Have you noticed how many jobs Nigel Farage is about to take or has just decided not to take?
First Nigel scotched claims he was about to appear on the TV show, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, because he wasn’t a ‘blithering idiot’…
Article: Daily Telegraph. 18 October, 2016
Then he said he was considering a role in Donald Trump’s White House…
Article: Independent, 8 November, 2016
Not long after, though, Nigel was considered vital to the UK’s relationship with the US. This led to the suggestion that Nigel should join Britain’s ruling Conservative party.
Article: Daily Express, 15 November, 2016
Weirdly that morphed into the idea that Nigel should be a Lord. A government minister even called him LORD NIGEL. Not, ‘lordy, Nigel what the hell are you up to?’ Just plain old Lord Nigel.
Article: Guardian, 16 November, 2016
And then we heard that good old Nigel wanted to bring it all back and become an MP in Blighty. Yep, by now people were actually running out of photos of Nigel Farage grinning.
Article: Kent News, 21 November 2016
But that didn’t last long, because then the Donald tweeted that maybe Lord Nigel could be the UK’s ambassador to the US… I’m yet to establish if the ‘many people’ were, in fact, just Nigel.
Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
When that didn’t work out – Prime Minister Theresa May, the spoil sport, said no way – Nigel was thought to be considering living in the US again. Apparently there he’d be, er, freer. You know, because of Trump.
Article: Politico, 24 November
Then he said that actually that wasn’t happening at all…
Article: Independent, 24 November
And that’s got us to today…
Since speculation of his foray into reality TV, Nigel Farage has had the kind of month most job seekers would kill for. But he hasn’t taken a job yet. Officially, he’s just looking after the only role he is doing: leader of the UK Independence Party, while a permanent replacement is found. In case anyone doesn’t know, they’re the third or fourth force in British politics, well behind the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour party.
So what is Nigel Farage doing? Well, he’s exploiting a weakness in the way we report and respond to politics. Frankly at the moment that is the only thing Nigel is doing. He’s feeding speculation about what he might do just to keep his name in the news. Each time a suggestion is made, he scotches it – but the briefings are coming from somewhere. Sometimes it’s ‘sources close to Nigel’. Sometimes he just suggests he might do something himself. That way he can keep the rumour mill going and appear to be the most important person in British politics. Which he really isn’t.
In a sense it doesn’t matter what Nigel Farage’s going to do or not do next. It just matters that his name is in our heads, continuously. Where did this strategy come from? Well as Cas Muude, who knows much more about the activities of populist right-wing politicians than I do, pointed out he’s learned this from the master. Donald Trump.