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Farage’s army is on the march In Great Yarmouth, a rebel force is stirring

Farage holds court after announcing his plan to run in Clacton (Carl Court/Getty Images)

Farage holds court after announcing his plan to run in Clacton (Carl Court/Getty Images)


June 8, 2024   6 mins

What a difference a week makes. This time last Saturday, I was watching Nigel Farage’s ragtag rebel army in Great Yarmouth struggling to rouse themselves for one last attack on the fortress of Westminster, somehow knowing in their heart of hearts it was doomed. And yet, here we are, seven days on: the walls protecting the Conservative Party have been breached and Faragistes are streaming forward, the smell of revolution in the air.

“You’re all freedom fighters!” the party’s candidate, Rupert Lowe, boomed enthusiastically last week to the room of 50 or so supporters who had gathered at the Rumbold Arms. Smiling politely back, the Reform party activists nursed their coffees and early morning pints. They did not look like a revolutionary battalion.

And yet, this week some of the country’s leading pollsters are not simply forecasting the expectedly comfortable Labour victory, but an extinction-level event for the Conservatives — and one caused not by unprecedented support for Labour but an unprecedented implosion in support for the Tories, much of which is moving directly to Reform.

This is partly thanks to Rishi Sunak’s astonishing political ineptitude. His decision to call the snap election was disastrously misjudged. But the idiocy in cutting short his involvement in the D-Day commemorations, days after announcing plans for national service in order to win back wavering Reform voters, defies all explanation. Even Liz Truss would have got that one right.

The decision to elevate Sunak to the premiership, it is clear, was a catastrophic mistake. He is lost. It is not enough to act as though you are simply a more important Chancellor of the Exchequer, or national head boy. The job of prime minister is a role you have to play — consoling the country in times of sorrow, explaining in times of strife, and representing when the occasion demands. Being “across the numbers” is not enough.

But the public had abandoned Sunak long before Thursday’s D-Day catastrophe. In Yarmouth, I was struck by the venom felt towards him. “He’s a little weasel,” said one Reform supporter who still longed for Johnson. “Boris told too many lies,” he said. “[But] I would’ve trusted him. He would’ve got this country back.” This man didn’t care about the lies; he cared about the message. And as a result, he cares about Farage.

Is this “populism” in action, then? Is this evidence of a Great British underclass who cannot see the errors of its ways, who like a dog keeps returning to its vomit? This certainly seemed to be the assumption lying at the heart of much of the commentary in recent days. Take Emily Maitlis’s line of questioning when she quizzed Farage after his announcement to run in Clacton-on-Sea. “Would you apologise for what Brexit’s done to Clacton?” she asked, as if the area were a thriving land of opportunity before the 2016 referendum.

“Here is a system so morally broken it produces unacceptable results for both the migrant workers and the locals.”

Maitlis is certainly correct that Clacton is poor. In Tendring, the district where Clacton belongs, a third of the population between 16-64 are economically inactive — 50% higher than the national average. But a third of the population was also economically inactive 10 years ago. And between a quarter and a third were economically inactive 10 years before that. Clacton’s problems run deep, just as they do in Great Yarmouth and much of the rest of the country. Maitlis and everyone else knows this, of course, which is why there was something particularly revealing about her exchange with Farage. What immigration is for the Right, Brexit has now become for the Left — an easy and ultimately populist explanation for Britain’s current woes. But it does not explain why voters wanted to rip up the status quo before Brexit.

And here is the crux of the matter: the status quo is failing. It was failing before Brexit and it hasn’t stopped failing. Maitlis knew her question to Farage was bogus on Tuesday. We all did. We can see it happening before our very eyes: even as we apparently get richer, our surroundings deteriorate.

Yarmouth is a perfect example of this. Much of the town centre is filled with once-grand Edwardian villas or Victorian terraces, which have been broken up into slum-like HMOs to house poor migrant workers, many of whom work miles away in appalling conditions. Meanwhile, just like Clacton, almost a third of the town’s working age population is out of work.

According to a recent study by Cambridge professor Catherine Barnard, Yarmouth’s migrant workers spend so much time working in factories without a single British employee that many cannot speak English even years after arriving. Meanwhile, those who moved to Britain in the early 2000s after the eastern expansion of the EU are now reaching an age where they are so broken by the physical demands of their work that they will soon fall back on the state and local services to pay for care. We have, in effect, created a giant human Ponzi scheme whereby we import workers to fix the systemic contradictions of our economy, only to have to find even more migrant workers to care for them when they retire in ill health.

Here is a system which is so morally broken it produces unacceptable results for both the migrant workers, who deserve far more protection, and the locals, who have seen their town transformed by a demographic upheaval which has done nothing to improve their lives.

At the Reform rally in Yarmouth one man stood out amid the sea of white faces: Ebenezer Amoah, a good-looking, smartly dressed, 33-year-old teacher in the town who had only recently arrived from Accra in Ghana. Ebenezer was a striking presence in the Rumbold Arms, strolling through the elderly crowd, AirPods in ear, to take his seat at the back. I grabbed him afterwards, keen to find out how he had become a Reform supporter. “I went onto the website and checked their policies,” he explained straightforwardly, as if everyone did that. But what did he make of the party’s one-in, one-out immigration policy? “You cannot illegally come to England, you have to go the right way,” he replied. “If Reform is bringing out a policy that will restrict immigration then, of course, it is for the betterment of the people. Citizens of England deserve to live their lives in a better way.”

