The Brexit Party has betrayed us

Leave voters have been disenfranchised in this election.

Steve Roberts

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Topics Brexit Politics UK

After the EU referendum, it became clear that democracy itself was at stake. For universal suffrage to have any real meaning, the will of the majority must be enacted. Brexit has forced us to ask where power lies – and who rules. The genie that carries those questions is well and truly out of the bottle, despite the many attempts by the establishment to put it back in.

Earlier this year, I decided to become an active, paid-up member of the Brexit Party. The need for a vehicle to defend democracy in the absence of any other organised form became more urgent as the anti-democratic activities of the establishment increased. I even applied to become a parliamentary candidate (and was successful but had to decline the opportunity for private family reasons). My activities continued – writing, speaking, canvassing and manning street stalls in various constituencies. I was one among many thousands. We were part of a democratic surge. Halls up and down the nation were packed.

The surge continued to grow. Undoubtedly, the establishment was rattled. First by the Brexit vote itself, but later by what followed in the EU elections. The old mainstream parties were electorally obliterated by a party hardly out of its infancy and with no other policy beyond the demand to uphold the referendum result.

For the first time in generations, the demos had been stamping its authority on society. There seemed to be a party that would defend democracy and shake up the status quo. Many were excited at the prospect of ridding our parliament of the anti-democrats and replacing them with representatives who would not only enact the decision to leave the EU, but also instigate major democratic reform.

This was more than just blind hope. The Brexit Party continually told us ‘we are ready’ and that it was willing to change politics for good by breaking the Labour-Conservative duopoly. The party’s literature also made clear that Labour and the Conservatives were Remain parties – Labour openly so with its second referendum policy and the Conservatives with Boris Johnson’s Brexit-in-name-only deal.

But then, during the General Election, everything was turned upside down and promises were betrayed. The Brexit Party stood down and refused to contest 317 Conservative-held seats. Most of us have got used to betrayal from mainstream parties, but this time we thought it would be different. This was too important. This was not about honouring manifesto commitments – they have been a joke for generations. This was about democracy itself.

The only way to defend democracy within our parliamentary system is to clear out the Remainers in parliament. And let’s be clear: all those who will not enact the referendum result in full are Remainers. You are either in the EU or out of it. There is no hokey-cokey option that could satisfy the demand to leave. All of the Westminster parties are Remain parties of one degree or another. Those of us who got involved with the Brexit Party did not do so to promote other parties that are a bit ‘Brexity’ or a bit ‘democratic’. We didn’t sign up so that we could just accept the lesser evil.

Democracy and universal suffrage cannot be defended by effectively disenfranchising millions of democrats in 317 constituencies. Now those constituencies have more or less been handed to candidates who have signed up to Johnson’s anti-democratic treaty.

This was a unilateral decision by the leadership of the Brexit Party. No supporters were consulted. The people who energise the party, who do all the street work, including candidates, were ignored and betrayed. The Brexit Party decided that all potential democrats in Tory constituencies were to be disregarded and not counted – they were treated as a stage army in the Tory machine. People have been disempowered, just as we were beginning to show our power.

The Brexit Party’s move is not a tactical retreat. It is appeasement and betrayal. It more or less guarantees – as current polling suggests – a majority for the Conservatives, a Remainer party.

Some claim that the goal of this election has shifted and that it is more important to prevent a victory for the Remainer alliance. The Brexit Party’s strategy has been to chase red blood in the Labour heartlands, where Jeremy Corbyn’s Remain party is most vulnerable. But at what point will the Brexit Party take on the other Remainers – the Conservatives? At some mysterious, yet-to-be-determined point in the future? If the Tories win a majority – potentially gifted to them by the Brexit Party’s withdrawal – then their feet will not be held to the fire. They will easily pass their BRINO deal. The Brexit Party is effectively telling democrats that the Conservatives are a safe haven for Leavers.

