Niall Gooch

The terribleness of a progressive Bond

The new Bond book has turned 007 into a Centrist Dad

‘Hands up, Mr Farage’ (photo: Getty)

The latest Bond villain is Nigel Farage. Not literally, of course. But he was clearly a major inspiration for the chief antagonist in the most recent James Bond book, On His Majesty’s Secret Service. This master of international skulduggery is known as Athelstan; a former City trader with a Kentish accent, he espouses a boisterous, saloon-bar English nationalism of the kind usually ascribed to the former Ukip leader.

The men drawn to Athelstan’s scheme are preposterous caricatures of the kind of people whom Higson dislikes – i.e.

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