The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has become the fastest growing political party in the UK and is about to replace the disappointing Liberal Democrats as the third biggest party behind the Conservatives and Labour. Their leader Nigel Farage is the most recognizable face of the party, commanding international recognition for his fiery speeches, libertarian message, and clashes with Eurocrats. We have a modest example here:
Essentially the people of the UK are getting tired of the growing influence of other European nations in their regulatory and legal framework, as well as the growing cost of an additional layer of government. While it is not uncommon for parties facing election to offer lip service to the problem, it goes nowhere after elections are over. Farage is different:
With Farage leading the charge, the "Independence Party in Britain is about to replace the Liberal Democrats as the third-largest political party behind the Conservatives and Labour," which "heaps more pressure" on Cameron to deal with the rising anti-European Union sentiment.
Some in Cameron's Conservative party, seeing the rising threat of the Independence Party and the general anti-European Union sentiment across Europe, "called for the Conservatives to enter an electoral pact with the Independence Party before the next election in 2015, in return for a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union."
The Times writes Farage takes glee in disseminating his "his anti-European Union message by highlighting the bloc’s bureaucratic absurdities and spendthrift tendencies" and "mocking with glee the most prominent proponents of a European superstate."
Farage, for instance, has said the head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, are “ghastly people, and neither pass the Farage test: Would I employ them or would I want to go have a drink with them?”
He has relished ridiculing the European Parliament to his face as he "squirmed." "I said you’d be the quiet assassin of nation-state democracy,” Farage once told the European Parliament president Herman Van Rompuy. "And sure enough, in your dull and technocratic way, you’ve gone about your course.”
This "damn the technocrats" rallying cry -- "raw, profane, and born of genuine conviction," as the Times describes -- is sweeping across other European countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and Spain, who feel shackled by bureaucrats far removed from their countries and the lives of their citizens.
The Times notes that Farage's political views started to gel when he "witnessed the ejection of the pound from the Europe-imposed system of fixed exchange rates that was a precursor to the euro" and "concluded that any power ceded to Brussels, about monetary policy or anything else, would be sheer folly.”