Just as mysterious is the decision to stand against Labour Leavers like Dennis Skinner. It is claimed that lifelong Labour voters will never vote for the Tories. And while that would be tough for many to countenance, it is no more unlikely than them voting for the Brexit Party following this betrayal. Nigel Farage’s party is stacked full of light-blue Tories. People might have been more willing to take that leap had democracy remained central to the Brexit Party’s offer. The ‘red rosette on a donkey’ phenomenon is at an end, but these ex-Labour voters could swing in many directions.

One inescapable question is why the Brexit Party has retreated at the most opportune moment to shake up politics by doing serious damage to both parties. If it was for a lack of resources or candidates, then Farage should not have repeatedly told supporters ‘We are ready’.

But I suspect the reasoning may be worse. Some in the Brexit Party seem to have a genuine fear of a Corbyn government – and not just because he is leading a Remain party. Farage is a loyal Eurosceptic but also a free marketeer. For many like-minded people, the more pressing desire is to defeat Corbyn. Most of us didn’t support Brexit for such narrow party-political reasons. Democracy must come first.

Whatever happens in the election, the lesson we must learn is clear: any new vehicle for change must come from the bottom up; it must be in our control and accountable at all levels. While a broad church has its advantages, it cannot come at the expense of clarity of purpose, particularly on the democratic question. The genie is still out of the bottle. Even after the Brexit Party’s betrayal, the struggle for democracy continues.

Steve Roberts is a writer and former miner, based in West Yorkshire.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Gareth Edward KING

5th December 2019 at 7:24 pm

But what does Clare Fox (NW-MEP) think of her party standing down in 2017-Tory won seats? Is she not one of the Brexit Party’s leadership? I too have been enormously disappointed with their decision. Really, I nearly joined and I am glad that I didn’t now. Surely, the BP leadership has used its erstwhite voters as a stage army for the Tories. It seems to have been their decision that it would be easier to attack Labour and to do the Tories’ bidding instead.

Dan Bryan

4th December 2019 at 2:01 pm

I don’t think the BP’s final act has happened yet. When we had the leave vote I thought UKIP would be toast because they were no longer ‘needed’ but how wrong was I. This is going to be going on for the next ten years. Unless they get a second referendum. One of the reasons the BP has stood back for now is so that we don’t enter second referendum territory. The EU and their minions in parliaments across Europe have either ignored referenda or made it so the people have to vote again. If the Tories can get their BRINO deal through then at least it’s the first step. If the people aren’t happy then the Brexit Party can still be around at the next election. Preferably with Richard Tice as leader. Also we have to remember that there will be no EU to have these BRINO relations with very soon. The Euro is on the verge of collapse and the idiots in charge are carrying on as if there is nothing wrong with their fingers in their ears. You couldn’t make it up.

Richard Harris

4th December 2019 at 9:39 am

I was there on April 11th at the launch.

The mood was electric and the time was right for a REALLY different political party.

Now, we’re looking at getting ZERO MP’S and humiliation in spades.

I don’t blame Nigel as much as I blame the FPTP system BUT we have to recognize that Nigel has made a few mistakes of late.

1. He should have stood as a PPC himself – Not doing so REALLY hurt the BP.
2. We should have stood candidates in EVERY constituency – This one-sided gesture of cooperation hasn’t ensured anything – Even if the Conservatives get a majority there will never be a ‘Clean Break Brexit’ whilst Johnson is in power.

We need to start to realize that Brexit (For the most part) is lost.

amanda hunter

5th December 2019 at 12:34 am

Agree with most of your observations but still believe there is some hope left.

michael savell

3rd December 2019 at 11:53 pm

I don’t think Farage was financially able to help fund the brexit party in this election,no doubt he had high hopes some weeks ago but he was probably let down badly very near the last moment which
forced him to truncate his campaign,I don’t think he will ever get a second chance.I believe that
the agreement to stand down his candidates is eyewash,more like it was a life saver for his pride.
However the arguments will go on whoever gets in,probably right up to the next election aftyer this.

