The transatlantic flirtation behind Ukip’s sudden meltdown
A good article here on the meltdown of UKIP - the United Kingdom Independence Party - and how it’s embrace of the US Tea Party Movement’s profoundly reactionary ideology has led to its undoing. In particular, the article notes the role of the Breitbrats.
Here’s the strange thing, though: the election was not a disaster for Ukip. It was a triumph. They won 3.9 million votes — 3 million more than in 2010, and 1.5 million more than the Liberal Democrats. If that rate of growth, or anything like it, were to continue, by 2020 Nigel Farage could well be prime minister. So why has the party sabotaged itself?
To begin to understand, it helps to cross the Atlantic and meet Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of a mysteriously rich right-wing website called Breitbart. Bannon is a tough cookie: a former ‘surface warfare’ officer in the US Navy and Goldman Sachs banker who in the 2000s turned his talents towards documentary-making and the crazy, querulous and lucrative world of the American radical right. In the early 2010s, as Ukip ascended, he saw a brilliant business opportunity.
It’s a good article, and I recommend it. A look at the Tea Party Movement from across the pond, as it were and how it’s toxicity has reached across the Atlantic.