Talking about how he had settled into Yarmouth, he told me there was certainly a different attitude to discipline in English schools. And towards our attitude to fishing. “We have a huge fishing community in Accra,” he said. “Each and every government that comes in tries to have a way to better the life of the fishing community.” This, he said, was different in Britain. “I think that is very unfortunate.” What really struck me, though, was his surprise at the liberalism of the British state. Four months after arriving in Yarmouth from Ghana, Ebenezer had concluded the British government needed to be more British.

June Mummery, the Reform party candidate for Lowestoft, had the same message. June’s anger at the Conservative Party’s betrayal over Brexit was deep and heartfelt. She ran the fish market in the town and believed sincerely that restoring full control of the country’s fishing waters was the key to restoring lost glory to Britain’s seaside towns. Once the fishing fleets were repatriated, the food production jobs, the markets and the restaurants would also return. Boris Johnson had told her he would deliver, and she felt a “fool” that she believed him.

The political scientist Christopher Browning understands the psychology of this sort of revolution. He has written about the economic and cultural changes that can take place in a country where many people had been made to feel like “strangers in their own home”. Those who once saw themselves at the nation’s “heartland”, he wrote, “have not only become alienated, they have also been socially stigmatised and shamed”. These people are now marching in Farage’s rebel army. Brexit, in this telling, was an attempt to recover an older Britain — and a lost status — which had disappeared. The inevitable result is further alienation and radicalisation.

June’s fury with the Government for abandoning Britain’s coastal communities had similarly grown since Brexit as Lowestoft and Yarmouth continued to suffer. “Yes!” she exclaimed. “Because we had it in our hands. We had great plans. It was wonderful and they just destroyed it.” Now she wants to destroy the Conservative Party in return.

“They had a wonderful majority and they squandered it.” It’s hard to argue with her. A ruling party elected four times to reduce debt, taxes and immigration has instead overseen an explosion of all three. And at the same time, living standards have barely grown since 2008 and public services have deteriorated. Is it any wonder voters keep pressing a button to blow up the system, and get angry when they discover the dynamite never seems to work?

“[If] the town and the tide had not been quite so much mixed up, like toast and water, it would have been nicer,” Charles Dickens wrote of Great Yarmouth in David Copperfield. Something similar could be written about Brexit and this election today. Although Brexit is neither the cause of the country’s problems, nor on the ballot paper on 4 July, the great revolution of 2016-2020 continues to define our politics. The Conservative Party needed a Napoleon. Instead they got Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. No wonder Farage’s revolutionary army is again on manoeuvres.

***

Don’t miss Tom’s podcast special on Farage’s rebel army. Listen here.


Tom McTague is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

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Damon Hager
Damon Hager
9 days ago

Perceptive article.
Ironically, post-Brexit, all the tools and resources *are* at hand to make Britain great and prosperous again. We just don’t have a leadership class of sufficient quality to exploit them.
We are, in effect, tyrannised over by little grey men and little grey women. There are plenty of patriotic, valuable and inspirational people in these islands. They just don’t go into politics.
Still, by the law of averages, one of them should make it through eventually, as Thatcher did.
Please God.

Robbie K
Robbie K
9 days ago
Reply to  Damon Hager

It’s not much of a revolution if it has been sustained by the ineptitude of the opposition as opposed to genuine inspiration. The biggest caveat present here is can Farage be relied upon beyond the election? He’s a brilliant campaigner, but tends to disappear.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago
Reply to  Robbie K

A government requires more than one person, and the party candidates come from many disciplines.

The problem with the Legacy Parties is that they are populated with Arts, Humanities and Social Science graduates, mostly from the ‘two universities’, with PPE and various types of History being overrepresented, so they have no understanding of the STEM subjects, and no understanding of human beings, just crowds!

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
8 days ago

Kemi Badenoch is the exception. She is a scientist and, therefore, a problem solver. More scientists in politics please!

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Depends on your definition of “scientist”.
While I like her, she was a computer systems analyst, then went into consultancy and banking. And software design is not even really engineering in the traditional sense.

Ian L
Ian L
8 days ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

It really depends how you do it. True, it’s not like building a bridge, nor is it a sausage factory.

Software engineering done properly requires a clear view into the heart of the business problem, plus an efficient and pragmatic approach to verifying you’re addressing the correct problem by constantly checking back with the people who actually do the job.

Just because some software projects turn bad isn’t always a reflection on the developers, but often a fault of the culture and managerialism of the organisation. Horizon wasn’t poor just because of Fujitsu, but because of the Post Office’s culture and attitudes. I’m a software engineer. I’ve worked in government agencies. I’ve seen it before.

To my mind , the ability to pragmatically identify and solve real problems is of far more practical use than a PPE from Oxbridge.

Last edited 8 days ago by Ian L
Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
7 days ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

I’ll settle for anyone who hasn’t studied PPE at Oxford, and is any sort of ‘real’ scientist. The PPE qualification should immediately bar you from entering the political arena.

