For the first time in my memory there is a buzz about the European elections. This is solely down to the equally revered and reviled Nigel Farage.
Not since the early days of Anthony Blair has Britain been so captivated by a politician though that is where the comparison ends as Mr Blair was the high priest of bland middle of the road politicians who blight our lives today.
I first became truly aware of Farage during the winter flood. While Cameron, Milliband and Clegg tottered around like M and S mannequins for Blue Harbour, Farage rolled up in a large tweed shooting jacket, fedora, and stellar mustard cords. He decided that ridiculous fishing waders provided the best protection against the waters.
He waded on.
I like the man and some of his policies. But the unsaid uber-right policies and glut of moronic followers truly worries me. Will this legitimize the vile violence of the EDL?
I am not a political groupie but devour my daily newspaper. So I am in the loop. Farage the man, it appears, has all bases covered – as easy in a dusty pub as the city, able to seduce the affluent home counties and the more hard up north.
One can only be impressed with his continual attacks on the Eurocrats. Witness his impressive feckless rants in Brussels and enjoy the fact that there is politician, in this moment, speaking from his heart; a politician not content to count his coffers or build duck houses but who throws down his amour-propre and fights for his beliefs.
The major problem for me is not the man himself – a pied piper dressed up as an old naughty schoolboy – but his followers. A party with extreme views and a belligerent outlook will always attract the vitriolic bigots, loons, and radical folk. It also speaks to the quite nasty inner soul of the populous.
If history has taught us anything, it is that a party based on nationalist fervour under one man’s rule is catastrophic.
The tax-paying immigrants ensure that modern Britain functions – I am yet to be convinced that many Brits would arise from their Blair benefited sofas and do the hard manual labour coveted by our international chums. And if we cast our memories to WWII, was it not the Polish air force who helped us polish off the Luftwaffe or the blood curdling spirit of the Gurkhas who fought alongside us in so many wars.
I suspect Farage’s rapid rise in the polls owes a lot to the constant hectoring from the press. Of course the papers are blue, orange or red, but their hostility brings attention on UKIP. They make him look like the anti-establishment outsider and underdog the British love to support.
There are enough opportunities to support an outsider in the sporting arena. Let’s not create an unnecessary one in the political world.
Whatever the outcome in two weeks, and things do look positive for UKIP, we must at least have the referendum promised by Cameron. We must start to look at why we are falling for this charismatic man with his chimerical plans. The ease of which this underdog has risen is not a surprise, in this ever so slightly disenchanted Britain, and I’m sure there will be a UKIP win. However Mr.Farage would be well served to remember a line from the bard during this hunt for glory “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.