If the Tories allow Nigel Farage to be their leader - they'll be out of power for a generation - Bill Rammell

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage has ruled out a deal with the Tories

Nigel Farage has confirmed that he will stand as the Reform UK parliamentary candidate for Clacton, Essex, in the General Election
Bill Rammell

By Bill Rammell

Published: 23/06/2024

- 08:13

So, one poll putting Reform ahead of the Tories and Nigel Farage is claiming they are the official opposition in Britain. Is this true? I think decidedly not, the odds and political reality are massively against Reform.

But that does not mean Farage will not continue to be a massive political disrupter. First however the facts. There was one poll last week putting Reform ahead of the Tories. Since when numerous other polls show the Tories ahead of Reform, albeit narrowly.

Even were Reform to come 2nd to Labour on July 4th , first past the post would protect the Tories. Reform could get 5% more support than the Tories, and the Tories would still win in terms of seats more than 10 to 1.

But the fact that Reform is competitive with the Tories, shows the legacy of 14 years of failure, lies, betrayal, falling living standards and massive cuts to public services. And the Tory campaign! Epitomised by Sunak’s horrendous decision to leave the D Day commemorations early-this is without doubt the worst Tory election campaign I’ve ever witnessed. All that is contributing to Reform challenging the Tories.

However, Farage is a crude populist-peddling simplistic solutions to very complicated problems. Put another way, he is a snake oil salesman. Dictionary definition- “Someone who sells, promotes, is a proponent of some valueless or fraudulent cure, remedy or solution.” Farage in a nutshell. The Reform manifesto demonstrates this. The Institute of Fiscal Studies says it simply doesn’t add up, with costings out by £10’s of billions. And savage £70 billion cuts to public spending, on top of 14 years of austerity.

Cuts to Inheritance Tax for people worth between £1 and £2 million. When we can’t even fix our potholes, is it really a priority to cut the tax bills of multi-millionaires? Then look at Reform’s candidates. People who think we shouldn’t have fought Hitler, who think the King is part of a secret global conspiracy. And there is a reason Reform attracts such disgusting extremists, because that is what Nigel Farage is in the business of mobilising.

Then there is the swaggering, narcissistic arrogance of Farage. One poll putting him 2nd, and he demands to be treated as a potential Prime Minister. And Reform is not a democratic political party. When Farage took back the leadership from Richard Tice, he didn’t consult him. And no Reform members voted for it. They don’t have votes. Reform is a business owned by Farage to promote his brand. And Nigel Farage says he is the Tribune of ordinary people standing against the corrupt elite. This from an extremely wealthy man, educated at a private school, who worked as a stockbroker, who’s stood for Parliament 8 times-if that doesn’t make you a member of the establishment, I don’t know what does.

But Farage is impactful. He is very good at breaking things. And whilst I don’t think Reform could become the official opposition, I think Farage could realign politics. If he is elected in Clacton, I could see him defecting to the Tories and becoming their leader. And if the Tories allow that, they will be out of power for a generation. Because you win elections from the centre ground, not from the Nigel Farage populist platform.

This doesn’t mean we don’t have to address some of the issues Farage champions. The Tories have allowed net migration to reach unsustainable levels, 3 times what they were when Labour left office. But you need serious, credible plans to tackle this-a Border Security Force to target the criminal gangs, a 1,000 strong returns and enforcement unit, a skills and decent pay strategy to help British workers take on work to reduce migration.

The Labour Party agenda. And whatever the noise around Farage, there is a choice at the election between Labour with an agenda for change and the failed Tories. People should vote for change.

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