Nigel Farage the outsider gets on the inside track of British politics



In his list of things you need to appreciate in order to call yourself truly British, the author Bill Bryson includes “Marmite, milky tea, and the belief that household wiring is an interesting topic for conversation”. This cultural inventory may soon need revising, however, after a report by Policy Exchange predicted that by 2051, up to 30 per cent of the UK population will be non-white.

The implications of this report are either a healthy confirmation of Britain’s ever-changing demographic, or a matter of grave cultural concern, according to your view.

While many parts of the country remain as they have done for many years, others have altered dramatically. And with the recent wave of migrants from Eastern Europe adding to this multicultural melting pot, you’re as likely in some parts of Britain to hear Russian or Somali being spoken, as you are English.

Enter Nigel Farage. He is the leader, ringmaster and all-purpose spokesman for the UK Independence Party (or UKIP for short). Committed to withdrawal from the EU, and to arresting what it considers to be the deluge of untrammeled immigration, the party was, until recently, little more than a minor political irritation and a rich source of mocking humour for satirists and comedians. And with a mere handful of MEPs in the European Parliament and not a single representative in Westminster, there seemed little prospect of them ever becoming more than a glorified protest group.

But with European elections only a month away and a guaranteed referendum on EU membership a very real prospect, UKIP has seized its chance. A recent survey suggests that up to 60 per cent of the electorate are thinking of voting for them in a month’s time.

UKIP’s leader, meanwhile, is positively ubiquitous: on talk shows, political debates, and even plastered across street hoardings, always in his trademark covert coat and trilby, often with a cigarette in his hand, and inevitably with a ready smile and a sound bite. The term “irrepressible” could have been coined for him.

To many he remains a small-minded Little Englander, using nebulous national fears seasoned with predictions about our loss of national sovereignty to further his own political ends. Indeed, during one televised debate this week in Southampton a member of the audience confronted him with the appellation “charismatic, bombastic and very dangerous”, an accusation Mr Farage shrugged off with his customary aplomb.

Yet his very outsidership is perhaps his greatest asset. A self-styled man of the people, with no established power base and little to lose, he has positioned himself as the mouthpiece of the ordinary citizen, able to express uneasy truths that other politicians dare not articulate.

That he and his party attract many who would like to live in a nation preserved in aspic sometime in the 1950s is undeniable, but he also appeals to many more who would be horrified to find themselves labelled either racist or parochial. And while he remains a figure of scorn to many, his ability to crystallise and connect with an underlying wave of public concern has resulted in his emergence as a political heavyweight.

However unpalatable it may seem to some, the fact is that while most UK citizens would now consider themselves to be at ease both with our continental neighbours and the notion of a multicultural society, many still harbour vague fears that the UK is being subsumed by European legislation, and that our unique cultural identity is being overwhelmed too soon, too quickly.

Disillusionment with European politics and anxiety about immigration might seem an unlikely rallying point for disgruntled voters; yet Mr Farage has skilfully linked the two issues, and used the vacuum left by politicians unwilling to tackle these issues head-on to press his claim.

As the political landscape continues to shift, UKIP could yet play havoc with the political status quo, even if he cannot achieve actual power. Yet to those voters who may be tempted to give Mr Farage their cross at the ballot box in a few weeks time, it may be worthwhile quoting the concluding verse of Hilaire Belloc’s cautionary tale of Jim, Who Ran Away from His Nurse, and Was Eaten by a Lion.

“And always keep a hold of nurse”, he wrote, “for fear of finding something worse …”

Michael Simkins is an actor and writer based in London

On Twitter: @michael_simkins

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Name: Brendalle Belaza

From: Crossing Rubber, Philippines

Arrived in the UAE: 2007

Favourite place in Abu Dhabi: NYUAD campus

Favourite photography style: Street photography

Favourite book: Harry Potter

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

Sri Lanka's T20I squad

Thisara Perera (captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chathuranga de Silva.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

TYPES OF ONLINE GIG WORK

Design, multimedia and creative work: Logo design, website design, visualisations

Business and professional management: Legal or management consulting, architecture

Business and professional support: Research support, proofreading, bookkeeping

Sales and marketing support: Search engine optimisation, social media marketing

Data entry, administrative, and clerical: Data entry tasks, virtual assistants

IT, software development and tech: Data analyst, back-end or front-end developers

Writing and translation: Content writing, ghost writing, translation

Online microtasks: Image tagging, surveys

Source: World Bank

Company profile

Name: Elggo
Started: August 2022
Founders: Luma Makari and Mirna Mneimneh
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Education technology / health technology
Size: Four employees
Investment stage: Pre-seed

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Race card

6.30pm: Emirates Holidays Maiden (TB), Dh82,500 (Dirt), 1,900m
7.05pm: Arabian Adventures Maiden (TB), Dh82,500 (D), 1,200m
7.40pm: Emirates Skywards Handicap (TB), Dh82,500 (D), 1,200m
8.15pm: Emirates Airline Conditions (TB), Dh120,000 (D), 1,400m
8.50pm: Emirates Sky Cargo (TB), Dh92,500 (D)1,400m
9.15pm: Emirates.com (TB), Dh95,000 (D), 2,000m

THREE POSSIBLE REPLACEMENTS

Khalfan Mubarak
The Al Jazira playmaker has for some time been tipped for stardom within UAE football, with Quique Sanchez Flores, his former manager at Al Ahli, once labelling him a “genius”. He was only 17. Now 23, Mubarak has developed into a crafty supplier of chances, evidenced by his seven assists in six league matches this season. Still to display his class at international level, though.

Rayan Yaslam
The Al Ain attacking midfielder has become a regular starter for his club in the past 15 months. Yaslam, 23, is a tidy and intelligent player, technically proficient with an eye for opening up defences. Developed while alongside Abdulrahman in the Al Ain first-team and has progressed well since manager Zoran Mamic’s arrival. However, made his UAE debut only last December.

Ismail Matar
The Al Wahda forward is revered by teammates and a key contributor to the squad. At 35, his best days are behind him, but Matar is incredibly experienced and an example to his colleagues. His ability to cope with tournament football is a concern, though, despite Matar beginning the season well. Not a like-for-like replacement, although the system could be adjusted to suit.

Full list of Emmy 2020 nominations

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

OUTSTANDING VARIETY/TALK SERIES

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Brian Cox, Succession
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LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
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OUTSTANDING REALITY/COMPETITION PROGRAM

The Masked Singer
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LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES

Little Fires Everywhere
Mrs. America
Unbelievable
Unorthodox
Watchmen

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dead to Me
The Good Place
Insecure
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Schitt’s Creek
What We Do In The Shadows

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
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Stranger Things
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Company profile

Company name:+Dharma

Date started:+2018

Founders:+Charaf El Mansouri, Nisma Benani, Leah Howe

Based:+Abu Dhabi

Sector:+TravelTech

Funding stage:+Pre-series A 

Investors:+Convivialite Ventures, BY Partners, Shorooq Partners, L& Ventures, Flat6Labs

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

Torque: 250Nm 

Price: Dh64,500

On sale: Now

Brief scoreline:

Manchester United 0

Manchester City 2

Bernardo Silva 54', Sane 66'

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices


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