Hardly had Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP launched their £1.5 million poster campaign than the questions began to be asked. And one particularly awkward one was directed by BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson to Farage himself: his wife, who is German, was employed at taxpayers’ expense as his secretary. Could a British worker not have done the job?
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
Mr Thirsty flannelled, deflected and waffled as only a seasoned pub bore knows how, but Robinson knew he had his man impaled on the skewer. The UKIP campaign was dented even before their chief spinner Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn had his facts checked. But help was at hand from an unexpected, and singularly stupid, source: step forward former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
“Achtung! Nigel #Farage’s German wife, his expenses-paid secretary, is ‘taking a British person’s job” #UKIPFail” she trilled. Nasty stereotyping, much? Maybe we should count ourselves lucky she didn’t follow the “Achtung” with, oh I dunno, “Minen”, “Panzer” or “Spitfeuer”. Cue repeats of ‘Allo ‘Allo with Sam Kelly raising right hand and going “klop”.
That Tweet alone was quite enough stupidity for one day, but Ms Mensch never leaves it at just the one: back she came in short order, asking “Why doesn’t it surprise me that #Farage not only marries, but employs on #expenses, a German? Wretched hypocrites #UKIPFail”. She hasn’t yet figured out the difference between expenses and allowances, or indeed marriage and employment.
And something else Ms Mensch has not figured out is the difference between Twitter handles and hashtags, as witness the next tirade: “#Farage says nobody but his German wife could do her #expenses-paid job as his secretary. When was it advertised to Britons? #UKIPFail” she ranted, while not noticing that neither Farage, nor anyone else in UKIP, would be looking in.
Unless she uses the @ occasionally, Mr Thirsty won’t see, as well of course as not caring, just like anyone else who matters. But this didn’t put her off: “Nobody but a German could be Nigel #Farage’s secretary? Did #UKIP advertise the job to British workers to find that out? #expenses” she continued, and still nobody at the Farage fringe was listening. But she did have a positive message for her followers.
“Fixed the UK economy. Taking our borders back from the EU. Only one party can give you a referendum. Vote Tory”. Tell that to the 1.75 million of the poorest households who’ve seen an absolute cut in their income in the last three years. Our borders are in the same place as they were in 2010, thanks. And as to a referendum ... don’t make me laugh. Cameron reprising Harold Wilson for sheer desperation.
Yes, when it comes to stupidity, nobody does it quite like Louise Mensch,