It’s been a pretty solid year for right-wing demagogues, so it’s no wonder that Nigel ‘Donald’s mate’ Farage is in the mood to sound off as we approach Christmas. This morning the former Ukip leader appeared on London radio station LBC and accused a prominent anti-extremist organisation of being ‘violent and very undemocratic’. Charming.
Some context: Brendan Cox, husband of the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, had criticised Farage’s political analysis of last night’s horrific attack in Berlin. Cox tweeted back that ‘blaming politicians for the actions of extremists’ was a ‘slippery slope’. Farage’s reply on LBC: ‘Well, of course, he would know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox. He backs organisations like Hope Not Hate, who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means.’
Hope Not Hate is a London-based group that campaigns against extremism and hatred, so naturally they’ve not taken that accusation lightly. ‘We are aware of a serious and potentially libellous statement made about Hope Not Hate by Nigel Farage on LBC radio this morning,’ says a statement on their website. ‘We have no idea on what Mr Farage bases his outrageous comments.’ Furthermore, they’ve sent Farage a letter threatening legal action if he doesn’t retract his statement, and they’re raising funds to take him to court.
Long story short: if you’ve got a spare fiver left over from your Christmas budget, you could do a lot worse than donate it to Hope Not Hate’s legal fund. After all, we all need something to look forward to in 2017.