JCheeverLoophole42 …

3rd December 2019 at 8:58 pm

My dream: I am hoping, as much as I can, for a hung Parliament, Conservatives the biggest party on about 308 seats, with the DUP and the Brexit Party together holding about 20-25. This would keep the Conservatives honest on holding the UK’s single market together, and on not extending the transition beyond the end of 2020. If the EU don’t want an article 24 arrangement after then, it’s because they don’t want a trade deal at all, so we may as well call their bluff.

But this is a dream, and I can’t see it happening. We must therefore wait for the stench of betrayal to seep back from the body politic in due course, probably from late summer onwards next year as it becomes clear that we are still not leaving the EU in any meaningful sense, not for many years yet anyway.

Maybe when that body starts to stink really badly, the populace will demand something is done about it, and we can start to clear out all the pro-EU dead wood not only from Parliament, but also all from our major institutions and corporate bodies e.g. the Civil Service, the CBI, most of academe, you name it. Might take 10 years to complete the bulk of the work, but it would be worth it, I think.

RICHARD JARMAN

3rd December 2019 at 10:16 pm

Very much my maths – perhaps we just have to see what the horizon is on 13th December

No-one Important

3rd December 2019 at 6:21 pm

Worse even than the feeling of utter disappointment, now being effectively disenfranchised (East Devon), is the suspicion that we’ve been had. This turn of events is such a departure from the stated aims of the Brexit Party that I wonder if this was the aim all along; could it be that Mr. Farage has led us all up the garden path ..?

I certainly will not be doing what the BPTory party want me to do, the arrogance of their assumption that I will meekly move my vote over, following grubby deals in London, is disgusting; Mrs. Jupp’s little boy – parachuted into an allegedly “safe” Conservative seat from heaven knows where – will not be having my vote. NOTA beckons for me.

Geoff Cox

3rd December 2019 at 6:08 pm

Politics is the art of the possible and we have to take what is possible and move on. Therefore, I hope Boris gets elected with say a 20 seat majority and takes us in to the transition period. Then we have to galvanise the ERG and UKIP and the Brexit Party to keep the pressure on so Boris goes in hard against the EU and threatens to leave on WTO by 31/12/2020. If he doesn’t and we face some sort of Brino, then we have to keep campaigning to get out of that. But with a new remain parliament about to be elected, we will have to take this one step at a time.

John Carter

3rd December 2019 at 5:06 pm

Why is everyone surprised you can’t trust any of em
I have no one to vote for either all them waisted votes

Iain Litenment

3rd December 2019 at 4:29 pm

Good article Steve. The polls are narrowing the gap between the two main parties and it looks like we are heading for a hung parliament. If that happens it’s a second referendum with a choice between BRINO and remain. If that’s the case it will be a low turnout and remain will win but anger and disillusionment will grow. Let’s hope anger wins.

steve moxon

3rd December 2019 at 3:21 pm

I agree with Steve Roberts here that it was crazy not to contest any Tawrdy remoaner incumbents. The position re Brexit is hardly aided by Tawdry remoaners retaining their seats, because they are likely to ignore the Tawdry whip and frustrate even BRINO.
It seems that Farage hid behind a vaguely conciliatory statement by Bowis to enable him to come off his high horse semi-gracefully, instead of being knocked off. He’d already delivered a massive self-injury when he cowardly stood down from standing himself. This was a clear signal that he thought no Brexit Party candidate would get elected, and this stated an inevitable squeeze on the BP vote.
The Brexit Party should have done a seat-by-seat assessment, identifying clear Liebore/Tawdry marginals of sitting Tawdry leavers, where there has been no past substantial UKIP vote, re which they could leave the Tawdries a clear run; but seats where there was a good chance of less the BrexitP than the Tawdry candidate being squeezed, then they should have put up.
As it is now, the Party is not focusing all of what firepower it has where it could be most effective against the remoaner cause.

