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.