ST IVES, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, UK — An over-capacity crowd of around 650 people met UKIP leader Nigel Farage for the final town hall-style meeting of his pre-European Election tour of the United Kingdom. With UKIP swag plastered all over the Burgess Hall venue, Farage entered to rapturous applause, flanked by increased security following the assault on him earlier this week.
Farage was speaking to the throngs of disaffected Brits, who have witnessed their livelihoods sacrificed for multiculturalism, big state-driven debt, and the transfer of sovereignty over their own lives from their local towns and villages to centralised governments in London and Brussels. He channeled Thatcher, he channeled Reagan, he channeled the Tea Party spirit, and as one audience member put it: “he channeled Enoch Powell.”
And he and his supporters rightly reject the ‘extremism’ myth, one that older conservatives found difficult to deal with when accosted by political correctness and double-speak. “Once you actually examine our positions, and what we stand for – you find we’re not really extreme at all,” Farage said.
Immediately, the UKIP leader had the crowd in stitches and seemingly endless rounds of applause after almost every point he made. “Britain is led by a bunch of college kids who have never worked a real job a day in their lives!” he exclaimed, referring to the fact that most MPs and political candidates nowadays go straight from university into working in parliament or think-tanks, scarcely representative of the country.
While Farage’s stump speech may be predictable to political media types, his message and delivery are unsurpassed, and speaking to the crowds at the event, it was clear that while two thirds in attendance were not UKIP members, that many if not most of them came away from the Friday night event knowing how they would be casting their vote on May 22nd – for UKIP.
He spoke not of fear, or hatred – but of how much Britain loves Europe, but dislikes how Europe is becoming polarised and weakened by the unelected European Union. He said, “We love Europe. We love the diversity of culture, the great cities, the wines, the cheeses, the architecture, the great people. Which is why we cannot bear to see it run by the European Union. In fact we don’t just want Britain out of the European Union. We want Europe out of the European Union too!”
His 15-minute speech was not just littered with salient political points related to the lives of those in attendance. He joked, he ad-libbed, he walked around stage without notes, and without prompts. He was simply ‘having a chat’ with every single person in the room. And every single person in the room walked away feeling like they had had a one-on-one conversation with Mr. Farage.
He hit out at the political establishment, quipped about Nick Clegg and his own drinking habits, and urged audience members to sign up to the UKIP cause and join the fastest growing political movement in the country – another thing he credits Nick Clegg with.
“There’s one man who has done more to promote UKIP, the anti-EU cause, than anybody else in this country… it could be our candidate Patrick O’Flynn in the East of England… but its not him. It could be Paul Sykes, who generously has given us time and money… but I’m afraid it’s not him either. No, one man… one man whom to this cause, this party, and my career owe virtually everything. He decided that it would be a terribly good idea if for the first time in forty years we had the opportunity on national television in this country, to debate what the European Union was really all about. So thank you, Nick Clegg!”
He obtained no fewer than 15 huge rounds of applause, and one standing ovation during his 15-minute talk. And he wasn’t done there. He stayed and took questions from the audience, after which he sat patiently signing copies of his book ‘Flying Free’ and posing for pictures with hundreds of fans who queued for over an hour to shake his hand and offer him a pint of beer, which many did.
“I’ve spoken to Nigel before and he gets better every time,” one audience member told Breitbart London, while another said, “It’s a Friday night. Everyone is knackered from work. They want to go home or go to the pub. And yet they’re here. Most of these folk aren’t even UKIP members. They’re just people. People who sense a huge change coming”.
A man with a mission, Farage offered an impassioned plea for the public to support UKIP in droves at the European Elections in May. He told the audience, “Get ready to take down the political establishment on May 22nd!” And indeed it looks like the British public are getting ready.
With UKIP polling in the high 30 percent range nationally, and into the 50s in certain regions in the UK, you get the feeling that Farage and his party are an unstoppable force.