Coffee House

Farage (wisely) bottles the Newark by-election: ‘I’m a fighter, I’m a warrior’

30 April 2014

8:31 AM

30 April 2014

8:31 AM

Much relief in Downing Street this morning as Nigel Farage announces that he’s not standing in the Newark by-election. Coffee House readers had the best insight into the Ukip leader’s thinking when James posted the details of a conversation he’d had with Farage about the constituency. And his prediction that Farage may well decide to not stand was right.

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Farage has bottled it, he’s frit. That’s what every relieved Conservative MP is saying this morning. It’s true: Farage got to the cliff edge, looked down, and edged away from what he saw. He didn’t fancy the battle and didn’t think that he could beat the Conservatives. He thought that this would burst the Ukip bubble just a few weeks after the European elections, where the party expects to do very well indeed.

But it is possible to bottle it for the right reasons. As Farage told Today, ‘I’m a fighter, I’m a warrior, but you have to pick your battles in life’. Why exhaust yourself on a fight you don’t think you can win? Ukip’s image is still very fragile. Instead, Farage can raise the profile of another Diane James-style candidate which gives the impression that his party isn’t a one-man band. ‘It’s about time that we had other people with a high profile in this country,’ he said. He has bottled it, but he knows it’s better than jumping off a cliff now.

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Show comments
  • Monkey_Bach

    Nigel Farage reminds me of Ross Perot, an independent non-of-the-above candidate for American President. And, politically, where is Ross today? Exactly.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, he’s 20 years past his prime, so his political absence today would be no different in kind than any other octogenarian’s.

      There is little resemblance between Perot and Farage, by the way. Perot spent his own cash, and lots of it, but it had little lasting political effect. His short-lived Reform Party only came about because of his cash.

      UKIP is a grassroots movement, unbeholden to Farage’s wealth, yet UKIP is already having political effects outsized to its meager cash pile, and will continue to do so even when Farage departs the scene, thanks to those grassroots.

  • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

    More proof that Farage is not a hothead, he is a cool strategist. He’s no Thatcher, but why anyone would prefer today’s Miliband’s and Balls’s (the chuckle brothers) to Farage is beyond me.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Just imagine what the narrative will be if a miracle happens and the Tories are defeated by a UKIP candidate in Newark now Farage has written it off. Much better the David beats Goliath narrative than the narrative of clawing defeat out of the jaws of victory (Cameron’s favourite narrative).

    Farage is right. It needs a local candidate not an outsider foisted on the constituency for narcissistic self-interest. Farage’s job is not to open the door to Westminster but lead the charge through it once it has been opened.

  • lojolondon

    Good article depicting the MSM bias – particularly the BBC.

    http://order-order.com/2014/04/30/suspended-council-candidate-doesnt-make-national-news/

  • Penny

    To my mind, “bottling it” sounds rather like a playground taunt so I hope this isn’t what our MP’s were thinking or saying. For one it doesn’t inspire confidence in the calibre of MP’s, and secondly, not a one of them would likely do any different since “strategy” would be a word familiar to them all.

    Were I Farage, the only thing I’d be “bottling” right now is the weight of expectation being placed on him by the support he appears to be generating. That is far, far more onerous a burden to carry than deciding whether it is in your party’s strategic interests to carry three jobs at one time – ie. party leader of a new and as yet undeveloped party, MEP and MP.

  • Mynydd

    Newark is a nice strong Conservative seat, just right for Boris Johnson, so why is he not standing, when it’s a nice easy route to the leadership.

  • you_kid

    Isabel, as a graphics man and keen political map reader I believe your colleague Sebastian actually delivered the reasons why Farage will not stand in Newark.
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/04/who-could-win-the-newark-by-election/

    • the viceroy’s gin

      No, you are not a “graphics man”, nor are you “keen”, nor are you a “political map reader”. You are an ignorant and poorly educated socialist nutter.

      How’s the goat, by the way?

  • Chingford Man

    I imagine “bottling it” means backing away from something out of fear. I can’t imagine Farage chickening out of anything.

