English mind. For all it tries to reach out to these, the BNP has always been an exotic import in terms of ideology. For all they have tried to live down their past – for all, perhaps, they have rejected it – the leaders may be too compromised by what they said and did before about 2000. UKIP has no inconvenient baggage. And, if pan-nationalism is to have any meaning, it must surely allow every people to express its nationality in its own way. The French and Germans must have their national statism. America must have its constitutional purism behind trade barriers. Let us have our warmed-over Victorian liberalism. We shall see which brings about the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

In closing, UKIP is the main rising force in British politics. It thrives on open debate. Smearing it is the Plan B strategy of a political class too worthless and  too discredited to survive in an honest marketplace of ideas. This may be advance notice of a political earthquake. It may be part of a longer process of dissolution. It is, undeniably, a step in the right direction.

© 2014 – 2017, seangabb.

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