THE Brexit party nailed those European elections, there’s no doubt about that. Congratulations to them. Farage has now declared he is preparing for the General Election and will commit to a full manifesto. Soon, therefore, we will be down to brass tacks.
This is the part where I start hiding behind the sofa, waiting to see if the Brexit Party really will ‘change politics for good’. Maybe they will, or maybe in a year’s time we will still be in the EU, staring down the barrel of another referendum, and have a Jeremy Corbyn government to top things off. This entire Brexit experiment could turn out to be one of those awful horror films that you wish you’d never started watching.
We don’t know that much about the Brexit Party other than the name, which in fairness is a clear policy position, unlike the Tory and Labour party. But a manifesto – that’s a different ball game. How will this party square having Claire Fox and Ann Widdecombe under one roof? That could get cosy.
Farage has got away with not talking about immigration at all but that cannot last long. Is he willing to explain again how we must control immigration, how the current rate cannot be sustained because it drives down wages and puts a strain on housing and public services? Can he explain that there is nothing moral, compassionate or prudent about continuing with unsustainable levels of migration and stealing doctors from countries least able to spare them?
Are the Brexit Party as a whole ready for the hate that will be poured upon them for pointing out these inconvenient truths – namely that the strongest advocates for open-border never, ever seem to have to live with the consequences of their policies?
Then there is economic policy. Will they be a low-tax party? This might sound tempting to our readers but will this include global competition? Because if it does, I doubt those who voted for them in the North of England will fancy committing economic suicide and vote for them again at the general election.
Cutting taxes is always tempting, but with the level of national debt it will be a hard sell. Further, only about half of adults earn enough to pay tax so there is nothing in it for about half of the adult population. What will their position be on austerity – continue or call the whole thing off? Would they bail out out British Steel, for example, or even nationalise it? A form of economic nationalism must be tempting.
Arguably more important is social policy. My sense is that the Brexit Party could turn very libertarian – you know the type of dope-legalising maniacs that go around saying, ‘Well, it is none of my business if so-and-so wants to smoke him or herself into oblivion.’ Except that watching your neighbour’s kid, or your community, destroying themselves and others most certainly is our business. Will they have a policy on marriage, such as the pooling of the tax-free allowance for married couples? Will they protect critical institutions such as the family from the onslaught of the state?
Finally, will the party stand up to the Leftists and the tyranny of political correctness? If they really are to change politics for good, they need to get a hold on the political and cultural language that the Left dominates. They must challenge the ‘cancel culture’ and defend freedom of speech. If it turns out that they are just as terrified of the Left as the useless Conservatives are, there will be little point in ‘changing politics for good’. What exactly will you be changing it to, if the Left still dominate the language?
These are just some of the questions that must be answered. Anyone can start a fire – and the Brexit Party may have started an inferno. Building something out of the ashes, that’s the challenge.