The British Prime Minister’s speech at Conservative Party conference was nothing less than a scene from Fawlty Towers. She had a Clinton-style coughing fit, the stage began to fall apart behind her, and some prankster got on stage and handed her a P45 unemployment notice, mid-flow.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 4, 2017
You’d think, given how this series of events encapsulates the mood within Tory spheres, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) would be ready to pounce. Instead, countless activists are bemoaning the outcome of a democratic contest to pick the next leader — one which resulted in the relatively anonymous Henry Bolton taking up the mantle.
I get it. People were upset about (the headline of) Nigel Farage’s op-ed in the Telegraph the day after UKIP’s own conference last week. But to claim he’s “weak on Islam” as so many have said is demonstrable nonsense. Look at his history on the matter: from his famous fifth column comments, to writing the foreword for my robust book on Muslim migration, Farage has repeatedly stuck his neck out.
So why was he so scathing about Anne Marie Waters?
Maybe I should get into the nitty gritty another time, but in summary I’ll say this: it’s not the issue that Farage has a problem with, it is the delivery. It’s not long-standing UKIPers he was attacking, but recent entryists, including some former members of the British National Party (BNP) whom he repeatedly fended off from taking over UKIP over many years.
I have bona fides on this issue, being one of the only people to say repentant BNP members should be given a second chance in UKIP. After all, they get second chances in all other parties. Still, there will be some for whom my word is not good enough. To them, I have only to say what a shame it is they cannot see past this, and onto the next opportunity.
Because the next opportunity is already upon us and has been evident for some time.
While UKIP was floundering under the regrettable leadership of Paul Nuttall, some of us were establishing other means by which to cement Brexit. Means which have been attacked not just by Remoaners/Remainiacs — showing the same disdain for the democratic process as those calling into question Henry Bolton’s election — but also the Prime Minister.
Despite her attempts to brush today’s political carnage off, Theresa May had a nightmare of a Conservative Party conference. The left — especially the left within the Conservative Party — gets this, and will exploit it for a party takeover.
Meanwhile, the right, or anti-establishment crowd, is busy with the infighting that seems to sustain it. Again, I should know, I have been a part of that internecine warfare for a very long time.
It is incredibly frustrating to watch people wasting their energies, demanding “a new party” or “a new movement” when there is a perfectly good one sitting right in front of them.
You may not know or like Henry Bolton, you may have a difference of opinion from Nigel Farage on the substance of the Islam question and how to address it, but if there is one thing we all believe in right now, it is Brexit.
(For what it is worth, I was going to endorse Bolton until he said Anne Marie Waters shouldn’t be able to stand in the leadership election. I switched my allegiance to David Kurten at that point).
Are you really willing to give up the chance of a clean break from the European Union and everything that comes with that, just to exact revenge upon someone for beating or disparaging your preferred candidate? Can’t that wait just a little bit?
Are you of the belief that we are within 24 months of an Islamic caliphate being established in Britain, or that our exit from the European Union won’t help us fend off such a thing?
I don’t believe that any right-minded UKIPers truly do value a war with Islam over Brexit. There will be plenty of you who value them equally, and I get that. You can probably put me in that camp too. But resources are finite, and so is time.
And so at this point, when we have weak Prime Minister trying to keep us in the European Union indefinitely, when she is teetering on the edge of the cliff, we should be coming together to give her that nudge she needs.
Once we leave the European Union — and I’m not saying we shut up about it in between, by the way — we can turn our attention to the next existential threat Britain faces in the shape of fundamentalist Islam.
If you know my long history on this matter at all, you will know I will be standing right there with you — maybe even helping lead you into that battle — when the time comes.
But now is the time to claim what we fought so hard for. Brexit.
Don’t tear up your membership cards, don’t have a tantrum or start fights with one another.
The enemy is weak. Let’s put them out of their misery.
Raheem Kassam is the editor in chief of Breitbart London and author of No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You