The Farage Overreaction

BY SAM WHITE

I don’t know what to call them anymore. Progressives? Obviously not. Liberals? I sense no liberalism in their approach to dissent. Regressive left? Control left?

However you refer to them, the response of some parts of the left wing to Monday’s horrific events in Berlin and Ankara was remarkable.

Try Labour MP Jess Phillips’ Twitter timeline. You’ll find that quite some effort has gone into attacking not Islamism, but instead Nigel Farage, due to his spat with Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox. There are tweets like this:

There are running battles with Farage supporters, and something about not being “a monster”. That’s what she calls the former Ukip leader, while implying that he has never felt sadness or loss, or at least not on the same level as hers.

On the subject of the atrocity in Germany? Well, there’s this:

And not much else. Anything on the actual substance of what lies behind the horrific attack? On how we reconcile mass migration with the reality that extremists are in among the innocents? No, of course not. After all, she’s just an MP, why would she comment on things like that?

As so often with those commenting from left-of-centre, she asserts a monopoly on compassion, while offering nothing on how to address the problem which is causing the suffering.

Owen Jones—who else?—bashed out a quick piece for—who else?—the Guardian. The main thrust of his article was that if there’s one thing we must take from the atrocities in Berlin and Ankara, it’s to absolutely not become right wing. Not at all. Not even a little bit.

He explicitly intertwines right wing politics and Islamism:

“Islamist terrorist fanatics and the west’s ascendant populist right are now working in tandem. They are feeding off each other. They are interdependent. Their fortunes rise with each other.”

Nigel Farage had earlier allocated blame for the Berlin attacks to Angela Merkel’s immigration policy, so Jones then asks, about Farage,

“What kind of contemptible individual mixes horror with vindication?”

But look back at that first quote. Could we not instead ask, what kind of contemptible individual mixes an understandable shift to the political right with acts of terrorism perpetrated by religious fanatics?

And if there is a link between mass immigration and security issues, is it not a politician’s job to address it, no matter whether or not it makes Guardian columnists feel uncomfortable?

Jones states,

“From Donald Trump to France’s Marine Le Pen to the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders, the populist right will now be carefully plotting how they will extract political dividends from the horror.”

It seems we needn’t worry about the terrorism then. After all, we’ve seen that before. A far greater nightmare, haunting all Europe no less, is the very frightening prospect of people offering political approaches which differ from those of Owen Jones.

If Jones and his followers don’t like what right wing politicians have to say on the subject of Islamism, then here’s an idea: offer an alternative. Because right now, what exactly is the left saying? Hope for the best? As you were? Put a German flag on your Facebook profile?

Apparently, when your political compass leans too far to the right, a klaxon sounds and “the terrorists are winning”. If right wing politics—let’s not use the now derogatory ‘populism’—is ascendant, then we’re told it’s all because of terrorists, and is unrelated to the left bringing absolutely nothing of substance to the table, or being unable to shift an inch from their unpopular, open borders immigration policies.

In this alternative reality, ISIS’ main agenda has nothing to do with caliphates, Sharia rule, and all that Koran-based guff, what they actually want is a majority Tory government in the United Kingdom.

Let’s return to Farage. What exactly did he say that caused so many commentators to spit out their dummies?

First, as mentioned, he assigned blame for the attacks on Angela Merkel’s open door immigration policy:

To which Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, replied:

Then, defending his comments on LBC, Farage said, among other remarks on matters such as the Schengen Area, that Hope Not Hate, an organisation Brendan Cox is linked to, are “extremists” who “pursue violent and very undemocratic means.” Hope Not Hate then threatened to sue.

Farage has previously accused the organisation of disrupting his rallies, and they were recently shown to have exaggerated figures on online hate speech in order to further their own causes. They have also received criticism for their targeting of reformist Muslims.

But this steers away from the point: that even if Farage’s comments were wrong, how is it that among some people they generated more rage and vitriol than acts of murder and terrorism? It’s as if bashing Farage has become a worthier cause than confronting Islamism. This is justified by implying that ‘populism’—which has become a vague, coded slur for anything that opposes the liberal agenda—is an existential threat on a par with acts of terror.

