Today another remarkable slip of the tongue with reference to Nigel Farage. The journalist Norman Smith on live TV called Farage a C*** . Is it the most shocking word in English? (It’s probably middle english btw) It may have been an accident or he may just have given up and given in to something base. Interesting TV though.
Almost as interesting as what he was describing- the gathering clans of back-biting folk eager to score a victory over a leader they feel has been mortally wounded. Patrick O’Flynn’s attack was remarkable- calling Farage “snarling, thin-skinned [and] aggressive” and ruling UKIP as an “absolute monarchy” with questionable aides. I cannot question any of that, of course. But does this leave room for Carswell to step into the breach? I fear not even though Stuart Wheeler, a Carswell backer, and substantial donor to the party has called for Farage to “step down”.
Two of the questionable aides have gone: Raheem Kassam and Matt Richardson, but that still leaves plenty who I would regard as thugs and bullies. It also leaves his agent Martyn Heale, his agent and the chairman of South Thanet, who is alleged to have a NF background.
Mr Kassam ‘no longer works for Ukip’ we are told, though he believed he was on holiday and would continue to support the party “under the leadership of Mr Farage”
Of course, these are UKIP resignations, so barely worth the paper on which they are written, and I am sure if Farage survives, Kassam and Richardson will be back.
Godfrey Bloom again
The “C***” word has also been used elsewhere in connection to remarks made by Godfrey Bloom, who said that Farage was capable of “abusive behaviour” but I am not sure whether the “c” word was describing Mr Farage or Mr Carswell or indeed who used the word. The fact that the word was being bandied about like this probably explains whey it popped out on the news. O’Flynn briefed sky news:
‘The advisers he’s got around him have got an awful lot to account for, because this risks giving the perception of turning us into a personality cult where you have a leader resigning and then unresigning.’ This was exactly the issue over which I resigned. Or rather, I resigned over racism and then found myself under such attack that I had to talk also about the bullies in the party.
If I have to predict what will happen, I imagine Farage will stay. First of all, there has been a huge effort, certainly by David Soutter, the head of Candidates who has enlisted emails of support from all the former and failed parliamentary candidates. (“Thus is the most important thing you can do today”, he says). But secondly, Farage says he is a man of his word; I assume the “word” is not that anglo-saxon or middle english word that began this blog. No, when it comes to Farage’s “word”, it is my opinion that that “word” is unlikely to be so vulgar but nor would it do with truth, or honour. Instead, I think that word is “power”, and he believes he still has access to it. Maybe he is right. We should never underestimate the ambition of this man nor indeed the brilliance of his oratory or the determination of his friends.