While the Labour Party has been gathering at Brighton for its annual conference, over in the USA, UKIP’s former Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has been on duty - and apparently paid duty at that - endorsing one of those hoping to secure the nomination for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by the promotion of one Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to the post of attorney general in the Trump administration.
Squeaky far-right finger up the bum time
Mr Thirsty has not been endorsing any old right-winger: through the offices of that convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart, he has backed former judge Roy Moore, whose record is, shall we say, controversial. Moore became chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court; he was later removed from office. He became chief justice a second time, and for a second time was removed.
Steve Bannon - far less nice than he looks
Roy Moore is also an unswerving opponent of same-sex marriage, as well as a promoter of the Barack Obama “birther” conspiracy theory, which has been comprehensively debunked. Then the Foundation for Moral Law, which he founded, posted a Britain First video, dishonestly claiming Obama was a Muslim, on its Facebook page.
None of this has bothered Farage. Nor has the presence at the event yesterday of Steve Bannon. Indeed, Mr Thirsty referred to him as “the greatest political thinker in the Western hemisphere”. Bannon is a white supremacist, and he is also deeply paranoid. As Yashar Ali reported from the event, “Bannon says to Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove: ‘Your day of reckoning is coming’”. Proper wacko stuff from someone too hot even for Trump.
How wacko would that be? Bannon followed that comment with several more interesting observations, one of which was “There's a time for peace … and there's a time for war … we're not going to hug out our differences”. Hopefully the Breitbart stalwart is not referring to North Korea. But interesting to see he is consistently vindictive and paranoid.
And then there is the matter of who is paying for Mr Thirsty’s jaunt Stateside: Carole Cadwalladr of the Guardian has been on the case, and has engaged in a most revealing Twitter exchange with Andy Wigmore, who worked with the Leave EU campaign. He claims that a “US Consultancy Campaign firm” is involved, part of Goddard Gunster, although totally different to the part in which Wigmore has a stake.
This entity is located in an “offshore tax haven” which according to Wigmore is not Belize, although he is reluctant to divulge its name. It will be interesting to see who is ponying up the readies for Farage’s world tour. It will also be interesting for those who want him to return as leader of UKIP to explain how the endorsement of a twice-removed homophobic judge and a paranoid white supremacist makes him suited to another go in the role.
Time and again we are told that Nigel Farage is only concerned about helping Britain to regain control over its laws and borders, and each time he fetches up in the company of more unsavoury far-right chancers. As Private Eye magazine might have observed, “I wonder if the two are in any way related? I think we should be told”.