Could it be that on the left, some things just don’t matter in the same way that they do to everyone else? Islamism and ISIS don’t matter. Immigration and integration don’t matter. The opinions of ordinary people don’t matter.

Apparently, all that matters to the left, is the left itself.

Whenever an Islamist atrocity occurs, so-called liberal progressives ignore the facts, ignore the causes, and neglect to talk about security or prevention. Instead they do the only thing they know how—they line up to beat us relentlessly with the same hollow, self-serving orders: don’t listen to anyone else.

Sam White is a writer for Country Squire Magazine and has written for The Spectator & Metropolis. Other Sam White articles can be found by using the search box below (just type in Sam White) and also by looking here

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10 thoughts on “The Farage Overreaction

  1. Your comment is what is potentially terrifying, as far as I’m concerned, Helena. You’re wrong on all levels in your spiteful diatribe about Nigel Farage. It’s all too clear that you have never actually listened to what he has always said, but don’t fret, pet, because you can find all his honest speeches on YouTube. If you really want the truth, it’s always a good idea to get the WHOLE story, from both sides of the proverbial. And if you don’t change your distorted opinions after you’ve absorbed the words he speaks and the message he clearly conveys – all of which should convince you that he is an honest, clear-sighted, patriotic Englishman and banish all ideas that he is a thuggish racist, as you seem convinced he is, at all! – well, I’ll go to the stop of our stairs!! If that doesn’t do the trick, and you continue with your narrow, destructive line of thought about this highly-principled, extremely honest politician (rare, indeed!), well, you will prove yourself to be the one we should all be worrying about!

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  2. Farage DID get help to get Jo Cox killed. What about this do people not understand? This man has been instrumental in whipping up xenophobia in the UK – he is the respectable, smiling, matey face of racism. He legitimises and strengthens it. This is why he is so dangerous. He believes people should be able to carry guns, that women should not get equal pay and that Muslims are all potential terrorists. The fact that so many people agree with him is absolutely terrifying. This man and his views should not be normalised – he is an extremist. If you want to see how this is going, read “I shall bear witness,” by Victor Klemperer and simply transpose Jews for Muslims and immigrants. I am very grateful that Owen Jones and Mark Steel, and people like them call out the Farage for what he is – this country is moving ever-closer to Fascism.

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  3. There are rather a lot of people like me who are somewhere to the right of Cameron, and to the left of Blair (no idea why either of them were leading the parties they did) who are looking at the current situation with concern and bewilderment. There is a significant problem of terrorism, overspilling from wars where all sides look awful, and we are being told that the solution to this is to put the far right in charge. Our data point here is that in the referendum we gave nationalism and isolationism a free hand to campaign respectably and stir up whatever they wanted, and they stirred up a delusional nazi who murdered an MP. The far right have not earned the right to respectability, we give them an inch and they murder an MP. In America they have been given not just a temporary campaign, but a country. It is bloody ridiculous, nobody wants this, we want nice boring politicians who do sod all and get out of the way so that people can get on with their lives. I don’t want far left nutters, I don’t want far right nutters, I want boring people who think about things and base policies on evidence.

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  4. Surely Merkel is part of the problem and an unwitting puppet of their agenda. I think freedom of movement has been very useful for them. They can’t cause trouble if they can’t get here in the first place and they aren’t all long-term residents. Lefties doing NOTHING about the situation except worrying about Islamophobia are just playing into their hands. The radicals already hate us, our do nothing, try not to upset the Muslims ‘Guardian-stylee’ approach has already got us nowhere.

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  5. There are large swathes of the country where the Conservatives will never be seen as electable, middle or otherwise, and where Farage is certainly not regarded as an idiot.

    May has been given the benefit of the doubt – for the time being – and is lucky to have Corbyn as an opponent. That won’t last.

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  6. The more Farage and the Labouyr Lefties fight each other the better. The more the Conservatives are seen as electable middle ground. All useful idiots IMO

    Liked by 1 person

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