Vote against Farage to show him ‘kind of country we are’

by Jenna Norman | 10.05.2019

Nigel Farage’s EU election leaflet, dropping on doormats across the country, claims a vote for his Brexit Party is “about more than Brexit, it’s about what kind of country we are”. But we’ve no idea what the party stands for beyond a call for the hardest Brexit possible – there’s no manifesto and no policies. For now, all we have is a list of candidates. What do they stand for?

Upon closer examination, the Brexit Party seems to be providing a good hiding place for more insidious political beliefs, particularly when it comes to the rights and equal treatment of women and minority groups. That’s why pro-Europeans must turn out in force to counter Farage’s efforts with votes for pro-EU, pro-equality parties.

Nigel Farage (top candidate, South East)

Farage has built an entire political caricature around a certain masculine ideal with an implicit nostalgia for when women knew their place. In an infamous tweet in 2010 Farage revealed his objection to maternity pay, a basic tenet of gender equality. Since then, he has repeatedly spoken of the need for women to choose between a career and a family as well as advocating to scrap anti-discrimination laws and the legislation which safeguards employees against sexual harassment. These are all EU directives which protect the rights of women and minority groups.

Anne Widecombe (top candidate, South West)

During Anne Widecombe’s 23 years in Parliament she voted against every single piece of pro-LGBT+ legislation and regularly voiced her anti-abortion stance. More recently, Widdecombe downplayed the sexual abuses of powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, saying of the women involved “there was a choice there”. She also called the largest Women’s March of all time in January 2018 “pathetic”, arguing that women already have “absolute equality”.

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Claire Fox (top candidate, North West)

Fox is a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party billed on Farage’s leaflet as a “writer” urging “left-wing democrats to deliver the (2016) referendum result”.  No stranger to controversy, she was co-publisher of a Marxist magazine shut down for falsely accusing ITN of faking evidence of the Bosnian genocide. She has also opposed banning child porn and jihadi videos online while making a case for free speech in a podcast last month (listen from 15:40). Fox is also closely linked with Spiked, a US publication which has been accused of using “dark money” to “undermine feminism” and accused of pushing a low tax, low regulation agenda around the world.

Brian Monteith (top candidate, North East)

Monteith has called the gender pay gap an “absurd and dangerous fallacy”, which should tell us much of what we need to know about Monteith’s approach to women’s equality. He’s previously argued that women do not need to be on national governing bodies, denying the glass ceiling and using the spurious argument that “there were no women legislators to pass laws that gave women the vote – but it happened”. He has also recently downplayed the threat of climate change.

These four candidates are top-listed in their voting regions. With the Brexit Party currently leading the polls, it is very likely they will be taking seats in the new European Parliament. Is it really their views we want on the European stage when our neighbours ask “what kind of country” the UK is?

It is imperative that as many pro-Europeans as possible turn out to vote on May 23. Between now and then we need to be making the positive case for the EU, which has shown a long-standing commitment to equality. One that, clearly, we need more than ever.

Jenna Norman is campaign coordinator for Women for a People’s Vote.

Edited by Luke Lythgoe

23 Responses to “Vote against Farage to show him ‘kind of country we are’”

  • You can tell alot about someone from the company they keep. His close associate on the previous campaign, Arron Banks, ( a man with 37 different companies based on slight variations in his name), said that he “may have led people up the garden path”. That’s just nicer way of saying, lying.

  • It is now utterly obvious that the politically correct and pro-EU are one and the same. They have been running this country (into the dirt may I add!) for the last couple of decades and are now completely outraged that ordinary working people may once again take back the reins and hold the great and good to account.
    I have nothing against anybody in terms of sexuality or race but for so many of the PC brigade it has been used to label and demonise anybody who does not share the same views. It has been very much the case with Brexit, as I continually see anybody with pro-Brexit views portrayed as racist, homophobic, sexist etc, or just downright thick! It’s always the same when someone loses the argument – they resort to name calling and insult.
    Brexit party for me, all the way.

  • Farage is of course anything but an ordinary working class bloke. The fag, pint of beer and flat cap are just a carefully contrived act developed by his PR team to fool the gullible. Farage is a wealthy man, very much one of the elite, that he affects to depise.

