There was something genuinely frightening about the disturbance aimed at Nigel Farage and his family this weekend; what’s scary is that there seem to be so many people in our country who think a man having lunch with his family is a legitimate target for such a stunt because of his views. If you’re prepared to do that in front of people’s kids, you can likely do anything.
Their self-justification was telling; as one protester put it, Farage was a target because he ‘othered’ people. In my experience people who use the word othered are quite quick to ‘other’ anyone who disagrees with them. Likewise when another one of the crowd gets aggressive with someone he believes works for a ‘back-stabbing Tory rag’, he says his rage is out of ‘love for disabled people’.
Aside from the group’s unwittingly Christian idea that there should be no in groups or out groups, something shared by very, very few people outside the west, there is the historical argument that in their attitudes to migrants Ukip resemble the Nazis.
This is the story that a generation has been taught, that Nazi Germany’s exceptional crimes were an extension of conservative beliefs, a product of their view of in-groups and out-groups, and of national identity generally. In this way the Second World War has become part of the diversity cult…