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Samizdata quote of the day

It is simply wrong to conflate British people’s decision to leave the EU with a normal political vote for a party or a leader. We were not voting for any politician. The vote to leave the EU was not a vote for Nigel Farage of UKIP, no matter what the Remainer sections of the press might say.

Naomi Firsht, discussing Marine Le Pen, Brexit and Trump.

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9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • ragingnick

    started reading the piece but stopped at the part about the “election of the fluorescent-haired demagogue”. meaningless SJW virtue signalling.

    I guess for the Brit writers at spiked its a case of “national determination for me but not for thee”.

  • I think the sentiment is there, in Britain, France and the US, looking for an outlet. Maybe Le Pen will be France’s outlet, maybe not.

  • On the one hand, the writer is correct that the Brexit victory was not simply a vote for Farage. Farage himself admitted in 2015 that “I’ll be one of the generals but I can’t lead the army”, was then persuaded by false friends to think he could lead the Brexit campaign early in 2016, and had to be firmly persuaded back to his former view by VoteLeave, who were greatly helped in this by having Boris as an alternative face for the movement. It was indeed not about any one politician.

    That said, the writer appears a little like some who wrote against Trump last year, so negative against Le Pen that she argues her case far too strongly. VoteLeave had to warn Farage against using his anti-EU slogan “Go Global”, which reassured the anti-protectionist-worrying few at the cost of alienating many Brexit voters who indeed have some instinctive sympathy with the rhetoric of Trump and Le Pen. Both VoteLeave and Farage are anti-protectionist, but VoteLeave’s leaders were very focussed on averting a long-term trend to protectionism (that is fuelled by lefty madness) by removing what provokes it, not by loudly posing against it. Ideologically, they sort-of agreed with Farage that “there is a world elsewhere” but their tactics were cleverer.

    The US (because of its size) and France (because of its culture) are less aware than the UK that “one must trade”. Once the socialist candidate is eliminated, Le Pen can tap into those sentiments, however damming we might think it that some NF economic pamphlets can be read to official French socialists and get cheered – if you don’t tell them beforehand that the pamphlet is NF. Meanwhile, there are said to be 750 confirmed zones urbaine sensible in France. Le Pen’s best chance is to look like the only candidate under whom there won’t be 1000 soon, and 2000 by the time of the next election. And her best advantage in looking like that is that it might be true.

  • Alisa

    The vote to leave the EU was not a vote for Nigel Farage of UKIP

    The vote in the US was not for Trump of GOP either – not as such. She still doesn’t get it.

  • Alisa :exactly. The brexit vote and the 2016 presidential election were the first time people have had a chance to vote against something in a long, long time.

  • Paul Marks

    Alisa is correct – the vote for Donald Trump was a primal scream against the control of everything by the left, their destruction of the West.

    As the hard drinking Welsh poet said.

    “Do not go gentle into that good night – rage, rage, against the dying of the light”.

    As for British Independence (by God I am sick of silly London words- which I choose not to repeat).

    There is a simple principle here.

    Should the endlessly increasing regulations of the European Union be imposed upon the domestic (internal) affairs of the United Kingdom – yes or no.

    The people decided no. The people decided to leave the European Union.

    That is the end of the matter.

  • Laird

    I too agree with Alisa’s comment. Firsht doesn’t seem to understand that the election of Trump wasn’t merely a rejection of Hillary Clinton (and 8 years of disastrous Obama policies); before it even got to that point it was a rejection of the political establishment on the Right, too. It appears to me that Brexit was much the same, inasmuch as almost all of the political establishment advocated Remain. I don’t know enough about French politics to have an opinion as to whether Le Pen is tapping into the same populist vein, but I would be very surprised if that weren’t the case.

  • I don’t know enough about French politics to know whether Le Pen is a Terrible Person or not, but the chances are that somewhere a Terrible Person will get their hands on the levers of power (levers that have been massively upgraded) thanks to this phenomenon.

  • Runcie Balspine

    against the control of everything by the left

    I heard that pun the other day, the “ctrl-left”, in response to the “alt-right”, made me laugh.

    (IT joke).