UKIP and “Nigel-ism”
What has often aggravated me throughout this fun-house of a leadership election so far is what I’d like to call “Nigel-ism.” Now of course, this refers to former leader and UKIP Icon, Nigel Farage, a beloved member of the party for his political wit and headstrong ability in the front lines as an MEP.
When it comes to a new leader however… it’s one of two things that most seem to cry. Either “Nigel come back!” or “We need a new Nigel.” Let’s be clear… while Nigel is certainly an iconic member of the party, he is not the single icon of UKIP, nor should he be worshiped as the holy grail of the party. I personally believed that UKIP as a party is above worshiping someone no matter how excellent they were in their field.
In this election, what matters most is each of the 11 candidates proving why they alone are the perfect choice to lead the party. It is not about who can be the next Farage, nor should that at all be what people focus on when deciding who to vote for.
I see voters for Ben Walker purely because he ‘sounds like the next Farage.’ Or even AMW because like Nigel, she ‘speaks the unfiltered truth.’ Such things may be true of each candidate, but why is a comparison to Nigel at all necessary? It is concerning to me that many within the party are caught up with this mindset of Nigel-ism – being so distraught over his resignation that they believe UKIP is lost without him.
When choosing who your vote goes to, please base it on the merit of the candidate, not how much like Nigel Farage they appear to be. As great a leader he was, times have changed, and UKIP is in need of a new leader to revitalize our radical political machine.