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Opinion

Cometh the hour, cometh the perpetually aggrieved avatar of discontent

30 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Ben Wildsmith

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.

Credible outrage

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.

Nigel Farage’s Fortune and Freedom web page

Nod-and-a-wink deniability

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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Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago

Nigel Farage xenaphobic millionaire public school toff; far-right admirer of Vladimir Putin; who believes Ukraine’s place is under Russia sphere of influence; supporter of the National Front in France; Alternative for Deutschland in Germany; The Freedom Party (formed by X members of the SS) in Austria; climate change denier; who states he would not want to live next door to any Romanians; hates hearing “foreign languages” on trains in the UK…. Sad that this nationalist extremist has such a hold on the UK Gov and it’s client press.

Hywel
Hywel
8 months ago

Coutts appear to have been disingenuous by suggesting to a journalist that Farage fell outside their financial requirements, (when I am led to understand that he was not), and when, actually , they appear to have decided his political views were ‘toxic for their brand’.
Whatever we think of Farage, can it be right that an essential institution can block your access to its functions purely on your political views or affiliations – Labour, Plaid, YESCymru or NatC etc?
Thereby lies StateThink.

Last edited 8 months ago by Hywel
Glwyo
Glwyo
8 months ago
Reply to  Hywel

It’s edifying to see someone make an intelligent post in response to this article.

Ben Wildsmith
Ben Wildsmith
8 months ago
Reply to  Hywel

Had NatWest not offered him another account then there would be cause for concern. They did, however, and Farage was a vocal supporter of the Northern Irish bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. It is a non-issue inflated into a national story by a man who sells investment schemes.

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago
Reply to  Hywel

Firstly, Farage did not have his access blocked to an institutions functions. He was offered an account with Coutts’ sister company NatWest.

Secondly this move was not required just as a result of his far-right “political views or affiliations”. The main reason was that he appeared not to have the required savings or finances to continue banking with Coutts.

Hywel
Hywel
8 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

The point I was making, Llyn, was that Coutts wanted to close his account with them, at least partially by reason of his political views.
If this is allowed to pass, then why not deciding if they want your account depending on your views on homophobia, LGBT+, whaling or your eye colour – it’s a slippery slope.

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago
Reply to  Hywel

It must have been OK when pro Palestinian groups in the UK had their bank accounts closed, as I don’t remember such an outcry or alarm when it happened

George Thomas
George Thomas
8 months ago

His trade of choice is appearing to be the victim and speaking up for the little man despite having, until recently, a bank account for the super-rich.

He goes out of his way to promote frustration, even creating it at times, so people feel like the little man.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
8 months ago

If poor old Farage feels hard done by now, poor fella, it’ll be nothing compared to what may happen to him as our children grow older and poorer due to his actions! He’s badly derided now but he could well find himself himself behind bars in the near future.

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Fingers crossed, can’t think of a better place for the scum to end up

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago

He is the modern day version of Oswald Mosley a hidious dangerous charachter

Cat
Cat
8 months ago

Lovely bit of writing. Brought a laugh to the day. So many well placed phrases

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
8 months ago

Why does the media – sadly now including Nation Cymru – give so much air time to this right wing bigot?
The truth of course is simple. He’s very good at staying in the public eye, one stunt after another – and the media buy it!

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
8 months ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Strangely enough, I see today that he’s launched a another campaign, this time about getting fair play from the banks.
Keeps him in the papers and TV for a few more weeks…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
8 months ago

Frenchman Nigel Farage cares only about Nigel Farage, He loves to be a victim and to the watching media stated how his bank account was closed because of his political views not that he fell below Coultts threshold of having £1 Millon to invest so lost his cash cubbyhole. And the irony is. He wants us all now to feel sorry for him even though similar happened to British Muslim groups & organisations, but I never once heard him or his defenders take up their cause, especially in 2016 when the Co-op bank closed the accounts of 25 British Muslim… Read more »

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