Linda Payne

3rd December 2019 at 3:12 pm

I’ve been disenfranchised as I live in an area of a safe Tory seat, Sevenoaks is wealthy but our end is the shitty end right on the boundary; I was going to vote for an Independent who used to be my neighbour but she supports Boris’s bill I want out without a deal which I voted for in 2-016

Steve Roberts

3rd December 2019 at 2:02 pm

Karl, thanks for the words of support, I didn’t write this lightly,it followed a great deal of consideration, though I had been preparing for the turn for weeks
However I think it is extremely important to see this as just another stage,the genie cannot be put back in. Very clearly we need to build anew ,a new movement will need to form, that will come from the demos it must.
The largest problem in doing this has been the illusions of the past, that we lived in a democracy, that the majority of people are represented politically,that the judiciary is neutral, that we have grudging respect for our representatives that the established order would not revert to doing anything to destroy the will of the people and now that a top down vehicle has retreated from the fight to defend our will. The list goes on, but these are all genuinely positive outcomes, all is revealed ,we now know many of the obstacles we face, what has failed not just recently but for generations. We the people have a huge opportunity,I would say as never before in this nation, it carries a lot of responsibility as it’s now down to us, it is in our hands now, no one else will do it for us. Sincere positivity from disappointment, onwards and upwards we are the many.

Karl

3rd December 2019 at 1:20 pm

Good article, Steve. I, too, felt great anger when Farage made that decision to stand down candidates in Tory held seats. Up to that point, he’d been saying (rightly) that Boris’s deal was not Brexit, and would leave us tied to the EU – vassalage in fact. Next minute he’s trying to help the Tories win a majority so they can implement this non-Brexit farce of a deal! With the pressure of the Brexit party removed, the Tories have no incentive to change tack. Business as usual for them.

The election has descended into a fight to stop Corbyn winning. Tory campaign has been awful – almost plumbing the depths of T. May’s disastrous 2017 election campaign. ‘Get Brexit Done!’ is a turgid version of ‘Strong and Stable Government’, especially when its repeated ad nauseum. Fortunately, the Lib Dems’s campaign has been even worse and is a busted flush, along with their victim Feminist dullard of a leader, Jo Swinson, who, if rumours are correct, will resign before the end of this campaign. The worry now is that Remoaners will see a vote for the Lib Dems as a wasted vote and vote Corbyn (whilst holding their nose) since in that way, they will get their second referendum, which is sure to result in the end of any form of Brexit.

The Corbynistas, meanwhile, have come out fighting, offering what appears on the surface to be a very radical manifesto, with a return to ‘traditional Labour values’ of Nationalised industry and their new favourite – freebie giveaways. They have courted the youth vote offering to wipe out student ‘debt’ (I don’t class it as debt in the true sense of the word – more of a graduate tax), cuddly Green policies but at the cost of setting up generational wars. Their aim is to promise the moon on a stick so that people who voted Leave in 2016 will be so blindsided, they will ignore the fact that the Labour Party, if elected, will annul the referendum result and thereby cancel their vote, offering a confirmatory vote (i.e. a 2nd referendum) in which Remain vs another form of Remain is on the ballot paper, and which will be gerrymandered to include EU citizens and 16 and 17 yr old voters. As outlandish as it seems, this campaign seems to be having some effect. Its kept the Tories on the back foot (who, by contrast have proposed nothing visionary themselves – indeed, they are now defensive about capitalism), caused voters to abandon the Brexit Party and to reluctantly vote Tory just to avoid Labour, but is also winning over some of their traditional working class voters. They’ve managed to out gun the Tories in the cyber wars with an army of young activists busy working the social media and getting out the message that the Tories are liars, want to sell off the NHS, implement a ‘Tory Brexit’. From social media posts of young people I’ve seen, voting anything but Labour is akin to being evil and morally suspect, such has been the success of Labour’s campaign.

