If only I had a pound for everyone who said “if Nigel comes back then we’re voting UKIP” . . .
Let me start by saying this: Nigel Farage was THE reason I originally started voting UKIP, and the reason why I was persuaded that there should be a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
To a great many, Nigel was for many years the ‘public face’ of UKIP, and let us not forget that if it was not for him, and his media presence, that UKIP would not have helped to secure the referendum in the first place, as well as finishing third at the 2015 General Election, where UKIP gained more overall votes than the LibDems and Green parties – while admittedly only winning one seat in Parliament.
After the Referendum result was declared, and the vote to Leave had won, Mr Farage declared “Job done!” and promptly stepped down as UKIP leader. The party has admittedly been seen to flounder since then, under the leadership of Paul Nuttall and then Henry Bolton.
But under Gerard Batten, the interim leader who offered to stay in the position for 12 months and keep the ship ‘steady’, the party is enjoying something of a ‘rebirth’. New members are signing up left right and centre, buoyed by the support of social media commentators such as Sargon of Akkad and Paul Joseph Watson, and no doubt the disintegration of the Tory party, as Theresa May tries to sell her Soft Brexit as ‘leaving the European Union’.
Nigel quit his leader role to go flouncing off with Donald Trump, and to engage with callers to his phone-in show on LBC. But as far as I am aware, he is still very much a member of the UKIP party.
So it is slightly discouraging to see that despite the great strides that the party has taken under the stewardship of Mr Gerard Batten, there are still a great number of people that believe that Nigel “must come back” and perhaps this is starting to go to Mr Farage’s head?
I appreciate that Mr Farage, while employed by LBC, might be limited what he can say while he is talking to people on his radio show. But he does have a large number of social media followers, that he could reach out to, where he could support UKIP more vociferously, back Mr Batten more publicly, and get people to support or sign up to UKIP.
In my opinion, Mr Farage is excellent when it comes to the subject of Brexit and the EU, I don’t deny this. There may be other issues and policies that Batten wants to pursue alongside Brexit, which is also good, as UKIP can’t really afford to be this single-issue party any more, there is far too much at stake.
As far as I am aware, Nigel is still a member of UKIP, and while he may not be the leader, there is still so much he has to offer the party; I feel he would be an excellent party spokesperson on Brexit, if Gerard Batten was to offer this role to him.
Just imagine, UKIP is already revitalised under Batten, so think of the boost to morale if Nigel was to publically back Batten, urge people to support UKIP, and remind his own supporters that he hasn’t “gone away”.
The likes of Paul Joseph Watson, Sargon of Akkad, Milo Yiannopolous etc may be attracting numbers to UKIP, but the ‘Nige’ still has a lot of clout out there.
But he must back UKIP more often, or rein it in. Tempting people with a possible leadership challenge in March next year (after the Article 50 deadline has passed I might add) doesn’t really help. Support UKIP now before its too late!