‘New Politics’: Farage to Launch ‘Direct Democracy’ Initiative at Brexit Party Conference

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - JUNE 01: Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage addresses supporters during a rally at The Broadway Theatre on June 01, 2019 in Peterborough, England. Mike Greene is the first Brexit Party member to take part in a UK parliamentary by-election. The Peterborough by-election takes place on …
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The Brexit Party will give its registered supporters the opportunity to influence the party’s policies, in what Nigel Farage described as the “new politics” of giving decision-making powers to the people, rather than party elites.

At the party’s first national conference on June 30th in Birmingham, Mr Farage has said that he and his team will unveil the direction of their policy development, adding: “Then we will start a consultation with our paying supporters – all 110,000-and-counting of them – and give them a vote on what happens next.”

“This is the new politics, with decision-making powers taken out of the hands of a few party delegates or self-serving National Executive Committees, and directly entrusted to our supporters,” the Brexit Party leader wrote in The Telegraph.

Mr Farage’s endeavour to “challenge the insular political class” and “push for fundamental democratic reform across our unrepresentative political system” through devolving aspects of decision-making to its members evokes one of the mechanisms of the Italian anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which employs direct democracy on policy including proposing laws and even holding confidence votes in its party leader.

The right-populist politician maintained on the campaign trail ahead of the European Parliament election last month that the Brexit Party will not only seek to ensure that the UK leaves the EU, but will “change politics for good” and lead a “peaceful revolution” to overturn the establishment political system which he describes as “rotten to the core”.

Writing for The Telegraph, professor of political science Matthew Goodwin observed that the “instinctively conservative” working class who voted Tory in the last General Election are now backing Farage’s party in part because “because nobody else seems to be talking to them”.

Prof Goodwin writes of these working-class conservatives:

They worry not only that Conservatives are wedded to a formula that cannot shelter them from the economic and cultural winds of globalisation, but that nobody in their party seems to care…

They want to talk about how to build this security while Conservatives only talk to them about tax cuts. And they are incredibly wary of those who pray only at the altar of free markets, who they fear will subordinate all that they cherish – faith, flag and family – to the invisible hand of self-interest and the pursuit of free trade.

A similar sense of abandonment, and distain, from the Tory Party was explained by Mr Farage in an exclusive interview with Breitbart London’s James Delingpole this week, where he said that the Conservatives “treat their own grassroots with contempt [and] they still treat Brexiteers as if they’re the lower orders”.


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