Today’s Times newspaper splashes with a ‘scandal’ story on Nigel Farage allegedly misuse of EU funds. Except the UKIP leader says he hasn’t, the allegation has been made by someone who is serving a suspended prison sentence for fraud and, by the way, the money are EU allowances and he can do what he likes with them – especially use them to fight against the EU.
And Mr Farage’s tactic of offense rather than defense (as they say in America) seems to be working. The Daily Telegraph, as blogger Guido Fawkes points out, is usually the first to attack when it smells expenses blood. But it has decided it’s far better (and funnier) to stick it to the Times with the added calculation that the public don’t care about Nigel Farage’s expenses/allowances/mistresses as what he stands for politically – i.e. anti-Establishment — trumps scandal and mud-slinging.
The UKIP leader is a canny operator. Mr Farage knows what he is doing. His identifying Russian President Vladimir Putin as a political operator he admires (even if he can’t stand his policies and wouldn’t want to live in Russia) was no slip of the tongue during the EU debate with Clegg. He knew perfectly well how Clegg and the Establishment would react, allowing him to lead them into the Syria trap of accusing the Establishment of warmongering when they were desperate to bomb Damascus after the chemical attacks last summer, only to be stopped by backbench MPs.
The public are behind UKIP and in all probability they will win the European Elections on 22nd May. As Nigel Farage has said, a “political earthquake” will then occur. If he is right, all bets on the General Election are off.