Wednesday, April 01, 2009

GQ Interview: Farage Says He Will Quit If UKIP Gets Fewer Than 10 MEPs


This month's GQ Magazine is now on sale, featuring a lengthy profile of Nigel Farage, written by yours truly. They don't put articles on their website, so you will have to buy the magazine. But here's a short taster in which Nigel F recounts his experience of getting cancer at the age of 22 and he promises to resign the UKIP leadership if the party gets fewer than 10 MEPs on June 4th...

At the age of 21, things started to go wrong for Farage. He was seriously injured after being run over by a car and spent four months in hospital. But worse was to come. Less than six months later he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of testicular cancer. “It was an horrendous experience,” he recounts. “There was an overwhelming feeling of it being so unfair. I hadn’t done any of the things I had wanted to do.” After the operation he was told by doctors that the cancer had spread to his stomach and lungs, with the clear implication that there was no hope of recovery. Two days later he had a Cat Scan and was given the all clear. “Those two days were like torture,” he says, his voice riven with emotion. For the next six months he had to go to London Bridge hospital twice a week for blood tests to see if, as he puts it, he was “allowed to leave the building or not.” He describes it as “psychologically worse” than having chemotherapy. But he emerged from the experience with a determination to seize the day, rather than worry about the future. It explains a lot. He’s known as one of life’s bon viveurs and is quite open about his love for – and over indulgence in - good wine and good food. “No one who’s been through what I went through could ever say that it is out of their mind totally. I’m very much a fatalist. Life’s for the living. You’ve got to follow your heart and I won’t pretend that didn’t shape my decision to leave business and enter politics.” ....

******

... Most political pundits think 2004 was a high watermark for UKIP and that they will be lucky to be left with enough MEPs to fill a telephone box in June. If that happens, Farage says he will walk the plank without having to be ordered to do so. “If we win fewer than ten seats, that’s a failure and I will resign,” he says with the refreshing candour which mainstream party politicians find so difficult to emulate. “Quite clearly, if we do badly, then I’ve tried my hardest, and that’s that. It will be time for someone else to do it.” By even talking that way in advance of the elections, a psychoanalyst might draw the conclusion that he’s had enough and may well quit anyway. There’s an air of resignation in his voice when he says, “I have tried to change the party, to modernize it, change the attitude and outlook,” but he knows also that the knives are out for him in his own party come what may. Even if they achieve a higher vote share and more MEPs than they currently have, there are plenty of people within UKIP who would gladly see the back of Farage.

...“If we do badly in June, and that means curtains for me. It won’t just be UKIP that has a problem. It will be the whole anti EU movement that has a problem.” He believes there is a clear and present danger that UKIP might then indeed be taken over by the authoritarian right, rendering less of a political party and more of a narrow political sect. “It could set us back by over a decade,” he warns. It’s hardly a war cry, but it demonstrates what’s at stake both for him personally and the Eurosceptic movement in general on June 4th.

30 comments:

Oldrightie said...
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Oldrightie said...

Perhaps he'll join the Conservatives again?

daneslord said...

i wonder if I can get the odds on him resigning from Paddy Power........, even at 1% yield, it is still a good bet. Free money, and all that

Council House Tory said...

Will he hand over to Bob Spink? That should finish UKIP off.

martin day said...

Crikey I think they will be lucky to get 5 nevermind 10!

Simon Gardner said...

“...there is a clear and present danger that UKIP might then indeed be taken over by the authoritarian right...”

“Might”? Good grief. BNP≡UKIP UKIP≡BNP.

Harlow Tory said...

God - is he actually trying to pave the way to cross the floor to whatever Anti-Federal EU grouping we form after the elections?

Bughunter said...

Totally off subject Iain. I just tried to see what Guido was up to and entered .co.uk instead of .com in his address. I was automatically redirected to dolly's labourlist site.That's naughty, especially as his site is shite.

Plato said...

Mr Gardner - where is your evidence that those who vote Tory vote BNP?

From my knowledge of political polling, it is Labour voters who move to this party when unhappy.

Right now, for every proud 7 LD voters, there is a BNPer happy to tell a polling org.

I think that is the worrying thing for those on the left, Labour voters aren't exactly well known closet UKIPers so your logic is rather strange.

Simon Gardner said...

Harlow Tory said... “...to whatever Anti...”

“Whatever” is very much the point. Just how many loonies are there going to be left apart from the Le Pen-ites? Not many. Clearly not enough to form a pukka European Parliamentary group.

Bets are on as to how long before the Tories crawl back to the EPP.

Simon Gardner said...
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Trixy said...

