I thought by this time, with mid-April almost upon us, I’d be sick to death of Nigel Farage. Yet I haven’t actually seen or heard much from him of late. Perhaps he’s finally got the message that his brand of pub wisdom popping up everywhere isn’t that great for the Leave side’s chances, but I severely doubt it. Perhaps the EU Out campaign wasn’t the chance to massage his ego he thought it was going to be, so he’s thinking about other things. Given he’s obsessed with the European Union and there’s the referendum he’s been going on and on and on about for years and years and years less than eleven weeks away, that’s kind of strange.
But hey, UKIP are strange. Collecting almost 4 million votes at the general election, they were done over by First Past the Post, as some of us predicted beforehand (still proud of this one, Eastleigh and Thurrock aside). They still get around 15-17% in national polls, and yet, compared with 2014 in particular, it’s like they’ve disappeared. Then along comes some Farage gold to cheer us all up in these bleak times.
Nigel spoke at the launch of UKIP’s Scottish manifesto in Edinburgh yesterday. I seriously don’t understand why UKIP bother with Scotland. They are essentially an English nationalist party and they should just figure that out once and for all and run with it. There are a swathe of seats in the north of England they could aim for in the Time of Corbyn, if they were thinking right. Instead, Farage gives us this nugget to remember:
“Ukip getting a breakthrough into Holyrood actually will have quite a transformative effect on the six weeks that follow afterwards when we have the referendum debate on its own. I still firmly believe that once we have a proper debate in Scotland about what membership of the European Union actually means for the United Kingdom and for Scotland, I actually think there is a really quite interesting segment of the SNP vote that could in that referendum vote for us to leave.”
Bless. To be fair here, UKIP do have one Scottish MEP – their only elected official on north of the border. But the idea that they’ll break through to a large enough portion of the Scottish electorate to have any real impact, all while running on a platform of bringing back smoking in pubs and letting drunks drive, is political amateurism of the kind we’ve come to expect and love of the United Kingdom Independence Party. There was a time when I wondered why Tories like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Daniel Hannan didn’t just join UKIP. I never think that anymore.
Oh, I kind of miss UKIP and their fuck-up-ery – is that wrong of me? Yes, it is, I should be ashamed. But I just can’t help it. I’m actually still praying that Nigel is just saving up his good stuff on Europe for the final stretch; those weeks in May and June when Farage will tell us that the EU want to dump AIDS-infected blood from airplanes onto Birmingham and Leeds and give it to us again that the difference between Romanians and Germans as neighbors is self-evident to everyone (“You know what I mean…”). Please tell me this shower of Conservative Party management issues that has involved the most boring debate this country has had since the Alternative Vote hasn’t all been in vain, Nigel.