Isabel Hardman

Why was Nigel Farage so rattled on the radio?

Why was Nigel Farage so rattled on the radio?
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Nigel Farage seemed rather rattled when discussing his Edinburgh escapade on Good Morning Scotland today. You can listen to the full clip below, which culminates in the Ukip leader announcing 'I wouldn't have met with such hatred as I'm getting from your questions and frankly, I've had enough of this interview, goodbye.'

listen to ‘Nigel Farage interviewed on Good Morning Scotland, 17 May 2013’ on Audioboo

</p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = "http://d15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net/assets/embed.js"; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p></p><p></p><p>Why was he so rattled? Farage might want to be considered the heir to Thatcher, but he's positively Blairite in his ability to brand himself and wriggle out of most media scrapes. So it's rather more likely that his irritation on the radio was as calculated as the pint that permanently hovers in front of this politician.</p><p></p><p>Why? Because Farage clearly sees value in being the underdog, sneered at by the political elite and chased by angry lefty students. He knows that he owes his success thus far more to anti-politics sentiment than he does to Ukip's fabulously thought-out policies, and thus being chased by people who think the best way to register disagreement is to reduce a debate to a chant of 'scum' is a benefit for Farage, not an ordeal. So expressing disgust with their behaviour and the presenter's perfectly reasonable questions is a way of appealing to his own natural supporter base.</p><p></p><p>Or else he was genuinely surprised that some Scottish people might not like him after months of being applauded simply for <a href="http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/iainmartin1/100215556/ukip-could-get-to-be-really-quite-annoying/" target="_blank">wearing overcoats</a> and visiting pubs.</p><p></p><p><strong>P.S.</strong> The latest Ipsos MORI poll of Scotland found exactly 2 people who'd vote for UKIP. (p44 <a href="http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Scotland/SPOMMay13/Scotland_SPOM_May13_Tables.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>)

Written byIsabel Hardman

Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is author of Why We Get The Wrong Politicians.

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