NIGEL Farage is the cold sore of British politics, nasty, unpleasant, and every time you think you've got rid of it, it comes back.

On Monday Farage made an "emergency general election announcement", the emergency presumably being that he felt he wasn't being given sufficient attention.

Despite having previously asserted, as recently as a few days ago, that he wasn't going to stand as an MP in this election.

He told the press that he was taking over as the leader of the Reform Party Ltd, the private company that doubles up as Farage's political vanity vehicle, and he'd be standing as a candidate in the constituency of Clacton, where almost 70% voted to leave the EU in 2016, one of the highest leave votes anywhere in the UK.

READ MORE: Nigel Farage hit with milkshake as he launches election campaign

Asked by the press why he'd U-turned, Farage replied that people are "allowed to change their minds" - except, it seems, when it comes to Scottish independence or Brexit.

Farage has effectively declared war on the Tory party, saying that the Tory brand is "ruined" and saying that he felt "betrayed" by the Conservative party. He added: "I don’t want to join the Conservative party. I think the better thing to do would be to take it over."

He revealed that his plan is to engineer a "reverse takeover" of the Conservative party, and said there were "no circumstances whatsoever" in which he would agree to an electoral pact with the Tories.

Senior Tories fear that other Conservative MPs could defect to Reform before the close of nominations on Friday.

Farage's plan is to take over the Conservatives and drive it even further to the right. He has conceded that next month's election is already lost to Labour, but he is playing a longer game.

Farage seeks to transform the Conservatives into a far-right authoritarian nationalist party in the mould of Fidesz in Hungary, Poland's Truth and Justice Party, or Trump's MAGA Republicans.

That is something which should concern us all, even - indeed especially - in Scotland where the great majority are immune to his shtick.

Farage may have failed seven times to get himself elected to the Commons and may very well fail on his eighth attempt, but he has been very successful in pushing British politics further and further to the right.

He is not done yet. After this election, the bruised and battered remnants of the Tories will be ripe for takeover by the far-right English nationalists that Farage represents.

The Tories are likely to be out of power for several years, but they will inevitably return one day and will again form the British Government.

When they do, they could very well be a far-right authoritarian English nationalist party led by Farage (below), a party which will not tolerate any political expression of Scottish independence, and which will transform the UK into a unitary Greater England.

The National: Nigel Farage announces his candidacy in the general election

In 2014 Better Together scoffed at the prospect of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and rejected the possibility of Brexit, look what happened.

They smugly told us that it was only by being a part of the UK that Scotland was protected from political extremism.

But now we see that it's because Scotland is a part of the UK that it is endangered by the political extremism of authoritarian, racist, hard-right English nationalism.

The other big danger is the effect that the Faragification of British politics has on the Labour Party, as Labour tacks further and further to the right to shore up its vote in the English regions.

Starmer has already transformed Labour into a centre-right party unrecognisable from the original socialist founders of the Labour Party.

That rightward drift will only intensify in the coming years.

Yet more evidence of the rightwards drift of the Labour Party has come to light as the party's deputy leader Angela Rayner (below) has supported her boss's policy of a "triple lock" on the Trident missile programme and commitments to build four new nuclear submarines and maintain the existing fleet.

The National: Angela Rayner speaks in Greenock last week

However, in 2016 when the Commons voted to renew Trident which Rayner had opposed, she tweeted: "Thanks for the tremendous support on my position over Trident, amazed we can find money for this but we steal £30 a week off disabled people."

Starmer can find the money for Trident and for building four new nuclear submarines as part of the Trident programme, but he tells us that there's no money available to abolish the heinous two-child cap on benefits or to abolish tuition fees for university students in England.

Just this week Rayner claimed that she had not changed her mind since the 2016 vote, yet Starmer has claimed that said that his entire shadow Cabinet, including Rayner, is committed to his pro-Trident policy.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer unveils Labour's Trident 'triple lock' commitment

She's not "amazed" by stealing £30 a week off disabled people to fund Trident when it's Labour doing the stealing.

Brendan O'Hara, the SNP candidate in Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber, said: "Labour politicians who once held principled stances on Trident have been corrupted by a whiff of power – only the SNP will oppose wasteful spending on weapons of mass destruction and put Scotland's interests first.

"Angela Rayner and David Lammy both rightly attacked the UK government for renewing Trident – but are now preparing to hand over a blank cheque to Sir Keir Starmer to impose austerity on the public while prioritising nuclear missiles."

As Chris McEleny, Alba's general secretary and Inverclyde candidate noted: "Keir Starmer has made it clear that a vote for Labour is a vote to have the best-defended food banks in the world.

"Angela Rayner isn’t the first and she won’t be the last Labour politician to sell out their anti-Trident principles in exchange for a ministerial car.

"Scotland should leave them to it and if Rayner is so desperate to house weapons of mass destruction she should make the case for the Manchester Canal to be widened and extended to Oldham in her constituency so the submarines can float there via the Mersey."

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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