Two figures pursuing their careers on opposite sides of the North Atlantic may this afternoon be expressing surprise at the latest pronouncements from Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. One of those is Young Dave, who might not have had the UKIP leader in mind when he characterised the party as being full of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” not so long ago.
And the other is Piers Morgan, who has been trying with limited success to persuade a largely hostile audience in the USA that more guns do not bring more safety, but only more shootings by more people who are not best trained, or in the best frame of mind, to use the weaponry to which there is such ready access. Because Farage has called the post-Dunblane handgun ban “ludicrous”.
Appearing before the inquisition of Nick Ferrari on LBC, “Thirsty” said “that it was Ukip policy to create a ‘proper licensing policy’ and that people who kept hand guns responsibility locked up and had were willing to get an official license should ‘absolutely’ be allowed them”. Needless to say, this suggestion was not well received by those who work with law enforcement officers.
Peter Squires, who advises ACPO, said of Farage’s suggestion that “It will generate a demand, it will generate illegal traffic around that demand – the problem with hand guns is that they are small and concealable and they are already the weapon of choice of gangs members and criminals ... If public safety is a consideration then it’s a particularly stupid thing to say”.
That his political opponents will seize on Farage’s comments goes without saying, especially in the wake of a UKIP councillor asserting that recent flooding was caused in part by laws legalising same-sex marriage, and that councillor only being suspended after some delay. And, as the man said, there’s more: Nige was given a good going over on the BBC’s Daily Politics yesterday.
Andrew “Brillo Pad” Neil’s questioning on the 2010 UKIP manifesto led to Farage describing it as “drivel”, suggesting that he had nothing to do with it as he was not leading the party at the time, and dissociating himself from it. But, as Iain Martin has discovered, “Thirsty” co-authored the forward to the manifesto, and attended the press conference at which it was launched.
Is Nige starting to crack up under the strain of having to shoulder so much of the burden himself? Common sense should have told him that he was wrong-footed on the councillor who equated heavy rain with gay marriage, wrong to openly distance himself from a manifesto that had his fingerprints all over it, and plain daft to advocate relaxation of the UK’s gun laws.
The most recent gaffe suggests that Farage is indeed one of the fruitcakes.