There is only one conceivable benefit of “getting Brexit done” (© Boris Johnson’s stuck mouth). It might rid us of Nigel Farage, as he’ll be done too.
He’s been there for years, a piece of used chewing gum stuck beneath the nation’s shoe.
Carelessly disposed latex sap he may be, but Farage is a highly effective politician. US President Lyndon Johnson said of his dangerous rival J Edgar Hoover: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”
The crude image stands the test of time, and you cannot imagine Donald Trump saying something so cleverly contained.
Farage has been standing outside the Westminster tent and pissing in for years. Must he all that beer he drinks.
He has been unable to enter mainstream British politics because no one wants him for their MP. And he won’t be standing in this general election (eighth time unlucky isn’t a good look, but then neither are those mustard cords).
An elderly passer-by in Wales buttonholed Farage on the BBC news, condemning his cowardice. And, yes, he is a coward and a bully and a Brexit braggart.
But he still wins without winning. He influences our politics in devious ways, using allegedly suspicious money and the dark arts of social media to spread his message. Like his pal Trump, Farage is anti-politics in the sense of wishing to smash the system and rearrange the pieces to his benefit.
Yesterday Farage announced was pulling his Brexit candidates out of the 317 seats won by the Tories at the 2017 general election.
This is surely a pact by another name, and a typical Farage manoeuvre. Raise a racket saying you aren’t going to do something; then do it anyway.
His decision is a boost for Boris Johnson. But it should concern anyone who fears a hard Brexit. Farage has only ever wanted the sort full-metal Brexit that throws Britain to the deregulated winds.
If we’ve learned anything, and God knows it’s hard to remember what that might be some days, it is this: if Nigel Farage approves of something, then it’s a terrible idea that will benefit him and be bad for us.
And if it’s reassurance you seek, don’t hang around here. What we could end up with is a hard Brexit as divvied out by Johnson, Farage and Trump. How sweet that Farage should change his mind shortly after being told to do so by his pal Trump the Tweet.
As Farage has been recorded mouthing off about how we need to sell off the NHS to insurance companies, the thought of what that trio might agree among themselves falls many feet short of comforting.
Farage is managing to upend our lives without being a proper politician. Instead he is the self-appointed MD of the shady company known as the Brexit Party. Incidentally, all those 300-plus oddballs who were going to stand as Brexit MPs paid a non-returnable £100 each for the right to be considered. That presumably nets Farage £31,700.
Plenty remains unknowable about this election. Will this latest act of attention-seeking from Farage be as good for Johnson as it looks?
If Farage and Johnson have reached some sort of accommodation, the so-called progressive parties need to do the same. Unless Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson would prefer to carry on hating each other while letting the real nasties scuttle through.