Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘NIgel Farage

Farage Launches Reform Party and Warns of East Germany Danger.

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Self-identifying Heavyweight Journalist and Brexiteer Heeds Farage Call.

Nigel Farage has launched his new front, the Reform Party UK

Things are going swmmingly.

The New European reports,

Nigel Farage’s new political outfit has received just 2% of support in the first poll carried out since it launched.

Reform UK – which has been shortened to REFUK by pollsters – attracted a small amount of support in new polling from Redfield & Wilton Strategies.

It is currently attracting smaller backing than the Brexit Party – which would still poll around 5% even after ‘Brexit Day’.

By contrast the SNP and Green Party are on 5% of support, the Lib Dems on 8%, Labour on 37% and the Tories on 41%.

Farage has not forgotten one old friend,

Nigel Farage warns Democrats: If you ‘martyr’ Donald Trump what follows ‘could be very sinister indeed’

But what of another, George Galloway, who is backing his own Alliance for Unity list for the next Scottish elections to Holyrood?

 

Looks like he has….

Nigel Farage launches new party in Scotland to promote ‘positive case for the Union

Daily Record.

The defection means Farage has an elected politician at the Scottish Parliament

Ex Tory right-winger Michelle Ballantyne will lead Nigel Farage’s new Reform UK party in a move which means he now has an MSP at Holyrood.

Ballantyne quit the Scottish Conservatives in December after clashes with the leadership on policy and direction.

Galloway, who has backed Farage’s Brexit Party ( George Galloway reveals he will support Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in EU elections next month) has yet to comment.

Is there space for a new red-brown alliance, the Workers Party of Britain supplying the Red Guard for the Reform Party?

The views of other old chums, Spiked, the Living Marxism group which also supported the Brexit Party, have not been made public for the moment..
But only a couple of months ago one of their crew, Tim Black, deputy Editor Brendan O’Neil organ, gave Farage a wink and a nod,
It is apposite that it is Nigel Farage who has stepped forward as the party-political voice of lockdown scepticism, with prospective Brexit Party rebrand, Reform UK. After all, it was as the leader of UKIP that he started to give expression to a similar anti-technocratic sentiment a decade ago.

The demonisation of lockdown sceptics

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* Isabel Oakeshott
She was the political editor of The Sunday Times and is the co-author, with Michael Ashcroft, of an unauthorised biography of former British prime minister David CameronCall Me Dave, and of various other non-fiction titles, including White Flag? An examination of the UK’s defence capability, also written with Lord Ashcroft; Farmageddon, co-authored with Philip Lymbery.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 13, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Cancel Trump: The National Populists Strike Back.

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New Oligarchies and their Woke Mobs threaten Brendan O’Neill. 

 

The National Populists were taken aback by the storming of the Capital.

Attempts to describe the events as the work of a tiny bunch of rambunctious chaps and chapettes pushing a little too far the idea of MAGA, started immediately.

A hefty dose of whataboutery from their side, evoking everything from the presence of People’s Vote campaigners against Brexit on College Green, to this, from a renegade former Labour MP, and member of the democratically elected House of Lords followed.

Now they have a cause.

This is what the Trumpists British claque are screaming.

 

Foxy: from the Reclaim Party.

 

Now noted red-brown-nose Brendan  O’Neill writes.

The woke purge

Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump is a chilling sign of tyranny to come.

The new capitalists’ cancellation of the democratically elected president of the United States is a very significant turning point in the politics and culture of the Western world.

O’Neill continues,

There is danger in the current moment. It comes not from horn-helmeted idiots and racist scumbags (surely slightly misguided populists? Editors’ note)  who paraded through the Capitol Building for an hour, but from those who wish to turn that despicable incident into the founding myth of a new era of woke authoritarianism.

The business and political elites, determined to crush the populist experiment of recent years, will busily launch wars on ‘domestic terrorism’, clamp down on inflammatory speech, purge from the internet and from workplaces anyone with ‘incorrect’ thoughts, and blacklist those who believe populism is preferable to technocracy.

They’re already doing it. The Biden administration isn’t even in power yet and this is already happening. Imagine how emboldened the new oligarchies and their woke mobs will become once Biden and Co are ruling. Brace yourselves; the purge is only beginning.

Foxy can barely contain himself,

Farage, Foxy and Brendan O’Neill are in a very dark place.

We know where’re they’re coming from and feel their pain.

Update: Another blow to the Spikeys and their mates:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 9, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Democracy For Sale: Peter Geoghegan. A Left Anti-Populist Review.

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Foreshadowed in ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics – Peter Geoghegan.’ (Head of Zeus.2020).