  • @Peter
    Firstly the ‘politically correct’ issues are a separate discussion. Here we are discussing the ‘merits’ of Brexit.
    There were alot of people , maybe including yourself, with longstanding belief that the UK would be better of out of the EU. That is a view I disagree with, but nevetheless respect.
    However, there was another large body of voters who were undecided before the Referendum. These are the people who decided to vote Out on the basis of what was told to them by politicians, and newspaper columnists. These voters were not thick, as you put it, they were misled, or let’s put it in plain terms, lied to.
    However, if these same people, having now had the opportunity for nearly 3 years of seeing what practical “benefits” Brexit will bring, and yet still vote for the likes of Mr Farage, then they have less excuse for being misled.

    The Brexit Party are the ones resorting to name calling, as their entire campaign seems to be based around accusing others of betrayal or traitors. They have no economic or social policies, and you have to ask why they seem to have stopped making economic predictions. The simple answer is that they realise it is now blindingly obvious to most people that Brexit will bring zero benefits.

  • I had the misfortune to hear two minutes of Farage on the awful Question Time programme last night. He was aggressively shouting panel members down and using confrontational language. Plus, butting in and imposing himself on the discussion in rude and unacceptable manner. Fiona Bruce was unable to control him. Hard Brexiters use this aggressive tactic all the time and both Cash and Redwood have also shouted others down in TV interviews. So bad was Redwood that Channel 4 pulled the plug on him. They are empty vessels who are motivated by self interest and Peter (above) you are swallowing the lies. Apart from slagging off the EU, I have yet to find one leaver who can assure me with evidence that life will be better and more prosperous outside the EU.

  • Alex,

    Firstly I do not accuse anybody of being thick I leave that to remainers. Also you mention those that were misled into voting leave. I would respectfully suggest to you that there were many many more people misled into voting remain by the demented project fear predictions.
    Unfortunately the Brexit party is neccessary for people like me as there is no other viable political alternative for truly leaving the EU. This is where the accusation of treachery sticks. Both Labour and Tory parties stood on a platform of leaving the EU, they lied!
    And with regards to Farage. I understand fully his frustration and anger when having to listen to the pompous outbursts of that serial hypocrite Anna Sourbry.

  • Dear Peter,
    The Leave Vote won. As far as I can see the majority of elected politicians have been trying to find the most appropriate way to honour that result. I say this because I have watched hours of Live Debate from Parliament. I have been greatly reassured by the wisdom expressed on all sides. The one issue on which most of our politicians agree, and whatever you or I may think about them, they do have access to rather more information than the public (and the media), is that the UK is better placed economically within the EU. Despite this, the political imperative is the one driving this debate, not the true interests of the 17+ million and the16 million. This is forcibly reinforced by a media who simply want to sell their stories, not tell the truth. Nonetheless we will leave, cutting off our nose to spite our face. Peter, your hope is that ordinary working people will than take back the reins. I think this unlikely; instead the powerful British ruling classes will once reign supreme, they will gain their sovereignty, in their British isolation. Unfortunately once the ordinary people realise this, it will be too late.

  • Peter

    Tell me exactly what life will be like outside the EU. I don’t mean negative slagging off of the EU but why Britain will be more equal, more prosperous, safer, more influential, more happy. Give me evidence and tell me exactly what is going to be put in place. You are blaming the wrong people. All of this Brexit stuff is the climax of Thatcherite neo-liberalism and deregulation. Banks, Farage are shady me first characters. The grass is rarely greener on the other side.
    Soubry was unable to get a word in because of Farage’s outrageous aggression. His attitude is appalling and if you think he is ‘on your side’ you will get a rude awakening. He has no affiliation with ordinary people whatsoever. He is in it for his own ends and a complete hypocrite. He moaned that the BBC would not give him air time to preach to the nation- yet he has appeared THIRTY TWO times on the terrible programme that is Question Time. Be careful what you wish for, Peter.

  • I would compare Farage to General Haig and his ilk in the First World War. He encourages others to self destruction whilst remaining safely behind the lines himself. Farage will take care of number one, with his personal wealth, German wife and passport, but he is happy to see others go over the top, egging them on in the name of making Britain Great etc, essentially aiding and abetting national suicide.

  • The career and politics of Nigel Farage:
    – Inspired to join politics by Enoch Powell giving a talk at his private school.
    – Started out in the Conservative party, before leaving them for more extremist pastures.
    – Buddies with the Front Nationale in France, AFD in Germany, and Trump and Bannon in the USA
    – Buggered off for a couple of years after the ref since he had no idea how to birth the monster he’d helped create
    – And now this alt right huckster is back… leading a party without portfolio made up of similarly dubious types.

