As if to confirm that UKIP stands for effectively having no principles at all, far too many media outlets have begun to speculate that Nigel “Thirsty” Farage might be rewarded for his crusade against unelected and unaccountable suits by, er, being appointed as an unelected and unaccountable suit. Theresa May has allowed the rumour to take hold that Nige could be in line for a peerage, although for what is unclear.
Squeaky ermine finger up the bum time
Yesterday, at PMQs, as the Guardian has reported, “George Kerevan, an SNP MP, asked whether the government had had any official discussions about a peerage for the outgoing Ukip leader. May did not give an answer either way but smiled as she said: ‘All I can say to the honourable gentleman is such matters are normally never discussed in public’”.
This has fuelled speculation that Mr Thirsty could be in line to swap his Brussels gravy train berth for a home grown version of More And Bigger Expense Allowances For Himself Personally Now. The thought of becoming Baron Farage of Stinking-Hypocrisy, and the availability of all that subsidised falling over water is something he will find appealing. He would be able to lord it over the proles - rather as he does right now.
Some of the more gullible and clueless members of the Pundit Establishment have decreed that Farage becoming a peer can only be A Good Thing: Tim Montgomerie, promoted way beyond his pay grade to a position of authority at the Murdoch Times, declared “If anyone deserves a peerage, @Nigel_Farage does. Love or loathe him he has massively impacted our politics”. Just like the IRA or foot and mouth disease, then.
Nobody wanted to stop and think that legitimising a dishonest, bigoted, alcoholic spiv might not be such a good idea, may not set the best of examples at a time when the Lords is under fire for being, well, undemocratic - exactly the charge that Farage has wrongly been levelling at the EU for decades. The upper house needs a freeloader like Nige like it needs abolition. And the nature of that freeloading has just been made plain.
Darren McCaffrey at Sky News has just reported “UKIP has misspent almost half a million of EU funding on its own electioneering and to help boost their Brexit campaign, according to a leaked audit seen by Sky News … The party splurged taxpayers cash, breaking European Union spending rules, on polling in key UKIP target constituencies ahead of the General Election and also ahead of the EU referendum”.
How so? “The money was provided to the European political grouping, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, which is dominated by Nigel Farage's party … ADDE financed polling in the UK between February and December last year, which has been judged as ‘indirect financing of a national political party’ and ‘a referendum campaign’ - both of which are prohibited by European Parliament rules”.
UKIP is already more than £900,000 in debt, and it looks like it will have to repay close to £150,000 of the taxpayer cash it misused. And we should allow its then leader to be given a peerage, so he can carry on sponging off us? Get out of here.
Alan Sugar is right. Nigel Farage might make it to the Lords as a toilet attendant. And provided he behaves himself, after seven years they might give him a brush.