Farage meltdown

Confession time.  No way did I think Nigel Farage would inflict so much damage on himself so quickly after such a high profile improvement in his party’s fortunes.

His badly thought out appearance in Scotland was bad enough.  Requiring a police escort away from protesters was humiliating.  But what has followed – his ill-tempered name calling and undignified petulance in putting the phone down during an radio interview when walked into confirming the somewhat  embarrassing fact UKIP has no elected members north of the border, suggests the shine is coming off the blessed Nigel incredibly quickly.

UKIP insiders are all too well aware of Farage’s ignorant refusal to brook any challenge or opposition to his views.  But Farage’s demonstration of his inability to rise above the abuse he experienced on the street and defuse its sting won’t play well with voters, who are entitled to expect potential leaders to deal with such things in a gracious and magnanimous way.

I honestly pity Farage’s press adviser.  I am certain in my own mind that Farage would have been told how to handle this incident and respond assuredly to the unpleasant and seemingly intimidating experience, but refused to take the advice on board.  He could have told the media that seeing those Scottish protesters enjoying their freedom of speech was a welcome sight because such freedom is essential in a democracy – and that the political class increasingly censors people and the deeper we are integrated in the EU the less democratic this country becomes.  He could have added that while he strongly refutes and disagrees with their arguments and accusations he defends their right to express them and he would respond fully and openly to their claims.

Instead we have seen a senior politician engaging in pathetic namecalling that would be considered immature on a playground.  Far from being the bloke one would he happy to have a pint with, I would now be more concerned he would smash some glasses and kick some tables over if he hears something he doesn’t like.

Farage, as predicted, has just done some damage to UKIP and its credibility.  That party deserves better.

27 Responses to “Farage meltdown”


  1. 1 maureen gannon 17/05/2013 at 7:49 pm

    have to disagree, I found it disgusting the police stood by while those ignoramous surrounded the cab ,
    And if they were supposedly anti racist telling him to go home what was that if not racist, had an Englishman said that to an immigrant they would have been in front of the race relations board or taken to court.
    It reminded me of the baying mob in Ireland around a cab with two soldiers in it.

  2. 2 witteringwitney 17/05/2013 at 7:52 pm

    “Senior politician”?

    Tsk, tsk – surely a typo on your part, AM?

  3. 3 Gareth 17/05/2013 at 8:23 pm

    Farage tells it like it is. They were a bunch of fascist thugs.

  4. 4 TheBoilingFrog 17/05/2013 at 8:23 pm

    @Maureen Gannon if you mean this…

    that is a puerile and completely inaccurate comparison.

    Agree AM…by using the words Farage did he undermined any moral superiority he had. He’s hit a glass ceiling in terms of ability to drive the party onto the next level.

  5. 5 Scrobs... 17/05/2013 at 8:30 pm

    Not true, AM.

    “But Farage’s demonstration of his inability to rise above the abuse he experienced on the street and defuse its sting won’t play well with voters, ”

    It’s exactly what voters like to see!

    Rockapes squirming on streets with placards, are not representative of people like me, who yearn for a voice above the Tory/Libdem/Nulab party noise.

    Scots can just go and do what they think fit, but remember, Nigel Farage at least took them head-on, unlike all the other Westminster failures, wandering around, wondering what to do next.

    Salmon was particularly weak in his ‘broadcast’ too.

  6. 6 TomO 17/05/2013 at 8:33 pm

    No doubt Mr. Farage thought of what he should have said later… as we all do :-)

    Sometimes bravery segues into foolhardiness – but he who sticks his head into the lions’s mouth etc… I’d rather he did this – than have an entourage of thuggish bruisers like many of the others – swanning from photo-op to wooden soundbite inside a tight security bubble..

    Handy that the cameras were there… of course.

    The seamless bland-ness that pervades most of the broadcast coverage reflects the pantomime that our politics has descended into.

    I don’t go along with everything Farage or UKIP but I loathe the main party machines and “leaders” – would they get the same treatment – I think not.

    I hope he recovers his composure and gets a few low blows back in return – both the students and the BBC deserve no less.

    I recall a Kinnock Labour Party “public” event that had an “invited audience” – members of the public were told to piss off in quite intimidating terms…

    Milliband visited my area for the recent locals and one only found out a day later – unless – one assumes you were a member of the party…

  7. 7 Robert 17/05/2013 at 8:45 pm

    If UKIP can take seats in Labour areas like this
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/local/labour-shock-as-ukip-takes-police-chief-s-old-safe-seat-1-5685330
    then they can crack Scotland. The Scot Nats are on the wane and wiil lose their referendum.

  8. 8 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 17/05/2013 at 9:00 pm

    Your attacks on Farage are like Soviet Tractor Production stats – *every* time you say it has gone off the existing scale… By your reckoning Farage must be the sole reason the EU still exists…

  9. 9 JayBee 17/05/2013 at 9:53 pm

    One of the comments of the day came from Alex Salmond who described Farage as “outwith the context of normal politics” That’s the whole point. He’s different. Outspoken and frequently controversial. His political incorrectness is a refreshing change. He will not play by their rules or yours.