Phil Day
Phil Day
8 days ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Doesn’t that depend on what you mean by ‘revolution’ and what sort of outcomes you are looking for.
If, like me, you want to see the centre of debate in Westminster better reflect the concerns and interests of the majority instead of just revolving around minorities, luxury beliefs and Matt Goodwin’s ‘new elite’ then there has never been a better opportunity in my lifetime.
Labour is looking weak but are almost certainly going to win the election with a large majority simply because the Tories are so incredibly unpopular almost everywhere. The mood is now so strong l doubt the Tories will even be able to mount a credible opposition (no-one is listening to them now – why should that change after the election). This creates an opportunity for Farage (along with others) to take control and shape the opposition narrative during the next parliament – where that goes or whether Farage plans to stand at the following election l don’t know but there will be a significant change and the country will be better for it. Would that make it a revolution?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 days ago
Reply to  Phil Day

Today I spoke to a woman whose politics are pretty well identical to Farage’s but who nevertheless despises him. It’s just not socially acceptable to openly support the man. Snobbery is a much more powerful force in the English middle class than ideology. ‘He wears mustard coloured trousers for God’s sake. Horrible little oik!’

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

A snob indeed. But the ballot is between you and your maker!

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
8 days ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You never saw him in the European Parliament then, eating the elite for breakfast?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
7 days ago
Reply to  Robbie K

His integrity is also in doubt.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  Damon Hager

Please enlighten us about all the tools and resources at our disposal to make Brexit a success. Perhaps you are referring to all those amazing free trade agreements we’ve signed? Or maybe the reduction in food prices caused by the liberation from EU food and agriculture rules? Or maybe the reinvestment of our EU contributions into local communities or the NHS? When are we going to see that? I’m still waiting…..

Last edited 8 days ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
John Tyler
John Tyler
8 days ago

You are rather making your opponent’s argument! The free-trade deals, freeing up of farming and other potential benefits have not been implemented. Our mainstream politicians have totally failed to take advantage, largely because so many would really rather go back on the Brexit vote. The failure is not Brexit (like it or not) but the post-Brexit political attempts to reverse the popular vote and then to procrastinate over and water down any proposal that would dare to change the pre-Brexit failing status quo.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  John Tyler

I was being somewhat ironic, perhaps a little clumsily. I voted remain, but given the outcome, I’d rather like to see some upside; instead I have a sub-optimal status quo. Brexit is a failure. But post Brexit is also a failure – the worst of both worlds, sadly.

Last edited 8 days ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
andy young
andy young
6 days ago

Brexit will never succeed with the present (global) power base in charge. They’ve made damn sure of that.
It’s going to need something big, something very brave, to remove those in charge – &, no, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory as such, just that rich & powerful people like systems that enable them to be rich & powerful.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
6 days ago
Reply to  John Tyler

Look at net nutrient neutrality It stops Britain building houses. It is a EU Directive. Britain left the EU eight years ago. But it seems the Directive has to stay. Why? It is hardly a matter of trade. It was probably important for countries less densely populated than Britain. Its continued existence demonstrates the way in which the governments had little or no say or interest in legislation. When Ruth Davison suggested getting a clerk in Hansard to make a list 9f EU laws, she was unaware that that meant leafing through 250000 pages of laws. Some were agriculture price regulations, term limited. The rest remain on the statute book.

Last edited 6 days ago by Anna Bramwell
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
7 days ago

Trade deals don’t move the dial much economically. They are much more significant as geopolitical acts. You can see that by the negligible impact our membership of the Single Market had on our economic growth, compared wythe immense impact it had on our political settlement.

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
8 days ago
Reply to  Damon Hager

There’s footage of her speaking to ITN on YouTube, I think recorded ’87 in front of a live TV audience. A different world, both her and the audience members. Worth watching.

Andrew S
Andrew S
7 days ago
Reply to  Damon Hager

It is a mistake to say the failure is because the political leadership class is of insufficient quality. To do so suggests they wanted to deliver all the things they promised and to run the country in the interests of us all. They did not and do not want that.
They wanted to remain in the EU and now want to return, they want to follow a globalist, mass immigration agenda, they want to facilitate wokery in all its formats. Given the chance they will introduce euthenasia (controlled and rare to begin with but, like abortion, it would become routine and rfrequent with little oversight).
The Conservative Party is not conservative in any way. It is a social democratic party and on the left of wherever the centre would have been defined in 2010.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  Damon Hager

Thatcher wasn’t that great. She was strong willed and single minded. Her and Reagan ushered in deregulation of the financial industry and neoliberalism which hasn’t done us any favours, she also overlooked and neglected the nuclear power industry in favour of electricity which is now on its knees. Yes she inspired entrepreneurs and ‘small government,’ but the latter never happened. She was better than Major, Cameron et al but that is a low bar.

Robb Maclean
Robb Maclean
7 days ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Pedant alert!
“SHE and Reagan.. “!

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
7 days ago
Reply to  Robb Maclean

Nothing pedantic about it. If you’re going to present yourself as a political thinker, then for f*u*c*k’s sake use the English language correctly.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

That is just silly, political thinking and poor spelling can be bedfellows. N’est pas?

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
7 days ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Eh bien non, ça indique juste une paresse intellectuelle.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  Robb Maclean

Thank you Robb, I was in a hurry.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
7 days ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

She had a political and economic vision, and she tried her best to deliver it. All those who came after were spineless, IMHO.

Dylan Blackhurst
Dylan Blackhurst
9 days ago

Ebenezer, the recently arrived teacher from Ghana would appear to have a better understanding of what is at stake than those in Westminster.

The irony of people leaving their country of origin to find that the government of their newly adopted nation appears to be hell bent on turning it into the same dysfunctional mess they were escaping from!

