Reform will give a green light to the woke agenda of the Left - George Eustice

Farage
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage
GB News
George Eustice

By George Eustice


Published: 03/07/2024

- 17:28

George Eustice was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Nigel Farage has always been something of a marmite character. There are some who can’t abide him and regard him as divisive, while others see him as the one who “says it as it is”, who shakes the establishment out of its complacency and who might just get things done given the chance.

I have known Nigel Farage off and on for over twenty years. He and I were both candidates for UKIP in the 1999 European Elections.


He was a candidate in the South East while I stood in the South West. In his thirties at the time, he was seen as something of a rising star within UKIP. No one can doubt that he has an ability to communicate in a way that resonates with a section of the population, nor can we dispute his tenacity having kept going as something of an outsider in politics for two decades. He learnt to relish the abuse that his detractors poured on him.

My issue with Nigel Farage is that, whether people like him or loathe him, throughout his career he has had a tendency to allow his vanity to undermine the very causes he believes in.

After the 1999 European election I left UKIP to join the anti-euro “no” campaign. It is easy to forget now just how obsessed Tony Blair was with trying to join the euro back then. Had he succeeded it would have become far harder to actually leave the EU twenty years later.

Faced with a broken Conservative Party and a Labour Government hellbent on joining the euro, it was essential for the campaign to focus solely on the reasons to be against the euro and not to widen the flank to the whole EU issue at that point.

Nigel Farage and UKIP continually muddied the water and were a counterproductive force as some of us fought to keep the pound against the odds.

A little over a decade later, as David Cameron’s EU renegotiation failed, once again, some of us turned our thoughts as to the right approach in the imminent referendum campaign.

To get more than 50 percent of voters to actually vote to leave, you needed a range of voices from all parties including some Conservatives but crucially also Labour Party voices, businesses and Trade Unionists. That is why “Vote Leave” was formed to become the official, designated campaign.

However, Nigel Farage wouldn’t accept a lower profile role for himself for the greater good of the cause, so actually attempted to put together a rival campaign based around himself. Most of his interventions in the 2016 referendum campaign were unhelpful.

On the night of the result, he even went out and conceded defeat to the remain side before the votes had been counted and before any of the key results were in. In this election, Nigel’s vanity is off the leash again. Relishing his Tik Tok “guess whose back?” moment he has given the Reform Party a boost in their ratings.

The polls suggest it will be insufficient for Reform to gain more than a couple of seats, but it will be enough to take thousands of votes out of individual Conservative candidates and allow dozens more Labour MPs into Parliament. The result will be to undermine the coalition of the right and to give a green light to the woke agenda of the left.

At least this time Nigel Farage is overt that his objective is to damage the Conservatives above all else, but for those contemplating voting for him, it’s time to focus on what sort of Government and Parliament they really want to wake up to next Friday.

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