This a story is a bit like a suicide attempt- it was an appeal for help, with Farage repeating the Cleopatra stunt at the end of Shakespeare’s play where she pretends to kill herself in the belief that poor Antony will come limping over. All, as GBS, observed, a bit adolescent as indeed is Mr Farage’s stunt.
Here is the finished cartoon of the incident.
Here is an early sketch of the same picture
The Farage /UKIP resignation is interesting in many ways. Firstly, it establishes very clearly that Mr Carswell is of no consequence to the party machine, and was simply brought in- as we know by Simon wheeler who had given the party large donations after himself defecting from the Conservatives. Presumably Carswell sees himself as leader material. Carswell is his own man and as the only sitting UKIP MP, is determined it seems, to hold a moral line. That, I think, is commendable but will be difficult.
Many of the current UKIp Rankers, particularly the MEPs were parachuted into office under the personal direction of Farage, so forming his own college of cardinals and they owe their careers and present prosperity to him. Coburn is certainly one of these and no doubt was given license long ago to create as much mayhem as he could, undermining not only the SNP but also the existing UKIP branches that may not have been as Farage-focused as the leader would have wished. Coburn’s job, in otherwords, it is alleged, was to destabilise the local Scottish party. This is why he will not resign and why Farage will never apologise to Humza Yousaf no matter how often he is requested to do so.
My prediction therefore is very simple- should Farage genuinely be back in power, there will be some bubbles of resentment. There may even be a Carswell defection, but to whom? The Conservatives will not welcome him back. And Farage will probably win an early by-election gaining parliamentary credibility in the process. I may not like what he stands for but, as I have said before, I cannot fault his skills as an orator and I would be the first to applaud these. The place for such skills is certainly the House of Commons.
Other UKIP defectors, however, have warned me of the barrage of personal attacks and trumped-up charges that they have faced for speaking out. I am told darkly that UKIP has inherited, from the BNP/NF/EDF, a string of complicit police officers with power to corrupt the justice system. I am not sure this is a warning or is itself another threat.
I have been sent messages about the fate of Justin Adams, for example, the pilot whose plane crashed in 2010. This was the same plane in which Farage was travelling and which was flying a doomed banner. The whole thing ended in disaster and recrimination. Farage was in hospital and is still doing physiotherapy for a bad back, while Adams complained that the crash led to the disintegration of his marriage, and his being “incarcerated” in his elderly mother’s home. In 2011, he was convicted on 5 counts of threatening to kill Farage. Apparently, he made a telephone call to Samantha Sutton, the UKIP national secretary, claiming, “It’s just been delivered. I now have a 9mm pistol. I have got the means to do it and I will take them and then myself.” He was threatening to kill Farage and the civil aviation investigator, Martin James. Indeed, the whole story sounds a bit alarming. Later Justin Adams was found dead. It seems he had taken his own life.
Certainly, I did not expect the degree of pressure I have so far experienced or the personal attacks against my family. But it is far from clear from the story of Adams that there is some sort of Cabal or conspiracy against ex-UKIppers.
Indeed, when you look more closely, the conspiracy theories seem wrong. Mr Farage is on record at the time of the crash urging the pilot to steer clear of the village of Charlton. I am not sure who told us that but it is hugely commendable. If Adams became abusive as the investigation proceeded at snail’s pace, that is probably understandable though not prudent. People react to trauma in different ways but threatening to kill someone seems a bit excessive. I see evidence here that perhaps there was a lack of care by UKIP, but certainly not of a trumped up charge. It would be wrong to indulge paranoia.
I have also been told to look up the story of Nicole Sinclaire, an ex MEP- thrown out of the party for refusing to sit with Liga Nord/ EFD. She said that some of the group had extremist views. It certainly took her a long time to work this out! According to one report, the trigger for her defection was being called a “queer” by fellow UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom. Bloom is the man who was himself thrown out of the party for calling women “sluts” and referring to “bongo bongo land”. When challenged by journalists who showed him a newspaper article, I recall he hit one of them over the head with the said newspaper. At some point he also criticised David Cameron as “pigeon-chested; the sort of chap I used to beat up.” Bloom simply seems to be a bully, and I feel rather impressed that UKIP ditched him. But did they not suspect he was a bully in the first place?
There was a case of sexual discrimination which Sinclaire won. She said,
“During my time as an MEP I put in more than £120,000 of my salary into the cost of my work activities. It was also me who in 2010 drew the attention of the West Midlands Police to irregularities I discovered had taken place, without my knowledge, in my Ukip office.” She was arrested herself in February 2012 and accused of money-laundering and misconduct in public office. This story is more troubling, but there are parallels with the recent Atkinson story and it seems to confirm only that there is dodgyness in high places. We know that!
No doubt, if I am suddenly faced with a string of allegations, then there might be some credibility to the consipiracy theorists, but as yet, I think it best to be cautious and calm.