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Archive for the ‘Nigel FARNDALE’ Category

#0196* – Nigel FARNDALE Writes 3,200+ Words On Nigel FARAGE’s UKIP: Floccipaucinihilipilification

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 19/11/2010

#0196* – Nigel FARNDALE Writes 3,200+ Words On Nigel FARAGE’s UKIP: Floccipaucinihilipilification!
Clean EUkip up NOW make UKIP electable! 
The corruption of EUkip’s leadership, 
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC 
is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!
Nigel FARNDALE Writes 3,200+ Words On Nigel FARAGE’s UKIP Floccipaucinihilipilification!
The study of nothingness proves an irrelevancy!
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It is quite astonishing that a consumate journalist like Nigel Fandale can write an essay of over 3,200 words about ANY individual and display just how clearly he perceives the subject of his essay as vacuous, and of no gravitas or visible competence beyond that of a self centered, self serving, dishonourable empty vessel.

To be fair Farndale does find Farage sociable – going on to portray him as little but a fool.

In an essay of this length in a broadsheet one would expect some revelation of values, vision, aim – even perhaps some thanks or inclusion of praise of his team – it is necessary to keep reminding oneself that the essay is about a supposedly leading politician on an income or at very least cost to the tax payer of over £1Million a year – yet the article portrays nigel Farage as of no greater worth to his party, our Country or the body politic than some footballer’s WAG.

Do read the article for yourself and draw your own conclusions:

Nigel Farage: born to rant

He’s compared a fellow politician to a ‘damp rag’, had an extra-marital fling – and survived a plane crash. How facing death has softened the UKIP leader – a little…

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, photographed in 2010 Photo: Spencer Murphy
Even Nigel Farage’s enemies, of which he has an impressive collection, would have to admit that he has the recognition factor. Whether he is appearing on Have I Got News For You or becoming a YouTube hit after abusing the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, telling him that he has ‘the charisma of a damp rag’, among other ripe comments, the 46-year-old UK Independence Party MEP knows how to get noticed.
Farage being pulled from the wreckage  by UKIP PR man Duncan Barkes and a passerby

Nigel Farage being pulled from the wreckage by UKIP PR man Duncan Barkes and a passerby
Sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons, such as when he had an extramarital fling, or claimed £2million worth of EU expenses over 10 years ‘to prove a point’, but he seems to take the Wildean view that, for a politician at least, there is only one thing worse than being talked about…

Today he stands out because he is the only man in this country pub in Kent, his local, wearing a silk-lined suit and tie and, generally, looking like a commodity broker, which is what he used to be. (Tin and cocoa.) He has lived here, not far from the Battle of Britain airfield Biggin Hill, all his life.

‘I was christened in that church,’ he says gesturing at the spire outside. ‘You can be rooted, have a sense of where you come from and what your values are, without being parochial.’

His recognisability is one of the reasons why, when Lord Pearson resigned as leader of Ukip in August, all eyes turned to Farage. He had done the job before, resigning last year so that he could concentrate on trying to win a seat in Westminster. Ignoring the convention that the Speaker is normally returned unopposed, Farage stood against John Bercow and lost.
‘The one thing I couldn’t know was whether Cameron would endorse him,’ he says with elongated vowels that are a little like those of Frankie Howerd. ‘I thought he wouldn’t. I was wrong. I take chances. I rush into things. But I don’t regret things.’
Last week Farage was re-elected as leader of Ukip. His message to his troops, he says, is that they need to be more disciplined and better funded. Intriguingly, he compares Ukip to the Tea Party. ‘We’re not religious like they are and we’re not affiliated to the equivalent of the Republican Party, but in terms of the howls we hear from people who feel outraged that their voice is not being heard in Westminster, there is a comparison.’

Though Farage can rarely be accused of avoiding confrontation, he did brood long and hard over whether or not to stand as leader. ‘The internal squabbling can be very tiresome,’ he says. ‘But so many young people have told me I was the reason they joined the party that I feel it is my duty. But the main consideration, the reason I hesitated, was that I am still recovering from a pretty major accident.’

The qualifying ‘pretty’ doesn’t give quite the whole picture. On the day of the General Election in May, Farage even managed to upstage David Cameron when the two-seater plane he was flying in got tangled in the Ukip banner it was trailing and crashed shortly after take-off from an airfield in Northamptonshire.