    Isabel, after writing this guff, you really ought to be getting a CCHQ salary. Save us from tame MSM hacks who simply recycle what gets whispered to them.

    And, if your Downing Street sources are so relieved that they are not facing Farage in Newark, have they forgotten how Diane James came from nowhere in Eastleigh nearly to win?

  • obiwan

    “…Farage has bottled it, he’s frit.”

    Really? I mean…really? This is the best you could do? Absolutely pathetic; the kind of tired, cliched, lazy writing that these days passes itself off as ‘journalism’. Just how low can the Spectator go?

    Nigel Farage has made the only sensible decision worth making: to put the good of his party ahead of his personal ambition. Bravo to him – he saw the trap the hateful msm were attempting to lay for him and he cheerfully stepped to one side, all too aware just how duplicitous and sly these snakes are.

    Roll on May 22nd – I pray the undemocratic ‘meeja’ and the despicable ‘Westminster claque’ get a drubbing in the EU election from UKIP that they won’t forget it a hurry.

  • keith

    The BBC doing all they can to help their fiends (just like you Ms Hardman with your “bottle” headline), rolling out Ken Clarke and the new three party grouping “migration matters trust” lead by failed Labour MP Barbara Roache ( she managed to loose a majority of over 10,000 in a staunch labour area) to criticise UKIP, which surely should be looked at my the electoral commission as it would seem to be another way of parties spending money to attack another but not under their own banner during an election, the establishment cant have it both ways, one man party, but if they chose someone else their running scared, i think it says more about the mixed up and establishment message more than UKIP

    • Rtd Colonel

      Roche managed to get a nice little sinecure though didn’t she – that’s the reason for the panic they can see the gravy train coming off the track.

      • keith

        Mind you the Tory on that group is just as bad Nadeem Zahawi the man who thinks its ok to claim expenses for the public to heat his stables so his horses don’t get cold

      • Kennybhoy

        True. Never underestimate the venal rather than the ideological.

    • Sapporo

      Barbara Roche is an odious woman, who Andrew Neather revealed that she when, as Immigration Minister, saw “mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.”

      He said: “I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date”

      • Keith D

        In an act of treason ensuring our children will inherit a country torn by Islamic horror and civil strife.

        I make no bones about it. Shooting is too good for these traitors.

  • lojolondon

    He has NEVER bottled it. He is fighting the EU elections in the next months, how could he possibly have successfully fought a constituency at the same time?
    The MSM, lead like sheep by the biased BBC, is saying he bottled it, in fact, logically it was never an option.

    • Blindsideflanker

      What is being said is more an indicator of the state of the Westminster parties. As soon as UKIP said it was going after Labour voters we saw UKIP being accused as racist, a typical attack from Labour’s worn out play book. And today the response from the Conservatives can be said to be pretty juvenile. Paul Goodman, completely without any argument posts a bottle, which is pretty infantile, and says more about the fear and concern in the ranks of the Cameroons.

  • Chris Kimberley

    im loving all the ukipers defending faridge’s cowardice, his ego couldnt take the humbling it would receive at the ballot box

    • Wessex Man

      and what party are you going to be standing for? Farage is leading an election Campign for the European Parliament and is also conducting a speaking tour of the UK, one of the Venues The Forum at Bath was the one I went to yesterday an Open Public Meeting, packed to the rafters, while the protest outside was by a couple of dozen loonies, who by their actions persuaded the couple behind me to join UKip, magic

    • Doggie Roussel

      Illiterate git… at least spell Farage’s name correctly and start your drivel off with a capital letter and an apostrophe.

      With ignorant oafs like you attacking UKIP, there is another nail in the Establishment’s coffin… keep up the good work.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Battle is risky and to be avoided. War can be waged without the risk of battle. Farage is more important as a figurehead and rallying point for dissent than he would be as an MP. More irritating to the status quo – more power to his elbow.

  • Chris Kimberley

    coward, he lacks the testicular fortitude to put himself up to the public vote in a real ealection

    • Rtd Colonel

      Expect the testicular element as a background theme – Nigel having lost one fighting testicular cancer – “I’m quite relieved that Nigel Farage MEP has only one testicle.” Camilla Long 2010 – can you imagine Camilla being glad that Angelina Jolie lsot her breasts? And the real nasty parties are???

