Monday, 21 November 2016

Just three words but they mean a lot.

If you wanted to sum up everything that’s wrong with the United Kingdom but had to do it in a three word phrase, you’d be spoiled for choice: 'Foreign Minister Johnson', 'Prime Minister May', 'Ian Duncan Smith', 'Celebrity Come Dancing' or 'Call the Midwife' just for starters. But there’s one phrase that perfectly sums up the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Britain like no other, a phrase that encapsulates how some people are on different planets from the rest of us (or is just me?) and that phrase is 'Lord Nigel Farage'. It’s a phrase which on first being heard is immediately followed by another three word phrase and that other phrase is, forgive my potty mouth, “what the f***?”. Said repeatedly whilst banging your head against the nearest convenient vertical surface.

The British government and Mother Theresa have refused to rule out the possibility that Nasty Nige might be granted a peerage for his services to British public life. Mmm, what services would that be then, Nige? That would be destroying our relationship with the European Union, hastening the end of the United Kingdom, causing the Conservative party to morph into UKIP and helping to spark off an outbreak of racist and homophobic attacks because the loonies and nutters of the extreme right now feel empowered to do so. Nigel has taken a state that was already drifting into right wing nastiness, and pushed it over the cliff of intolerance. And all that qualifies as public service?

It really is wonderful. Nige is the wealthy public school stockbroker with the pint and the fag who says he’s standing up for the little guy. But it's clear from his record that the reverse is true: he’s standing up against the establishment by strengthening the powerful and empowering the strong, he’s protecting the weak by taking an axe to their support networks and shredding their safety nets and he’s blaming the problems of Britain on those who suffer most from them. His is just a new way of voicing old prejudices. Ancient hatreds presented in a digital format like Facebook and Twitter. And because the medium is high tech, Nige (and Trump) can claim that their message is edgy and subversive while, in reality, they seek to bolster the old establishments. Mark my words, they won’t challenge the establishment and they won’t tear down the elite. They are creatures of that very establishment and that very elite. Their supporters have been conned.

The continuing existence of the House of Lords is bad enough. It’s an insult to democracy, an excuse for legitimised patronage in a political system that likes to claim it’s above the sort of favouritism that marks the politics of lesser countries. But in Britain there’s no need for the secretive and undercover patronage that blights other countries. In Britain it’s institutionalised and dressed up in fancy costumes. Admittedly there’s no hard evidence to suggest that Farage might be in line for a peerage, other than Theresa May’s refusal to answer a direct question on the topic, but the point is that we live in a state where a peerage for the likes of Farage is a distinct possibility. And if offered it, the anti-elitist warrior will be happy to pose in ermine and lord it over us, and even happier to draw expenses on the public account.

Britain was already a dysfunctional state with a dysfunctional political system before they came along but Nigel and UKIP have made it worse. They took the good aspects of British society, its willingness to tolerate difference, its acceptance of diversity, and they said that the only things that saved Britain were actually sinking it. If Farage gets a peerage he’ll be Baron Farage of Trump, Lord Shit Stirrer Extraordinaire. They say you can tell the calibre of a man by the company he keeps. This picture says it all.

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