After Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his pals visited the City of Chester last week, and his Nuremberg-style rally was punctuated by several instances of his Brownshirts violently ejecting those in the crowd who were deemed insufficiently adoring of The Great Man, questions began to be asked of the so-called Brexit Party. It had no internal democracy, and its founder had quit after her Islamophobia was revealed.
Moreover, the party’s treasurer had also quit after his anti-Semitism was uncovered. Farage said that his new political vehicle would be “deeply intolerant of all intolerance”, but having two bigots on the top table suggests otherwise. Now they’ve left, though, that proves Farage is weeding out the intolerant and there won’t be any more, right? Wrong.
As BuzzFeed News has discovered, there appears to be no shortage of bigotry chez Farage right now: the Brexit Party’s national election agent Noel Matthews has been caught in possession of an offensive Twitter feed. One where he praises Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, and has claimed “Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to Grooming Gangs. Britain Has Persecuted Him”.
Moreover, he has asserted “Tommy's no politician but it looks like he has the BBC bang to rights. His rally is about corrupt media. It's not about racism or fascism”. Whatever you say, Noel. Also, Matthews has a problem with Islamophobia, as in he wants to rubbish the concept, another of those itches that Lennon likes to scratch.
Squeaky 21st Century fascism finger up the bum time
His problem manifested itself in snippets such as “Is it Islamaphobia or Islamophobia? I missed it when that word was made up … Islamophobia is a silly, made up word … poor old islamophobia. Used to be the best excuse for closing down the debate until those others came along”. We have another bigot. What’s Nige doing about it?
“Nigel Farage distanced himself from his party's national election agent after BuzzFeed News uncovered the posts”. So is Matthews being sacked? As if. “A Brexit Party spokesperson said: ‘The Brexit Party does not condone or endorse any of these views. Noel Matthews was tweeting in a personal capacity before his involvement in the Brexit Party. His views do not represent those of the party or its leader.’”
The Muslim Council of Britain, TellMAMA and others have condemned Matthews’ comments. But Nigel Farage is not sacking him (yet). Not only does the Brexit Party tolerate terrorist sympathisers, hangers and floggers, spivs and chancers, it pretends not to be racist while employing racists at the very top level.
Moreover, the party has its own Praetorian Guard of hired brownshirts who stand ready to dispense a little thuggery if they can disguise it as “security”. Farage’s bluster cannot mask the obvious conclusion: this is the same UKIP piss in a differently-labelled, fashionably promoted and media approved bottle, with a little added menace.
All of which leads to one conclusion: what we have here is the BNP made more acceptable, the EDL in sharp suits, a way for the hard right to reinvent themselves, for has-beens to score one last payday, and yes, for racists to remain mainstream.
The Brexit Party is bigotry for the 21st Century. Which means it’s still unacceptable.
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