Greg Goode’s Political Diaries: Rev J W Simpson vs Fab Farage

Farage - Greg

The Outlandish World of Greg Goode Part V

I’ve been reading manifestos, looking to find a cause
Elections are looming, though I don’t have a vote
Still I haven’t seemed to find a voice that echoes with my own
But I know we need integrity … not awful racist blokes.

There is something odd and faintly offensive about the Rev J W Simpson cocktail bar in Fitzrovia. This is the former home of the eponymous ecclesiastical gentleman who, according to the mock blue plaque outside, lived here between 1963 and 1987. Today it blends spanking new sofas with peeling wallpaper and crumbling plaster, whilst the layout retains all its original design. The draw for me, of course, was the mead.

Whilst cocktails are on no level my thing, I read that the Rev J W Simpson offered the mead variety. Upon receiving this knowledge my heart started to palpitate, my hands started to sweat … and I knew the ‘Mead Feast’ must be sampled.  Now, I don’t want to come across as some crazily-chuntering mead-obsessive, but the good stuff is rarely served anywhere in London … so, when my wife Victoria was looking for somewhere interesting to take an awful group of her friends, I leapt in with my suggestion.

It was a Tuesday and the place was far from busy, yet as we went over to our designated corner, I felt a firm sense of misgiving lodge in my chest. I ordered my ‘Mead Feast’ with a certain bonhomie, but I could feel my sinews begin to tense at both the company and location. The guest of honour for the evening had, along with my wife, formed the backbone of an anti badger-baiting group during our time in France. And whilst I saluted their noble efforts against what was clearly a horrible practice, Penelope – my wife’s comrade in arms – is an appalling busybody of a woman and a most irksome nemesis. As she began to wax lyrical about the vast volumes of cash earned by her (not present) property developer husband, my mind started to wander.

Initially my brain was in stasis as her high pitched voice began to twist and blend with the bad piano playing from the ‘free-to-use’ instrument in the corner, until I began to tune into the conversation on the next table. “The thing is,” announced the plummy, drawling tones of a fashionable youngish man, “the BNP are insane. Nobody could seriously vote for them because they’re a bunch of racist thugs. UKIP are different …”

“They dress better … but they stand for the same things though, right?” began his straight blonde haired companion, furrowing her brow with clear uncertainty, “look at all those news stories.”

“Commie claptrap and Tory propaganda,” scoffed the man, “besides the BNP have been openly attacking UKIP. They’ve got all the other parties in Britain running scared.” He continued, “They are the only party that care about this country’s and our people’s future. Brussels is a load of old rot and they’re the only ones saying so. And besides all that, Farage provides good, honest, horse sense.” At this he broke into a loud bellow as if to suggest he had gone too far, wanted to make a joke, and end the conversation.

I looked down into my cocktail and decided that mead mixed with basil, honey, quince liqueur and sharpened with lemon juice and bitters simply doesn’t work. Mead should not be adulterated … well, save for the occasional use of certain quality fruits. Upon draining my disappointing pre-dinner drink, the evening moved on at a pace. We left the Rev J W Simpson and proceeded to a restaurant, but the words of the man at the next table kept on reverberating round my mind; cutting through the shrill bragging of awful Penelopes.

Partisans, many people in Britain are in the same situation as me … they are searching for an answer, a political movement that suits them and that makes sense. Unlike me, these fine fellows also have the opportunity to put their mark on a ballot paper this month. It fills me with rancour to think about all the many people who will place their allegiance with Mr Farage and his friends at UKIP. It fills me with an insane amount of rancour when I think that some of these people are certain that this is a just party, with righteous ideals.

Part of the reason for this erroneous thinking is the huge amounts of media airtime the man and his party receives. This is by no means positive, but the dressing down he has garnered of late has almost exclusively concentrated on specific incidences of hypocrisy. Very few people are looking at the bigger picture, which is, of course, that the party is ludicrous. Yet this is succeeding in building a siege mentality within UKIP supporters, galvanising the membership and bringing in more floating voters.

The people falling for UKIP’s message don’t seem to realise that Nigel Farage is not a lovely, honest bloke. He is not their friend – he is in fact a drunk racist with limited policies and excellent PR. The way he has pushed his lack of manifesto as a benefit is a brilliant publicity coup, but not to be trusted if you’re seeking sound government.

I may be no closer to finding my own political meaning, but I am alarmed at the Farage ascendancy. The time has come to tackle his nonsense with humour. I very much enjoyed the video posted on this site a little while back. I was especially tickled by the lines “I needed integrity with slightly racist notes” and “That’s why I love the far right … they always get pints in.” Not clever maybe, but very fun with the melody.

There is nothing left to say but: “Woah-oh-oh-oh Fab Farage…”

First published on Searchlight…

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