So, coming back to Steve’s point, those of us, like myself, who were enthused and energised by a new party (Brexit Party) have been left stranded. In my own constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge, the BXP candidate has been invisible. I’ve had an avalanche of flyers from Lib Dems and Labour with just one from the Tories and none from the BXP. There is no way the BXP can win here with that paltry effort. A vote for BXP risks letting Labour in, yet a vote for the Tories – a new candidate who I don’t know much about, is tantamount to help the Tories plan for vassalage. I had great hope for BXP given the quality of most of their MEPs, especially Claire Fox and new PPCs such as Kevin Yuill, Michelle Dewbury, Richard Tice etc. The hope I had for reform of the voting system (from FPTP to PR), abolition of the HoL, and a shift away from authoritarianism, nanny stateism and identity politics we will get with any of the main parties. If polls are to be believed, BXP will return zero MPs to the commons. What a wasted opportunity and most of the blame can be put on that decision to stand down BXP candidates, which weakened the party to the point of no return.

What do we do? I’m despairing. If Corbyn’s Labour win, we’re screwed. If Tories will a majority, its business as usual and no proper Brexit. In fact, the remoaner crowd will fight a long hard campaign to get us back in the EU on the strength of this form of Brexit being a disaster. If Tories lose, and we get a hung parliament, then there will be no Brexit either as we’ll end up with a 2nd referendum or the ‘worker’s Brexit’ of Corbyn fame. If BXP had not withdrawn candidates, we might head for a tiny Tory majority but with some high quality BXP MPs in parliament, who would have pushed the Tories towards a cleaner Brexit. I think that would have been the least worst outcome. At least there would be voices in parliament pushing for real democratic reforms. The key mistake was for the BXP to be a top down party with no internal democracy, like Steve points out in his piece and as pointed out on many occasions by Jon Holbrooke. It relied on Farage, who, while he is a brilliant orator with a razor sharp mind, makes decisions off the cuff without wider consultation.

Jerry Owen

3rd December 2019 at 1:44 pm

Karl
What an excellent post .. I disagree with not one jot of what you write.

steve moxon

3rd December 2019 at 2:58 pm

I too live in the Penistone & Stocksbridge constituency and agree with Karl that the Brexit Party candidate has not been in evidence, and that I would have liked to vote Brexit Party, but with it being so squeezed nationally, and from the last election this being a clear Tawdry-Liebore marginal (Tawdries adrift by only a thousand votes) it looks like I’ll have to vote tactically Tawdry to keep out Liebore.
I also agree that Farage has not played his hand well, but then he hasn’t for 20 years in that he persisted with a single-issue party that as such can never compete in a general election; this despite its being obvious that a whole swathe of policy sufficient to launch a national proper party would come under an anti-‘PC’ stance; an anti-EU position being a facet of this. We could now be in a very different political position if we’d had two decades to grow a party proper instead of two variants of a pressure group

Meaty Beaty

3rd December 2019 at 3:15 pm

Excellent, heart felt piece fully echoing my views. Thank you .

Iain Litenment

3rd December 2019 at 4:39 pm

Great passionate post Karl.

Alex Ander

3rd December 2019 at 12:27 pm

If we end up with a hung parliament, then who could the Tories form a coalition with to form a government? This is a real problem – clearly now even the DUP is not an option, so there are no other parties in support of Brexit for the Tories to form a coalition with. However, if the Brexit Party someone how manage to win a handful of Labour & Lib Dem seats – even just a small number would mean the Tories will have at least the option to bump up their numbers if a hung parliament is where we end up next Friday….

Jim Lawrie

3rd December 2019 at 10:02 am

The BP was always a top down Party. They tried to hide this by declaring that they were new, and not bound by the ways of the old Parties did. Mr Farage was free to operate unencumbered by petty inconveniences like a Party conference or membership representation.