  10. 10 maureen gannon 17/05/2013 at 9:59 pm

    AM
    I consider your article puerile so that evens things, they were intimidating a man on his own , not accompanied by a retinue of heavies or police that felt they should protect him, like the other supposed leaders , they were thugs, and quite frankly if that is a sample of their nature the sooner we have border controls the better.

  11. 11 Sackerson 17/05/2013 at 10:27 pm

    Looked like fascism to me. Interesting that Salmond unwilling to dissociate himeself overtly, marks him as the unscrupulous mountebank for which I’ve long taken him.

  12. 12 woodsy42 17/05/2013 at 10:57 pm

    I fail to see the problem. He was surrounded by lefty thugs, he said exactly what he thought of them, then refused to be further insulted by BBC Scotland.
    No doubt the lefty thugs and their supporters will continue to believe they won, but would never vote for UKIP anyhow. Most of the rest of the audience saw them for exactly what they are and applaud Farage’s description.
    The whole point is surely that there is no (obvious) PR or press spin – what you see is what you get – what he says is what he means – to hell with political correctness and pussyfooting around with appeasement of hypocrites.
    That is the message, and he delivered it!

  13. 13 Halinof 17/05/2013 at 11:13 pm

    Tomorrow’s chip paper (if it weren’t for the damned EU!)

    http://ukipbeyondright.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/nigel-the-brave/?utm_source=feedly

  14. 14 Nigel Carter 17/05/2013 at 11:17 pm

    Do they realise how their bad behaviour hurts them and helps raise UKIP in public esteem. The great British public don’t like thuggery, intimidation and bullying… …free extra publicity for our leader in his heroic efforts to give people a proper choice…how stupid can protestors be? Damaging respect for their own viewpoint…let’s hope they don’t do it again and get arrested and jailed for ‘threatening behaviour’…or they’ll destroy their cause completely. This should be a democratic debate about issues…not ‘man-toddlers’ throwing their toys out the pram again. Pathetic. nc16may13

  15. 15 Paul 18/05/2013 at 12:30 am

    I think this particular piece tells us more about how insular this and other blogs are in terms of their criticism of Farage that it makes the Westminister village look positively global in it’s world outlook.
    Try seeing the bigger picture rather than using this latest incident as a way of having a go at Farage and framing it into how it will be viewed by the wider population.
    Most of those who have sympathy with the broad swing of UKIP sentiment will see this outrageous incident as typical of the lefty jock mob exposed for who they really are. They will not see what happened as a shortcoming on Farages’ part. I suspect the election campaign will use footage of this as an example of lefty extremism in a well edited PPB and that can do nobody any harm except for the pigs who were featured doing what they do best – rabble rousing.
    I see the usual suspects ( North, Withering and the frog) using this to target cheap pops at Farage and although He is not without his shortcomings He’s managed to do much more than his critics here have ever managed to achieve.

  16. 16 Richard101 18/05/2013 at 10:53 am

    Honestly, thinking of the regular abuse he takes, I think Farage handled the fracas a lot better than most. And a little like Lord Sugar he probably gets really pissed off with inane questions.

  17. 18 blackswansblog 18/05/2013 at 11:17 am

    Clearly Farage was mobbed by some kind of rent-a-mob – probably leftie, though Farage characterized them as SNP fascists. That’s not a category that we have observed before, though – as he met them face-to-face – he’s more likely to be right than wrong.

    Most of his & UKIP’s policies should have been pleasing to student ears (unless they were climate change nuts): “Whichever way you use your first vote in the Scottish Parliament, please use your second or regional vote to bring real, direct democracy to Scotland, to end all subsidies to pointless wind farms, un-democratically inflicted on our countryside, to save our gallant Scottish regiments, our air bases, our dockyards and our coastguard and to bring street crime, especially knife crime, to an end.” The were really only two bits the rioters might have objected to. Firstly: that universities should be allowed “to select students on merit”, which lefties would probably dislike, though UKIP also supports in Scotland the scrapping of student “loans while restoring full grants for all Scottish university students”. And secondly, ‘UKIP said it would keep the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh but “replace MSPs with Scottish Westminster MPs”‘, which SNP supporters would probably object to – some quite strongly. All in all, he was trying to relate a party with UK-wide aspirations to young Scotland’s aspirations – obviously not successfully on this occasion, despite the fact that he was offering more to them than the other three (much larger) UK parties do. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-12964769

    As far as the BBC Scotland interview was concerned, the interviewer’s attitude to a man who has just been mobbed (ie Farage) was typical of the (regrettably) taxpayer-funded BBC – absolutely disgraceful. No sympathies for Farage’s frightening experience. No inquiries about possible injuries. And constantly trying to out-argue Farage, rather than to look at his view-points objectively. Although Farage was quite justified in ceasing the interview in the way he did, he would have had every right (if he had so wished) to repeatedly demand from the interviewer why he was being so hostile to him (ie Farage).

