…for The Sunday Business Post.
Nigel Farage rang me and summoned me to UKIP headquarters for an interview. I hailed a black cab, and sped along Kensington Gore to Mayfair.
On the way, I got talking to the cabbie, and told him that I was about to interview Nigel Farage. The cabbie told me a familiar tale, until the past year, he used to be a diehard Labour voter, but is now voting UKIP. He explained that the housing crisis is the reason he wants UKIP to succeed, and that he ‘gets’ Farage’s solutions. But he’s worried, ‘UKIP won’t get the numbers to get elected to Parliament…the press really hate em’. He eyed me a little warily.
I assured the cabbie that I had no grudge against Farage, and that I wasn’t planning to muddle the interview with my own opinions. Instead, I was seeking clear, tangible answers on questions relevant to the UK’s relationship with the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, especially if Farage’s plans to filter immigrants based on their skills and qualifications will be applied to Irish people planning to make a new home in England.
Arriving at UKIP headquarters, I saw that the wall had a yellow and purple plaque, ‘Straight Talking’. It was a taste of what came next.
Let me be blunt: Farage was a dream to interview. My little brain kept bursting with elation that he gave such detailed answers. At last this was politics that even I, a simpleton could ‘get’.
Farage is extraordinarily lively, and speaks so speedily that he utters two thousand words in 20 minutes.
Some of Farage’s opinions will put Irish people on the defensive, as though he’s rubbing our noses in past mistakes. That said, he regards us as his ‘kith and kin’, and some of his policies will be exceptionally good for present-day Irish people. Much of Farage’s plans will give a lot of Irish people reason to rejoice.
To prepare for interviewing Farage, I have been ‘following’ over 20 UKIP voters from all walks of life. Listening to them you can learn why there is a gargantuan discrepancy between the way the established media loathe Farage, and the way the struggling masses love him. Also, the voters gave me the reason why UKIP just might get seats in Westminster.
This interview will make uncomfortable reading for David Cameron, Enda Kenny and most political activists from the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem folds.
I had never met Nigel Farage before, but he treated me like an old friend. When I told him how much money I spend on salmon, he encouraged me to take up fishing, ‘why don’t you go and catch a salmon?’ He was open that UKIP have made mistakes in the past. I let slip that I have made many mistakes in life, to which he shook his head and said, ‘no, you haven’t! I’ve made many more mistakes than you, I promise!’
After grilling him with dozens of questions within questions, he picked up his old-style leather satchel and said apologetically to me, ‘’I’ve got to go, love!’ As if he were a fighter-pilot during World War II, and had to leave me behind as he flew into the skies.
People reading this post might want to find out Farage’s answers on cutting down the cost of living, Irish immigration, Northern Ireland…and if he worries how his drinking makes him look. They might also like to learn the one thing that UKIP voters are doing that COULD get UKIP into Parliament.