Does he get flashbacks? ‘Sometimes.’ Trouble sleeping? ‘Never slept before, so that’s OK. It does come back to me occasionally. It wasn’t a good position to be in.’ He had a relatively long time to contemplate his fate that day. ‘I had about four or five minutes of staring death in the face. You almost adopt the 1916 subaltern mentality: if it’s going to happen, let’s get it over with quickly.

‘When the pilot said to me: “Nigel, this is an emergency”, I knew exactly what that meant. I could see the sweat on his temples and I could see him fighting to keep control. He said to me a couple of weeks afterwards that I had been very calm, but what else was I supposed to do? I reasoned that he didn’t want to die any more than I did, so if I was panicking or making calls on my mobile that would just make the difficult job the pilot had harder.’

If he had called someone it would have been his wife presumably? ‘Presumably, yes,’ he says with a laugh.
For all his epic rudeness on the political stage, Farage, in person, is a cheerful soul who laughs a lot and has a toothy cartoonish smile. He has something that he claims Van Rompuy lacks: charisma. But he seems to have no self-pity.
He remembers tightening his seat belt as the plane went into a dive. ‘The slowest bit was the time between the nose hitting and the plane rolling over, it must have taken three quarters of a second, yet I remember it vividly, that feeling of time slowing down. I can still hear that noise.

‘Bang! And as we were going over there was a flash of light and I remember thinking with shock: “My God! I’m still alive!”’ Then he realised he was trapped upside down in the wreckage. ‘Horribly disorientating. I could feel my chest was smashed in.’ (Later it emerged that his sternum and ribs were broken, and his lung punctured.) ‘Then I thought, I’m going to burn to death because I was covered in petrol, in my hair, everywhere and that was pretty scary I tell you. When the rescuers came and asked me calmly if I was all right they got an earful of Anglo Saxon!’

A photograph of Farage trapped in the wreckage, and another of him looking bloodied and dazed as he stood up for the first time soon swept the internet. Simon Pegg, star of the spoof zombie movie Shaun of the Dead, was joking, within hours, that there had been a swing to the Zombie Party.

Did that upset Farage? ‘No. I wasn’t bothered about it. Those photos capture the feeling of being smashed. They were quite intrusive though and if I had died there would have been a hell of a row. If I’d snuffed it in the ambulance. But I didn’t die, so there you are.’

Does he feel almost invincible now? ‘Well, I’ve had testicular cancer and been in a big car crash before but that was when I was younger. Look.’ He rolls up his trousers and points to a bulge of bone under the skin on his leg. ‘It was easier to bounce back from that.’ As for the cancer, which led to one of his testicles being removed, he says he doesn’t find it uncomfortable to talk about.

‘In fact, I think the more men avoid talking about it the more dangerous it is. But this plane crash was different. I have to be realistic. The back is really not good. It is hard getting through a long day. I look all right. I’ve lost weight. Got a bit of a suntan, but when I wake up in the morning and try and put my socks on, I am quickly reminded of what happened.’

He says his approach, now that he has been re-elected as leader of Ukip, will be that of the older boxer. ‘I won’t be as fast but I will be able to box cleverer. Mentally, I feel fine, though I dare say there are those who would question what my mental health was like before the accident!’ The raucous laugh again.

One way in which the accident changed him, he says, is that he thinks he is less impulsive now, less bullish. ‘And less ebullient. That has been tempered. I have been thinking about that because I have always been the most ridiculous optimist. When I was in the City I always thought the next trade would be the big one.’

Did he take stock of his life in those four minutes? He nods thoughtfully. ‘I did think, why is this happening to me? Have I been that awful?’

And did he conclude that he has led a good life? He thinks long and hard before answering, which is not typical. He is never normally lost for words, as those who have been on the receiving end of his articulate and often amusing tirades in Brussels know well.

‘I’ve never really set out to hurt anybody either physically or mentally,’ he says eventually. ‘Not really. Never stolen anything. I think I’ve been reasonably honest. Is that leading a good life? You can regret you didn’t do more for your children but, on balance, I think I’ve tried to do what I thought was right. I don’t feel ashamed of the life I have led.’

