Reader letter: Don’t ignore Farage, pay very close attention to him

PUBLISHED: 11:47 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:47 26 May 2019

Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle. Photo: PA

Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle. Photo: PA

A reader has written in to give their perspective on our columnist’s comments on protesting Nigel Farage.

Dear James, you don't always know best.

Brexiteer and Farage apologist James Marston is indeed correct to state in his column (May 22) that a "civilised society needs civilised behaviour".

He points out that "a quick drive on our roads will soon tell you there are very many angry and impatient people around" and he cites the throwing of a milkshake, no less, at Farage as a heinous example of our descent into "lawlessness and mayhem".

Interestingly, he doesn't cite the incidents which took place outside Parliament in January when Anna Soubry was jostled and threatened by a group of right wing thugs, the second time that Soubry had been targeted by a group of pro-Brexit protesters wearing yellow vests, some of whom have links to the far right.

Following these incidents, 55 parliamentarians signed the letter to the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, stating "After months of peaceful and calm protests by groups representing a range of political views on Brexit, an ugly element of individuals with strong far-right and extreme-right connections, which your officers are well aware of, have increasingly engaged in intimidatory and potentially criminal acts targeting members of parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public.''

Mr Marston concludes that if you don't like Farage — "don't read the news about him, don't buy a newspaper with him on the front, don't watch the television when he appears, ignore him and deny him publicity".

That, I suggest, is the very last thing you should do — as a harbinger of the rise of the far right we should pay very close attention to Farage indeed — his activities, the company he keeps and who funds him, otherwise we might one day wake up to find this country no longer recognisable as a civilised democracy.

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James doesn't always "know best".

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