I have just been watching this Brexit rally on Youtube. There , out in front , is Gerard Batten at the head of the march shaking hands with the people and looking every inch the leader. But where is Anne Marie ? UKIP flags flutter in the breeze behind Batten but nothing with the name of the For Britain Movement on it. It is all too familiar and getting to be a habit. Batten knows how to capitalise on this upsurge of popular discontent. He does it well. He is not the kind of man to let the grass grow under his feet. He stands at the front – like a man who knows his place and takes it. But where is Anne Marie ?
Batten is doing everything right. He is the consummate politician. He knows all the tricks and does not miss a single one. He grabs with both hands every opportunity that presents itself and milks it for everything its worth and it is working. He is winning people over. People are being taken in by this man. He is intelligent , competent and cynical. It is sickening to watch him feed off the anger of the ordinary people of britain. UKIP will sell them out in a heartbeat and not hesitate to call them fascists and racists when they feel it to be in their political interest. They have done it to Anne Marie and to every decent person who ever was associated with the EDL. It is , as Anne Maire herself has said , nauseating to watch how Batten and UKIP have embraced Tommy Robinson – a man they were more than happy to condemn as a racist and fascist untill they saw which way the wind was blowing.
Gerard Batten is a real problem for Anne Marie Waters and her For Britain Movement. People who might have been expected to join For Britain are now looking to Batten for leadership. Every time I go on Youtube or social media I hear more and more people say that Batten is the man. He , they believe , is the only one speaking out bravely against Islam and the mainstream. People are gullible and Batten knows how to capitalise on their gullibility. It is a sad fact that people , ordinary people , are often easily taken in. The history and ongoing success and popularity of the Labour Party is living proof of that. And for some reason or other people seems to like Batten.
Batten is intelligent but he is by no means exceptional. He is clever but behind it all he is a political lightweight. He would never have made it to the top in any of the mainstream parties. He is a big fish in a little pond. Personally I don’t rate him at all. But in the land of the blind , not to mention the stupid , Batten is king. Anne Marie seems to be concentrating her attention on building up the branches which is the right thing to do and she seems to be doing it very well but she is letting others take the initiative and often in a very public way as we all saw in Lewisham East and as we saw today. Anne Marie is very effective when she goes on the attack and she needs to meet the challange that Batten presents head on.