How’s this for a terrible confession? There has always been a small part of me that admires Nigel Farage. As a Remainer liberal, it’s hard to admit. I disagree with Farage on many things. And my (partial) admiration doesn’t mean I forgive him for some of the low points of his political career, not least the disgraceful ‘Breaking Point’ poster unveiled in the lead-up to the EU referendum, nor his earlier comments about migrants with HIV. Yet I have a soft spot for outsiders, particularly ones like Farage who beat the odds.
What Farage achieved, all from outside a two-party system pitted against him, is unprecedented in the history of British politics. When you think back to where Euroscepticism was as an issue back in 2010 – and how Farage, more than anyone else, managed to drag it to the forefront of British politics in under a decade – it becomes clear that his achievements are simply astonishing. It’s not foolish to think there would never have been an EU referendum without the work of Nigel Farage. He fought the system and won.
But now, Farage is in danger of destroying his own legacy. Not too long ago, ‘Mr Brexit’ appeared to be plotting a transatlantic reinvention of himself as a right-wing pundit on Fox. With Trump gone though, and American politics back to ‘normal’, that opportunity appears to have vanished. Instead, Farage has taken another career turn: he’s flogging videos of himself giving birthday greetings for £75 a pop.
In a video advertising his services, Farage – decked out in Barbour jacket and welly boots – can be seen standing in the trunk of a dead oak tree.