    • Kennybhoy

      Twisted wee cunnus! 🙁

  • Sapporo

    Farage is right. UKIP has many excellent, intelligent candidates. The MSM ignore such people and, instead, scour the far depths of UKIP’s membership for eccentric members, to fit their agenda of smearing the Party. This is an opportunity for one of those excellent candidates to feature in the Media. I hope that after the EU elections, UKIP will invest in structure, communications and IT to become more effective in the modern campaigning environment.

    • Chris Kimberley

      many excellent and intelligent candidates 🙂 , that sir is comedy gold!
      would that be the racists, the ones that think gays cause floods, or the ones that think lenny henry is from a black country (actually hes from The Black Country)

      • Keith D

        Hardly representative of the party as a whole. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable with a cuddly, troughing child molester who at the first time of asking votes against the interests of us all in sacrifice to the great god of Euro Multiculturalism..

        Is it racist I wonder to state that Multiculturalism doesn’t work? I bet you’d say so.

        • Chris Kimberley

          so thats what the guy meant when he said lenny henry should go back to a black country, he was questioning multi culturalism, for a minute I though he was a typical ignorant bigot

          • Keith D

            That guy was in the wrong, just like the idiot who made the floods comment. I’m not excusing them, but you highlight them to the detriment, unfairly, of many good decent people who’ve just had enough of having their views discounted.

            • The_Missing_Think

              Wrong?

              So you want the 1971 LabCon’s Immigration Act 1971, which includes finacial repatriation provisions repealed?

              http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/24/newsid_2518000/2518513.stm

              Its funny how the quick to accuse types, never, ever complain about Labour’s bona fida ‘racist’ laws, it’s as if they don’t really care, they just want to sling mud about.

              • Keith D

                How on earth you deduced that from my saying the comment on Lenny Henry was wrong ? Really ?

                • The_Missing_Think

                  Yes, very really… because it’s a words and meaning thing – not an emotional surge. Can you really not tell the difference between a suggestion (voluntary), and enforcement?

                  The words “if”, and “must”, don’t mean the same thing, hence the 1971 parallel made.

                  “I think if black people come to this country and don’t like mixing with white people why are they here? If he (Henry) wants a lot of blacks around go and live in a black country.”

                  ‘If he’… ‘he must be’… see it yet?

                • Keith D

                  I do, but still think it was an unhelpful intemperate remark. And my views on the whole immigration nightmare are perfectly clear.

                • The_Missing_Think

                  So your only objection, is the language being used in 140 spaces, rather than the concept of unenforced, totally voluntary repatriation laws, already in existence?

                  Correct?

                  So that means you support people being barred from political office, for simply using feather ruffling language, even if the remark is accepted – legally binding – conventional wisdom… that right, my liberal friend?

                • Keith D

                  You do have a tendency to jump to conclusions. Who said anything about disbarment from office? And your cheap jibe of “liberal friend” is inaccurate on two counts. Enough please.

                • The_Missing_Think

                  No jumping to conclusions here, he’s been forced out, didn’t you know?

                  By people that wrongly jumped to the conclusion, that he must be a… ???

                  By people that run and hide from reality, when cornered by faultless logic.

                • Keith D

                  You leaped to conclusions about what I was saying. And if he’s been forced out, which I do not approve of by the way, then maybe his remark was a bit “intemperate”. Faultless. Logic.

                • The_Missing_Think

                  “That guy was in the wrong, just like the idiot who made the floods comment.”

                  “I do, but still think it was an unhelpful intemperate remark.”

                  So was he wrong or right… conceptually? (forget language).

                • The_Missing_Think

                  A cornered silence has begun.

                  Checkmate.

                • Keith D

                  You win. well done grandmaster.

                • Kennybhoy

                  Very sad…

                • Keith D

                  Gave up when I realised, belatedly tbf, that I was arguing with a child.

                • Kennybhoy

                  “… when cornered by faultless logic.”

