Nick Cohen Nick Cohen

The twisted truth about Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party pretends to stand for the traditional values of old England: Parliamentary sovereignty, patriotism and decency. However little the uninitiated thought of Farage, they would expect his candidates to condemn the IRA murdering children in Warrington and to take a strong line against child pornography. Not so. Or rather, not always.

Claire Fox (top of the list of Brexit Party candidates for the North West), James Heartfield (one of the party’s candidates in Yorkshire and the Humber) and Alka Sehgal Cuthbert (a candidate in London) are all former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party and its successor organisations. The RCP’s defence of the IRA when it was blowing up children and Living Marxism’s (the RCP’s journal’s) promotion of the cover up of war crimes by Serb death squads during the Bosnian conflict, are now widely known. (Although as I said in the Observer, the BBC’s failure to cross-examine Fox about them when it put her on the Moral Maze, of all programmes, dozens of times tells you all need to know about its moral standards.)

People say the RCP has changed since the 1990s, which is why former revolutionary communists can ally with Farage’s British nationalists. But the RCP, whether it reinvented itself as Living Marxism, the Institute of Ideas or Spiked, remained an organisation whose cadres work for each other and walk the party line. They may get their money from the Koch Brothers these days, but the conformist outlook and hectoring tone remain the same.

Like Boris Johnson, Owen Jones, Seumas Milne and Michael Gove they are ‘journalicians’, to coin a phrase, who make a career by breaking down the barriers between the media and politics. In the case of the artists formerly known as the RCP, they know that editors will always commission ‘contrarians’ who provide extreme opinions to order, and eventually a politician will find those opinions to be of service.

Nor is it clear that their views have changed.

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