Peter Geoghegan on Twitter: "Oh wow. I'm very sorry to hear that!… "

 

A reader of the alt-left media, trying to get to grips with Labour’s 2019 Election Defeat, asks, how did the Tories appeal to working class and former Labour voters? Working by the lamp-light of the study he or she interrogates the nearest object to hand, via Zoom. “Red Wall Voter” they say, “How did you change your opinion? What role did Brexit play?” The voter will look back, and ask the theorist in turn, questioning the gaze of the theorist sitting in metropolitan isolation, away from the real folks who want their Country Back.

A left populist pops up on the screen. “A popular democratic interpellation” says the reader of Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau, has been taken by a “logic of equivalence”, the “designation of the enemy” a frontier of the political imaginary, into a new hegemonic discourse”. The task of the left, he or she continues, is to ensure that “the people” is constructed democratically” against the “oligarchy” that rules in the EU and the UK. (1)

In 2016, in Sunderland, Peter Geoghegan, just before the Referendum asked a real-life Brexit supporter. “He talked about pit closures and disinvestment, deindustrialisation and neglect” He was vexed about Turkey joining the EU. Where did he hear that news? Facebook. On his train the journalist sees a copy of the Metro free-paper. It has an ad-wrap around for Vote Leave, paid for by the Democratic Unionist Party. Digging into this Democracy for Sale reveals that the “DUP’s advertising blitz was bankrolled by the biggest donation in Northern Irish history routed by a secretive Scottish group linked a  former head of Saudi Arabian intelligence”. Sunderland was the first constituency to declare, heavily, for  Leave.  Supporters had been “interpellated” by money.

In the Campaigns for Brexit use of Facebook and Twitter to paper propaganda, Dominic Cummings’ official Vote Leave campaign and Arron Bank’s Leave.EU (see image above…) the “digital” Brexit Party, Young Britain, the European Research Group (ERG), they all lead back to the role of “dark money“. These are “funds from unknown sources that influence our politics”, building support for ideas with sophisticated digital means unknown until this millennium.

Democracy for Sale is  a gripping account of the way the politics of cash  played out in the EU Referendum, in the run up to the Boris Johnson’s December Election Campaign, and, as the author reminds us in this Podcast, is being performed – half-seen, half-concealed – in public today. (Bella Caledonia. #NAFNC Interviews Peter Geoghegan). The operations of a US-inspired style of campaigning was able to buy influence – on the cheap –  in British politics.  That fundraising and the use of money escaped regulation. with Banks, for example,  moving money in and out of his offshore businesses. “There was little political will for a major political investigation into how election law was broken in 2016” . It shows how “the leaders who thrive now are those who can best control a fragmented and disoriented media, harnessing the power of social networks a a push us towards extremes.”(Page 224)

The ‘Anglosphere”

Above all, the book illustrates how the troops of the Brexit camp were able not just to speak to the Sunderland, the ‘left behind” electorate   but to mobilise them for a Buccaneering free-market project grounded in an imaginary  ‘Anglosphere’ that would shatter ties with the European Union. “In two decades, the idea that Britain should leave the European Union deregulate and form a new trading relationship with predominantly white English-speaking nations went from fringe concern to a widely held political aspirations “Pages 127 – 8). Geoghegan traces a network of Think Tanks and pressure groups, behind the shift in opinion,  “producing the ideas” that “gain traction”. These ideas, going back to the twentieth century theories of Milton Friedman and  Friedrich August von Hayek, reconfigured in the age of national neo-liberalism of Donald Trump. Shaped in this millenium wealthy US foundations, Heritage, Atlantic Bridge, there was a shift to promote a “new special relationship with the United States based on deregulation and free trade” (Page 135)

The ideas have long had outlets in media owned by Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch and the gamut of British Conservatives papers, from the Mail, the Star and the Express, a constant source of crude “mistruths about the EU”, the Brexiteer Bollox recounted in Fintan O’Toole’s Heroic Failure, Brexit and Politics of Pain (2018) . There have been projects like the Young Britain’s Foundation (YBF), to train a cadre of hard-right young people in the ideologies of US libertarians. Money gushing from the Koch Brothers has found its way into the greedy hands of the former Revolutionary Communist Party Network, Spiked and the Academy of Ideas. The vector of the Anglosphere ideal  and, with pride of place, the “hardline Parliamentary caucus, the European Research Group.”

Democracy for Sale has a fine chapter on the “digital gangsters” of Cambridge Analytica who specialised in “‘psy-ops’ to disrupt democracy”  a trailblazing operation in on-line profiling and false-messaging. “Online campaigning is also barely constrained by Britain’s tight election finance laws.” (Page 203). A “sprawling industry”, surrounded by allegations of external interference, Russian and other, one message comes out, as spoken by Peter Pomerantsev “In an age where the old ideologies have vanished and there is no competition over coherent political ideas, the aim is to lasso together in separate groups around around a new notion of the people in an amorphous but powerful emotion that each can interpret in their own way, and then seal it by conjuring up phantom enemies who threaten to undermine them.” (Page 220) Pomerantsev had met Chantal Mouffe, as he recounted in his book on “influence machines”,   This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality (2019).  You had already guessed.

