Enoch Powell said famously that all political careers end in failure.Nigel Farage should have proved him wrong.Farage’s career should — repeat should — have ended in triumph.After all, he went into politics with just one aim and succeeded
spectacularly.The magnificent Leave victory in 2016 was a vindication of Farage’s virtually single-handed campaign to get Britain out of the EU.Yes, others can also take credit.But Farage was the figurehead, often a lone voice in the wilderness.No
one had to endure the vilification and violence directed at Farage as he took his message around the country year after year, well before Call Me Dave finally buckled and gave the people a long-overdue referendum.Fifteen years ago, when I was
presenting a nightly show on Sky News, I was about the only broadcaster who would give him a regular platform.The mainstream media treated him as a pariah — at best a circus act, at worst a neo-Nazi.This was around the time that New Labour was
almost unanimously agreed to have established a 1,000-year reich and opposition to our glorious future as a European statelet was considered futile.Aside from a few principled players in the Conservative Party — former leader and one-time Maastricht
rebel Iain Duncan Smith prominent among them — the political establishment wholeheartedly embraced the EU project.But Farage kept banging away, making mischief in Brussels, where he’d managed to get himself elected as an MEP and used
his position to ridicule the pompous panjandrums running the show.Who can forget his wonderful denunciation of the ridiculous Herman Van Rompuy, self-styled former European ‘president’? ‘You have the charisma of a damp rag, and the appearance of
a low-grade bank clerk . . .Who are you? I’d never heard of you.Nobody in Europe had ever heard of you.‘I would like to ask you, President, who voted for you . . .oh, I know democracy’s not popular with you lot, and what mechanism do the people of
Europe have to remove you? ‘Is this European democracy? You appear to have a loathing for the very concept of the existence of nation states — perhaps that’s because you come from Belgium, which of course is pretty much a non-country . .
.‘Sir, you have no legitimacy in this job at all, and I can say with confidence that I speak on behalf of the majority of British people in saying: We don’t know you, we don’t want you, and the sooner you’re put out to grass, the better.’ The Westminster bubble was horrified.How dare this upstart show such a lack of respect to our European masters? But out in the suburbs and the shires, and on the rundown council estates in the North of England, millions of decent British citizens gave a silent cheer.Call Me Dave dismissed Farage’s Ukip as a collection of ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’.It was a cruel caricature, but partly accurate.Ukip’s annual conference certainly resembles a roomful of Hyacinth Buckets and men who model themselves on the Major in Fawlty Towers.