Last edited 9 days ago by Dylan Blackhurst
David L
David L
9 days ago

Very good article. The fury at what’s been done to us over the past 25 years, is palpable.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago
Reply to  David L

In fact, an excellent article. Observation, analysis, reporting: one could easily call the author of this piece a journalist, and it would be true!

We could do with more articles like this.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
8 days ago

Having to make cuts, I had been thinking of not renewing my subscription to Unherd. But after recent articles by McTague, Roussinos and Harrington, I have, like Farage, changed my mind.

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
8 days ago

I’m keeping my Unherd, but considering cutting my Spectator sub largely because of the articles and the editor, who decided to change the message method and made most subscribers cross. BTL is just about recovering. I think it’s approx double the cost of Unherd sub. Good to see BTL growing here.

Susie Bell
Susie Bell
8 days ago
Reply to  Jo Jo

I cancelled my Spectator sub some months ago and don’t miss it. There were getting to be too few voices with anything worth saying. Not just a political point of view but the unified London beau monde experience of life.

Last edited 8 days ago by Susie Bell
Rob N
Rob N
9 days ago

“Instead they got Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.”

Don’t forget Theresa May who not only was the first to not get Brexit done but also doesn’t seem to know what a woman is!

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Liz Truss was ambushed by the BoE, for attempting to offer some hope, restarting fraccing policy.

She gives a good account if herself in the Triggernometry and Farage interviews. OK, she might not have made an excellent PM, but she hadn’t a hope in hell with the uncooperative Civil Service and BoE, and so little time to do anything, especially after such a long election process: but it was planned that way, wasn’t it. She has, at least exposed what difficulties the next competent government will have to overcome, including the constitutional changes made by Blair that also explains much of why the last 14 years government have been so dysfunctional.

Yes, and May was a total disaster for the country and, obviously, for the Conservative Party, but it was what the party’s elite wanted. So many don’t understand that ‘rocking the boat’ often leads to disappearing from the public eye, along with your ideas, and at least Truss hasn’t done that!

Stephanie Sadie
Stephanie Sadie
8 days ago

Boris and Truss were got rid of by the dirty tricks dept of the WEF, and the WEF stooge Sunak dropped into place, complimenting the existing WEF stooge Starmer, to ensure no matter who gets elected the NWO Agenda 30 plan is followed.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago

The BoE are independent of Government and don’t need to cooperate. It was the “markets” that delivered their verdict on Liz and Kwazi’s economic literacy.

Farage sometimes says some things that make some sense – eg the unsustainability of the NHS in its current form. From the other parties, all you will hear is how great the NHS is and how much money they’re going to pump in, without saying how they (we) will pay for it. But Farage has the luxury of knowing he will never be tested in battle, so he’s free to rearrange his metal soldiers on his tabletop map, to amuse himself.

Last edited 8 days ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
8 days ago

But the same can now confidently be said of Sunak. Everybody knows his promises have no credibility as he and colleagues will certainly not be in power – indeed most of them probably not MPs – after July4th.

National Service, Triple Lock Plus, Child Allowances for all, abolition of Stamp Duty for first time buyers – none of these “promises” stands a hope in Hell of being delivered ( and probably just as well) by this failed PM -and supposed national leader – who clearly believed it was OK to absent himself early from the commemoration of the huge personal sacrifice made by thousands who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy in the cause of freedom. The chap is below contempt and his vacuous promises only make him more so. As far as Sunak is concerned, more is less.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

I can’t disagree with you

John Tyler
John Tyler
8 days ago

“The BoE are independent of Government and don’t need to cooperate. It was the “markets” that delivered their verdict on Liz and Kwazi’s economic literacy.”
How wonderfully naive! No organisation is truly ‘independent’ when the government appoints its head, and it was not ‘the markets’ but the financial, bureaucratic and metropolitan elite who squashed her government. Personally, I don’t think she was up to that level of leadership, butty opinion on that is not the point!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  John Tyler

Actually it was the poor quality pension funds and their LDI/Derivitive trading that meant when the bond markets wobbled after Truss/Quatangs announcement, they couldn’t pay out for pensions which were being drawn!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago

Another good point WEHA, Farage talks the talk but can he walk the walk? Unlikely with the intransigence of our elites and civil servants…

Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
7 days ago

The BoE are meant to maintain an oversight of the markets and provide analysis and advice. They have failed on both counts for a long time. As well as failing to forecast inflation trends.

Andrew S
Andrew S
7 days ago

I agree. I often wonder, at times like that, whether a critical group of civil servants and politicians get together or contact each other to get rid of people. I doubt that one or two would dare to try it alone for fear of the consequences of failure. In other words, who provides the initiative for it.

Kat L
Kat L
6 days ago

Yes I thought she redeemed herself very well in those interviews. Whoever gets in will have to undo every change done by the weasel Blair.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 days ago

Emily Maitlis is married to a hedge fund manager and lives in a gated estate patrolled by private security guards. It’s the easiest thing in the world to be ‘progressive’ when you never experience the consequences of your own ideology.

David Harris
David Harris
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yep. It’s called having luxury beliefs, wealthy “socialists” are very good at it. Hypocrites, all of them. Vote Reform in ’24.

Last edited 8 days ago by David Harris
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Ironically, the Saul Alinsky acolytes never understood that radical rule of “make the enemy live by their rules” can also apply to them. It’s amazing how many one-time “defund the cops” advocates changed their minds in the US when they became crime victims, much like the mayors of one-time sanctuary cities who are now crying at the costs of what they supported.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That’s a very good point. Instead of struggling for years to get the Rwanda policy off the ground the Tories should simply have set up large migrant hostels in Hampstead, Highgate, Putney and Richmond.

