Cometh the hour, cometh the perpetually aggrieved avatar of discontent
Right, deep breath. Firstly, are you OK? It’s been an incredibly difficult time for all of us over the last couple of weeks. With the cost-of-living crisis, climate change turning southern Europe into an inferno, and the escalating threat of nuclear war over Ukraine, my plate was pretty full to start with.
So, when news came through that NatWest Group had suggested downgrading Nigel Farage’s Coutts account to the sort of high street arrangement you or I might use, I was knocked for six. A series of late-night conversations with my spiritual advisor saw me questioning my belief in a morally ordered universe.
After all, how could a benign deity stand by while this simple son of a stockbroker, who rose by dint of hard work to become a commodities trader, is laid low by the financial establishment?
The revolution will not spare you, Coutts! The people will not stand for their pint-swilling, fag-toting champion being treated as if he were us. He’s not us; he’s better than us but sometimes he pretends he is like us because he wants us to know he cares about us. That’s the kind of man he is, you fiduciary bastards.
We thought you were the good guys, Coutts. We applauded your sensitivity in not making a scene when a dear old lady accidentally bounced a £4 million cheque.
We know your game. Nigel warned us in 2019 that he’d be betrayed in his sermon at Trago Mills car park in Merthyr (£2.50 admission, bring your own chair). Little did he know that the knife between his shoulder blades would be wielded by His Majesty the King’s personal bankers. Oh, perfidious Albion!
I can’t keep this up.
Just as we’ve been granted an inevitably brief respite from having Boris Johnson’s doings smeared in our faces over breakfast, back comes Farage to fill his narcissistic void.
Those of you fastidious enough to avoid this nonsense should look away now, I salute you. For those who need a catch-up, Coutts closed the ranine populist’s account and offered him a NatWest one.
When questioned on it they said it was because he was skint, but it has emerged that it was because they thought he was too toxic to be associated with their brand.
Call me old-fashioned but I remember when it was less embarrassing to be broke than a pariah. For Farage, though, being a pariah is crucial to his business. If your schtick is to be a perpetually aggrieved avatar of discontent, then you need a supply of credible outrage to stay on the road.
‘They’ have done it to him yet again and they’ll do it to you too, so vote for Nige. Or at least sign up for his investment scheme and become part of ‘Britain’s Great Wealth Revival’. After all, ‘they’ don’t want you to be financially independent, that’s why they’re persecuting your pal Nige.
Who ‘they’ actually are never quite comes into focus. An unlikely and shifting coalition of Marxists, ‘globalists’, immigrants, climate scientists, bankers, and media organisations are ranged against the honest citizen, and the only way to salvation is through Nige.
Just sign here and everything will be alright again.
Before LBC radio gave him the boot, I remember listening to one of his post-Brexit shows. Callers were discussing Theresa May’s reluctance to force through a ‘no deal’ option and one rang up, seemingly frothing at the mouth, to warn that ‘we’ would settle it on the streets if she didn’t acquiesce.
Farage’s response was a masterpiece of nod-and-a-wink deniability.
‘Ah, well we don’t endorse direct action,’ he cautioned. ‘But it’s interesting, isn’t it? A lot of people are ringing up to say that. A lot of people.’
By such vagaries are insurrections launched, as Donald Trump demonstrated.
With an election looming, Farage will once again have the profile to address the terminally frustrated and whisper that their paranoid, fascist-adjacent notions are valid and that the best way to advance them is by signing up to something that only costs a few quid.
Should malign hucksters be hung upside down from lamp posts in Trafalgar Square.
No, we don’t endorse that.
But it’s interesting, isn’t it?
You can find more of The Shrewd View and the rest of Ben’s writing on Nation.Cymru by following his links on this map.
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