Right little know it all keyboard warrior aren't you, Simon.

Try becoming informed.

Simon Gardner said...

Plato said... “Mr Gardner - where is your evidence that those who vote Tory vote BNP?

I have personally met way too many UKIP supporters and troops. And on this woeful and long experience I conclude that BNP≡UKIP; UKIP≡BNP. I don’t think I said anything about voting Tory?

ukipwebmaster said...

That won't happen and this is why:
Failed politicians always go to heaven:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMMxomYvMoA

How do you solve a problem like Daniel, Roger and Stuart?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzldaK_psPM

Magical_Mist said...

I really hope that Nigel Farage will rejoin the Conservatives, his talent is completely wasted in UKIP.
He's an eloquent speaker, and I think the Tories should welcome him.

Magical_Mist said...

Simon Gardner, my mum sometimes votes UKIP, and she has nothing to do with the BNP.

Your sweeping generalisations are not welcome.

acadman said...

I get sick of these unsubstantiated allegations about UKIP from Simon Gardner and others as well. As a member of UKIP I would say the vast majority of members would want nothing to do with a racialist, hateful party like the BNP.

Since my girlfriend is from Kazacstan I find your assertions pretty insulting, quite frankly.

Pete said...
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Pete said...

Simon Gardner, I am a lifelong Tory but I will vote UKIP in the Euros and Tory in the Locals and GE - I am most certainly not a fan of the BNP but I do detest the EU and its unelected bureauocrats ruling over us. (Bit like that horrible creature G Brown, actually...).

PS Don't forget to report back to Dolly.

PPS There's a cartoon about him you know:
http://www.stripshowcartoons.com/

Simon Gardner said...
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Simon Gardner said...

I came across the Foreign Office
official Flickr channel for the London Summit by accident if anyone is interested.

Simon Gardner said...

acadman said... “As a member of UKIP I would say the vast majority of members would want nothing to do with a racialist, hateful party like the BNP.”

Uh-huh. Yeah right. I’m afraid the UKIP members I have seen - a lot - are rather different. BNP≡UKIP; UKIP≡BNP.

Roger Thornhill said...

WARNING! Simon Gardner infected with "x=y" meme.

Paddy Briggs said...

Farage - a very nasty piece of work indeed. I had dinner with his once - didn't help my digestion for weeks...

Simon Gardner said...

Roger Thornhill said... “WARNING! Simon Gardner infected with "x=y" ”

I think you need to look a bit more closely at the symbol that was used (unless they don’t display properly on pee cees).

Paul said...

Mr Garner, our London UKIP MEP Gerard Batten & Regional Organiser Lawrence Webb have both been told by the BNP they are racial traitors because they married an Asian and an Afro-Carribean. We just took on a Sri Lankan MEP candidate here in London as well as the famous one in East Midlands (although I doubt you read the Daily Star so you wouldn't be aware of that!)

The BNP is full of Labour defectors. UKIP is filling up nicely with Conservative defectors, since Mr Wheeler led the charge! Signed up three more at a drinks party in Mayfair last night (not your typical BNP hangout) And Ken Clarke is driving more of them our way each day! So let me correct your equation UKIP=Real conservatives, Real conservatives=UKIP

Simon Gardner said...

Paul said... “Ken Clarke is driving more of them our way each day...”

What on earth has poor Ken Clarke done? He seems to have kept completely schtum since rejoining the shadow cabinet. Virtually a trappist in fact.

AProlefrom1984 said...

To Simon Gardner - as an African, I can spot racists, even those in the closet, UKIPers aren't racist, and have loads of support from non white people in the UK. It's possible you've met a few racists who say they'll vote for them. That can apply to any party - it's a Tory leader's daughter who chose to call the likes of me golliwogs and mixed race people half golliwogs. Racists vote for anyone - even Lib Dem or Green. As UKIP isn't a spin-heavy zone, they can't really control people who claim to speak for them. BNP is popular in ex mining villages and East London council estates - these are generally old Labour types.

buzzbug22 said...

Ukip are just Euro pigs with their snouts in the trough, corrupt and rotten to the core Their party leader " NIGE " has had handles stitched to his suits so that he can be carried out of the Brussels pubs.They can boast of a bent ex copper for an MEP and their treasurer's never hold the post long enough to get the books signed off, they compare well to the LibLabCon. If putting the welfare of pensioners befor free-loading Asylum seekers is racist, " THEN TOUGH "

Tansy said...

At last year's local elections in Plymouth, it was the Tories I saw socialising with the BNP in the nearest pub just before the count! Wish I'd had my camera!