Tapani Simojoki
Tapani Simojoki
9 days ago

I once had a conversation with a Latvian man who had worked in an English factory for a decade. He came here expecting to learn fluent English. Instead, he said, he had learned fluent Polish.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago

Amazing! It’s a difficult language to learn.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
8 days ago

Masz razie!

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
8 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

That ‘i’ should be a ‘j’, of course.

Andrew F
Andrew F
6 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Masz rację

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago

Probably easier for a Latvian.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 days ago

Why? Latvians are Balts. Poles are Slavs. The languages aren’t remotely similar.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago

Yes, you are right and I was mixing up with Latvian and Lithuanian. Thank you.

Diane T
Diane T
8 days ago

Says it all!

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
9 days ago

Maitlis. What an unrepentant bag of pus. She, and the rest of her spavined remainer chorus are the ones who should apologise; for spending three years and trying every trick in the book first to try to overturn the Brexit vote and when that failed attempting to water down the deal to the point uselessness.

However, Reform would be doing very well to shift the incumbent conservative who has a 17,000+ majority and 65% on the vote share (Labour 25%) Current polling is:
Labour 42%, Conservative 23%, Reform 16%, the Liberal Democrats 9%, Green 6%, SNP 4% and other parties 1%.

Jǡḿȅś Ẏȭǖńg
Jǡḿȅś Ẏȭǖńg
9 days ago

A majority that from the numbers you quote, has already proven mobile. What if the 20% who moved from the Tories to Labour now moved back to Reform. That’s the question for Yarmouth.

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
8 days ago

I tend to check out the candidate more than the party. Had been intending to vote Conservative as per, but the Reform candidate is more impressive (to my mind) and so I’ll be voting for him:-)

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 days ago

As a member of the community that might be considered to be “pus” by the middle class left, I would like to register how deeply insulted I feel by being compared with “Maitlis”.

Last edited 8 days ago by Ian Barton
Robb Maclean
Robb Maclean
7 days ago

“Maitlis. What an unrepentant bag of pus.”
Excellent!

Barrie EMMETT
Barrie EMMETT
9 days ago

A shallow self seving bunch of MPs caught on the hop by the unelected PM, are doomed to oblivion. But I fear the March of Starmer and his Marxists.

John Tyler
John Tyler
8 days ago
Reply to  Barrie EMMETT

He is NOT ‘unelected’; that is a misunderstanding of our electoral system. But like you, I fear the continued march of the Left. The so-called centre-ground of politics has moved so far left since the mid 1960s that centrists of that era are now labelled far right.

Robb Maclean
Robb Maclean
7 days ago
Reply to  John Tyler

How, suddenly, did Liz Truss have “Isaac” Hunt foisted on her as C of the E?
Hunt who, during his leadership campaign claimed he would reduce Corporation Tax to 15%, rushed to and spent several days with his old chums in Brussels before taking up his cabinet appointment.
His first action was to announce an INCREASE in Corporation tax to 25%, in line with EU dictat.

Buck Rodgers
Buck Rodgers
8 days ago

How, in the name of sanity, can anyone still believe Boris Johnson is the solution to their problems?

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
8 days ago
Reply to  Buck Rodgers

You mean apart from Carrie and sprogs?:-D He always seems a fairly weak man to me.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
8 days ago

We have become over-reliant on immigrant labour, both skilled and unskilled, because our working class won’t or can’t do the unskilled and semi-skilled work, and our middle-class has only clerical and ‘humanities’ skills so can’t do much of the professional stuff. Our ‘wealth’ is based on inflated currency, inflated assets and rentier economics using homes to leverage rental income and re-sale value at the expense of providing actual homes. Public service is now a paid undertaking, even ‘charities’ are big business, our churches are empty, our clubs and societies are disappearing, our social institutions are closing, marriage is dying out, we prefer dogs to children while for many home life consists of watching a screen with hands down the pants. With soldiers like this what good would a Napoleon do?

John Tyler
John Tyler
8 days ago

Well written piece!
The problem with the metropolitan elite is the same as it was before Brexit – they just don’t get it. And anyone who dares to disapprove of the continued application of failed policies is apparently an ignorant, bigoted loony. This merry-go-round of rebranded failed policies fits nicely with the famous definition of madness as repeating the same mistakes thinking that something will change by magic.

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 days ago

Boris said he would Get Brexit Done, and he had a huge majority to make it happen.
He lost focus, forgot or ignored his promise, and betrayed the voters.
We’re still waiting for someone to Get Brexit Done.
My money is on Sir Nigel.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
8 days ago

In a friendly interview on BBC’s Newsnight, Emily Maitlis described Blair as ‘a man of God’. In contrast, Farage is addressed as if he were a man of the devil.
Of course, Maitlis didn’t define what sort of god. Perhaps the god of war (e.g. Joel iii.10).
Brexit should be an issue in this election campaign, as the SNP demand. It will remind the Labour voters in the north of England why they voted to leave; why they were inspired by Farage.
Just as there is no mention of foreign policy, for that would raise the subject of Gaza to the possible detriment of Labour, so Brexit cannot be mentioned as it would make stark the reality that the EU referendum claim to control immigration didn’t mean reduce it. The electorate were allowed to deceive themselves that it did.
The D-Day debacle is strange. How odd that a British prime minister and his government are defeated on the beaches of Normandy. And by their own side.
As Trafalgar Day and Waterloo Day are no longer commemorated, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gen Z and Gen Alpha looked for a Napoleon. By why should the Clactoners not look to a Wellington or a Nelson?