                  Oh my…

          • Wessex Man

            Well I could point out the Liberal Democrat Councilor convicted of assault on an Eastern European barman who he told to go back to his own country, one Stephen Funwick or the Mayor of DenbIgh, John Larsen, a pedofile sentenced to 18 years for carrying out a BOMBING CAMPAIGN IN DENBIGH, also a Liberal Democrat, I could go on but I’m from a Party that’s more interested in the future of the country!

          • Barakzai

            There is a significant difference in meaning between ‘go to a black country’ – which is what Henwood is quoted as having tweeted – and ‘go back to a black country’. Your addition of the word ‘back’ was wholly unintentional, presumably?

    • carl_whit

      Spot on. BBC trying it’s hardest to smear Ukip. It’s a disgrace. BBC=British biased corporation. I’m an ex-tory fully signed up to ukip for good. I despise the liberal metropolitan so-called elite.

  • Raddiy

    It must be bl**dy annoying when UKIP refuse to play the game according to its enemies rules.

    And then along comes the monosyllabic, one dimensional types like BIll Brinsmead, who thinks creative thinking is akin to a comedian repeating the same worn out cliche jokes, until somebody in the audience laughs, or everybody in the audience dies from old age and the booing stops.

    Bill you are as useful to your party as a collective dose of syphillis. You are a blogging version of Ken Clarke, out of time and out of ideas, and unhappily for your party, not out of bandwidth.

  • swatnan

    Bottler! The Decline and Fall of Nige the UKIP starts right now. At the first opportunity to show what he can do, he’s run off! Just shows he’s all mouth and no trousers. Yes its easy to ridicule Baron Rompouy in Brussels and Barrusio Dortmund, but its a different kettle of fish to vote on difficult issues one way or the other, and show where you stand. The man is a disgrace. He’s like bin Laden sending in lobby fodder to do his dirty work.

    • Blindsideflanker

      And if Farrage had said he would run you would be posting what an opportunist he was.

      • swatnan

        Definitely not. The by-election came about purely by accident.
        Its great to see Nigels apologists backtracking and bending over in contortions. They would have urged him to stand. The man loves attention and a by-election means that he would get everyones attention. Narcissist.

        • Wessex Man

          Now why was this by-election brought about? as yes, sleeze yet again, it’s all very well people like you knocking Farage, it’s only when the stone is lifted and the slimy stuff spills out that we get these by-elections.

        • Rtd Colonel

          “Purely by accident … Nothing to do with Mercer and his cash for questions then!

          • swatnan

            Even more reason for Nige to step forward and show that we’re not going to put up with sleaze and affairs, like pocketing bribes and pocketing expenses and pocketing staff familiy/salaries and pocketing expenses to benefit The Party etc. UkIP aren’t goint to put up with that sort of stuff when they get into power.

        • Faceless Bureaucrat

          “The by-election came about purely by accident.” – 3 weeks before the Euro Elections? Ha ha ha!
          Do you REALLY think the timing of this by Downing Street was an “accident”?
          They set an obvious ‘Elephant Trap’ for Farage and he deftly stepped over it…

    • Dogzzz

      Sounds like sour grapes that everything you throw at UKIP fails to dent their appeal and you cannot stand how Nigel will campaign and stick to his election strategy, and not do what the establishment hope.

      He is doing the right thing and the frustration this is creating in the dying establishment is deliscious.

  • Kitty MLB

    Well before I eschew the Spectator battlefields, may I say Nigel Farage is right,
    you chose your battles before fighting the war. He must beat Labour and win the EU
    elections and be our voice- David verses goliath- although he would have won the seat!
    Like I was saying yesterday and my kipper buddies didn’t like it when I said Nigel Farage should not be at the leaders debates next year( when choosing a government)
    He will make an excellent PM at some point but its about as Nigel said, choosing battles, and winning lots of battles before the war, gaining experience and credibility,
    because he does speak for the country. He cannot get it wrong, he must play the long
    game and timing is imperative when up against the big beast establishment.
    He will know when its right to gain a seat, and I dearly hope he will, the HOC
    is dominated by the Left and not representative of this Great Country…
    And I know some kippers do not want him to have a seat as he will become part
    of the ‘ establishment’ remember – country before party- the other parties forgot
    that ages ago.

