Thursday, 4 July 2019

Why the Brexit Party aren't Nazis

Twitter remainers are getting very silly now. They're comparing the Brexit Party to Nazis. Particularly in the wake of their back turning stunt in the European Parliament.

As ye know, I am not a huge fan of the Brexit Party, but unless I missed something they are not planning on the eradication of an ethnic minority or invading half of Europe. But then there are some other crucial differences we must explore.

For starters, Hitler had a plan. He knew what he wanted to do and why. He had a big idea to sell to the masses and an intellectual foundation for his movement - albeit the most evil set of ideas in all of history. Not so for Ukip 2.0. They know they want Brexit but largely as an end in itself rather than as a means to achieve something.

The closest the Brexit Party has to a plan is a ragbag collection of recycled "policies" lifted from the back of a cereal box. Cutting foreign aid and introducing an Australian points based system for immigration is not really a plan or a big vision. It's managerial tinkering and wholly in keeping with the model of government we presently have. They make a big deal of withholding the £39bn from the EU to invest in public services which at best could be described as timid accountancy - as risible as it is.

And say what you like about the Nazis, the did have snazzy uniforms. The closest we have seen to uniform dress of late is the Lib Dems in the "Bollocks to Brexit" t-shirts. Not in the same league methinks. For a supposedly "far right populist party" the Brexit Party is very probably the most beige enterprise to hit British politics since John Major's Cone's Hotline.

It's true that Farage and Hitler are both said to be rabble rousing and inspiring orators, but Hitler had a ruthless entourage known for their cold blooded competence. Not so Farage  who seems to attract gormless disciples rather than colleagues and generals. Competence is not high on the list.

The crucial difference though, is that the Nazis knew what they were doing at this point in their development. They were destined to take power because they wanted it enough. The Brexit Party doesn't. I seriously doubt if they want power at all. They are happier in their comfort zone as a protest party. If they have power then the betrayal narrative collapses as they would be in a position to do something about it.

One even suspects that quite a few in their number would be privately jumping for joy if Boris Johnson did pull a fast one and revoke Article 50. As much as it keeps the Ukip 2.0 gravy train rolling, they get to keep their MEP salary and title which affords them prestige and media appearances. These dismal no marks will melt back into obscurity if we actually leave the EU.

Had there been any serious similarity between Ukip 2.0 and the Nazis then there would have been a plan, there would have been a manifesto, and a long term vision. Had they accomplished that much, not only would we already be out of the EU, they would be a serious proposition for government with a chance of actually transforming the country according to their designs. Instead it's the same dismal band of fumbling amateurs already making complete prats of themselves in full view of everyone - and the results will be much the same as last time come the general election. To build a movement as the Nazis did, they'd need to have a clue between them.

Far from building a national movement and building on the momentum of the 2016 referendum, the Brexit Party is the same old faces talking to the exact same constituency and will hit the electoral glass ceiling for the same reason Ukip did. It turns out that populism just isn't that popular. It gives the remainers something to do though, so there's that at least.

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