I heard Nigel Farage on the radio last night announcing that he would announce his decision about standing or not in the Newark by-election this morning. I knew he would bottle it, I could tell.
This morning there he was on the TV news pontificating about how he wasn't going to stand because it would be a distraction from the Euro elections and he had no links to Newark and would look like an opportunist. Well I can verify that he's an opportunist but no links? Come on, he had no links to Eastleigh or Buckingham when he stood in both those constituencies in parliamentary elections.
He claimed it would be a distraction from the EU elections. A distraction from the EU elections? I don't see garnering masses of extra publicity in a by-election, and the writ has not even been moved yet, as a distraction.
He also claimed that he had only had twelve hours to make his decision. Bullshit! Patrick Mercer has made it clear that if found guilty and suspended for any reasonable length of time from the House of Commons that he would resign, causing a by-election. it has been pretty clear for months that there would be a by-election in Newark and that it would likely be this spring or summer.
Farage is a hypocrite and a con man. He was instrumental in changing UKIP's policy of not taking seats in the EU parliament if elected, and was promptly elected to the gravy train in 1999. It is obvious to even the biggest political buffoon that even if all UK MEPs elected next month were UKIP it would have no impact on our membership. Only our Westminster Parliament can do that. But UKIP doesn't take its policies, other than on the EU and immigration seriously, therefore we can only conclude that they don't take our parliamentary elections seriously.
No, I knew he wouldn't stand in Newark because he would be in danger of actually winning the seat and he can't afford that to happen. You see you can't be an MEP and an MP at the same time anymore. He would have to resign his seat on the EU gravy train, which is worth far more financially to gravy train passengers than Westminster is.
Maybe Farage could have won the by-election, UKIP still might win without Farage as the candidate. But winning with a massive protest vote, on the back of a so-called 'victory' in a meaningless EU election on a tiny turnout is one thing, defending the seat less than a year later in a general election is another. If UKIP did manage to win, and it's not a foregone conclusion, they would almost certainly lose it next year.
Farage enjoys a lavish lifestyle on his massive salary and allowances. He wouldn't throw that away for less than a year as a Member of Parliament in Westminster.
Don't forget, Mrs Farage would lose her salary too!