YESTERDAY, Nigel Farage launched his new Brexit Party. As he did so he declared: “We can again start to put the fear of God into our MPs – they deserve nothing less after the way they have treated us.”

In a week that has seen MPs speak about the death threats and intimidation they have been subjected to, it was no surprise to see Farage add fuel to the fire in his first speech as leader of the newly formed party. The Brexit Party are planning to stand in every region in the upcoming European Parliament elections and have secured Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister – Annunziata Rees-Mogg – as a candidate.

Farage is seeking to hoover up the votes of disillusioned Leave voters, for whom even Theresa May isn’t hardline enough. Various Tory MPs, including Bernard Jenkin, responded to the fanfare around the Brexit Party by acknowledging that the Conservatives are likely to lose support to them.

READ MORE: Farage vows to 'change politics' – as Brexit Party web domain is hijacked

The mere fact that Nigel Farage, with his questionable alliances and casual bigotry, can still command all the publicity he craves – and has managed to become one of the most recognisable politicians in the country while doing nothing more than posing for photos with a pint of beer – should be a wake-up call to us all. He is a monster of both the media and Westminster’s own creation. Through a desire for ratings and sharable content, this loutish loudmouth has been given a credibility that his intellect and electoral failures should never have allowed.

Over many years, we have watched this millionaire former banker, and friend of Donald Trump, style himself as a man of the people. His anti-establishment guise is flimsy, but we’ve become so used to the deception that it’s now rarely pointed out during any of his many television appearances.

He is a walking contradiction as he rails against the European Parliament and its gravy train, all while sooking up every penny from it that he can. Of course he is going to stand in the EU elections – why wouldn’t he? His numerous attempts to get elected for Westminster have been futile and Brexit is his big-money ticket. Pre-launch, the Brexit Party had already raised £750,000 in online donations.

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It seems a long time ago that the policies of the BNP were being rightly condemned by politicians from across the political spectrum. But we’ve built up a tolerance for intolerance and bigotry since then – so much so that we don’t even call it “bigotry” or “racism” anymore. It has been rebranded as “genuine concerns over immigration” and “defence of free speech”. Farage has responded to critics who have predicted the new party will become a mirror-image of Ukip by saying the party wouldn’t “even be discussing Islam”. Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate have said they are watching The Brexit party and Nigel Farage “very, very closely”. Why? Because he’s got form.

Farage became mainstream when Westminster politicians realised that blaming immigrants for their own policy failures was an easy way out. What better way to defend the inhumane cruelty of austerity and the assault on our social security system than to make a scapegoat out of people who weren’t born here?

There’s no more effective way to legitimise a fringe figure like Farage and boost his chances of making a success of his new political endeavour than to spend years agreeing with so much of what he has to say.

The way Scotland’s political parties approach immigration is vastly different to their Westminster counterparts. That isn’t simply because Scotland desperately needs immigration and nor is it because Scotland is a racism-free country.

There was a stooshie recently over the #LoveScotland video that went viral online. It had a pro-immigration message that said “this beautiful country is open to you”.

Some criticised the video for showing a rose-tinted version of Scotland. Aside from the fact that videos that are marketing a country

as a good place to visit, live and work are generally positive – its welcoming message is needed now more than ever.

We have seen what happens when the conversation around immigration resolves solely around the “genuine concerns” that people may have. Having a pro-immigration parliament and a media which spends far less time on anti-immigration scare stories than those south of the Border doesn’t end hate crimes, racism and intolerance, but it sends a signal from the top that inevitably has an impact on wider society.

When Nicola Sturgeon says “this is your home and we want you to stay”, she isn’t pretending that, uniquely in the world, Scotland has eradicated the scourge of intolerance. She is using her platform to lead by example.

As both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn reaffirm their commitment to ending free movement, Farage and his followers are gearing up to fight the EU parliamentary elections on the same ticket. They shouldn’t be surprised to lose votes to him because – to differing extents – they both helped create him.