Most of the The Brexit vote, politically homeless, has switched to Conservative to stop Corbyn. Instead of leading, Mr Farage followed suit. He has made clear that for him there are issues far more important than Brexit, and thus taken it off the agenda. From the moment he gave up, I tried to be positive, but was fooling myself.
By throwing in the towel Farage has caused some of his support to go to Labour rather than vote Conservative, and has thus aided and abetted the very thing he said he was trying to stop. Nigel Farage deserted UKIP thinking that he owned the UKIP vote to the extent of telling them who to vote for. He has found out that he doesn’t and will not be trusted again.

He has lambasted UKIP based on personnel, not policies. He was happy with barriers to entry into UKIP based on people’s political history, but applied no such rigour, far less rules, to the selection of BP candidates.

Opinion polls suggest a repeat of the last Parliament, with the Conservative Remainers allied to Labour and LibDem, forcing a referendum to lend some legitimacy to overturning the 2016 result.

This publication came out in full support of The Brexit Party, with many of its cadre joining and some even standing as candidates. They called it badly wrong.

Steve Roberts

3rd December 2019 at 11:00 am

The “call” was not wrong, many of us were fully aware of the limitations of machine politics, of the very wide ranging political outlook of the entire membership of TBP and indeed its leadership, what one could call the broad church approach.
The differecnes were accepted as a pragmatic necessity because of the gravity of the political situation and the possibilites.
The gravity was the attack, and a continuing one, on the most funadamental tenets of direct democracy and the elite’s denial of our sovereign will, the possibilities i express in the article reflected fantastically in the obliteration in the EU elections.
I believe, that call was correct, at the time, in the specific circumstances that arose. democracy was worth the call.
In politics an Ostrich is useless, bold decisions have to be made, circumstances, especially those beyond ones control have to be reacted to and given form in deeds, hence the position i now take, i do not have any control over the position Spiked takes.
I must say your tone shows a somewhat “i told you so” “you should have known better” attitude.
I repeat, the call, at the time ,was a worthwhile and necessary one, this is just the beginning, or a stage, the defence of democracy must continue, what form it takes yet to be decided, but yet more obstacles have been exposed if not removed, yet, so there is a huge amount of optimism to come out of all this, i would suggest the most opportune for a very long time, but honesty about failures and how to move forward are also necessary, as i said Ostrich’s are of little use.

Jim Lawrie

3rd December 2019 at 1:57 pm

I have expressed doubt over Farage’s flightiness and never advocated for The Brexit Party. There every reason to stand in seats where the Conservative candidates are known remainers.

Does the fielding of Spiked backed candidates whose political past is avowedly Leninist serve democracy? Why does Farage back them and ostracise Tommy Robinson?

Steve Roberts

3rd December 2019 at 11:19 am

Jim Lawrie,The “call” was not wrong, many of us were fully aware of the limitations of machine politics, of the very wide ranging political outlook of the entire membership of TBP and indeed its leadership, what one could call the broad church approach.
The differecnes were accepted as a pragmatic necessity because of the gravity of the political situation and the possibilites.
The gravity was the attack, and a continuing one, on the most funadamental tenets of direct democracy and the elite’s denial of our sovereign will, the possibilities i express in the article reflected fantastically in the obliteration in the EU elections.
I believe, that call was correct, at the time, in the specific circumstances that arose. democracy was worth the call.
In politics an Ostrich is useless, bold decisions have to be made, circumstances, especially those beyond ones control have to be reacted to and given form in deeds, hence the position i now take, i do not have any control over the position Spiked takes.
I must say your tone shows a somewhat “i told you so” “you should have known better” attitude.
I repeat, the call, at the time ,was a worthwhile and necessary one, this is just the beginning, or a stage, the defence of democracy must continue, what form it takes yet to be decided, but yet more obstacles have been exposed if not removed, yet, so there is a huge amount of optimism to come out of all this, i would suggest the most opportune for a very long time, but honesty about failures and how to move forward are also necessary, as i said Ostrich’s are of little use.

