He’s the working man’s man, who coincidentally has worked in every job that the British public seem to despise and distrust – as a politician, banker, and journalist. Yet somehow, he’s a man who is adored by the working class and remains a cult of personality.
For those who don’t know what a cult of personality is, it’s a person who is portrayed – with the use of propaganda – as someone who is a hero of the people and creates unquestioning flattery and praise. In the case of Mr. Farage, he is rallying the working class against the establishment, and so far, it’s working.
You can perhaps now see why Nigel Farage is considered a cult of personality. In political betting, Mr. Farage has been priced at 33/1 to become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after the Brexit Party’s success at the recent European election. Let us take you through what makes this man a cult of personality.
Stirring up the hate
He’s a man who knows how to stay relevant even when it looks like he’s about it to leave the public eye for good, and more often than not, it’s because he wants to stir up the hate again. He knows that his followers hang on his every word and if he can take a position that no mainstream political party will take, he has a unique selling point for whichever political party he is representing.
His anti-immigration rhetoric has engaged with the working class who feel as though the immigrants who enter the country are either after their jobs or are scroungers stealing off the state via benefits. It was one of the biggest issues during the European Union referendum and was weaponized by those campaigning to leave.
He played on the fears of the working class who held these beliefs when he stood in front of the “Breaking Point – The EU has failed us all” poster as part of his campaign to get the United Kingdom to leave the EU.
In an interview about the controversial poster, Mr. Farage, when asked if he stirred up hatred, said “I think I have been a politician who has been a victim of it, to be honest with you. When you challenge the establishment in this country, the come after you, they call you all sorts of things.”
The lack of detail
Stirring up the hate during the EU referendum was one thing, but he took things to a whole new level during the recent EU elections, by fielding several controversial candidates. But the biggest issue was when he said they weren’t going to produce a manifesto until after the election.
Detail seems to be something lacking in modern politics in both the UK and the United States, where Donald Trump seems to be all about “fake news”. Saying that Britain and America will be stronger without being able the answer the question – how?
Thanks to a lack of detail, most of the time he’s able to slither away from previous statements as they were so vague that they could have meant a number of things. Fortunately, there are occasions where he has given enough detail that he genuinely looks as though he has backtracked. The video below is the most prominent example:
He’s also said that “If Brexit is a disaster, I will go and live abroad. I will go and live somewhere else… it isn’t going to be a disaster. We’ve just managed to get ourselves in a lifeboat off the Titanic”.
About a year later and his tune certainly changed. Speaking on his LBC radio show, Mr. Farage said: “I never said it would be a beneficial thing to leave and everyone would be better off”.
He’s undeniably a talented speaker, he’s fantastic at engaging with people, but his legacy will be that of a cult of personality. He offers no real hope, he won’t help those who are struggling the most. He’s all pomp and gesture with no real substance at the end of it. He’ll tell you what you want to hear, but he won’t do what you want him to do. He might not be a part of the establishment, but he’s no different.