After the London attack two days ago, it might have been thought that the motley convocation of saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP would be making hay, and more importantly for them, making progress with all those frightened voters they need to keep on side. But their former talisman Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has been ranting to little purpose, despite his LBC show, as his routine dishonesty is called out.
Worse for Mr Thirsty, he now has the problem of an Ofcom investigation into his rabble-rousing claim that the Swedish city of Malmo is “the rape capital of Europe, if not the world”, the most likely explanation for all the complaints being because his claim is a pack of lies. And after his pal and mentor Arron Banks upped the stakes in his pointless war with the Kippers, Farage has another problem - who to support.
Mr Thirsty still describes himself absurdly as a “UKIP MEP”, despite his only visits to Brussels being to ensure he keeps on using his role to generate More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now. But Banks has now taken his bat - and his wallet - away from the Kippers and is preparing to set up his own party in competition. Farage, as Harry Callahan once said, has to ask himself one question: does he feel lucky?
Because Banks’ actions can have only one consequence: the split of UKIP. His new party, which has the modest title of The Patriotic Movement - surely the first and only time anyone will give allegiance to a red, white and blue turd - is looking to field 100 candidates at the next General Election. He claims this will be in seats where the MP backed Remain but the constituency voted Leave, but the only loser will be UKIP.
Might as well pull the f***in' trigger, then
At the same time, Banks has continued his mardy strop against the Kippers by announcing that he is to take action to recover “the thick end of £200,000” from them, “for office services he provided, including the use of call centres”. UKIP responded that “Since Arron Banks first became involved with Ukip, before the last General Election, he has been a generous donor … All the support he has given Ukip has been on that basis and not on a supplier/client one”, which means it will probably end up in court.
Meanwhile, that Banks is serious is underscored by his claim to have hired Young Dave’s former adviser Steve Hilton, to get his new party clued up on “how you fund local candidates, how you put them forward, how you do things”. Hilton is so committed to UK politics, he now lives in the USA. All of which leaves Farage having to choose.
A contested action for that £200,000 will weaken UKIP badly. UKIP’s poll ratings have plummeted recently. And - whisper it quietly - Zelo Street hears that Banks may well have a sitting MP lined up for The Patriotic Movement. So what is Farage going to do? He gets paid by the EP up to 2019 anyway, then if we leave the EU it makes no odds to him if he jumps ship to help his pal Banks - and score a bit of cash on the side.
With a clown like Paul Nuttall at the helm, UKIP will be helplessly split, and what is worse for them, nobody will give a flying foxtrot about it. Welcome back Peoples’ Front of Judea.