amanda hunter

3rd December 2019 at 12:43 pm

I disagree that they (myself included) “called it badly wrong”. Back in April, when all appeared lost, we were right to align with the fledgling party. Without the Brexit Party, we would still be lumbered with May and her atrocious deal, meaning Brexit would have been thwarted. As it stands, we still have a chance to save Brexit. I agree the leadership made mistakes, and many of us (candidates and supporters) have voiced our criticisms, particularly over the decision to stand down the 317 – but not only. There are many problems with the Brexit Party, but is still remains the only party committed to delivering a meaningful Brexit – as opposed to Boris’s BRINO – and the only party campaigning for radical political reform. For that reason, I and most other ex-candidates, will continue to stick with them, while backing pro-Brexit independents in constituencies where they are not standing. The Brexit Party at least has the possibility to change for the better; the mainstream parties have no desire and see no reason to change. They will continue in their efforts to dilute and destroy Brexit, while giving us more of the same tired, visionless, technocratic politics we have endured for the past three decades and which the majority of Leave voters want to see the back of. I hope new, radical pro-democracy parties will form after the GE; in the meantime, if we want Brexit delivered, the Brexit Party is all we have.

Jim Lawrie

3rd December 2019 at 2:05 pm

How do you replace your leader?

Jerry Owen

3rd December 2019 at 9:14 am

When Farage unilaterally stood down half his party, that was the time Boris knew he would have a majority government to enact his Brexit position ‘remain’.
I am still shocked at what Farage did having been a huge admirer of the man, he has in effect propped up the governing party, hardly a ‘new kind of politics’ !
TBP was a national party that could be voted for by anyone, it is now a northern / Welsh rump party.
Corbyn as PM would be truly horrendous we can agree on that however should you change your whole party structure around the fear of Corbyn and his acolytes? I think not. After all you have to break on egg to make an omelette.
Farage should have stood all the candidates and if that meant the election of Corbyn ( and I still think Corbyn wouldn’t be elected ) so be it as terrible as we think it would be, because the chances of over 600 BP candidates standing as opposed to some 300 would have meant a chance of more seats. The public are volatile, the time for armchair predicting voting pattern is over, all is to play for.
Unfortunately TBP is only playing for crumbs now, whilst the big two have all guns blazing. This will end badly for democracy.
TBP has lost it’s credibility now.

amanda hunter

3rd December 2019 at 12:56 pm

I agree with almost all your criticisms. TBP can’t expect voters to believe its claims about “changing politics for good” if it then stands down over half its candidates, thereby significantly diminishing any chance of that happening. TBP remains the only Party committed to delivering Brexit in any meaningful sense. Sadly, by taking the decision to stand down the 317, Farage has made that goal a whole lot harder to achieve.

Jim Lawrie

3rd December 2019 at 2:08 pm

UKIP is more committed to Brexit and freedom from foreigners than is The Brexit Party.

Bella Donna

3rd December 2019 at 8:48 am

Thanks to Farage I have no one to vote for now!

Jim Lawrie

3rd December 2019 at 9:16 pm

There is no UKIP or independent Brexit candidate where I am, so I will vote for the BP candidate as the only way of sticking two fingers up to the main Parties’ and their contempt for me and mine.

Stephen J

3rd December 2019 at 7:51 am

It is difficult to tell at this point whether it was right or wrong, but you can be certain that either way, he did it for the right reason/s.

BTW: I disagree with you regarding where the most effective leadership is to be found, and it is not amongst us hoipolloi, which is why Nigel is such a huge asset, the only ordinary, non-university schooled politician that has credibility, a man who is capable of original thought, politically speaking.

