Ahead of tonight's ITV debate, here's a reminder why Farage is no friend of workers
Nigel Farage and David Cameron will answer questions tonight on ITV about the European Union ahead of the June 23 referendum.
Farage is likely to pose as an enemy of ‘elites’ in Britain and Europe who crush the average worker while living the high life.
Immigration will also feature heavily. Leavers claim they want more people coming from Commonwealth countries and beyond after they ditch European free movement.
Here’s a quick reminder ahead of tonight’s debate why no-one should be fooled by Farage’s act as a friend of the little guy:
1. Nigel Farage wants to cut taxes for the rich. UKIP’s general election manifesto in 2015 called for raising the threshold for the 40 per cent tax rate to £55,000, the personal allowance to £13,000, and abolishing inheritance tax.
It said the party’s ‘longer term aspiration’ was for cutting the top rate of tax to 40 per cent, and for ‘restoring the personal allowance to those earning over £100,000’.
2. His ‘ordinary bloke’ act is a fraud. Don’t let the pub landlord image fool you. Farage is no man of the people. He’s the son of a stockbroker, educated at Dulwich College (a public school), and worked as a commodity broker in the City before entering politics.
He’s now an
overpaid Brussells Eurocrat part-time MEP earning at least £76,000 – nearly three times the average UK salary. And his political campaigns have been bankrolled by billionaires like Richard Desmond and more recently millionaire Arron Banks.
3. His politics are essentially racist. Since becoming UKIP leader, Farage has poisoned British politics with his special brew of xenophobia. Just last year he claimed Africans were bringing HIV into the country and mooching off the NHS. Before that he warned London was experiencing a ‘Romanian crime wave’, and later said he wouldn’t feel comfortable if Romanians moved in next door.
Just this week he’s raised the spectre of Muslim rapists if we remain in the EU.
4. He wants to scrap workers’ rights. UKIP’s manifesto wants to repeal ‘Labour’s Human Rights legislation’, probably the Human Rights Act, and ‘amend’ the EU working time directive, ‘because it actively restricts the British work ethos and therefore our economy’.
He’s also been back and forth about whether he wants to replace the NHS with an insurance-based health scheme.
5. He also wants to cut foreign aid. UKIP’s manifesto called for cutting foreign aid from 0.7 to 0.2 per cent of GDP, and for abolishing the Department for International Development, (along with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change). No help for the ‘little guy’ abroad then.
6. He wants to restrict all immigration, not just European. Far from wanting to replace EU migration with people from the Commonwealth, (who no doubt will be thrilled with the cuts to foreign aid and ‘African HIV’ speeches), Farage’s manifesto for 2015 was quite clear about restricting all immigration, using visas, withholding welfare and housing rights, and introducing an ‘Australian-style points system’.
7. He helped drive this EU campaign into the ditch. If you’re wondering why a debate about important political and social issues has turned into one about whether 75 million Turks are about to storm the continent, the horse’s mouth contains the answer. Farage was quoted in the Guardian last week:
‘Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, who is not a member of the official Vote Leave campaign, said the position taken by Johnson, Gove and Patel was vindication for UKIP.
‘Everything I’ve said on immigration, for which I’ve been condemned, is now mainstream.”
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.