In 2019 the Brexit Party, inspired by the Italian Movimento 5 Stelle, 5 Star Movement,  template of a  tech-utopian web platform, controlled from the top with an iron grip, buttressed by  a pseudo -participation through the Net, emerged from UKIP to push for the Leave cause, post-referendum. Like its elder mentor Nigel Farage’s party was a private company, very private.  In the “pop up” org, the long-standing dress of the UK’s old-style national populist UKIP was dropped, “the herring-bone suits, the blokey bonhomie and the and “tarnished fascist-leaning brand” got dumped. In came the “shiny new”  party with figures seen to be from outside the traditional political spectrum. Hard-line Catholic moralist and Tory stalwart  Ann Widecombe entered alongside Claire Fox (yet to be Baronnes Claire Regina Fox..) from the Spiked spider’s web, with her background in revolutionary Trotskyism.

The Brexit Party encapsulates how the Internet has radically reshaped politics, from the rise of untraceable online funding to the splintering of a relatively homogeneous media landscape into myriad shards, all competing for attention.  (Page 223)

The Party came first in the 2019 European Elections. It disappeared without trace in the December General Election, standing down in all Conservative held seats. But it garnered a useful half a million votes, “mostly working class constituencies” ” (Page 253) One can imagine that, aside from the wider effect of Farage’s efforts to popularise Brexit as a people’s cause,   harmed Labour more than the Tories. The  profits from his venture, after the party was formally wound up, continue to keep this friend of Donald Trump and Trumpism in a more than comfortable lifestyle,

National Populism.

Geoghegan extents the story to Trumpite ideologue Steven Banon and European ultra-conservatives, or national populists, Matteo Salvini and the nativist Lega Nord  in Italy, Vox in Spain (the later with clear links to Spain’s Fancoist ultra-right), the ‘social conservatism’ of the Polish Law and Justice party, Victor Orbán’s Hungary, and the international appeal of an “authoritarian model” of politics. It might have been useful to compare them with the rise of Silvio Berlusconi, four times Italian Prime Minister, head of Forza Italia and a pre-digital Media empire, promoter of a rightist populism from 1994 onwards, ” “Berlusconismo” (entrepreneurial optimism),  and no stranger to ‘dark money’.

One could add that dubious political funding is a long-standing feature of political life in Spain, France, and many other European countries and in Spanish politics it is said to be the source of the left populist reaction to La Casta by Podemos. I can euqally find some striking examples of it in one of the forerunners of populism, the late 1880s century ‘Boulangist’ movement in France, backed by right-wing patriotic ultras, Bonapartistes, some on the Blanquist left, radicals and socialists , anti-Semites, Monarchists, and Catholic reactionaries and with more than dubious finance. It is said to have been one of the first movements to be “beyond left and right”. Boulanger was exposed by a 19th century Peter Geoghegan, Gabriel Terrail in Les coulisses du boulangisme, préface de Mermeix, (1890).

Democracy for Sale makes a plea for legislation to end this “dysfunctional status quo”. Yet can that stop the influence of wealthy donners, speculators eager to make money from injecting “a bit of chaos into the economic system” and the foreign owners  and tax dodgers of media bodies promoting Brexit? The paradoxical basis of the coalition of protectionist sentiment behind Brexit and free-market buccaneers has not stopped Johnson being elected.

One underlying cause of the spread of populist campaigning through lying,  the growth of the Net and the massive decline of print media, and other regulated news vehicles such as public service broadcasting, is harder to tackle. With an eye to the future Boris Johnson is opening the floodgates for his friends not just to cream off profits from the state bounty in the form of contracts for everything from Covid Testing onwards. There are plans to open the media to right-wing populism.

 

Then there is this..

The Guardian reports,

Andrew Neil has quit the BBC to launch a new right-leaning opinionated rolling news channel which aims to start broadcasting early next year as a rival to the public broadcaster and Sky.

Be forewarned. Many of us, repelled by the very name of the Brexit ideology’s cornerstone, a new economic and political “anglo” sphere (one can imagine what an Irish author thought of that one), have tended to mock the idea. As it merits scorn –  a love that dares to speak its name, looks threadbare in the world of grasping Trump’s efforts to cling to power. But read Peter Geoghegan’s highly recommended Democracy for Sale: it’s a better guide to the politics of right-wing hegemony than anything academics have yet produced.

And so it continues…

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Peter Geoghegan Open Democracy

For an Introduction to the vast and learned library of books about left populism, discourse, hegemony and the People, see this interview:

‘For A Left Populism’: An interview with Chantal Mouffe