The most surprising news of today is the resignation of Nigel Farage — the man who, 20 years ago, encapsulated the growing fears about the large number of migrants coming into the country. Now that the Referendum has found in favour of leaving the EU and stopping wholesale immigration, he is resigning as leader from the party he founded, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
It is a double surprise because he says that he is also leaving politics altogether — he, probably the most effective public speaker in the country, whom even the prime minister couldn’t face in debate.
What he should have founded instead, was an Englush Independence Party because the United Kingdom hardly exists any longer on its own account, no matter how many times politicians mouth the words. Scotland is getting close to complete independence, Wales is moving more slowly that way and Northern Ireland — a governmental anomaly if there ever was one — will have to join with its natural neighbour, Ireland, sooner or later.
But the most significant devolution of all is the increasing separation between London and the rest of England. Culturally, economically, scientifically, a promoter of new services and as one of the new city-states taking shape in the globalized world, London is not really English any longer.
There was a premature attempt at city-states about 200 years ago with several ‘Free cities’, including London, dotted about northern Europe, but their full development was waylaid by the advent of the artillery regiment. Free cities couldn’t afford them independently, so artillery warfare was taken over by larger regions with railways — what became the modern, but now ailing, nation-states.
Anyway, Farage is now resigning from political activity in order to ‘live an ordinary life’ again. We can’t blame him. If he’d found an English Independence Party then there’d have been another 20 or 30 years of intense activity ahead of him. He can be spared that.