Nige and Dougie in happier times
The slow-motion car crash and hilarious pantomime that is the disintegration of Ukip seems to have been brought about in part at least, because Nigel Farage wants a knighthood, or perhaps a peerage. But preferably a knighthood, because a peerage would mean having to give up his cushy and well-paid seat in the European Parliament.
That’s right: Our Nige, Man of the People, the Outsider, the Scourge of the Establishment, wants a knighthood or a seat in the Lords!
When Douglas Carswell mocked the great Rebel’s ambitions, suggesting he should instead be given an OBE for “services to headline writers”, Farage was beside himself and publicly warned that the party will collapse unless its sole MP is thrown out.
Farage raged that Carswell had “sought to split and divide Ukip in every way imaginable” since defecting from the Conservatives in 2014. Farage said the leaked online exchange showed Mr Carswell was “consumed with jealousy and a desire to hurt me” and urged Paul Nuttall to expel him from the party.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Farage said: “As a party, how can we let a man represent us in the House of Commons who actively and transparently seeks to damage us?
“I think there is little future for Ukip with him staying inside this party. The time for him to go is now.”
According toLord Pearson of Rannoch, Ukip’s former leader, initially tried to organise a peerage for Farage, backed by Ukip peer Lord Willoughby de Broke, last July in the wake of the EU referendum.
The plan were dropped when the pair realised Farage would have to resign as an MEP first before being allowed to accept a peerage.
Pearson then approached the Cabinet Office’s Parliamentary and political service honours committee about a knighthood for Mr Farage. It turned down the application at the end of July.
The peer then asked Carswell to approach Gavin Williamson, the Government’s chief whip, about appealing the decision to reject Farage’s application.
On December 30th Pearson emailed Carswell saying: “Dear Douglas, Could you let me know how your talk with Gavin Williamson went before Christmas? By phone if you prefer? Good wishes. Malcolm.”
Carswell replied the next morning on December 31 – the day the New Year’s honours were announced – saying: “As promised, I did speak to the government Chief Whip.
“Perhaps we might try angling to get Nigel an OBE next time round? For services to headline writers? An MBE, maybe?”
Pearson replied an hour later: “Dear Douglas, Let’s speak at your convenience. Ring me? Not sure an ‘Other Buggers’ Efforts’ quite hits the spot for Nige……..?! Malcolm”.
Farage said: “It could not be clearer that Douglas Carswell was negative in his response to the chief whip. He is consumed with jealousy and a desire to hurt both Ukip and me. What a sad figure he cuts.”
Pearson said the comments showed that it was “pretty clear [that Carswell] did not support” Farage’s knighthood.
He added: “It is true that I and others tried to get a knighthood for Nigel Farage and one way or another we failed, and we still think he should have one.
“I am not going to give up. I am going to go on and try to see whether we can get him a K in the Birthday honours in the summer.”
So much for the “radicalism” of Dulwich College educated ex-stockbroker Farage. Radicalism has a real meaning and tradition in politics and it couldn’t be further from Farage’s repackaged conservatism. So while we can all have a good laugh at Nige’s frustrated ambitions to join the aristocracy, our real job is to use this to drive a final nail into Ukip’s preposterous claim to represent the working class.