It is a kind, yet accurate review.
They describe the transformation of a typical Home Counties boy into the leader of the party that came second at the last European election. When I say “typical Home Counties boy”, I suppose I mean the type often encountered in Betjeman’s verse and in P G Wodehouse’s golfing short stories (Wodehouse was, like Farage, a cricket-obsessed old boy of Dulwich). Nigel’s main interests in life were – and perhaps still are, underneath everything – pubs, golf, women, cricket and fishing. The type is easily satirised; but it has produced its great men, Denis Thatcher foremost among them.The book is worth a read. Yes, I work for the feloow, so you might say I would say that. But that is not the point. The growth of the Eurosceptic movement as a distinct and electable force in its own right owes a great deal to this man. Yes he has legs of clay, and yes he sometimes rubs his own support up the wrong way.
Nigel Farage is Denis Thatcher on speed. On the night he was elected to the European Parliament, the first question from our local TV man, Phil Hornby, was: “So, from now on it’s going to be endless lunches, lavish dinners, champagne receptions: will you be corrupted by the lifestyle?”
“No,” replied Nigel amiably, “I’ve always lived like that”.
But without him there is no way that we would see a national newspaper campaigning to get Britain out of the European Union. He has made what was a vice practiced secretly by thousands, to a position that is no longer an emabbarsment to hold in the pub and dinner parties.
Go on, buy the book, you might even enjoy it.