During the EU referendum campaign, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP left the electorate in no doubt: they were the real patriots. Only they wanted no place for EU-wide laws and directives, a clamp-down on the free movement of people, no mention of the hated Euro, and of course Sovereignty, although having the referendum actually meant Parliament was not totally sovereign.
Squeaky loyalty finger up the bum time
Nige went on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) after the result to hammer home his message: “We want to govern our own country, we want to make our own laws, we want our own Supreme Court to be supreme, and we want to control our borders”. But when it came to picking his friends, Farage was rather less patriotic. His admiration for foreign autocrats and dodgy media outlets should worry his followers.
The problem is that it does not, even after Farage professed his admiration for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. As was reported two years ago, “Nigel Farage has named Vladimir Putin as the world leader he most admires, praising the Russian president's handling of the crisis in Syria”. It was not an isolated incident: after the referendum, he was once again praising Putin, telling “Vladimir Putin behaved in a more statesmanlike manner than President Obama did in this referendum campaign”.
Which country is the one with whom we have that “Special Relationship”? And it gets worse when looking at Farage’s favourite media outlet, which is not Fox News. No, Nige has a soft spot for RT, as the Guardian once again observed: “Nigel Farage's near monthly appearances on state-owned Russia Today have come under scrutiny after his expression of admiration for Vladimir Putin this week”.
That appearance by Mr Thirsty on RT was “one of his 17 appearances on the channel seen by the Guardian and transmitted since December 2010”. It was also noted that “The Ukip leader did not issue a word of criticism of Russian democracy in any of the Russia Today interviews viewed by the Guardian”. He’s normally so keen on the subject.
Farage’s keenness for RT was not just a passing fad: he was back there only last week, showing off his new fashion accessory, a moustache (comparisons to previous European leaders with moustaches were inevitable). He was “discussing his role in campaigning for a Brexit on the Sam Delaney's News Thing show on Russia Today”.
Then, just to show the whiter-than-white company Farage keeps, it was revealed that his aide George Cottrell had been arrested - while travelling with Nige - at Chicago O’Hare Airport, and is now “In custody awaiting trial on 21 charges including attempted extortion”. Cottrell’s other 20 charges include money laundering and fraud. He was “A trusted member of Mr Farage’s inner circle”. Mr Thirsty was reported to be “shocked”.
Nigel Farage is a Russia lover who keeps some distinctly dodgy company. And he claims to have Britain’s best interests at heart. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.