  • I constantly read articles like this. Not exactly the height of journalism. More like childish mud slinging.
    What amazes me is the sheer arrogance of the writer. The absolute conviction that whoever wrote this is actually in some way superior to anyone that voted to leave the EU is staggering.
    People voted out for change. Those that voted in were quite happy with their lot thank you very much. Ironically, the writer levels the same accusation at farage.
    Maybe those that had, should have given more thought to those that had not, before the referendum.
    It may come as a surprise to those superior types that voted remain but we are leaving and Nigel farage is our vehicle. The Brexit party will win big in the EU elections. It will be a reflection of our society and highlight how out of touch the likes of this writer are with society

  • William, I have no hard evidence that life will be better outside the EU just belief brought about but what I have experienced and seen over many years. it is not all about greater national wealth but more about better society and more people inclusion. With full and proper democracy (once again) we as a nation can decide on our own future path which undoubtedly will want to trade and cooperate with our European neighbours. Unlike you, all I see is this country being run by the big corporations and public services run by careerist managers with no interest in the people they serve. You obviously think everything in the garden is rosy – I don’t! Either way we have had the debate and the referendum and remain lost. If the EU obsessed politicians win and we stay in then there will be a gaping political sore in this country that will not be healed until we are out or the EU falls apart.

  • @ Peter
    On the balance of evidence, I would say those labelled as preaching ‘project fear’ were alot closer to the mark than the politicians who told us a deal with the EU would the easiest in history etc. And now its not just the politicians warning us of the consequences of Brexit. Its people working at the sharp end right across wide sectors of the economy and public services, whose businesses face all kinds of complications, in some cases ruin.
    You say that both Cons and Lab stood on a platform of Leave. That’s what both are still advocating as far as I can see.
    I think you will be disappointed if you think Britain acting alone can solve the problems of big corporations. Tell that to car workers whose jobs as a result will be on the line. And if you think that we can just lower our environmental, consumer and workplace standards, to stay competitive, then you’ll find the EU won’t want to finalise a trade deal with us.
    And I’m afraid Farage’s behaviour on QT is par for the course with him. Just tune into one of his Phone Ins and wait for someone to ask him a difficult question. He just talks over them before fading them out.

  • Peter,
    I have just read your reply to William and you sure seem to have a large pair of rose coloured spectacles on of what life could be like outside the EU! You cannot seriously believe that the UK would not be subject to big corporations in a post EU scenario. Look through the trade deal proposals with the US, or read through ‘Britannia Unchained’ by 5 leading conservative MPs who are all advocates of Brexit to see your vision is not aligned with theirs even remotely. And guess what; your views matters diddly squat to them, whatever you think about your future democratic rights. ‘Freedom to make our own laws’ is a phrase often bandied around by Brexit supporting MPs, but is really a euphuism to have the right to rip up rights and protections for British workers which we have come to take for granted with our EU citizenship. Jacob Rees Mogg is on record as saying the rules protecting UK workers could be significantly reduced. A vote for Farage’s Brexit Party is really a vote for the hard right of the conservative party ultimately and their view of a future deregulated Britain, not yours, but they are delighted to have your devoted support.

  • Peter. I don’t consider ‘belief’ a solid enough reason to rip up 46 years of progress and peace inside the EU. I certainly do not think everything in the garden is rosy. I genuinely fear for the whole continent at the moment with the hard right on the march. RW demagogues are threatening our security and peace. There are things that could be improved within the EU and this country should be in there trying to effect those changes. Unfortunately, Cameron had no idea how to negotiate any change and then called a flawed referendum. A binary question without a threshold was asking for trouble. Leaving should have required a 66 per cent threshold. The fact that it achieved less than a 4 per cent margin is the reason for all the trouble. The margin is not a mandate for such a huge change, particularly when hard right leavers such as Farage cannot give us a clear and guaranteed vision of a better future for both the U.K. and Europe. Leaving the EU is a reckless risk and shouting aggressive derogatory sound bites about the EU is symptomatic of the fact that hard leavers have no idea of a road map that will lead to milk and honey. I am surprised that you are swallowing the propaganda.

