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Nigel Farage Should Be A Pariah For Supporting Trump

30/10/2016 22:26 | Updated 31 October 2016
Jonathan Bachman via Getty Images

The saying goes that politics makes strange bedfellows, but nothing feels that strange in 2016. It's not strange that fervent socialists are now desperate for Hilary Clinton, a neoliberal, to prevail in the US presidential race. It's not strange to see George Galloway and Nigel Farage enthusiastically nodding along in agreement on talk shows. It's not strange that Donald Trump is close to becoming the most powerful human in the known universe.

Of course, a single issue like retaining EU membership was bound to bring together disparate forces in UK politics. While this summer's big Brexit debate didn't quite straddle movements on the left and right in the same way the 1975 referendum did, it understandably concerned figures like David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon to the same degree.

Nevertheless, virtually every party had their own individual campaign. Leaders were keen to outline their own vision for Europe, tailored to their own supporters, and cross-party collaboration was discouraged.

The notable exception to this was supposedly Nigel Farage, former leader of Ukip, who said again and again that he was willing to work with people he disagreed with towards the same goal. Ultimately, Farage couldn't bring himself to even work with the main Leave campaign.

Farage's argued that Vote Leave were "apparatchiks" and "cretins" and so he couldn't bring himself to be attached to something so hideous. A few months later, this same man was going out of his way, and indeed out of country, to campaign for Donald Trump, a demagogic sex pest with plenty of slogans but few coherent views.

Many people seem to have become desensitised to Trump's misdemeanours so it feels necessary to reiterate them at every available opportunity. This man has been recorded openly boasting about sexually harassing women. This isn't just an allegation but verifiable fact and several other women have since come forward with similar claims.

If you're a tolerant, compassionate human being, his behaviour towards women should alone enough to never support Trump in anything he ever does. But there are also the small matters of him calling Mexicans rapists, inciting violence against protesters, supporting Nazi-style checks on Muslims and making various other proclamations usually reserved for depraved war criminals.

Nigel Farage supports this man - and he doesn't just think he's the lesser of evils, he's travelled to America to appear on stage with him and endorsed him again this week on radio. Whatever you think of Ukip, they're still one of the UK's biggest mainstream parties with millions of voters. That the party's foremost figure is in league with an evil extremist barely seems to been acknowledged. On BBC's Question Time last week, it took a bemused audience member to bring up this point at all.

Most UK politicians other than Farage have been quick to condemn Trump and this is reflective of public opinion. One poll showed that only 7% of Brits have a favourable opinion of the billionaire. Polling by the same organisation shows that Farage is viewed favourably by about 24% of the population. It seems that American quasi-fascists are awful and horrifying but our own right wing fanatics are just funny 'characters' to be laughed at. I warrant that many Americans once thought the same about Trump.

Even if you take away his Trump endorsement, though, Farage has hardly covered himself with glory over the years. He too has a disgraceful attitude towards migrants. Like Trump, he's spoken positively about Russian president Vlaidmir Putin. Last year, he stigmatised foreign HIV sufferers on national television.

Most worrying of all, he also implied that Trump's boasts about harassing women were 'just what men do' and that they 'sit around... and talk like this'. When challenged on the Presidential nominee's most dangerous views, Farage has tended to utilise the same 'whataboutery' tactics as many American Republicans. We're told, 'Well, Hilary did this,' as if that's meant to excuse anything.

There isn't any excuse that Farage can give for supporting Trump if he expects to be seen as an ethical human being, let alone a credible politician. Here's the truth: Nigel Farage has the same ugly vision for the world that Trump does and that's precisely why he's such a cheerleader, no matter how he tries to spin it.

Right wing apologists in this country need to come clean and be honest with themselves about their motivations. If we in the UK really want to prove that we won't allow the same repugnant ideology to take hold then we can't just moralise about Trump - we should be fighting creeping racism and fascism on our own shores.

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