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
8 days ago

He is Beelzebub, god of warfare and pride.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
9 days ago

So a guy of Indian heritage is failing on immigration? The electorate probably thinks that he is ginning up illegals flow to help his fellow Indians.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

If all else fails, he can always return to the land of his ancestors.

So can I, but I won’t need a passport.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
8 days ago

Rushi Sunak was born in Southampton.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Quite.

Phil Day
Phil Day
8 days ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Irrelevant Judy, as Sceptic was referring to Sunak’s ancestors and their homeland not Sunak’s place of birth.
Before you go on about ‘racist/ism’ or whatever else makes you self identify as superior please consider the following :
While they may not phrase it the same way most people seem to believe Sunak is a nowhere man and are expecting him to leave Britain following the election (top guess is to California). Most people don’t begrudge his mobility but do, not unreasonably, expect anyone in the ‘top job’ to be truly committed to this country, its people, culture, traditions and history. Sadly, Sunak does not come across that way.
I think this is the point Sceptic was trying to make. Maybe you could try learning a bit of ‘Yorkshire-ese’

Jo Jo
Jo Jo
8 days ago
Reply to  Phil Day

Yorkshire? Yorkshire? Don’t talk to me about sophistication – I’ve bin ter Leeds! (h/t Harry Enfield, but yes I am born n bred Yaarkshire)

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Since we left the EU, migrants from there have declined but we have seen an increase in immigration from further afield. Previously, my restaurant meals, or coffee, were prepared, served and cleared by Italian, Spanish, Greek and French youth looking to work here for a few years; now they have been mostly replaced by people from South Asia.

Last edited 8 days ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
John Tyler
John Tyler
8 days ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

He’s not failing because of his so-called cultural heritage, but because he has kept applying the same failed policies as his predecessors over every political and ethnic hue.

Bored Writer
Bored Writer
8 days ago

For once a perceptive and well-written article free of academic gobbledegook. Well done

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
8 days ago

Quite correct about the immigration that started with Blair and Brown being a Ponzi scheme. The young single people welcomed in the 2000s were always going to have families and grow old and ill.
Their purpose was to create two groups of people who would be electoral bases for Labour: the immigrants themselves and the idle and well who could continue to live off benefits.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
9 days ago

A lovely accompaniment to Tom’s election special These Times which is worth a listen.

Christopher Elletson
Christopher Elletson
8 days ago

“The Conservative Party needed a Napoleon.” Wellington would have done – better.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
7 days ago

One can tolerate being poor if one is considered by the country at large to be the salt of the earth. It’s less tolerable if one is seen as a fruitcake, looney and closet racist.

David Butler
David Butler
8 days ago

“What immigration is for the Right”.
I beg your pardon. Are you suggesting over 80% of the population are “the Right”?

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
7 days ago

How is it that ‘Yarmouth’s migrant workers spend so much time working in factories without a single British employee’, yet ‘a third of the population (of Tendring) between 16-64 are economically inactive’?
The treatment of such people as June Mummery by the political class is particularly cruel. Although Johnson who spent his time in Brussels writing flippant articles about the EU rather than informing himself wouldn’t have understood it, the difficulties of repatriating fishing to UK boats was always going to make it impossible. Once Heath had declared the 22,000 British fishermen and their families ‘politically insignificant’ they were lost.
It’s as if the East Anglians longed for the return of Boudicca and instead got a Greek-speaking clown.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
8 days ago

There was a time when people had religious and political convictions, largely based upon their upbringing, that changed quite slowly over time. Religious and political institutions relied on such beliefs to build a body of supporters. People did not see a need to question their beliefs. Now people feel free to choose their own convictions, often driven by their emotions. The institutions have resorted to pandering to them, in the process obfuscating what they stand for.
Electors know what they do not want and right now that is to get rid of the Tories. Most either do not know clearly what they want or cannot find an institution that stands for what they want. The more electors are convinced that the Tories will not win the more likely they will be to not bother to vote. Even if they can find a political party to support what is the likelihood of it competently managing anything that it throws money at?

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago

One of my comments completely disappeared, despite containing no objectionable content (at least, nothing that should contradict the guidelines); how can that be?

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
8 days ago

Yes, I saw it and made the following reply:
You confuse the present with the alternative present under EU membership. NHS spending has increased vastly – and for what good? The system and values under which the Establishment operates need to be destroyed and replaced. Unfortunately, we voted for Brexit but could not vote for anyone sensible to implement it. Instead. we got remainer May and clown Johnson. Golly, Jesus, naturally we’re a mess!

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
8 days ago

Some comments randomly disappear. Sometimes you can still see it if you arrange comments by oldest instead of most voted.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
7 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

Yep. I spent an age typing in some stuff about Evola but it appears and then disappears like the witches in ‘The Scottish Tragedy’. Something is not working on this website.

William Brand
William Brand
8 days ago

It sounds like MAGA in the USA. They are looking for a TRUMP to lead them. I hope that they find one without Trumps personal baggage.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
2 days ago
Reply to  William Brand

What ‘personal baggage’ is it to which you refer?

Martin M
Martin M
4 days ago

The “Rumbold Arms”? I’m imaging a pub with an old school sign featuring the face of Mr Rumbold from “Are You Being Served”.

