A perfect picture of Farage in all his pomp and dreadfulness…

THE sun is shining and all is well with… buzz… click… damn. Somehow that Nigel Farage has got himself in my radio again. How did that happen? Hasn’t the horrible man retired to spend more time polishing his xenophobia collection or something?

Farage has stepped away from leading Ukip, but not before trundling out a few parting clichés about battles won and the war still to be won. There has always been something odd about Farage: all that wishing to be taken both as a maverick outsider and as a respectable member of the establishment. So much disdainful anger expressed about Parliament – and yet he spent so much energy trying to win a seat in the place.

Anyway, the Nigel-shaped one is going. Sort of. He will still be an MEP, annoying the hell out of his colleagues in Europe while hypocritically earning a fortune from an institution he confesses to despise.

Anyway that’s almost enough of Nigel Farage (easy to get your fill). But it is worth considering the photograph that was used widely yesterday, showing Farage about to kiss his successor, the MEP Diane James. He is cuddling up to her like a lecherous boss at the office party, and she is bracing herself for the embrace, eyes shut and face screwed up in awful anticipation. Well done to Daniel-Leal-Olivas of AFP/Getty for the picture.

And let’s take just a moment to remind ourselves what a good photograph can capture and convey; and to remind ourselves that all those newspapers who shed their photographers are betraying long traditions of recording history on the hoof. Big events, small events – they all add up to something that risks being lost.

One of Farage’s parting shots was to call for a hard Brexit and not a soft Brexit. I am not sure what that means. Is a hard Brexit one where we are even more in the shit than a soft Brexit?

Who knows, but life is full of puzzles. All those Leavers who wanted their country back will no doubt be pleased to find that the French and the Chinese are going to build the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor/white elephant – and then charge us a fortune for the energy generated. That must be just the sort of brave old world they had in mind.

But the sun is shining and Nigel Farage seems to have disappeared from my radio for now. Perhaps this is the moment to admit that we have to find a way forward. Lately it hasn’t been easy to be a liberal-minded person living in a Britain that seems to be wilfully tugging in the wrong direction: wrong to me for sure, but then none of us can be happy all the time.

And none of us knows if leaving the EU will be good or bad for Britain. We shouldn’t believe all the Daily Express headlines proclaiming the new wonderfulness of everything, much as we shouldn’t believe all the scare stories. The truth is we just don’t know yet how things will turn out. And that’s the only truth worth knowing.


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