I am guessing that he was taken by surprise at the disappearance of his promised funders, who all went off to the tories and along with the disappearance of any media attention, he had to choose, and as I say, it is too early to say whether this was right or wrong.

I guess what I am saying is that we are still better off with the Brexit Party and Nigel Farage than we are with anyone else, which is handy really, because there isn’t anyone else.

For me, the biggest mistake he has made is during his stage show, he has substituted Diane Abbot for the equally odious Lady Nugee (Thornberry), every time he mentions it, I wince. In everything else he is on the money.

Finally, although I am absolutely certain that as always, nothing that comes from a tory spokesman is as it seems, the party might do just enough to kill the WA when the government reconvenes after the election. The problem as I see it, is that as Steve Roberts says, the damn tories do not want to take this nation to independence, it is the main remain party and it always has been.

The Brexit Party is deeply flawed, but the campaign that it has set itself is enormous, and the accent on people that have never been involved in politics is a huge boon. The lack of superficial democracy within the party definitely led to Nigel’s decision, and who knows it might have been different if it had been thrown open to a vote within the membership (direct democracy), but it is what it is, and I don’t think we have any real complaints.

amanda hunter

3rd December 2019 at 1:00 pm

Agreed. TBP has many flaws but it’s all we have for now.

david Oxley

3rd December 2019 at 7:30 am

I too was surprised that Farage stood down in Tory held seats on a pretty poor idea that Boris is going to deliver some kind of Brexit. He won’t because the Tories are a weak Brexit Party incapable of severing ties with the EU. We should be critical of the tactical move. However it does expose the problem of a party that isn’t owned by its members , doesn’t consult with the. Voters and is a Farage business venture. Having said all that as London as the Remain elites continue to try to undermine the Referendum result and disparage the Leave voters as thick and racist, I know whose side I’m on and willingly campaign for the BP to get rid of remain Labour MPs. It is an ugly tool but sometimes to get a ugly job done we need one.

alan smithee

3rd December 2019 at 6:40 am

Let’s be clear. Vote Farage and you will get Corbyn and of course no chance of Brexit.

Andrew Mawdsley

3rd December 2019 at 5:15 am

Excellent article. I never expected to be betrayed by the Brexit party, as we have been by the major political parties. It is a tragedy that Farage didn’t have the stones to carry the fight to the Tories and Labour. There are surely enough disaffected people to have seriously worried both sets of staid politicians and made a genuine impact on the democratic process. Tragic.

Steve Roberts

3rd December 2019 at 11:16 am

Thank you for those kind words Andrew Mawdsley, however i would suggest that it is not a tragedy, it is part of a battle to defend democracy, see my response to Jim Lawrie above. When such important issues face society there is no blueprint, if there was we would not have the problem, we need experimentation and be prepared to accept gains and defeats , analyse and move on, we have nothing to fear all to gain, let the elite fear, fear us as we are demanding change from their status quo that they are so content in and wish to defend at all our cost. All to play for, lets carry on .

David Webb

3rd December 2019 at 3:09 am

I don’t understand why breakaway members of the Brexit Party didn’t stand anyway in the 317 seats.

amanda hunter

3rd December 2019 at 7:04 am

Well, they weren’t exactly “breakaway” members, were they? More “cast-adrift”, along with their volunteers and supporters on the ground, some of whom had already invested three months of their time and personal resources in campaigning for the Brexit Party. Some of those candidates have stood as independents, such as Paul Bullen in my constituency of Huntingdonshire. I had to stand down in the neighbouring constituency (NE.Beds) for personal reasons one week before I would have been forced to so, but like several other fellow candidates, I had contemplated standing as an independent “paper candidate” when the news was announced, just to give non-Tory Leavers a genuine choice on the ballot paper. However, as I imagine was the case for many of the 317, I couldn’t afford to lose the £500.00 deposit which, in my case (a Tory seat with a 20,000 majority) I would have done.

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