When Nigel “Thirsty” Farage’s new Brexit Party unveiled its candidates, revealing that one of them was Claire Fox, the proclamation was that she was “of the left”. She isn’t: Ms Fox is one of those whose political journey may have begun with the Revolutionary Communist Party back in the day, but it was never much into revolution, nor communism. But it was into proclaiming the free speech mantra that has followed its adherents across the floor.
Those with whom Ms Fox made her floor-crossing trek included Brendan O’Neill, now a fully paid-up member of the media establishment which likes to wheel him out when it needs to deploy a little wilful contrarianism. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, Ms Fox, who was in the past also known as Claire Foster, leaves behind a back catalogue which her new party leader may find inconvenient.
Squeaky actual policy choice finger up the bum time
That back catalogue includes an article for Irish Freedom (a front for the Living Marxism and later Spiked crowd) headlined “TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR? The Irish War is a national struggle, not a tribal conflict, argues Claire Foster”. From this it can be deduced that the point of view taken is not likely to coincide with that of Farage.
Here’s the important bit. “Within Britain … people across the political spectrum have fallen for this new tribal myth about the Irish War. This gives us a new task. Every time Britain disingenuously pretends to wring its hands and weep while watching helplessly as Irish clans enact blood sacrifice - we must remind the world that the blood is on British hands”.
There is more. “The only warlords in Ireland wear British uniforms and the acts of savagery do not emanate from tribes but from British imperialism. The sources of the conflict between Protestant and Catholic originate not from ancient hatred but from institutionalised discrimination and military occupation by Britain. Peace will only arrive in Ireland once Britain is forced out”. What will Mr Thirsty make of that?
Whatever one thinks of Ms Fox’s reasoning - and it makes some points that mainland politicians may find discomfiting - it is not the politics of her new party leader. This matters in the Brexit context, for reasons which should not need spelling out. The Irish Border issue is front and centre of the arguments, with Farage blithely disregarding the potential consequences of failing to honour the Good Friday accords.
And Farage has to say something, now the BBC has picked up on the comments made by Ms Fox’s pals after the Warrington bombing, which killed two young boys: “The RCP defended ‘the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom’ in the party's newsletter published shortly after the killings”. Ms Fox is top of the Brexit Party list for North West England - which includes Warrington.
But Nigel Farage is on record saying that people like Martin McGuinness were terrorists, plain and simple. So which of the two Brexit Party standpoints is the correct one? How does the party stand on an issue any Brexiteer has to take seriously?
Don’t expect a coherent answer any time soon. Too much like hard work for Nige.
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