Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Is UKIP's leader a flash in the pan?
Fringe political parties are on a hiding to nothing when it comes to getting a sniff of power. The British electoral system sees to that. For the press, the political fringe has a novelty value when not much else is happening but the main focus is always on personalities rather than policies. The press want fringe leaders who they can get a bit of copy out of. Worthy but dull won't cut it with the hacks. And to be honest, in these days of the political leaders of the major parties seemingly produced by the yard and cut off as required, we could all do with, well, a Nigel Farage I suppose. Lighting up one fag after another, pints of Scruddocks Old Dirigible are consumed with relish and not just purchased as part of a "common man" photo opportunity and left on the bar after a sip. The UKIP leader has always just got time for one more before setting off to tell Brussels what's what. In the imagination of some people the real defence of this country, the true front line, is the almost unbroken line of bungalows that face out to sea along the South Coast. Union Jacks flutter in the fresh onshore wind. UKIP posters are everywhere. They love Farage here. Think that he's a proper gent who talks good sense. We hear a lot about city spivs but only rarely is one identified for us. Well Farage is, or at least was, the real deal. A genuine city spiv. He might talk posh but he need only grow a pencil moustache and he could be a dead ringer for Arthur English or Private Walker from Dads Army. The hacks ignored him for years but they can't get enough of him now. The policies might be rubbish and, like those iffy nylons, will fall to pieces first time that they are worn, but the patter is good. It won't last of course. Farage may very well end up as MP for Basingstoke and provide hours of amusement but sooner or later the shoddy goods will have to be scooped back into the battered suitcase and Dodgy Nigel will be forced to scarper before he gets his velvet collar felt.