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When will the resistance in Britain to populism properly begin?

4 31 0
15.06.2019

The resistance to the Johnson-Farage axis will not come from the parliamentary Conservative party. In private, MPs, who once made sure demagogues did not become prime ministers, admit that Johnson is a phoney, unfit for high office or any office. But the Tory party’s guardians no longer care. The gatekeepers are lifting the lock and urging the bullshitter to charge into the china shop.

They calculate that only an alliance between the right and the far right can ensure their party’s survival. The pact may be unacknowledged. Johnson may neutralise the Brexit party by becoming more Faragist than Farage. The Tories will take his votes and he will fade into the background. I don’t see a man with Farage’s sense of entitlement fading willingly. His friends Matteo Salvini and Donald Trump have power in Italy and America respectively. Why should Britain’s man of destiny allow the Conservatives to pat him on the head and say: “The grownups will take it from here”?

Farage more than any other politician is responsible for Brexit and feels no shame for the pain he has inflicted on the country he professes to love. He can threaten to run candidates against the Tories and let Labour in unless they recognised his greatness by making him, say, deputy prime minister. He surely wants to enter parliament in an early election and his surest route to Westminster is via an electoral alliance with the Conservatives.

One way or another, what we call “populism”, a feeble euphemism for an ideology that tolerates no constraints on the leader or his party, will soon be here. Indeed, it already is. For it is one thing for the Putinesque no-hoper Dominic........

© The Guardian