You have to hand it to Nigel “Thirsty” Farage: no opportunity to blame the state of the nation on migration is left unused, and Friday evening was no exception. Mr Thirsty had been due to attend a meet the leader event before his party’s first Welsh Conference. This took place at Margam Park, near Port Talbot. But sadly, one important guest was missing – himself.
Squeaky transport finger up the bum time
One might have thought that Farage had nobody to blame but himself for not turning up to the bash, for which party members had shelled out £25 a throw, but that thought would have been misplaced, as he launched into a tirade about how he had been foiled by all those dastardly immigrants. “It took me six hours and 15 minutes to get here - it should have taken three-and-a-half to four” he whined.
And there was more: “That is nothing to do with professionalism, what it does have to do with is a population that is going through the roof chiefly because of open-door immigration and the fact that the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be”. Yes, all those migrants working their backsides off in low-paid jobs were actually being paid to block the M4 in anticipation of a UKIP Welsh incursion! Who knew?
What does Mr Thirsty expect of a Friday evening, for the westbound carriageway to be deserted? We’re talking about the main artery linking London with Reading, Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff before you even think about getting to Port Talbot. What remedial action would he like to take, non-UK lorry drivers barred from the network during peak periods?
Should have taken the train but he can't stop smoking
In any case, what on earth was he doing adding to the congestion? He talks of the journey taking between three and a half and four hours, but the means was available to him to do the trip to Port Talbot in well under three hours – by rail from London’s Paddington terminus. Between 1545 and 1645 hours, there are three direct trains taking between two hours 37 minutes and two hours 46 minutes.
All that would be required would be someone to collect Farage from Port Talbot station and drive him the short distance to Margam Park. No additional traffic would be contributed to the M4, and he would even be able to avail himself of on-board refreshments so that he could keep up with the demands of his legendary thirst. But then a problem enters.
Farage is also a persistent smoker, and nowadays no main line train permits this activity on board. So what his escapade on the M4 tells us is that not only is the UKIP leader so inconsiderate that he doesn’t mind adding to rush hour traffic and making others’ journeys even longer, it’s also because he can’t last three hours without lighting up. There’s a disciplined politician for you.
So it wasn’t migrants’ fault. Farage has only himself to blame.