November 14, 2014 by Paul Goldsmith
Journalists love Nigel Farage for a simple reason – he gives good copy. He says what he believes and isn’t like interviewing an automaton that just repeats a party line. But sometimes a strength can become a weakness, or at least reveal something that should be questioned. A good example of this is the line he used in this week’s interview with the New Statesman – when he said in answer to a question about whether he would be comfortable supporting Labour that “I’d be very comfortable supporting anybody that gave me an opportunity to get my country back.”
First of all – why is it about him? Is that some kind of Freudian slip to use the first person, or has he become so megalomaniac as he starts to sniff power than he forgot that he claims to represent people rather than himself?
But more importantly – what country does he want back? It appears that what he is saying is “stop the world, I want to get off”, and for those who have lost out from the challenges of globalization that must seem like a tempting prospect. But that is a charitable view of what he has said. We could also look (and bear in mind that he insists in the same interview that he is a radical that wants “change”) at the nature of his radicalism. He wants to reset some changes that have occurred that he doesn’t like. Would it help to look deeper into what they are?
Farage definitely would like to get his country back that wasn’t in the EU, we know that. He also wants to get his country back that didn’t welcome immigration, that didn’t embrace multiculturalism – we know that too.
A recording released on Tuesday also indicated that he would quite like his country back that didn’t provide the NHS free at the point of use. Or at least he felt that way in 2012, when he talked at a meeting of using a health insurance system to provide medical care rather than the current state provided one. Of course, UKIP policy now states they support the NHS, free at the point of use, but you can’t help wondering if that is what they believe, or what they think they have been forced to believe.
I wonder what else would be involved in this country Nigel Farage would like back? Would he like for gays not to be able to get married? Would he like homosexuality to be re-criminalized? Would he like the same to happen to abortion? After all, immigration was going on well before they were de-criminalized in the late 1960s. Would he like corporal punishment to return to the schooling system? Would he like women to be sacked if they became pregnant and not paid equally for doing the same job? Would he like to get rid of the minimum wage? Would he like to bring back the workhouses?
I am, of course, beginning to be a touch mischievous here. So I must stop. But I think that question needs to be explored further. Why did he use the first person, and exactly what would the country he gets back look like? This man could hold the balance of power in May, which could mean he is contributing to a coalition agreement cooked up in a back room. What will he be contributing?