US Politics

May is right to snub Farage offer to be Trump’s poodle

Let's be clear, the world is in enough trouble without making Farage central to Western diplomacy

BY Iain Martin | tweet iainmartin1   /  11 November 2016

What is more embarrassing? All the fake agonising and desperation over whether President-elect Trump will call Theresa May on the telephone or Nigel Farage thinking he’s the new Henry Kissinger?

The needy UKIP leader (is this still correct?) is offering himself as the honest broker to the UK government in its discussions with the Trump White House. He spoke for Trump and credits himself with honing the new President’s anti-establishment message. It is simply hilarious to watch

Let’s be clear. The world is in enough trouble without making Farage central to Western diplomacy. With a new President whose campaign was riddled with Russian-influence the UK government needs to be wary, and to draw on insight and input from professional diplomats, generals, Russia-hands, financiers and academics. The last thing needed is the input of Nigel Farage, as, quite sensibly, Theresa May has made clear. She has snubbed his offer.

The UK needs a practical relationship with the US, and in terms of Brexit a Trump White House may conceivably even help with trade deals. But that’s years down the line. There is a lot to be navigated first, and it will require careful and intelligent handling, not populist bombast. It is obvious too that the Republican party realises this, which is why it is moving in behind Trump to work with him and line up – Reagan-style – advisers who know what they’re talking about. The tussle between that effort and the need of Trumpkins to get their reward in term of jobs will be fascinating to observe.

There is another domestic problem that Farage fans can never get through their heads. The Farage gang is so busy “bantering” about its own supposed brilliance that it fails to realise that most British voters cannot stand him, what he represents and the tenor of his contributions. It is why he has failed seven times to become an MP. It is why UKIP has one MP. The party has 15% of the vote. Much of the remaining 85% cannot stand the bloke. There is no way he “speaks for Britain”.

Of course he is a significant figure. Without his dogged pressure the EU referendum would not have happened, but he did not run the campaign or win it. Do even a majority of Leavers admire Farage?

Incidentally, there is even a suggestion that the new US ambassador to the UK will be a Ukipper. On that front if what I’m hearing (from a single source as of now) is correct, Trump already has someone in mind, an extremely bad and stupid choice from the world of American banking.


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