Broadsheet readers may have missed reading about it, but in 2006, Farage, who has been married twice and has four children, became the target of a tabloid kiss-and-tell when a woman from Latvia claimed she met him in a pub in Biggin Hill and then ended up back at her place having sex ‘at least seven times’.

The revelation led to the joke ‘Ukip if you want to’. So. The extramarital affair?

‘Well, we’re all human. There is a big difference between that sort of thing and being really bad.’ And the expenses scandal? ‘Well, that was nonsense. I was trying to make a point about the Brussels gravy train, but it didn’t work. None of it went to me. Most of it went on my staff, on administration.’

And the accusations of racism? I remind him of David Cameron’s dismissal of Ukip as ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’. ‘Yeah we constantly have to fight against that prejudice. It was a bloody stupid thing for him to say and he’s never repeated it.
‘What he was doing was insulting his own party because most of his members broadly agree with what we are saying about Europe, people like Norman Tebbit, who is very popular within the Tory Party.’

Has Farage ever used the N-word? ‘Not since I was 15, a kid in the playground at school when you were all roundly abusing one another. No, that was a myth put about by Dr Sked [disenchanted Ukip founder Alan Sked].’

The mainstream parties may unite in their attacks on Ukip, ‘the BNP in Blazers’ is one of the insults, but, as Farage notes, much of the abuse directed at the party comes from within. The most spectacular bit of in-fighting was started by Robert Kilroy-Silk after he attempted a coup and then left Ukip in a huff to set up his own party, Veritas.

Kilroy-Silk described Ukip as ‘Right-wing fascist nutters’. Farage, in turn, dismissed Kilroy-Silk as a vain, orange buffoon and a ‘monster’.

At this point in the interview, Farage asks me: ‘We are the same age, how did you find growing up in the Seventies with the initials NF?’ It is my turn to laugh. Yes, I agree, they were unfortunate initials, but growing up in rural Yorkshire they probably didn’t hold as much significance as they would have done for him growing up in south London.

‘Yes, I was very aware of them because I was at school not far from Brixton. [At Dulwich.] During the Brixton Riots the police used our school as their headquarters.’

But let us return to the question about his leading a good life. He has an unusually laddish reputation for a politician. Does he feel this compromises him politically? What, for example, about his professed penchant for lap dancing clubs?
‘Lap dancing? Don’t have the time these days, but I used to go to them. Like it or not, they are a fact of life. You are talking about normal behaviour there. Everyone does it.’

Do they? I never have. ‘Why not?’ Because it’s exploitative, demeaning for both parties and tantamount to prostitution.
‘Prostitution and lap dancing are not the same thing, they can be but not usually.’ But aren’t conservative-minded politicians like him supposed to believe in family values?

‘Yes, but I am also a libertarian. I think prostitution, for instance, should be decriminalised and regulated. I feel that about drugs, too. I don’t do them myself but I think the war on drugs does more harm than the drugs themselves. I am opposed to the hunting ban and the smoking ban, too. What have they got to do with government? The one thing I cannot be accused of is hypocrisy.’

Even though his extreme libertarianism must have frightened the Tory horses, he was, nevertheless, once offered a safe Tory seat. ‘It wouldn’t have worked though, would it? I wouldn’t have lasted a fortnight before having the Tory whip removed. Besides, I think I’ve managed to do more outside the Tory Party than in.’

He did start out as a Tory though. Indeed, being an aspiring Thatcherite he chose not to go down the university route, preferring instead to follow his father into the City and make his fortune. He worked there for almost 20 years before having a political epiphany the night Britain joined the ERM in 1990.

‘I was convinced it was the wrong thing to do.’ Then came the overthrow of Margaret Thatcher. ‘The way those gutless, spineless people got rid of the woman they owed everything to made me so angry. I was a monster fan of Mrs Thatcher. Monster. Hers was the age of aspiration, it wasn’t about class.’

The final straw for him was Maastricht. ‘I really worried. And I realised the views I heard in here, in this pub, weren’t being represented in Westminster. That was when I thought it was time I should enter politics and try to do something about it.’

He insists, though, that he is not a little Englander who is against foreigners per se, not least because his second wife, Kirsten, is German and their two young children are, or will be, bilingual.