    • Kitty MLB

      Oh I forgot to say don’t give up on the ‘ Peoples Army’ the Working Class
      Labour Voter such as Mrs Duffy who no longer has a party and also Mr Patel
      who has been living & working here for decades and loves this country.
      Arrivederci.

    • Kennybhoy

      “He cannot get it wrong, he must play the longgame and timing is imperative when up against the big beast establishment.”

      True. But do you think that there is enough actual time left to play…?

      Good post.

  • Keith D

    Mr Farage is obviously playing the long game. Good.
    It would be tragic if the best hope we marginalised natives have is dashed on the rocks of undue haste.

    Oh how the media hate it when their PCMC treachery is challenged. They still wont get how much they’re despised until we get to stand them against a wall.

  • jazz606

    Listening to the audio clip reminded me how awful John Humphries is and why I no longer listen to the Today Prog ( amongst other BBC progs ) no attempt at impartiality or objectivity, just hammering away and attempting to badger the subject into the BBC view of things.
    Farage has made a sensible decision on Newark and maybe that’s why the MSM don’t get it. Perhaps they’re not used to a politician who makes decisions based on common sense rather than political expediency ?

    • HenryWood

      I had to give up on the Today prog too for health reasons – my blood pressure simply could not handle that biased bunch so early in the morning. Question Time, Newsnight and Any Questions are also forbidden me and I’m afraid Eddie Mair’s PM has recently joined the list as he too has obviously received a transfusion of BBC’s DNA since he first started on that prog.
      Does anyone know of any decent radio news services?

      • jazz606

        “…Does anyone know of any decent radio news services?…..”

        Nope !

        • telemachus

          Talk Radio makes a decent fist
          However the BBC are just a little too benign with Farage
          He has obviously dropped all pretense of being a reasonable balanced politician and like Powell, Griffiths, Mosley, Robinson and Griffin decided that the shortcut to popularity is to frighten the life out of minorities
          *
          When is someone going to prosecute under #17-26 of the Public Order Act 1986 or The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

          • lojolondon

            When Nigel won the debates and the leftwing/MSM suddenly realised that UKIP appeals Labour as well as Conservative voters, the cries of ‘waycism’ started up the next day. Do not expect that to change anytime soon!

            Clearly that comment applies to trolls like telemachus as well as their masters in the MSM.

            • telemachus

              You however cannot excuse the increasing racism
              Nor the disgraceful performance last Wednesday

              • lojolondon

                What racism?? What are you referring to?

                • telemachus

                  You know well
                  Parking frightening billboards in Northern Asian cities to seek the BNP vote and foment inter racial discord

                • The_Missing_Think

                  “Parking frightening billboards in Northern Asian cities to seek the…”
                  _____

                  Aren’t “Northern Asian cities” in northern Asia?

                • lojolondon

                  Northern Asian cities?? Interesting. But it is agreed among the LIBLABCON that they share the same thoughts about limiting immigration. In fact, UKIP is LESS racist than LIBLABCON, because they would limit ALL immigration. LIBLABCON promise to allow Europeans to immigrate at will and limit immigration from India / Asia etc.

                • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

                  Weren’t they Coalition billboards telling immigrants to “go home or be arrested” funny world.

                • Kennybhoy

                  “Northern Asian cities”?

                  Woo hoo parapraxis or what? 🙂

        • Smithersjones2013

          I listen to Talksport and the sports news is very good. They also don’t insult your intelligence by peddling anything but the headlines of the garbage that Sky and the BBC peddle as news.

      • Andy

        Well at least you can still listen to the Weather.

        • lojolondon

          Since the Biased BBC and the Met office decided that global warming was real, the weather has been consistently absolutely wrong. They can’t even predict the weather for tomorrow afternoon, no wonder they fail to predict days in advance.

