By Josh Skinner and Dan Morrison
Oh Nigel, like a blazing sun that set half an hour before the second degree burns could settle and permanently scar on my pasty anglo-saxon skin, you’ve left me in pain, but also curious about whether the scar would have looked badass or not. You left before I could make a podcast about you, before I could answer the question “who the fuck are you”?
According to Wikipedia, you were born in Downe, a village in Greater London within the London Borough of Bromley, historically in Kent. The word Downe originates from the anglo-saxon word ‘doon’, which means ‘down’. Technically, like me, you are from the downtown (probably like this one) of a big city, so why are you the way you are?
It could be the fact that you enjoy cricket, a sport in which grown men hit clay balls with paddles; a sport in which grown man catch rocks masquerading as balls in the shape of a sphere with their bare hands; a sport in which their Most Watched Top 10 video was uploaded in 2007 and is accompanied with music from Creed; a sport that, like your political leanings, was all the rage when the sun never set on the British Empire.
You were a trader in the 80s, and most basic bitch faux vice journalists would immediately go to comparisons between yourself and the Wolf of Wall Street. #BasicBitchFauxViceJournalist
Possibly it’s the fact that you are a closeted American and like to get tanked off of curry and beer as opposed to wings and water flavored beer. Maybe it was the fact that the goddamn immigrants rick-rolled you with their car, leaving you shrekt in a cast for 11 months. You could have lost your leg and instead of rationalizing that the dehydration caused by the curry sweats and the drunkenness caused by drinks, you probably blamed the same people you blame to this day for your woes: foreigners.
But in your own words, you got a wife out of it. You latched onto and attached yourself to the only woman that was close to you for a period of 11 months. You probably made her feel like the only woman in the world, in all likelihood because she was the only one in your world for a very hot and sweaty 11 months of no showering.
However, just like Edmond Dantes did in 6 years, you used that time to consolidate and plan your revenge on the world for the unjust punishment you received at the hands of a car. Instead of becoming the Count of Monte Cristo you became Nigel Farage, leader of the UKIP party, and this is your story.
Naturally for a man often described as a ‘character’, it all too easily feels like a story, a fiction. Too good, too bad, too absurd to be true.
It is the story of how you became The Man of the People.- a Dulwich College-educated stock trader Man of the People, singing Nazi songs at school- didn’t we all at some point?- with your Neo-Oswald Mosely common sense and proper views for proper men.
A Dulwich College-educated stock trader Man of the People, leading your ordinary, honest life of bottles of wine every lunchtime, being too busy to turn up to vote in the EU and to do your job – for ordinary honest decent people, that’s who you worked for.
Is that really who you worked for?
There’s a fine line between idiocy and genius – Einstein apparently said the only difference between “stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits”. Your limitless idiocy debated immigrants with HIV and the ostentatiousness of public breastfeeding. Your genius was to make this talk seem normal.
Within you, there is the liberal/libertarian optimist. Your supposed distaste for authority and intervention means your views on abortion and gay marriage are reasonably up to date, compared to your party at least. I would deem your form of optimism worthy of respect, if it weren’t for how it manifests itself- devoid of empathy and nuance.
Reading your book, I’ve been looking for that one line where I go “ah ha!”, where you begin to make sense- sixteen pages on from your (shared) admiration for On Liberty, I found the passage.
Page 44 of your autobiography, Flying Free:
“[s]o I added girls to the list of pleasures (somewhere below trading and convivial drinking and way above, say, television or sleep) to be attended to whenever there was a moment spare. There would be time enough for such weakness when I was old or ill.”
There would be time enough for such weakness when I was old or ill
At the age when we make our first forays into lust and tenderness and really into ourselves through other people, trading in metal was strength and humanity a shortcoming.
Who the fuck are you Nige? Seems like you have as little clue as we do.
Here’s to your impending, quiet, retirement.