I have had a high regard for Nigel Farage’s political and campaigning abilities and I shared his most important objectives. Nevertheless, I often found myself in disagreement with him.
My principal concern was that the success of his political party was dependent upon the destruction of my own Conservative Party.
I have always regarded it as a strength of our voting system that it requires broad coalitions to come together as a political party to have any chance of success at the ballot box in a general election. Narrow, ‘single issue’ political parties have never succeeded in building the necessary breadth of support to triumph in our elections. My fear was always that significant support for Farage’s political party would be at the expense of the Conservative Party and that, whilst it would deny the Conservative Party the opportunity of winning and forming the Government, far from delivering success for his own party, on the contrary, it would deliver victory to parties with agendas that could not be more opposed to his own.
Nevertheless, though his political party was never in danger of winning, Nigel Farage has had a key role in our politics. Were it not for the threat that he posed to the success of the Conservative Party; I have no doubt that David Cameron would not have included a commitment to an in/out referendum on EU membership in his 2015 election manifesto. That commitment was designed explicitly to prevent Eurosceptic voters peeling off from the Conservatives to Nigel Farage.
I believed that the commitment to a referendum was an absolute necessity if we were to have a chance of winning, but we wouldn’t have offered it were it not for the danger posed by Farage.
I think it is safe to say that we would not have regained our national sovereignty had it not been for his intervention in our politics.
Now, by being denied continued banking services by Coutts and Nat West Farage has, by the tenacity of his campaigning, exposed a growing threat to our liberty. It is an absolute outrage to discover that large public companies are acting as Orwellian thought police and withholding commercial services on the basis of their investigations.
What I might believe is no business whatsoever of my bank. Its only proper concern is that my account is in credit, or if it isn’t, that they are being paid handsomely in recompense.
It is astonishing that the board Nat West Bank, so ready to trumpet its standards and values, should express its full confidence in its chief executive, after she has divulged client confidential (and false) information to a BBC Journalist to undermine Nigel Farage’s campaign. The board, by backing their chief executive, have made themselves culpable and should also resign.
I doubt that shareholders in Nat West had any idea that the bank which they own had taken upon itself to censor the politics of its customers.
If my memory serves me correctly, it was in 2007 that we passed regulations that prevented any commercial undertaking from discriminating against customers on the basis of their sexual orientation. Clearly, we now need to go further and prevent enterprises from discriminating on the basis of a customer’s lawful political activity: My politics is no more the business of my bank, than what I do in bed.
Well Done, Nigel Farage