When one doesn’t do detail, a bit like a certain Nigel Farage, one is liable to get things wrong. When one gets things wrong, it is difficult for people to have confidence in what one has to say – particularly when it comes to presenting details of how a particular aim, say, leaving the EU, can be achieved.
While it might not matter much to some people that Farage wrongly stated Sinn Féin’s policy on European Union membership, his high profile means that such errors are not merely a personal embarrassment for him, but are damaging to the credibility of the rest of us who want the UK to leave the EU.
As this blog has argued before, to indignation from some of his supporters, Farage’s ‘cheeky chappie, bloke you would be happy to have a pint with’ persona will only get UKIP so far in electoral terms. Many undecided and non-voters are more sophisticated than many people give them credit for and will form any voting intentions based on the competence, character and credibility of a candidate or party leader. If Farage won’t do detail and get his facts right, he won’t just earn the scorn of his rivals, he will be rejected by potential supporters who would have grounds to doubt his claims and question his suitability for office.
UKIP and the true Eurosceptic movement deserve better.