A former cadre of the Revolutionary Communist Party called Claire Fox has been chosen as the lead candidate for the Brexit Party in the north west of England. Against all expectations, the EU elections are going to be held (probably) next month across the UK after the Westminster Brexit process stalled once again.
Most people who were politically active during the eighties and nineties either as a student or as a street activist for parties on the radical right and left will remember the proto-hipster trendies of the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Although they failed to win much support from ordinary people (just like the rest of the far-left) they were reasonably well-dressed (unlike the rest of the far-left) and their publications were slick and readable, if somewhat wacky at times.
Apparently, Claire Fox has been chosen by Nigel Farage’s new party in an effort to appeal to (mainly white) working class voters disillusioned with Labour’s ambivalence over Brexit.
And Claire Fox gets a full page in the Sunday Times today under the headline: “Karl Marx was my life – Now I’m fighting for Farage.” It is a critical article in many ways, highlighting various controversial statements over the years, but still respectful to her and her beliefs. It would be difficult to imagine the same newspaper (or, in fact, any newspaper) doing an equivalent piece on ‘Tommy Robinson’, whom she faces in the EU elections next month.
Despite her previous ‘revolutionary communist’ credentials, she regularly appears on the BBC as a guest on radio and TV shows. Many of her contemporary ‘revolutionary communist’ cohorts vehemently denounce her as a pro-corporate “libertarian” just pretending to be a leftist and her stand with Nigel Farage has merely confirmed that belief.
And although her staunch commitment to free speech and opposition to state-sponsored multiculturalism is thoroughly commendable, it is highly unlikely that her views on immigration (she favours open borders) will go down at all well with those (white) working class (mainly) Labour voters in the north west of England Nigel Farage was hoping to impress.
In the Sunday Times article, she says she has “always argued against immigration controls.” On the BBC recently, she said she wanted to “build, build, build” to house the growing population in the UK, expanding mainly as a result of mass uncontrolled immigration.
And should the Brexit party become a fully-fledged political party (so far it is a single issue party, hence its name) akin to UKIP, Nigel Farage’s fomer party, and fight a future general election if Brexit is further delayed or even reversed, what are the chances of Claire Fox staying with them?