Diane T
Diane T
8 days ago

I suspect he is more interested in the ‘gong’ and prestige that comes the way of an ex PM once the dust has settled.

Charles Jenkin
Charles Jenkin
8 days ago

Mmm…. A revolution which has more respect for a message they like, despite the lies of leaders and the paucity of workable plans, is surely the epitome of decline and decadence. Sunak has indeed revealed himself as a politically inept, but good government urgently needs his kind attention to hard realities and attention to detail.

0 0
0 0
7 days ago

Seems to miss the main thing that’s going on today. The problem facing those abandoning the Tories in favour of Tice and Farage is that won’t fix what’s broken or even deliver what BoJo promised them. That’s why the larger movement today is towards rebuilding national institutions rather than abandoning them. Most people now see that small state politics have left them with nothing.

j watson
j watson
9 days ago

Would have liked to hear more about the industries the migrants referred to are working in, and why these Businesses aren’t able to recruit locally if there is a high proportion unemployed. Are the jobs advertised locally first and any overseas recruitment linked to evidencing that? (which incidentally was permissible under EU Free movement but never followed in the UK). This may be crux of the issue we need to further understand. Is it the working conditions are so poor locals won’t take them? Or maybe it’s a younger demographic needed in these jobs and the unemployed are less physically capable? Whatever we need to understand it, properly and not jump to a simplistic prejudice. Not heard Farage come up with any well considered answers and not expecting them. Amplification of the rage to the fore.
As regards Fishing industry – yep we’ve been able to negotiate our own deals since Brexit, and in fact we are catching a little more fish overall. But the impact varies heavily by region. Where we had to negotiate more directly with Norway we didn’t do so well and that may be part problem for these east Coast areas. (Cornwall got screwed because it’s boats are smaller and can’t go out in all weather – generalisation but with a basis). And the negotiations were key if our Fishing industry wanted to sell into EU. Not so simple was it.

Last edited 9 days ago by j watson
Andrew R
Andrew R
9 days ago
Reply to  j watson

“Whatever we need to understand it, properly and not jump to a simplistic prejudice. Not heard Farage come up with any well considered answers and not expecting them. Amplification of the rage to the fore”.

Pure projection

Andrew R
Andrew R
8 days ago
Reply to  Andrew R

No problem with the downvotes but perhaps someone might like to explain why that statement isn’t projection. Maybe you all like to project as well.

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Dear me AR, and you’re playing to a home crowd too. It may be it was nonsensical perhaps?
But anyway, my advice – don’t be worrying about votes one way or other. It’s a bit narcissistic

Andrew R
Andrew R
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

I’m playing to no one JW. You made yet another comment without any evidence. Making up stuff, wishing something to be true when it clearly isn’t. A classic sign of NPD, the narcissism lies elsewhere.

I don’t generally down vote you JW, I make an argument instead. 10, 20 downvotes, really don’t mind but you’d thought at least one of those people would make a counter argument defending your comment or criticising mine… nothing. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have one 🙂

Geoff W
Geoff W
8 days ago
Reply to  Andrew R

The people who downvoted you probably objected to the fact that you attacked JW personally, rather than her argument.
Perhaps they downvoted rather than responded in detail because they thought your silly post wasn’t worth the trouble.

Andrew R
Andrew R
8 days ago
Reply to  Geoff W

Like yours eh, Geoff W (I have bothered to take the trouble to reply).
JW didn’t have an argument at the end of that first paragraph, just an opinion rooted in prejudice. The very thing JW was accusing Unherd/Farage of (the third in as many days no less).

You still haven’t offered an actual argument like the others.

Here’s some advice for you and JW

A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning in the construction of an argument that may appear to be well-reasoned if unnoticed.

Take your time to come up with one, as long as you need.

James Kirk
James Kirk
8 days ago
Reply to  Andrew R

There’s the Reform website, Farage, Tice, Ben Habib and others’ speeches. The overall plea, ‘We want our country back’ resonated across a bigger number in America than our population. What was our country? Good question, we’ve been trying for years to merely stand still and Sunak’s gang got in the way. With Starmer the manifesto is out of 1984.

Rob N
Rob N
9 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Don’t forget Sunak intentionally wants to cut British workers out by allowing immigrants to be paid 80% of the minimum wage, at least in care homes.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Sounds like a good idea as we have few care workers, probably because it is an unfairly low paid job.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 days ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

A live-in carer with the right personality and skills can earn £60k. Unfortunately our education system doesn’t produce the kind of outgoing, disciplined, conscientious and empathetic people that are needed. Which is why we have to import them – usually from Catholic countries. It’s not the money.

j watson
j watson
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

I’m not sure it’s that, although it may ‘lock-in’ that effect. I think it’s more the huge panic that the care sector financial model so dire there would be Care Homes closing and/or v poor care provided if they didn’t. And that would have lots of political consequences – elderly people being turfed out of their care etc
It needs/needed a longer term plan including workforce plan, but Tories too busy on other things, like the extended psychodrama of Brexit. May seem a glib point but undoubtedly Brexit gobbled up the sort of consensus needed for cross party agreement on long term social care.