  18. 19 Autonomous Mind 18/05/2013 at 2:07 pm

    Apparently the pub used by Farage is the regular haunt of a Scottish left wing republican group. So was he just completely ignorant or did he pick a fight?

  19. 20 Braveheart 18/05/2013 at 4:23 pm

    This incident has recruited large numbers of English supporters for Scottish Independence, the sooner they go the better. As Farage says, thugs and fascists, Nazi-like socialist fascists. As for the BBC, they are full time Frankfurt School activists. All their most recent high rank recruits are from the loss making Guardian or other Marxist institution. Their hostility to Conservatism,religion (excepting the RoP),Brutishness and British culture, is now long established. Why on earth would Farage want to let them play on their well conditioned listeners?

  20. 21 Sam Duncan 18/05/2013 at 4:27 pm

    “Looked like fascism to me. Interesting that Salmond unwilling to dissociate himeself overtly, marks him as the unscrupulous mountebank for which I’ve long taken him.”

    Amen to that. For all his protestations of “civic nationalism”, Salmond’s party sails much, much closer to the wind than Farage’s ever has. They scare me sometimes.

    Having said that, I completely agree with AM’s 2.07pm comment. A ramshackle, outsider, image is one thing, but a lack of forward planning on that scale doesn’t exactly help when you’re telling everyone you know what’s best for the entire country. Competence wins people’s votes. The Nats have been very big on that angle for a while now – I’m tempted to misquote Groucho Marx: if you can fake competence, you’ve got it made – and this was total incompetence.

  21. 22 Mark B 18/05/2013 at 5:12 pm

    A Patriot loves their country, a Nationalist hates everyone else’s. And so it has proved.

  22. 23 Sean O'Hare 18/05/2013 at 7:51 pm

    AM, The Canon’s Gait is a popular watering hole in the Royal Mile, It may well be used by republicans in the evenings, but during the day it is visited mainly by tourists. I don’t think the UKIP people in Scotland can be blamed for not anticipating trouble. I suspect that they chose Edinburgh because it seemed a safe bet compared to the Aberdeen soviet.

  23. 24 Graham McDonald 18/05/2013 at 10:12 pm

    Wow ! I googled Fargarbage v Salmon and came across this forum. I am truly astonished that so many half wits can use a word processor. Never been more of Scotland for hounding that dangerous racist out of Edinburgh.

  24. 25 Eddy 18/05/2013 at 11:35 pm

    “Never been more of Scotland for hounding that dangerous racist out of Edinburgh.”

    ” I am truly astonished that so many half wits can use a word processor.”
    At-least you got that right.

  25. 26 Bruce 20/05/2013 at 2:07 am

    AM, I understand your desire to do down Farage at every opportunity but all you’re doing here is losing credibility. As a Scot, I was disgusted by the actions of these thugs. I’ve spoken to many people, a lot of whom are SNP supporters, and they had a great deal of sympathy for Nigel when surrounded by the rent-a-mob.

    Once again, his entirely normal reaction to these people is understood by ordinary folk. You suggested that he should have behaved in a way that would have immediately identified him as a “politician”. Don’t you understand that we’re all fed up of politicians?

    It’s interesting that about the only supportive comment to your post has come from a nationalist socialist troglodyte. You really have to try harder to get over your enmity towards Farage or risk losing the backing your blog has had from UKIP supporters.

  26. 27 Autonomous Mind 20/05/2013 at 12:50 pm

    Bruce, if you think I am bothered about whether UKIP supporters read my blog or not then you’re barking up the wrong tree, even more so if you think I am going to compromise my principles and change my viewpoint of Farage just to placate such readers. To do so would lose credibility.

    Your comment brings us back to the issue of Farage needing to win over new supporters. There are those who adore Farage regardless of anything he says or does and there are those who are holding back from supporting UKIP because of the personality Farage projects. Not everyone appreciates a man who cannot hold his temper in check and acts like a spoiled brat on radio when given a hard time. His true believers will think he’s great for what he said and did, but others will be turned off by him – and more importantly may be turned off a ‘No’ campaign if he figures in it prominently.

    I am not doing Farage down, but merely pointing out where he is reinforcing my view of him and potentially damaging his party and the ‘out’ campaign in the process. At some point in time a lot of people are suddenly going to see the side to Farage I have warned about and they will feel cheated and betrayed. I would rather they saw it coming.

    I respect you having a different view Bruce, but you are not compelled to read this blog. I have not attacked UKIP or its supporters, but if reading dissent of Farage here is too challenging or annoying then I suggest you go with my best wishes and read the stuff elsewhere that confirms your biases.


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