The Brexit Party went to ground following last year's general election and, asides from a Brexit Day appearance by Nigel Farage, little was heard for months. Then last month it was announced that the party would rebrand as 'Reform UK', hardly an inspiring name change. In fact it conjures up memories of that disastrous 2019 Remainer enterprise conjured up by Chuka Umunna, Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry - Change UK and its various alternative names. The key difference is that they were starting from scratch, whereas Farage has a long track record and most recently a very successful party with a household name.
Yes, you may scoff at his failure to get any MPs elected, but a few months prior to that general election he led his new party to a thumping victory at the European elections. That achievement was remarkable, but his party's contribution to the general election was equally significant and yet largely unheard of. Without the Brexit Party, the Tories would never have demolished Labour's red wall. Contrary to popular belief, the Tory vote is not split by UKIP or the Brexit Party - it's actually the Labour vote that suffers, particularly in those working class areas north of Watford. One of the prime examples of this is the 2017 general election when Labour surged as a direct beneficiary of the collapse in the huge UKIP vote from 2015.
Farage's decision to change the party name is probably not his greatest idea and he may rue that decision in 2024, but he is still tapping into that working class mindset again via his booming social media presence. One could argue that his summer-long exposé of the migrant crossings inspired broadcast media into similarly taking to the seas, albeit with a starkly contrasting narrative. In the last couple of months he has begun to focus more and more on the devastating economic crisis our country is facing as a result of the Covid restrictions.
While the middle classes seem to enjoy the lockdowns - working from home, getting everything delivered and soaking up the mainstream media propaganda that nothing but death awaits them outside - the working class experience is altogether different. At the end of the day it's the workers who will bear the brunt of this crisis, as they always do during economic downturns - except this is more than just a downturn. This is catastrophic on a scale that none of us alive today have ever seen and one that these largely middle class 'I'm alright Jack' lockdown enthusiasts appear oblivious to because they can't see past the fear of God that's been put into them by the likes of the BBC.
BTLP does not endorse the Brexit Party or whatever it chooses to call itself. We have never endorsed any political party in our five and a half year existence nor do we intend to do so in the future. However, the actions of the current UK government (and those of the various devolved administrations) have become so damaging, unwarranted and ill-judged that we simply cannot merely shrug our shoulders because we are devoutly non-partisan. On that basis we do support the actions of the Covid Recovery Group of MPs who are seeking to stop this madness and we also endorse the following message by Nigel Farage...
If you disagree with our stance that's fine, we (used to) live in a democracy.