At the point Nigel Farage announced his intention to stand for parliament “my heart sank”, admitted Trixy Sanderson, 42, formerly known as Annabelle Fuller. “It’s very triggering,” said Farage’s former lover and press aide.

The overriding emotion of Doug Denny, 76, a former member of Ukip’s ruling body, was frustration. “I don’t like frauds,” he said, with a shake of the head. As for Nikki Sinclaire, 55, one of Farage’s former MEPs, she said she felt cold anger.

It was inexplicable to her that this particular political bandwagon was still rolling on. “I get very frustrated because the media have had the tools for many years to down Farage.”

That collective sense of foreboding deepened on Thursday night as Farage’s Reform UK party summoned up Rishi Sunak’s worst nightmare, nudging ahead of the Conservatives in a YouGov poll for the first time, with its support reaching 19% to the Tories 18%, while Labour powered on at 37%.

It is, however, striking, and possibly instructive, how very many enemies, often of his own political hue, Farage has accumulated since he swapped being a trader on the London metal exchange for politics more than 30 years ago.

The reasons given for the often deeply felt dislike – mainly varieties of the claim that he is a power-hungry narcissist – also potentially offer an insight into his intentions for Reform, described as an “entrepreneurial political start-up” in which Farage is the company’s director and majority shareholder.

Chloe Deakin, an English teacher at Dulwich college, wrote in 1981: “You will recall that at the recent, and lengthy, meeting about the selection of prefects, the remark by a colleague that Farage was ‘a fascist but that was no reason why he would not make a good prefect’ invoked considerable reaction from members of the common room.

“Another colleague, who teaches the boy, described his publicly professed racist and neo-fascist views, and he cited a particular incident in which Farage was so offensive to a boy in his set, that he had to be removed from the lesson.”

In Michael Crick’s biography of Farage, One Party After Another, those who shared a classroom with Farage at the private school in south-east London expressed the full range of views on him.

One Jewish pupil claimed Farage would sidle up to him and say: “Hitler was right,” or “Gas ’em.” Another claimed Farage had a preoccupation with his initials, NF, as they were the same as those of the National Front.

In his autobiography, Fighting Bull, Farage admitted some people were alarmed by his admiration for Enoch Powell, and when confronted in 2013 by Crick he admitted saying “ridiculous things” but “not necessarily racist things”.

What was undeniable, he conceded, was that he was a “difficult bolshie teenager who pushed the boundaries of debate further than perhaps I ought to have done”.

It could be argued that Farage never really grew up.

  • apis@beehaw.org
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    1 month ago

    “Farage was determined to be there at the start of it, aged 29, having been propelled to live life to the full, he has said, after being knocked down by a Volkswagen Beetle and then having his left testicle removed due to cancer.”

    Volkswagen Beetles

    ONE ball

    So much hope we’re not being reference trolled here. This is too much delicious (if ominous) synchronicity. Cackling but I do not like it, not one bit.

    • Baggins@beehaw.org
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      1 month ago

      I wonder if he’s ever been to the Albert Hall.

      P.S. Wasn’t his wife German?

      • ᴇᴍᴘᴇʀᴏʀ 帝OPA
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        I wonder if he’s ever been to the Albert Hall.

        I hear that his mother is a dirty bugger…

        Wasn’t his wife German?

        Yep, and he hurriedly applied for their German passports after Brexit.

    • frog 🐸@beehaw.org
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      So like…

      Say you were watching a film, and a character gets hit by a Volkswagen Beetle, loses a testicle, and marries a German. Audiences and critics alike would be like “yeah, we get it, we know what you’re referencing” because the references would be deemed unnecessarily heavy-handed.

      Why is it okay for reality to do that, but not film directors?

  • Mrkawfee
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    1 month ago

    I think many of his admirers aspire to be unembarrassed racists.

  • mannycalavera
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    After, what?, nearly two decades of Farage is this anything that anyone doesn’t already know? He’s a gobshite and a charlatan. But to be honest the guardian isn’t going to change people’s minds on that. Good reading nonetheless.

    • Echo Dot
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      1 month ago

      Wasn’t he having any off with some French waitress at one point. Irony of ironies.

  • futatorius@lemm.ee
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    1 month ago

    But I keep reading on here that Reform is not an extremist party. It must be a mere concidence that there’s a huge overlap between those of my acquaintances who have expressed racist views and those who are Reform supporters.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    That collective sense of foreboding deepened on Thursday night as Farage’s Reform UK party summoned up Rishi Sunak’s worst nightmare, nudging ahead of the Conservatives in a YouGov poll for the first time, with its support reaching 19% to the Tories 18%, while Labour powered on at 37%.

    This April, 300 people, including the former prime minister Liz Truss, joined him at a boisterous 60th birthday dinner at Boisdale, in London’s Canary Wharf, to which the former US president Donald Trump sent a video message of congratulations.

    The reasons given for the often deeply felt dislike – mainly varieties of the claim that he is a power-hungry narcissist – also potentially offer an insight into his intentions for Reform, described as an “entrepreneurial political start-up” in which Farage is the company’s director and majority shareholder.

    The genesis of Sinclaire’s question, made under parliamentary privilege which gives her protection from the defamation laws, lay in Farage’s insistence in 2004, shortly after his election as leader, that Ukip MEPs would not employ their partners, a policy that he had personally and quietly ignored.

    Hermann Kelly, the president of the anti-immigration Irish Freedom party, who was also a press aide to Farage for years in the European parliament, claimed his former boss was genuine in being driven by his belief in social conservatism and a small state, citing JS Mill’s On Liberty as an inspiration.

    Kelly added that when he was working with him, Farage had saved just six numbers in his mobile phone and for a long time struggled to send a text, but that he was quick to see the value of YouTube, TikTok and X, for which he dictates messages to his press aides.


    The original article contains 2,277 words, the summary contains 284 words. Saved 88%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!