There are so many reasons why having Nigel Farage as an MP would be toxic for South Thanet, my home, and not just because of his politics.
In a constituency with the highest levels of unemployment in the South-east and the highest level of deprivation in the Kent districts, it is clear why Ukip and its pledge to get back British jobs for British people is appealing. But to this 18-year-old with a keen interest in politics, I believe it would be a negative outcome.
South Thanet does not need a person who prides himself on his drinking in pubs but someone who can change the outlook of local people, defusing their hostilities towards Romanians and other immigrants.
It seems as if the main problem isn't so much Farage but that the people from my area feel as if the only party which could represent them is one of intolerance and prejudice; that they are stuck in a mindset which says the only reason they are unemployed is because non-British people have taken all the jobs. However, in verbalising these thoughts, Farage is strengthening these fears and causing them to increase.
Mild racists preaching views of inequality – if this is truly where politics and Britain are headed, then I fear for the future. I fear that our country, after coming so far in terms of equality, will end up socially backwards; that there will be a furthering of political disenchantment, something we cannot afford to let happen. Ukip's future could impact on mine.
I intend to study politics at university, so, before the European elections, when Farage held a rally in Margate, my friend and I went to hear what he had to say, away from the media spotlight. Naively, we believed that it would be an open meeting and that other non-Ukippers would have come to hear him, but we seemed to be the only two there.
Surrounded by mainly middle-aged, white men and a few women, we felt out of place. But we became even more uncomfortable when Farage finally took to the stage. The standing ovations were so unsettling that we wanted the floor to open up and swallow us. Strangely, his racist remark about not wanting to live next door to Romanians, which he had publicly explained away as being down to "tiredness", was repeated during the rally, eliciting another ovation.
Despite our unease, it was hard to look away: Nigel Farage's ability as a public speaker is incredible. There was something very 1930s about it all. This man's every sentence had his audience wrapped around his little finger. He seemed to be indoctrinating them with every word.
The more platforms Farage is given on which to display this rhetoric and warped charisma, the more those who feel disenfranchised and silenced will support him; and the more fear will be caused. I fervently hope Thanet doesn't become a Ukip seat.Reuse content