Introduction: Nigel Farage is head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) since 2010 and a Member of the European Parliament for South East England. He also is a leader of the Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Democracy group. A founding member of UKIP, he was once a member of the Conservative Party but departed in 1992 after Britain signed the Maastricht Treaty, which led to the formation of the European Union and the euro.
Daily Bell: You are the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). How did that happen?
Nigel Farage: I am in my second term. The first was 2006-09, on members vote in a postal ballot.
Daily Bell: What does UKIP stand for politically?
Nigel Farage: Independence from the EU and the ability to make our own laws and control our own borders. Our growth over the last two years has been huge. The Tories feel particularly threatened but we do take votes from the other parties, too.
Daily Bell: Give us some background on your childhood and young adulthood.
Nigel Farage: I grew up in a small Kent village, where I still live. After school at Dulwich College I went to the London Metal Exchange at 18.
Daily Bell: You had a terrible plane accident. Tells us about it and how it affected you. Do you think it was an accident? Do you have powerful enemies because of your free-market stances?
Nigel Farage: The crash was an accident, no conspiracy. Though broadly hurt I am lucky to be alive and enormously grateful for that.
Daily Bell: You have an affection for London's City. Tell us why.
Nigel Farage: Generations of my family have worked in the City.
Daily Bell: What's it like being a member of the European Parliament?
Nigel Farage: I have no great affection for the EU institutions.
Daily Bell: Are you ever worried for your physical safety given the things you say about top Eurocrats?
Nigel Farage: I am very thoughtful about this, as I am a thorn in their side.
Daily Bell: How do you make such great speeches? Do you use notes? Do you practice? You're one of the best speakers we've ever seen.
Nigel Farage: I think about my speeches long and hard, scribble a few notes and then get up and just do it.
Daily Bell: What is your feeling about the EU? Can you sum it up please?
Nigel Farage: Like Communism, it is a good idea that has gone badly wrong. The Euro will endure a slow, lingering death that will condemn the eurozone to a lost decade. Getting government spending under control is vital. However, for the southern eurozone devaluation is a higher priority. Competent or not, the Euro is fatally flawed.
Daily Bell: Does the world need central banks?
Nigel Farage: Yes, but ones that have more respect for the value of money. We have been terribly led and are now impotent in terms of putting things right. I loathe the degree of government control and suppression of free speech.
Daily Bell: Does the current British public health care system work?
Nigel Farage: We are not getting value for money.
Daily Bell: How about the British educational system?
Nigel Farage: A total failure with a constant lowering of standards.
Daily Bell: Is it harder or easier to start a business in Britain these days?
Nigel Farage: Harder than ever before, I would hate to start again now.
Daily Bell: Why so many cameras in London? What is the distrust and the reason for it?
Nigel Farage: In theory, it is to deal with crime. In practice, nothing has changed.
Daily Bell: Are you a royalist? Are the Royals a problem?
Nigel Farage: I fully support the constitutional monarchy. It is more popular than ever.
Daily Bell: What do you think of David Cameron?
Nigel Farage: An establishment, status quo leader at a time when we need radicalism.
Daily Bell: What do you think of Nick Clegg?
Nigel Farage: Nice enough, but wholly committed to bad politics.
Daily Bell: Has the coalition been a success between the liberal democrats and the Tories?
Nigel Farage: Well, it has held together, which is a form of success. Luckily, they are now both social democratic parties. They both believe in the EU and global warming. But the Tories are split. The leadership is now social democrats, the grass roots more like UKIP. Cameron likes big government.
Daily Bell: In Britain, it seems the Tories speak up for the monied class and Labour speaks up for unions. Who speaks up for people who want to do away with these class divisions and let the market flourish – sort of the way Margaret Thatcher thought?
Nigel Farage: UKIP!
Daily Bell: How would compare Cameron to Thatcher. Like her or loathe her, Thatcher seems to us to have certain philosophical principles. Does Cameron have a cohesive political philosophy?"
Nigel Farage: There is no comparison. Thatcher was a conviction politician, Cameron a careerist. Clegg just follows where the EU leads.
Daily Bell: Where does UKIP go from here?
Nigel Farage: Our policies will, I believe, become even more relevant over the next few years. UKIP is the hope of England for those who believe in self-government and nation-state democracy.
Daily Bell: Is England still an empire?
Nigel Farage: No
Daily Bell: Do the Eurocrats want to create an empire?
Nigel Farage: They already boast that it is an empire. They believe in a United States of Europe. Some commentators are beginning to make these points.
Daily Bell: Why doesn't the British media report on the fascist tendencies of the current political class in Britain?
Nigel Farage: Because big government and big media work hand-in-glove together. But the great British public are waking up and the gap between them and our political classes will be filled.
Daily Bell: Would you like to be prime minister?
Nigel Farage: I am a political campaigner, not someone seeking high office.
Daily Bell: How would you take Britain in a free-market direction? What would you do?
Nigel Farage: 1) Leave the EU, 2) negotiate free-trade deals globally, 3) flatten taxes, 4) de-regulate the labour market. I am quite a fan of Milton Freidman.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet making a positive difference for freedom?
Nigel Farage: Huge. YouTube has really helped to spread my message. We have big plans to increase our Internet presence.
Daily Bell: Any other points you want to make?
Nigel Farage: Good always triumphs over evil in the end!
Daily Bell: Thank you.
We were happy to speak to Nigel Farage, and though this interview does not provide us with an in-depth perspective, it does perhaps serve as a primer of his politics and goals.
What should come through in the conversation is a person who wants to apply free-market principles to Britain and who is convinced that will not happen so long as Britain remains part of the EU.
Mr. Farage's UKIP is changing the face of British politics and may eventually replace the Conservative Party that stands for little or nothing at this point in time. UKIP's mix of libertarian views and private market emphases not only runs counter to modern British politics, it is an indication of an expanding realization that the current system is broken.
Mr. Farage is leading the charge to a free-market orientation that can break away from Britain's dysfunctional "New Labour" and also from the subversive socialist influences of the EU itself.
He is motivated not only by an entrepreneurial philosophy but also by his experiences in London's City and by his family's history in the City. This is a financial district he knows well. Part of his reason for wanting Britain out of the EU has to do with his concern that Europe will supersede London as a financial center.
We obviously have our own opinion about London's City but no matter – Farage's efforts to unwind Britain and make it freer are certainly laudable. He is a major figure in the British opposition and depending what occurs, even a historical one.
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