          • telemachus

            But they did correctly predict that Farage would not run whatever James says

            • lojolondon

              True. But not magic, really,
              For example, I can predict that with the general election on 7 May 2015, Miliband, Farage, Clegg and Cameron will not be contesting any by-elections between April and July 2015.
              Maybe obvious, but then I wouldn’t think to claim credit for something so obviously stupid – (suggested by the N Robinson / M Crick dull duo.)

              • telemachus

                I think the point is that BBC intelligence is usually well informed

                • lojolondon

                  CLEARLY NOT!!! The BBC asked the question and within minutes the idea was laughed off by serious commentators. It is worth remembering that as the propaganda wing of the Labour party, the B-BBC always has an agenda!

          • Andy

            Wel he has no choice then: he will just have to listen to his iPod.

      • Sapporo

        I prefer LBC as they let the public phone in and give their views.

        • lojolondon

          Yes, a bizzarre concept. Not popular with the B-BBC because impossible to manage the message then?? So yet another good reason to keep the TV tax and prevent competition!

      • The_Missing_Think

        “my blood pressure simply could not handle that biased bunch so early in the morning.”
        _____

        Very true, I used a volume remote control and a digital blood tester repeatedly to see if there was a difference between silence and R4.

        When I discovered the potential life shortening effect of R4’s Leftism, it was ditched.

        • telemachus

          Very odd claim with a Political Editor who Chaired the Oxford University Conservative Association and then the Young Conservatives and whose whole tenor is set by a Chairman who was Chair of the Tory Part itself

    • Blindsideflanker

      Yes I heard it and was thinking …for gods sake Humphries move onto another subject. The BBC had a script where which ever choice Farrage made they were going to attack him on it. And the very fact that all the BBC could talk about was the bye election and not policy was reason enough for Farrage to say no to running.

    • telemachus

      Very foolish to say he bottled it
      He is a master strategist who understands political realities
      The racial card does not play well in Newark

  • Denis_Cooper

    As I have pointed out before, Boudicca was doing well until she allowed the Romans to lure her onto a battlefield of their choosing. If she had had the strategic sense to “bottle” it, then history might have been very different.

    • Andy

      Quite right. Farage has done the right thing.

    • The_Missing_Think

      Caesar, Hannibal and Alexander all made sure, as much as possible, that each battle they fought was on their terms, not the enemies, which included, long sit outs, declines, and stealthy departures in the dark of night. And thats probably one of the reasons their names live on, and their troops were fanatically loyal.

      Fools rush in, where angels (Nigel) dare tread.

    • telemachus

      There are a myriad of similarities between Boudicca and Farage from the hatred of all foreigners to the attempted repudiation of the European project
      *
      The same will happen to both in the end

      • Anglica Bee

        If you take the trouble to check I think you’ll find that it has already happened to Boudicea – she met her end quite some time ago.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    ‘I’m a fighter, I’m a warrior’

    More like former city trader, spiv and chancer who has trousered more than £3m in MEP salary and allowances.

    • Denis_Cooper

      In what way has he “trousered” that money?

      Is he walking around with bulging pockets?

      How much has Daniel Hannan “trousered” since 1999?

    • Colonel Mustard

      And for all his fallibilities infinitely more attractive than those privileged, manufactured, over-promoted, weasel-worded wonks Cameron, Miliband and Clegg.

      • bugshead

        Absolutely, and full of their clones – that is why we will be voting for Farage and his party.

  • In2minds

    Look at that halo!

    • Sapporo

      That photo was taken at a debate on immigration at the Guildhall, attended by 1,000 people, earlier, this year. I was there and Farage absolutely demolished an embarrassingly week selection of Labour MPs, Labour Quango chiefs and media representatives. This is why the political establishment are running so scared.

      • Colonel Mustard

        “Labour Quango chiefs”

        A chilling breed. Far more of a threat to liberty and pluralism in Britain than Farage will ever be. Unelected, taxpayer funded Long Marchers with almost universal backgrounds of hard left extremism determined to coerce conformity and deny freedom of choice. Those are the people the anti-fascists should be concerned with. The very embodiment of the Gauleiters.

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