But for all that, he does represent a party in the European Parliament whose sole desire is to get Britain out of the EU. And they have had some modest success. In the last Euro elections they did take nine seats in Brussels, which meant they beat Labour and the Lib Dems.

But now that the single currency has come unstuck, I ask, isn’t the war over? ‘Well, thank God it has collapsed,’ he says. ‘I used to wear the pound sign in my lapel every day but now I don’t. But this isn’t about the single currency anymore. The debate has moved on. It’s about taking back control over your working lives from Brussels.

‘Every day ordinary life in this country is affected by our EU membership, ordinary trades, not just farmers and fishermen. Nearly all our laws and regulations are now made for us in Brussels. And not only that, our membership of the EU costs us £40million a day.’

It is time to reload, his expression for a refill. How much does he drink? ‘That’s been diminishing for 20 years. Attitudes have changed. Because I like a couple of drinks with my lunch I am considered strange.’ Has he ever worried about alcoholism? His father, after all, had a drinking problem. ‘I’m lucky. I’m one of those people who can take it or leave it,’ he says.

In the pub, the locals all seem to know him. We talk about the recognition factor again and note that, such is the level of public ignorance or indifference about politics and politicians in this country, surveys show that there are even some voters who cannot say who the prime minister is.

Farage says this does not surprise him. ‘I mean, who is Cameron? What does he stand for? He’s so bland.’ He’s laughing as he says it.

‘Actually, he and I get on OK. We joined parliament at the same time and were on the same South East news programmes circuit. He was always nicking cigarettes off me. And he was the first person to send me a note after my accident. Same day. I really appreciated that.’

This makes you wonder whether Farage’s accident has mellowed him. After all, calling Cameron bland hardly counts as an insult by his standards. Ask van Rompuy. He probably still wakes up in a cold sweat at three in the morning thinking about the abuse he received from Farage on the floor of the European Council.

Rumpy, as Farage calls him, looked stunned at the time. ‘I just wanted to ask him who he was?’ Farage now recalls. ‘Who voted for him? I don’t use a script and the line about him having the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk came to me while I was listening to his speech.’

He used to think he was wasting his time there, doing those speeches in a parliament no one covers. ‘But then the YouTube thing has given me a new lease of life. It reaches big audiences.’

It sure does. One of the sites showing that clip has received around half a million hits and a clip of Farage putting the boot into Gordon Brown, also at the European Parliament, has had a quarter of a million visits.

‘Oh yes, well, Brown,’ he says. ‘Good God. He has no social graces. A non-person.’ So if Cameron goes to speak at Brussels as Brown did, should he expect a Farage barrage? ‘Bloody right. That’s what I’m there for. That’s what they vote for me for, to provide some entertainment. With the European Parliament stuff, I have tried to make it entertaining.’

Intriguingly, if you look on European versions of YouTube you will see Farage is always given the title ‘Oppositionführer’. ‘I know, I know,’ he says. ‘Great fun. It just means leader of the opposition.’ Would the Oppositionführer say he is now more recognisable in Brussels than the Führer, van Rompuy? ‘I don’t know about that, but if I am recognisable it is only because the others are so bloody awful, not because I’m good.’

He can still dish it out, it seems, post accident, and when I ask whether he can still take it he laughs again. ‘Whatever Mickey-taking you get on programmes like Have I Got News For You it is as nothing compared to leaving public school and going to work on the London Metal Exchange. There it was vicious, all day every day.’

He doesn’t want to go back to that old life, he adds, even if his new life does sometimes bring him unwanted attention. ‘The recognition is great until you are on the last train home on a Friday night,’ he says. ‘It’s the classic ‘‘I know you” moment. And there’s nowhere to hide! Generally when people do the ‘‘good on ya mate’’ it’s from people you are happy to have it from, cab drivers and so on.

But on that train when people have had a few drinks…’ He drains his glass, slams it down on the table and laughs again. Bloodied but unbowed.

To view the original article CLICK HERE.

I do not decry Nigel Farage’s abilities as a performer but I believe that Nigel Farndale has grasped the essence of the man as a politician, a leader or a man of gravitas and vision – Trying to fill his page clearly proved difficult and the flanneling has all the characteristics of a schoolboy punishment essay on the ‘Contents of a Ping Pong Ball’.


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