Stephanie Sadie
Stephanie Sadie
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Go to Spalding in Lincolnshire. You can’t get a job in any of the factories unless you speak polish. And the jobs are advertised in Poland first. The fields used to be picked by students and local housewives, now they are picked by Gangs, made of illegals and immigrants working for peanuts, some actually as modern day slaves, and run by Irish and gyppo gangmasters who pay no tax

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

Much of what we used to catch was processed for EU consumption and not consumed locally. But now we’re outside the EU it’s much harder to export that catch there.

Last edited 8 days ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 days ago

And yet fish is absurdly expensive? None of these narratives make much sense at all.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

The British are particularly conservative when it comes to the kinds of fish they like to eat, compared to our continental cousins. Whitefish (cod etc) is very popular here but we don’t have enough to meet demand. Consequently, we import a lot of it, mainly from Russia. Unfortunately, there are price tariffs on Russian whitefish now. Ukraine?

Last edited 8 days ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Have you ever been to a supermarket????? Fish isn’t expensive its £10 a kilo as opposed to £15 – 18 per kilo for rump steak or £25 per kilo for sirloin or £38 + for fillet, yes I know my prices but you clearly do not, plus fish is healthy and we are an island nation!

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
7 days ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Depends on the fish of course; salmon is a bit cheaper, especially the farmed stuff, if you can stomach it. Lots of waste with fish too. A Kg of meat is usually just that; for fish, less so.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 days ago

My £10 per Kilo price guide was for filleted fish, Basa is even cheaper, little waste IMO… I can recommend M & S’s lemon and dill sauce!

Kevin Godwin
Kevin Godwin
8 days ago
Reply to  j watson

An excellent article conveying the plight of many ‘seaside towns’ today that seem to exhibit an air of diminished splendour. Grand houses now converted to HMO’s housing ‘poor immigrants’ apparently working in local factories doing jobs that the one third of the local ‘working age’ population currently unemployed are unable to do. Why?
I agree with you, this article opened up quite a few unanswered questions. Presumably the local unemployed are receiving benefits, the poor immigrant workers could well be receiving ‘top-up’ benefits because the hourly rate of pay is too low to pay for their room in an HMO. The whole situation I feel is unacceptable. Unscrupulous employers? Local GP’s handing out incapacity certificates (or whatever there called) too easily? local job centers not doing their job properly, probably combined with ineffective social security staff? With a 30% local unemployment rate, there should be no need of poor immigrant workers.

David McKee
David McKee
9 days ago

Yes, we have deep and unaddressed problems. McTague though, is too experienced a hand to suggest Farage is the answer. He isn’t. He’s a symptom of our malaise, no more.

He’s a pub bore with the gift of the gab and a messiah complex. He finds gullible businessmen to bankroll him, and he screws over any politician who tries to work with him. Tice is just the latest example in both categories.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
9 days ago
Reply to  David McKee

Clearly the Tories have no answers. Labour will likely be even worse. What’s the alternative then?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
7 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

There aren’t any alternatives. It’s either Labour or Tory in our FPTP electoral system.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
8 days ago

I acknowledge and share the frustration of many people that feel the politicians have failed Britain and its citizens.
However, I’m sceptical that Farage and Reform are the answer to the problems faced by British society and the economy.
Farage resembles Johnson in that he is a demagogue, an effective seller of ideology – but like Johnson he has no track record through past employment experience of being able to lead the delivery of the complex and long term projects that are necessary to rescue Britain from the mess it’s in. In fact Farage was employed in the financial sector – the very sector that has been a major contributor to the problems we have with the economy.
Also, Reform is registered at Companies House as a private business, so I’m also sceptical that it exists to serve the interests of Britain and all its citizens rather than a vehicle for the narrowly focused and undemocratic interests of a small, powerful and unrepresentative group of people.
So in my mind it rather begs the question – is Reform UK just the same circus as the Tory party but with a different set of clowns?

Last edited 8 days ago by Eleanor Barlow
David Harris
David Harris
8 days ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

“I acknowledge and share the frustration of many people that feel the politicians have failed Britain and its citizens.”
And yet you seem to be planning to vote for the ConLabLib uniparty again. Repeating the same actions and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity Eleanor. Vote Reform in ’24. And again in ’29.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
8 days ago
Reply to  David Harris

I’m voting Labour because in the constituency where I live, it’s a straight fight between Labour and Tory. I regard Labour as marginally less damaging than the Tories. I may well decide to abstain altogether from voting, following Labour’s change of stance on Gaza.
I don’t trust Reform UK any more than I trust the Tories, and have not yet been given any valid reasons as to why I should change my mind.

Neil Turrell
Neil Turrell
8 days ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

“…all its citizens rather than a vehicle for the narrowly focused and undemocratic interests of a small, powerful and unrepresentative group of people.” Really, Eleanor? That sentence is an appropriate description of the unaccountable elite mustered behind the legacy uniparty of Labour and Tory, as opposed to the increasing number of ordinary folk signing up to Reform in a last ditch attempt to retain their culture before it disappears, (with the encouragement of the globalists and the academics), altogether.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
7 days ago
Reply to  Neil Turrell

Well, Reform UK seems to me to be just another party that is run by and for an unaccountable elite. There may be many ordinary folks like me signing up to it, but I remain cautious.
I also detest Farage even more than I detested Boris Johnson. Charismatic people by their very nature are usually also attention-seeking and arrogant. Just because he is seen to enjoy a pint in a pub and talk in a down-to-earth manner doesn’t make him a man of the people. God knows I’ve come across more than enough of these charismatic types during a long working life and they’re all the same. Out for themselves and their own gain. Confidence tricksters all of them.