Not many politicians have had a bigger impact on modern politics than former UKIP leader, and current Brexit Party MEP, Nigel Farage. A Brexit advocate, he was one of the main figures behind the Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum.
Farage is no ordinary politician. Before leaving the Conservative Party and founding UKIP in 1993, he had a career as a commodities trader. Since his election to EU Parliament in 1999, Farage’s aim has been to take the UK out of the EU.
Farage left the Conservatives after then-Prime Minister John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty. This treaty encouraged more ‘European integration’, bringing nations across the EU closer and closer. Farage is one of the most notorious Eurosceptic figures in UK politics, and that single treaty pushed the Brexit Party leader to leave his former party completely.
The Brexit Party MEP and LBC presenter has divided opinion across the nation. However, is Nigel Farage really the villain that some people make him out to be? I would beg to differ.
I personally don’t consider Farage as a racist person. Though his ‘breaking point’ poster did raise a few eyebrows. However, free speech is something that we have in the UK and something that we should cherish. As part of free speech, Farage has to then be prepared for criticism as a result.
His concerns around open door immigration are shared right across the UK and it was no doubt one of the main factors behind the vote to withdraw EU membership. He’s changed British politics and that should be respected by all sides of the Brexit debate. You can’t doubt his passion for an independent UK, something which he has fought for during his entire political career.
He should also gain a lot of respect for leaving UKIP. One of his reasons for leaving was because of the current leader Gerard Batten, saying that Batten seemed to be ‘obsessed with Islam’ and that it was turning a blind eye to ‘extremist politics’. In an interview with Good Morning Britain, he also branded his former party as being ‘vile’.
Tommy Robinson, who was employed by Gerard Batten to be his adviser, is someone who has rightfully come under scrutiny. When you compare both Robinson and Farage, there’s such a vast difference in class and restraint between the two. It’s clear that Farage doesn’t want any association with the UKIP adviser who has convicted of multiple crimes.
There are even clips online where Robinson has been seen retaliating to having a milkshake poured over him. When the same happened to Farage, there was no signs to suggest that he would even be tempted to fight back. This is just one example of how the two are so different.
Some people across the UK seem to put the two figures in the same far-right category, something that Farage is certainly not.
In an increasingly politically-correct world, a lot of younger people are now voting for left-wing parties like Labour. These parties often offer a ‘softer’ set of politics. With these ‘softer’ politics, is political correctness going too far these days? I do feel like it is.
Many people will strongly disagree with this, but I feel like we need a person like Farage in the government to bring honesty to the table, with a no-nonsense approach – even if he does raise a few eyebrows. He actually answers questions head on as opposed to skirting around them. Honesty and tackling these issues are especially important with the very current issue of Brexit.
In conclusion, do I really think that Nigel Farage is a villain? No. He’s transformed European politics and should be able to stand up for what he believes in. Without people like him in politics, the status quo will continue and two-party political system will always remain the same.
Farage is no saint, but who is in British politics nowadays? The only thing he needs to do now is ensure that he continues to moderate his rhetoric.