Don’t worry Theresa, it will probably end in tearsby George Edmondson / November 22, 2016 / Leave a comment
Any year in which the visage of Nigel Farage is given such regular exposure is inevitably a bad one. First, there was the whole Brexit campaign and then his speech to the European Parliament on 28th June, telling MEPs that most of them had never done a proper job. Last weekend, he met with the President-Elect at Trump Tower in New York, emerging with visible joy. Unsurprisingly, Farage was there to outflank the British government. It worked: this morning an unprecedented tweet by Donald Trump actively called for Farage’s appointment as ambassador to the US, willfully ignoring the fact that Kim Darroch already holds that prestigious post.
Theresa May hasn’t been having any of it. The prime minister and Donald Trump had chatted on the phone said a spokeswoman: “The President-Elect talked about enjoying the same close relationship that Reagan and Thatcher did. I don’t remember there being a third person in that relationship.” Farage has reacted like a child whining that it’s unfair. “It just goes to show they are not really interested in the country or the national interest,” he told LBC, “They are more concerned about petty party politics and trying to keep me out of everything.”
However, is May right to reject his offer of help? Arron Banks, co-founder of the Leave EU campaign, has claimed that Farage and Steve Bannon, Trump’s newly appointed chief strategist “speak and text almost daily,” like high school sweethearts and that Farage has a “hotline to the White House.” History provides some examples of individuals whose influence within the establishment far exceeds their portfolio, wily vagabonds who have weaselled their way in. May can take solace that each ends in catastrophe.
The Puppeteer: Rasputin and Tsarina Alexandra
In the wake of a nationwide fascination with the occult, Rasputin, a holy man and mystic, was invited into the Russian court for his apparent ability to ease the suffering of the haemophiliac prince, Alexei. Rasputin’s closeness to the Tsarina became a source of controversy, but warnings against him came to be seen as an affront by the imperial couple, only increasing their isolation and his sway over them. When Tsar Nicholas left St Petersburg for the eastern front in 1915, Rasputin, capitalising on the Tsarina’s inexperience and…