Monday, 20 June 2016

Brexit - UKIP - Nigel Farage - Right-Wing Neoliberal Views

For democracy to work, it needs to have an informed public. Not one who's electorate use intuition or instinct as a method to make judgements but an electorate who fully understand the issues upon which they are about to vote. It is perfectly legitimate for individuals to vote Brexit as it is to vote remain but to form an intelligent view of the issues involved one first has to debate and/or read impartial information.

I have read two such documents and found both almost unfathomable due to the complexities involved and the depth of detail surrounding the financial pros and cons. The one thing that both conclude is that neither side can offer any promises one way or another. There are no guarantees. 

Among those who take the view the UK should leave the EU, a perfectly legitimate opinion, are a group of wannabe 'Libertarians,' that is individuals who have cherry picked certain characteristics of classic libertarianism and adapted them to their right-wing policies. These individuals are not anti-establishment but the very reverse. They are in fact cheap frauds who masquerade as one thing whilst being quite another.

This instantly makes me reevaluate the one party who, if we leave, will have no future in British politics - UKIP. Once we leave the EU the nature of UKIP's existence will have gone. Who need's an England Independent Party? This, of course, means the leader of said party's days could be numbered. Douglas Carswell your star is on the ascent.

We think we know where Nigel Farage stands in terms of policies don't we? I think not. Nigel Farage, unlike Margaret Thatcher the woman he reveres, is not known for his political inspirations. For sure, the former female Tory leader along with Enoch Powell and Sir Keith Joseph are three but are there more? If so, who are they?

Well, he has revealed a fondness for American Republican Rand Paul. 


Rand Paul, a Republican maverick (sounds familiar) who cites Ayn Rand and Fredrich Hayek as his key influences. Farage, having met him found the man to be something of a soul mate. Rand had been elected to the senate in 2011. He was born into a political family with his father, Ron Paul, being a former congressman. Ron stood for President three times. Twice as a Republican and once as Libertarian. Sort of right of right with classic liberal ideals sprinkled on as a confection. Rand has followed his dear old dad down the Neoconservative route highlighting his dislike of government intervention whilst advocating free market trade along with few as possible taxes.

Among Rand's influences are European, classical Liberal, Frederich Hayek but also Objectivist Ayn Rand. Hayek's economics being vital to any Right-Libertarian's viewpoints as they favour non-interventionism along with free trade. In short, Rand Paul supports Neoconservativism with policies fueled by neoliberalism ideals. He also supports greater defence spending yet is anti the USA's foreign policy. He opposes companies being forced not to discriminate as private businesses should be allowed to run their own affairs as they see fit.

Rand Paul's love of his female namesake, Ayn Rand, should be of concern to all. Ayn Rand rejected altruism, collectivism and of course anarchism (this would have included classical Libertarianism) preferring to support ethical egoism, individual rights, laissez-faire capitalism. 

These twin ideas that fit so neatly together are the same stuff Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher believed in. The same stuff that brought the world to near economic collapse in 2008. It is trickle-down politics merged with self-centred, self-seeking personal interest.

Right-Libertarianism is the notion of promoting small governments who lower taxes then deregulate trade freeing it from any controls so that fly or fall, banks, multinational corporations, in fact, all big businesses set their own agenda. It is no wonder that when Nigel Farage first met Rand Paul he was impressed for the two share the same principles. Farage said this

"I liked Paul enormously: he is a realist, he is down to earth and very modest. He certainly comes from a political family – I knew his father Ron – but he is not a career politician. He trained as an ophthalmologist and set up his own clinic, so he knows something of the world. It is unsurprising that UKIP and the Tea Party have plenty in common." 

The evangelical zealotry of the Tea Party may be absent in UKIP but the same neoliberal policies remain. As does the trickle-down philosophy along with Ayn Rand's 'I'm alright Jack' mentality. 

It comes then as no surprise that Mister Farage thinks of himself as Margaret Thatcher's heir apparent. Like her, like Rand Paul, he is an acolyte of Hayek. He explicitly favours the aforementioned 'trickle-down' policies of Reaganomics. Farage sees strength in having what he perceives as strong leaders whereas I see weakness. Being of a strong resolve within yourself, by being able to absorb pertinent information before reaching your own conclusion is one of the ways democracy functions. I wonder how many supporters of UKIP have read impartial documents regarding the leaving or remaining in the EU? Very few I suspect. Yet these people are happy to allow those they follow to lead them where they will. To mutely accept another's words merely because it 'feels right.'


