The UK Independence Party (UKIP): Background information when reading The Constant Rabbit

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Constant Rabbit

by Jasper Fforde

The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde X
The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2020, 320 pages

    Sep 2021, 320 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Daniela Schofield
Buy This Book

About this Book

The UK Independence Party (UKIP)

This article relates to The Constant Rabbit

Print Review

Anti-UKIP protest in Edinburgh, 2014 Jasper Fforde's novel The Constant Rabbit is a not-so-thinly-veiled allegory of racism and xenophobia that takes place in an alternate version of the United Kingdom. The governing party in the book is the UK Anti-Rabbit Party (UKARP), led by Nigel Smethwick, who seems to be based on Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). While the novel is absurd and fantastical in its depiction of discrimination against anthropomorphic rabbits, it also references the rise of right-wing politics in the UK in recent years.

UKIP was born out of the Anti-Federalist League, formed as a campaign to oppose the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union (EU) and promoted European integration, including EU citizenship for citizens of member states and a central banking system with the Euro as a common currency. It was signed by the 12 then-member states in 1992, including the UK. Opposition to European integration, also known as Euroskepticism, catalyzed the official formation of UKIP in 1993.

From its inception, UKIP sought to promote a populist libertarian agenda aimed at the UK withdrawing from the EU. The party first stood in an election in 1997, where they received only about 1 percent of the vote. However, they gathered support in coming years, and won three seats in the 1999 European Parliament elections. Throughout the early 2000s, UKIP continued to gain momentum while espousing powerful anti-immigration rhetoric and increased their presence in both local elections and Parliament, attaining representation in the House of Commons in 2014.

In mid-2016, the UK's membership in the EU was put to a vote in a referendum called for by Prime Minister David Cameron (who was in favor of the country remaining in the EU but under pressure to let the public vote on the issue). In the years leading up to the referendum, Euroskepticism and anti-immigrant sentiment were fueled by UKIP and other far-right groups such as the English Defence League. The June 2016 vote resulted in a narrow victory for the "Leave" campaign, with 51.9 percent of voters favoring exiting the EU and 48.1 percent voting to remain. This result led to Cameron's resignation. Subsequent UK Prime Ministers have grappled with withdrawal — or "Brexit" — negotiations for the past four years.

In July 2016, following the result to leave the EU, Farage stepped down as UKIP leader, stating, "My political ambition has been achieved." Since the referendum, support for UKIP has declined, and one of its founding members has called for its dissolution. However, the legacy of its far-right rhetoric is prominent in British politics and debates around immigration, inclusion and racism. In April 2019, Farage established a new party, the Brexit Party, to pursue his EU withdrawal agenda.

Anti-UKIP protest at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange on Friday, May 10, 2014.
Credit: Brian McNeil
[brian [dot] mcneil @ wikinewsie [dot] org] (CC BY 3.0)

Filed under Society and Politics

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Constant Rabbit. It originally ran in November 2020 and has been updated for the September 2021 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Daughter in Exile
    Daughter in Exile
    by Bisi Adjapon
    In Bisi Adjapon's Daughter in Exile, main character Lola is a Ghanaian who lands in New York City in...
  • Book Jacket
    The Correspondents
    by Judith Mackrell
    In the introduction to The Correspondents, author Judith Mackrell points out that although there had...
  • Book Jacket: Exiles
    by Jane Harper
    Our First Impressions readers were thrilled to return to the world of Jane Harper's protagonist ...
  • Book Jacket: Spice Road
    Spice Road
    by Maiya Ibrahim
    Imani is a Shield, a warrior who is renowned for her fighting abilities and for her iron dagger, ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Nurse's Secret
by Amanda Skenandore
A fascinating historical novel based on the little-known story of America's first nursing school.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Russian Doll
    by Kristen Loesch

    A haunting epic of betrayal, revenge, and redemption following three generations of Russian women.

  • Book Jacket

    The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise
    by Colleen Oakley

    A “wildly surprising, entertaining ride of a novel.”
    —Jodi Picoult

Win This Book
Win Last House Before the Mountain

Last House Before the Mountain by Monika Helfer

A spellbinding, internationally bestselling family saga set in a fractured rural village in WWI Austria.



Solve this clue:

R Peter T P P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.