  • @Peter,

    You are as likely to change your mind to “remain” as I am to “leave”. Your reference to the ‘PC Brigade’ Tells me quite a lot about you. Just as there are many ways to arrive at a “leave’ vote, there are many different ways to want to improve justice and opportunity for historically disadvantaged people. That can and does include the white working class. It was the British-invented economic system that instituted slavery in the American colonies, not the ‘PC Brigade’, who kept poor whites in check and kept them watching the slaves on behalf of their overlords. Each one higher than the other and with a foot on the neck of those below. If you think you will gain in the long run by supporting oppressive white nationalism, you’ve got another think coming, or you’ve grown used to having a foot on your own neck. The fact that you mention sexuality and race in the context of a Brexit discussion leads me to believe that you probably do have issues to resolve on both of those subjects, only you feel that your beliefs aren’t going to be warmly received until there is a white nationalist regime in place. I’m sorry you’ve caved in on yourself, try egalitarianism and self-respect, and respect for those different from you. We are going to be following EU rules or (somebody else’s) even after you are long gone, whether we’re in the EU or out. Get used to it.

  • No-one can say that Farage lacks skills. He knows how to get attention, and he has shown extraordinary proficiency at dissociating himself from the views of people with whom he actually agrees. Dissociation is needed lest he should be thought to be as actually he is.
    Now that he leads a single issue Party, he doesn’t need to associate himself with the misogyny and illiberalism of the candidates it’s putting up, and he can pretend that voters might want to live in a country of their making.
    In my mind, Farage will never be dissociated from the poster which he brought in in 2016 to be photographed in front of. This can only remind one of the self-serving, deceitful, manipulative, populist, xenophobe that he is. As you say: all pro-Europeans must turn out to vote on the 23rd. Go well, Jenna Norman.

  • I have just seen the Andrew marr Show it was Despicable he attacks Nigel Farage it was a personal attack to discredit him any other MP or politician get a proper interview this is now confirmed that BBC is bias because they get millions and millions of pounds from the EU even though they shouldn’t because BBC belongs to the British people

    I voted leave I will be voting in the elections either UKIP or Brexit party .you lot are spineless spindocters

  • David,
    So to ask Farage if he holds a point of view he has previously stated is a personal attack? Farage says he wants his new party to be taken seriously in a future General election. To expect not to have your views questioned on a political program is pretty remarkable really. Its clear from his views TODAY that the NHS would be up for up for grabs by Private business if he had his way. No surprise there, as he likes to think of himself as a mate of President Trump who is only too keen to see it privatised, in order for US insurance businesses to reap the benefits. The referendum, if it was won by anything was swung by our national affection for better funding the NHS. I don’t suppose the average leave voter was thinking the outcome would lead to its break up. Are you still sure that’s what you want?

  • @ David Whiting

    Unfortunately, for a seeming nativist nationalist Brexiteer, you have a rather poor command of English. What is your native language, out of sheer curiosity?

  • Those of us who are Left leavers who favoured a Canada or Norway type deal, are lost amongst the two religions of Brexit and Remain.
    A Tory Brexit was always going to be problematic, but as much as the far right aspect is objectionable; the generalisations and attitude from many remainers, about the disenfranchised leave voting areas, who have suffered the effects of neoliberal globalisation, and austerity under both Tory and New Labour governments for decades; is a big part of the reason why the Brexit Party are going to do much better than anyone, in these Euro elections.
    Farage is merely a figurehead whose party cannot deliver Brexit, but it provides a way for the voices of those who want to leave, to be heard.
    As much as Farage is not to be trusted, it pains me now to see the Lib Dem cohorts of the Tory coalition exploiting the situation for sake of utterly transparent remain vote pandering.
    Whilst the a bunch of ex-Labour Blairites and Tories think they can do the same. Leaving the Green Party, once the most eurosceptic party on the left, to also give in to this wave of centrist populism, that has caused so many millions of people to be heartily sick of mainstream politics.
    For me, there is only Labour that I can vote for. Because Brexit or no Brexit doesn’t make much difference to those living in poverty, or struggling with Universal Credit, or just scraping by on minimum wage, relying on benefit top ups because their working wage depressed for decades and continues to lag further and further behind the cost of living.
    These are just some of the things that all the other parties have forgotten about in their frenzied Brexit populism, or never cared about in the first place.
    Brexit is making British politics two-dimensional. And it’s not as though all the people struggling will be now are harking back to the glory days of of pre-referendum 2016. Poverty and inequality has increased to unprecedented levels under the Tories, and whatever happens t’s not going to be much different in real terms for millions of people until the Tories are no longer in government. The only thing that can change that is a general election, and the only party strong enough to get the Tories out is Labour, and that’s why I’ll stick by them.