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Farage has destroyed the Tories, and presented Labour as his gift to Southend and the country

Nigel Farage has single-handedly smashed up the Conservative Party. Regardless of just how bad the national Tories have behaved over recent years, they would still be in or close to power today were it not for the hypnosis he has had over millions of voters across the UK.


In Southend West in 2019, Labour’s Aston Line secured 13,000 votes and lost by almost 14,000 to David Amess.


In 2024, his Labour colleague, David Burton-Sampson, in the same seat, won 16,000 votes, but this time beat Anna Firth by around 2,000. The difference: only the 8,000 or so votes Reform picked up!



The same was true in Southend East. Labour’s Bayo Alaba picked up only 700 more votes than Labour secured in 2019, but was the victor after the non-existent and disowned Reform candidate picked up over 7,000 votes without even stepping foot in Southend.


Whilst I wholeheartedly congratulate our new Labour MPs to Southend and believe they will give our city their best, they are probably aware that their success was largely down to Farage.


Yes, they worked very hard in their respective campaigns and are good intentioned people having met them, but if ever Reform went, they would go with him - it is as simple as that.


Their opportunity is to show Southend what they can do and really build on the Labour vote in their own right.


My feeling, however, is if Farage and the debris of the Tory Party find some way to unite the right, even if David and Bayo personally escorted every last toilet paper and wet wipe out of the Thames Estuary; quadrupled capacity in Southend Hospital; fixed every pothole with their bare hands; personally mowed our overgrown grass verges and emptied our bins; put every drug dealer behind bars; turned Southend High Street into an entrepreneurial mecca; and masterminded Southend United to be crowned Premier League champions, they would still get the boot.


The reality is their vote barely moved from when Corbyn was in charge, and add up the Tory and Reform vote and it speaks for itself.


Whether good or bad, Farage did this, not Starmer.



The Great Reform


If the 2019 General Election was about Brexit, this was about the right wing implosion.


Whilst I have full respect for anyone that chooses to buy into Farage and do not begrudge or mock them for a second, I do have deep reservations about their leader.


Whether you agree with his polices or not, and I do like a number of them, the way in which he, in the snap of his fingers, installed himself as the leader and landed himself in Clacton as the parliamentary candidate, shoving the incumbent aside, would in any other party be tantamount to a coup.


If we thought Sunak’s undemocratic installation as the Prime Minister was bad, this was on a whole other level.


Yet, it’s ok for him. Not only did he get away with it unnoticed, he was lauded for it.



Internal Party Politics


The way a party runs internally I believe manifests itself in the outside world.


The Tories are in total disarray, ergo, the country is in chaos.


Labour are a collective dictatorship and this will pervade itself as an over-bearing nanny state where we cannot be trusted with our money. This is not to offend anyone in the party, but independent thinking in my experience was not encouraged. I’m sure many in Labour would dispute this!


Reform make the rules up as they go along and they will find a way to push against anything or anyone that gets in their way. Farage strikes me as an entrepreneurial, break a few eggs, politician.


For many, this will be seen as refreshing - let them tear through the bureaucracy and civil servants holding the country back. Democracy slows the process down anyway and we need a good clear out.


However, the old cliche ‘be careful what you wish for’ springs to mind. Make no mistake, Reform, under Farage, is a dictatorship, we just can’t see it yet because he is so mesmerising in comparison to all the other leaders.



Dictatorships and democracy


Not that dictatorships are fundamentally wrong in of themselves.


It is quite possible that one person knows how to make all the right decisions all of the time and that same one person will not succumb to the temptation of corruption. But I have my doubts.


It is all so tempting to believe that we, ourselves, know all the answers - that discussion and debate is hardly worth it.


As a leader of a political party myself, albeit a fledgling one, there are times where our super-democratic system can frustrate me.


Our boycott of the Southend West Hustings due to our relegation into the not worth thinking about category caused immense discord, and there was a small part of me that simply wanted to make my own decision.


But I can tell you any time I do get voted down, upon reflection, it was worth it. Had I been slapdash and dictatorial over the short period of our existence there probably would have been some disastrous decisions on our hands! No, I love democracy more than ever and it really works well if done right.



Our group disagree all the time, but the reason we all get along is because we are secure in the knowledge that we have the power of veto.


There is no need for aggression or indignation because even if the policy doesn’t become party policy, we are still free to express ourselves and vote as we wish.


It is fair and it is democratic.


Reform Conservatives


Farage, on the other hand, will do whatever he wants regardless of what others in his party thinks, and he certainly couldn’t care less about what those outside the party think. It probably galvanises him.


He will be invigorated and energised with the election result and his first speech will see bombastic, justified and unfettered smugness, besieging the Tory’s failure. And he will go straight after Starmer’s throat to prove what effective opposition looks like.


For those in the gallery, this will be a boon. It will earn him ever more devotees who will salivate for more, and that’s where the trouble for the Tories really will come in.


They cannot control Farage. If there was another election tomorrow I believe Reform would beat the Tories quite easily. Those Tory voters who believed a Reform vote would mean a Labour government, now know a vote for Reform would have done the job.


It means the Tories need to do a deal pretty soonish or there really will be a problem, and inconceivably, if there is a coupling of the parties it will be on his terms - that despite the fact that he only has 4 seats!



Rules


For all that the Conservative Party have become, they still played within the technical rules of democracy. Farage will not. His behaviour at the European Parliament, however amusing and arguably justifiable, displayed his overt contempt. Disruption and disorder were the name of the game and he won. He single-handedly got us out of Europe, and defeating the Tories will not be difficult for him.


If he takes charge of the right in a few years time - call it ‘Reform Conservatives’ if you will, it will essentially become socialism versus nationalism - something we haven’t seen for a while.


I don’t say any of this as a slight to Reform voters - I understand why he is popular. My observation is only about Farage and his behaviour toward democracy.


Tribute


Turning to the election, I would like to pay tribute to all the candidates and supporters of all parties, Anna Firth in particular as the standing MP. Like her or not, I really felt she tried her best for Southend and put many a long shift in for our City.


I repeat my warm welcome to our new MPs, I wish them the best of luck and look forward to working with them.


I thank the whole of the Confelicity team for their incredible efforts. Our goal was to spread awareness about our party and I believe we are more known than yesterday.


A local party for the national stage will return to a local party for the local stage, and we look forward to the 2026 local elections where all 51 councillors are up.




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