Brex Factor: Another strange sidekick making plans for Nigel
- Credit: Archant
STEVE ANGLESEY looks at the strange sidekick making plans for Nigel Farage.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man-frog. In a week which saw Tesco temporarily reduce the price of a Freddo bar to just 10p, the chocolate amphibian's human form Nigel Farage is signalling his return to frontline politics.
Having quit UKIP in December in protest over leader Gerard Batten's cosying-up to Tommy Robinson, Farage's new vehicle looks likely to be the Brexit Party, launched by former 'Kipper Catherine Blaiklock. He told the Sun: 'This was Catherine's idea entirely – but she has done this with my full knowledge and my full support.'
From jailbird 'Posh' George Cottrell through Belizean diplomat and would-be Olympian Andy Wigmore to seven-time Nobel Prize and Grand National winner Paul Nuttall, Farage has a reputation for surreal sidekicks and Blaiklock is no exception.
She is best-known for failing to win Great Yarmouth for UKIP in the 2017 general election despite an innovative campaign which saw her brandish a large photograph of her Jamaican husband at one hustings in an attempt to demonstrate that 'Kippers were not racist, later telling Vice 'I sleep with somebody who is black.'
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Her recent return to the limelight has provided equally startling quotes, with Blaiklock telling the Sun that 'people feel treason has been committed' in the fight against Brexit and warning in the Telegraph 'the gathering wrath of the British people will be visited every Remain MP through the ballot box'.
It's as a pundit, though, where Blaiklock comes into her own. On New Year's Day she popped up on the Conservative Woman website where, under the headline 'Hungry? Let them eat spuds!' she explained that poor people 'cannot be bothered' to cook and claimed the use of food banks was causing obesity.
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Blaiklock advised those on low income to heed the example of Sherpas in the Himalayas, who eat 'practically nothing but boiled potatoes with a bit of salt and chilli on the side', adding that 'a visit to a food bank of the type that millions are supposed to rely on shows you the problem. It is full of cans of sweet custard and packets of PopTarts and the like. They do not stock raw potatoes because they might 'go off'.'
In an earlier piece for the same website, she offered these enlightened thoughts on drug sentencing: 'If you are 18 years old and you can either earn hundreds of thousands of pounds drug dealing or work at a minimum wage job for £8 an hour, which would you take?... But if (an offender) knew that if he got caught dealing drugs or for murder he would automatically hang, would he be quite so keen? Maybe that minimum wage job in Tesco would start to look a little more appealing.'
Meat and drink to former 'Kippers disillusioned with the party's embrace of Robinson, you'd have thought. But elsewhere in Blaiklock's oeuvre are suggestions that frogman Farage might have hopped out of frying pan held by Islamophobes straight into a fire tended by people with stupid beliefs about race.
Take, for example, a now-deleted post on Blaiklock's blog, titled 'Baby mamas, gangs and testosterone'. 'I always joke that black American men go crazy in their teens and 20s because of all their excess testosterone, have lots of babies, sex, violence, drugs, sport and music and then at 35, when their testosterone reduces to near the levels of white men, all settle down and become washing-machine repairmen,' she wrote. 'I may not be so far from the truth… We do not like to talk about biology when related to race, but what is good for winning 100m races might not be great for passing A-level maths exams.'
But what caught my eye for reasons which will soon become apparent was a post on the Salisbury Review website in which Blaiklock noted that a disused pub outside Norwich had been bought for £450,000, with planning permission granted to build a £1 million mosque within the grounds. 'You have to question where such a small community gets £1.5 million of donations from,' she wrote. 'It takes a lot of Bangladeshi takeaway dishes at £1 profit a time to raise and save these sort of amounts.'
Blaiklock went on to moan that the local paper which broke the story, Norfolk's excellent Eastern Daily Press, had disabled website comments on it.
And why should that be? She wrote: 'The EDP is owned by Archant, a newspaper group, who also owns the extremely anti-Brexit, pro-EU and pro-mass migration New European newspaper.' Makes you proud, doesn't it?
'I would just walk away,' Sir James Dyson told The Sun last August. He was talking about EU negotiations, but Dyson has followed his own advice and is moving his HQ from Wiltshire to Singapore.
A spokesman said Dyson would continue to pay UK tax, but last year he was revealed to be a member of three – entirely legal – tax-deferral schemes, allowing payments to be put off for 15 years. His huge farmland portfolio is also exempt from inheritance tax.
BREXITEERS OF THE WEEK
Boreham Wood FC
They might be mid-table in the Conference Premier, but the Hertfordshire side sit top of the Brexit league after posted a 1,400-word statement on their official website, titled 'MPs Do Your Duty'. 'We believe, as Mrs May to her credit does, that Brexit must mean Brexit and we remind the intellectuals out there, that doesn't make us all stupid, nationalistic, fascist, ignorant, or all of those things… please stop scaremongering us all about a NO DEAL,' it said – or at least it did before being quickly deleted.
The lengthy rant continued: 'If we fail, then we fail…. Be prepared to show steel, be prepared to fail.' That's certainly an approach which has been embraced by The 'Wood, who have not won since Boxing Day, racking up three defeats in their last five matches.
After her batshit debut last year (which contained the line 'Brexit – say it soft and it's almost like praying, say it loud and there's music playing'), would even the Sunday Telegraph dare to rint another Burchill column about you-know-what?
The answer is a resounding yes, and Julie has returned with a screed devoted to the notion that rather than Brexiteers, it's actually Remainers who are rooted in the past.
'We Leavers are the Futurists… our Futuristic vision will see us through,' she wrote. Because nothing says 'forward-thinking anti-nostalgia' more than comparing yourself to the Futurists, an art movement of the early 20th century whose founder Filippo Tommaso Marinetti went on to support Benito Mussolini and write the Fascist Manifesto!
When even some Brexiteers expressed dismay over a supposed 'celebration' held at the Victorian Undertaker's home after Theresa May's Plan A was voted down, Rees-Mogg countered that the event had in fact been 'an impromptu meeting for like-minded Tory MPs'. He later told an LBC caller it was 'a meeting with drinks… I think what is known as sparkling French wine was served.'
A tip for Jacob: If you don't want people to mistake your meetings for celebrations, best not to hold them after you've just won something… or to have your 11-year-old son on hand to serve up £45-a-bottle Bollinger to the guests... or to have so much of it at hand that an attendee feels able to tell the Mail On Sunday 'the good stuff was flowing'.
Deep pan pizzas may be out for the newly-slimline bus charlatan, but the 'deep state' – a term used by tinfoil hat merchants to describe a supposed secret power base of government departments, intelligence agencies and military authorities – is very much in. Johnson claims Leavers 'will feel there's been a great conspiracy by the deep state of the UK, the people who really run the country, to overturn the vote in the referendum'. And no-one is better placed to confront the hidden elite than a wealthy old Etonian ex-foreign secretary whose father worked for the World Bank!
Boris' belief in the deep state's existence puts him in the company of alt-right blogger Paul Joseph Watson, alt-right guru Steve Bannon, alt-right president Donald Trump and, erm, Jeremy Corbyn sideman Andrew Murray, who complained last year that the shadowy network was blocking his Commons security pass.
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