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Farage's army is on the march

Farage's army is on the march
Farage's army is on the march


At the Reform gathering in Yarmouth, one man stood out amid the sea of ​​white faces: Ebenezer Amoah, a handsome, well-dressed 33-year-old professor from the city, recently arrived from Accra, Ghana. Ebenezer was a striking presence in the Rumbold Arms, strolling through the elderly crowd, AirPods to his ear, to take a seat at the back. I caught him afterward, wanting to know how he became a Reform supporter. I went to the website and checked their policies, he explained matter-of-factly, as if everyone did that. But what does he think of the party's immigration policy? You can't come to England illegally, you have to follow the right path, he replied. If the Reform Party proposes a policy that will restrict immigration, it is of course for the good of the population. English citizens deserve to live their lives better.

Speaking about how he had settled in Yarmouth, he told me that there was certainly a different attitude to discipline in English schools. And towards our attitude towards fishing. We have a huge fishing community in Accra, he said. Every government that comes to power tries to find a way to improve the lives of the fishing community. The situation, he said, was different in Britain. I think it's very unfortunate. But what really struck me was his surprise at the liberalism of the British state. Four months after arriving in Yarmouth from Ghana, Ebenezer had concluded that the British government needed to be more British.

June Mummery, the Reform Party candidate for Lowestoft, had the same message. June’s anger at the Conservative Party’s betrayal over Brexit was deep and sincere. She ran the town's fish market and sincerely believed that restoring full control of the country's fishing waters was the key to restoring the lost glory of Britain's seaside towns. Once fishing fleets are repatriated, jobs in food production, markets and restaurants would also return. Boris Johnson had told her he would keep his promises, and she felt stupid for believing him.

Political scientist Christopher Browning understands the psychology of this type of revolution. He wrote about the economic and cultural changes that can occur in a country where many people feel like strangers in their own home. Those who once considered themselves the “heart of the country,” he writes, not only became alienated, but they were also socially stigmatized and humiliated. These people are now marching in Farages' rebel army. Brexit, according to this narrative, was an attempt to recapture an older Britain and a lost status that had disappeared. The inevitable result is increased alienation and radicalization.

June's fury at the government for abandoning Britain's coastal communities has also grown since Brexit, as Lowestoft and Yarmouth continued to suffer. Yes! she exclaimed. Because we had it in our hands. We had big plans. It was wonderful and they just destroyed it. In return, she wants to destroy the Conservative Party.

They had a wonderful majority and they squandered it. It's difficult to argue with her. A ruling party, elected four times to cut debt, taxes and immigration, has instead overseen an explosion in all three. And at the same time, the standard of living has barely increased since 2008 and public services have deteriorated. Is it any wonder that voters keep pushing a button to blow up the system and get angry when they discover the dynamite never seems to work?

[If] Had the town and the tide not been so mixed, like toast and water, it would have been nicer, Charles Dickens wrote of Great Yarmouth in David Copperfield. Something similar could be written about Brexit and today's elections. Even if Brexit is neither the cause of the country's problems nor the issue of the July 4 election, the great revolution of 2016-2020 continues to define our politics. The Conservative Party needed a Napoleon. Instead they got Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. It is no wonder that Farages' revolutionary army is once again on maneuvers.


Don't miss Tom's special podcast on Farage's Rebel Army. Listen now.




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