Former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage made a brief appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics the other day to set the record straight on suggestions that he had been in possession of private polling information saying Leave had won the EU referendum, but had gone out and conceded to Remain, as a means of helping his pals in the City to make a killing when the result became known and Sterling tanked.
Squeaky embarrassing slip finger up the bum time
Farage’s appearance seemed to pass without incident. No-one called him out for his explanation. But one astute observer picked up on the small but perfectly formed gaffe that should have had the press pack circling. Let’s look at what he said.
“The Pound had rallied significantly before the Brexit vote. After the polls closed at 10PM, I said I wasn’t sure about the result and genuinely I wasn’t. The Pound didn’t move on what I said. When the Pound did move was when YouGov came out and said their exit poll showed it was 52-48 that Remain had won. The Pound rallied a little bit after that and then, once the Sunderland result came out, the Pound fell like a stone”.
He even had an explanation for that. “Because all the short-term speculators were long on the Pound. So the idea that I was part of some extraordinary conspiracy trying to prop up the value of the Pound, so what we could sell it short, and that all the hedge funds cleaned up, when actually most of them lost money, the whole thing is just too fantastical for anyone to believe”. Got that? Now let’s pick out the bones.
For starters, Farage is not making sense when he says the Pound “did move” on the YouGov exit poll, then says it was only “a little bit”. But that is only a taster.
The intricacies of hedge fund management are explained to the uninitiated
Also, his being genuinely unsure is interesting - two books on the referendum both say he was given private polling information suggesting Leave had won before 2200 hours.
No, the glaring giveaway comes later as Mr Thirsty tells “trying to prop up the value of the Pound, so what we could sell it short”. So what WE could sell it short. And there is more.
The very next comment, “and that all the hedge funds cleaned up, when actually most of them lost money” is Farage demanding that everyone look over there. What happened to most of the hedge funds is irrelevant to what he was, or was not, up to.
In any case, as the Guardian has reported, “Sources told Bloomberg that they believed Brexit to have generated ‘one of the most profitable single days in the history of their industry.’ Odey Asset Management, run by the Conservative party donor and leave supporter Crispin Odey, is reported to have made $300m from Brexit”.
Crispin Odey was one of the largest donors to the Leave campaign, giving just under £900,000 to the cause. Nigel Farage has talked about “trying to prop up the value of the Pound, so what WE could sell it short”. And our free and fearless press missed it.
All of which is most convenient for Mr Thirsty. I’ll just leave that one there.