Nigel Farage ridiculed for expressing shock white supremacists made Nazi salutes in Virginia

'You and Trump spread hate and fear, demonise minorities and claim false patriotism, then take no responsibility for your actions,' says critic

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 13 August 2017 15:17 BST
White supremacists clash with anti-fascist campaigners ahead of Virginia rally

​Nigel Farage has been fiercely ridiculed for expressing dismay neo-Nazi’s who engaged in violent clashes with anti-fascists in Charlottesville were making Nazi salutes.

Chaos rocked the streets of the Virginia city after neo-Nazis, skinheads, and members of the Ku Klux Klan assembled for a white nationalist rally carrying flaming torches, clutching assault rifles and wearing paramilitary clothing.

Tensions with hundreds of counter-protesters quickly descended into street clashes with rocks and pepper spray before things turned deadly. A 32-year-old woman was killed after a car was driven at speed into a group of anti-fascist protesters and two policemen died in a helicopter crash while trying to restore peace to the area.

The former Ukip leader has now sparked outrage and been widely mocked for weighing in on the largest gathering of white nationalists in decades.

Mr Farage, who has close ties with President Donald Trump, tweeted: “Cannot believe we're seeing Nazi salutes in 21st century America”.

Critics were quick to hound the politician and drew comparisons with him and the US President. They argued Mr Farage's relentless campaigning for the Brexit vote had fostered a similar although not synonymous climate of hate and xenophobia in the UK to that which President Trump has fanned the flames of with his own inflammatory, divisive rhetoric in the US.

“Yeah its not like anyone has been lying to idiots in an attempt to radicalise them into faux nationalism to promote bigoted agendas,” said comedy writer Technically Ron.

“You and Trump spread hate and fear, demonise minorities and claim false patriotism, then take no responsibility for your actions. There are consequences to your bigoted rhetoric Nige, act like a f***ing human being for a change and take a bloody look at yourself.”

Tom Coates responded to Farage’s apparent disbelief of the Nazi salutes by saying: “I can. You know why? Because I understand that nationalists that build their campaigns on fear of foreigners incite racial hatred. Because I know that when a politician plays to prejudice to further their agenda they give fuel to Nazis.”

In the hours since his comment about Nazi salutes, Mr Farage has applauded Mr Trump's speech about Charlottesville in which the president refused to explicitly condemn white supremacy. He has also promoted the editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London’s book about “no-go zones” and “how sharia law is coming to a neighbourhood near you” in which he has written the foreward.

This is by no means the first time Mr Farage has weighed in on terrorist attacks in there immediate aftermath. In March, he suggested support for multiculturalism was to blame for the Westminster attack and claimed the political support for multiculturalism had created a "fifth column" of terror supporters in Western societies.

Mr Farage argued this was the fault of former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, claiming his government ordered “search parties” to track down immigrants from around the world to bring to the UK. He also failed to mention the fact many of the victims of the attack were in fact foreigners themselves.

The politician, a Fox News contributor, has got increasingly involved in US politics since Britain voted to leave the European Union and he resigned as Ukip leader, announcing he had achieved his political ambition and wanted his life back.

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