If we believe that UKIP is Libertarian, that is right-wing Libertarian, not the classic anarchist types, then it is worth bearing in mind the fatal flaws, the self-created dichotomy of their policies. UKIP is anti-EU, right?  They dislike (don't we all) the very undemocratic manner in which centralised government conducts itself. Why is it then they, UKIP, make no bones about the lack of democracy regarding the G7 or the G20 or even the IMF? Who voted for them? I didn't. As far as I know we had no choice. There is a distinct lack of consistency on UKIP's part here. Maybe even a touch of hypocrisy as they, as neoliberals, support such organisations. But then again, Mister Farage is a multi-millionaire.

I hear no mention made by either Nigel Farage or UKIP on the TTIP. Their manifesto suggests they are against it yet this strikes as odd bearing in mind Nigel Farage's unqualified adoration of Frederich Hayek via Thatcher and Sir Keith Joseph. Why are they so silent? Surely if they coupled the TTIP with the EU this would create a powerful reason, a muscular tool by which to berate Europe even more. But no, only an ominous silence can be heard as though silence is truly golden not the birthing sounds of a new elite, yet another neoliberal outfit seeking to benefit themselves at the expense of the majority.

Economic imperialism is the root cause of so many problems facing us all yet UKIP are in no mood to challenge this trend. As a former commodity trader, he is part of the machine that gave rise to the 2008 economic downfall. He is among those who seek free trade globalisation over internationalism. 

Immigration is without any doubt a serious problem. That being the case what do the likes of UKIP or those supporting Brexit suggest to resolve this issue? They all seem to be under the misapprehension that by leaving the EU all problems surrounding illegal immigrants will go away. They won't. That problem won't. Even if by leaving the EU we reduced the number of migrants the figure of those still coming here from other shores would still be double the government's target. Currently, with EU immigrants, the numbers entering the UK are 330,000. When you look at Net Immigration to the UK then subtract Net Emigration you reach that 330,000 figure. However, when using the same data, taking away EU from non-EU immigration you reach a figure of 188,000. That number is still higher than the government's target, in fact, it's nearly double. This presents a different argument, one that defeats Nigel Farage and UKIP's stance that by leaving the EU the UK can control immigration. What then does Mister Farage have to say? He brings another, totally different argument into the debate. 

“Not with the right government. That’s the point, isn’t it: there has been no resolve. Despite the fact that the PM has won two elections – albeit one in a coalition – with a pledge to reduce net migration to tens of thousands a year, he’s shown no resolve with non-EU migration. And with EU migration he still is not admitting in this referendum the truth: that he still does not have that ability.”

Hang on a minute Nigel me old dear, you have clearly stated that by leaving the EU the UK's borders will be back in our control. You dislike the free movement granted by Europe suggesting by stopping it Britain will regain National Sovereignty. Right? Now you are saying that mass EU immigration is the fault of the UK government. So which is it? The EU's fault or the UK's? If it's Europe's then by leaving the EU Britain's net immigration figure will remain almost twice as high as desired. The number of EU migrants seeking to come here would be stopped its true but not of sufficient quantity to reduce overall immigration. 

Is it a case of our GDP being in decline? It isn't. For the last seven year's there has been a steady growth per capita. Is it because those pesky foreigners are stealing all our jobs? They're not. Last year 450,000's new job were created. 9 in 10 of those jobs went to people born in Britain.

In all this Brexit nonsense, this bewildering confusion where populists have led the many down a false trail fueled by fear of 'the other', I have not noticed even the briefest of mentions regarding climate change. The greatest threat to humankind overlooked whilst we argue the toss over an issue that doesn't even address the cause and effect of migration. It really beggars belief.

Control public phobias and you control the truth. Control public paranoia and you control the masses. This is the Brexit answer. Lies, deceits, and panic politics are now being played by both sides but most assuredly by Nigel Farage and his UKIP fellows and definitely by Brexit. The only glimmer of hope is that if we leave the EU then UKIP will leave the UK.

Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog