I AM propped up in a stranger’s bed, laptop on my knee, thinking about Nigel. Thoughts of Nigel Farage were in my mind when I came to. And if that’s not a waking nightmare, I don’t know what is.
A day on the move kept me away from newspapers and the TV news. But there was news on the car radio and later in the day I plugged in the laptop.
It is conference season and Ukip have been having their fruitcake and eating it at Doncaster racecourse again. Nigel Farage is still leader, having bounced back from personal election defeat and his party’s failure to secure more than one MP (despite winning four million votes, to be fair, even if being fair can sometimes stick in the throat).
The trouble is that the one MP, Douglas Carswell, is a former Tory MP who seems out of step with Ukip and Farage on many things.
Yesterday there was a colourful falling out over Europe concerning rival campaigns to quit. The millionaire backer of one lot of quitters laid into Mr Carswell, calling him “borderline autistic with some mental illnesses attached”. The attack came from millionaire party donor Aaron Banks, who is also bank-rolling the Leave.EU campaign. Carswell supports the rival cross-party For Britain campaign. Banks is said to have later apologised. Some apologies, you suspect, are not worth the breath they are written on.
Anyway the septic ins and outs of which unpleasant person said what during a Ukip shindig do not make for a wholesome start to the day. And the rows between different factions of the quit brigade hint at what a messy, squabble-some and internecine business the Europe vote will be.
One thought came to me while listening to the car radio. Nigel Farage said that winning the Europe referendum was now dearer to him than all other causes. Yet at the time of the election – when Farage failed to win a seat, just in case you’ve forgotten – he and other Ukippers kept insisting that they were not a one-issue party, and that Europe was only one of many matters that concerned Ukip.
And now Nigel is rattling down the same old helter-skelter with a fag in his mouth and a We Hate Europe hat set at a jaunty angle on his overheated head. This just goes to show that you can’t believe anything he says unless it’s the often fluttered line about leaving Europe.
Well, there you have my laptop lecture delivered from the soft pulpit of a stranger’s bed. The stranger isn’t in here with me. Nothing so salty. This isn’t a one-night stand or anything. No, it’s a two-night stand. We are experiencing Airbnb from the other end, as guests this time. The room is clean and pleasant and the only minor inconvenience is that we couldn’t open the window last night. As for breakfast, that’s not been eaten yet.