The Xenophobe.

Xenophobe.Portrait of the United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage.

On the 7th of May, voters in the UK will choose their next Prime Minister in the 2015 General Election. One trusts that the British public will have the presence of mind not to choose this man, who has poisoned the debate by blaming all the country’s ills on immigrants. UKIP is a party permeated by xenophobia, and their backward looking politics threaten to polarize and isolate the UK—a country populated by waves of immigration since prehistoric times.

Media: Ink, and acrylic.

32 thoughts on “The Xenophobe.

  1. I love this! Gorgeous linework. It reminds me of an Egon Schiele painting (and I never realized before how much Farage kind of looks like a Schiele painting come to life, so thanks for that).

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I used thick sticky ink, and a dried up old brush pen, which gave a rich texture to the line. Yes, you could describe Farage as a living caricature, and many of Schiele’s portraits border on caricature—so I certainly see your point :-D Best, Russell.

  2. Fab drawing. Unfortunately he picked up so many working class votes that it may have cost the Labour Party the election. Left wing parties have been complacent. They need to listen to people’s fears and offer reassurance and credible solutions. Otherwise they leave the door open to extremists.

  3. I totally agree with you on UKIP and parties like it such as the PVV in the Netherlands. However, I feel that we on the left (including myself), need to come up with a better response to immigration and the problems that many working class people have to the changes that come with it, that isn’t just a compromise of letting in fewer people or a “high and mighty” argument along the lines of “everyone has a right to flee from terror and we should welcome them as victims and survivors”, although I do very much agree that everyone has a right to flee from terror. Maybe looking into how local (very local as in neighbourhood, block or city) culture has changed over the past decades. Maybe the approachability people felt towards each other went down because of the immigrants but also because of people interacting less with each other because of technology, and break down of community institutions such as the church, not saying I dislike secularisation, just that in this case it combines with other factors to decrease the amount of interaction neighbours and communities have with each other and might be one of the causes for a problem.

    • Yes, what could that better response be? In an ever shrinking world tighter control, raising barriers, barricading the door, seem an unsustainable solution to me. Technology is a double edged sword, I’ve seen parents ignore their children, and vice versa, staring blankly into their ‘smartphones’, and yet that same technology enables you and me to freely converse regardless of our geography. That’s a sound point you raised about the importance of community. If we could somehow foster our sense of community, understand that we live in a global community—we could all get along.

      • I’m still not one hundred percent sure about it, but I think it starts at with carefully looking at why people don’t like immigrants, besides the right wing rhetoric. Looking into the problems that are made worse, and finding solutions for those, and perhaps also trying to muster a kind of togetherness in diversity, by seeing and celebrating the rich cultural traditions of all our social groups. But of course none of this is new, and I always have this idea I’m overlooking something when thinking about immigration problems…

      • I sometimes wonder if it’s just a flaw in the human psyche, in spite of our technology we ourselves struggle to evolve, neanderthal aggression stirs beneath the mask of a sentient being, and drives everything :-/ Maybe that’s what we’re overlooking—hope not…

      • I too hope that the thing we’re overlooking isn’t a flaw in the human psyche. And I think that part of the aggression towards immigrants can be explained by the tension there exists in the manner in which we (or at least in the Netherlands) tried to do integration and the idea of the nation state. The way in which we in the Netherlands tried to do integration was very much in the way of multiculturalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism ). Allowing people to keep their own culture and creating accommodations for the traditions of their culture. Although I very much like this kind of integration, there does exist a tension between that, and the idea of the nation state, that creates buy in for redistribution and cooperation because it deals with traditionally one, or few cultures that are related to each other. This created buy in because people could more easily see each other as brethren, and saw each other as part of one people, having a large diversity of cultures can erode that buy in into the state, and the redistribution and cooperation it provides. I hope we can re-establish that buy in into cooperation and redistribution by like you said trying to make people realize we are part of one global community, but I fear that will be an extremely difficult thing to achieve, so I’m very glad there still exists some buy in to the idea that the people inside our nation are one people that should help eachother, although I would preffer a global community of cooperation.

  4. WOW its great to know more about what’s going on in the UK. I’m actually going there during the summer months. But I am just so curious, do you draw all of these pictures yourself ?!?

    • Glad to enlighten you a little ;-) Yes, every single one of these drawings are by my own hand—there’s at least 4 years worth of work here I think. Have a great trip, the UK has a lot to offer, it’s not all doom and gloom. Best, Russell.

  5. I live in a city–Milwaukee, WI–which was founded by a strong socialist presence and some of the leading labor unions, today however, the political climate has drastically shifted to one of extreme racism, xenophobia, and asymmetrical labor power structures.

    • Thank you for writing bradfiore. I’m saddened to hear about what’s going on in your city. It’s a worrying trend that seems to be on the rise both sides of the Atlantic. Thankfully in this case, the election didn’t go so well for UKIP, and as a result their political influence will be limited. I hope things turn around in Wisconsin—hang on in there! Best, Russell.

  6. Terrific – and (along with comments), an entertaining way to learn about British politics…you know us Yanks (no idea what’s going on with the rest of the world!)

    • Thanks Roy, turns out Farage didn’t do so well in the election, and might resign as party leader. Common sense prevailed it seems :-D Thanks for commenting, and showing an interest . Best, Russell.

    • Do you know I’m not sure :-/ It’s probably too late to register though. Have you made up your mind? —not an easy task with all the dubious promises being made. Hope you are doing great, Russell. P.S. It’s none of my business who you’re voting for, keep it to yourself ;-)

      • Heheh of course i have made up my mind Russell, i am not a jelly fish floating… This election is very exciting – what will happen? Scandinavian style haggling or 5 more years of D.Cameron? Thank god we live in a free country. Luv & best wishes to you on the frontier ;)

      • Well, I have you down as a Redfish Jo (with green gills perhaps), and definitely not a Ukipper ;-) Yes, it’s anybody’s race it seems—I’ll probably stay up for vote counting. Take care, Russell.

    • Thanks fromsomewherewithlovex. In spite of my best efforts I could not get this one into print, all you can do is keep slogging away… Best regards, Russell.

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