The wheels of the Conservative character assassination department, is gearing up nicely as they slowly drip out stories about UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) and their suitability for elected office. Nigel Farage as a poker player would be the type of guy who can wind an opponent up and get them to leak all sorts of ‘tells’ which he then can manipulate and exploit. His biggest problem is that he does not have the back up to carry through his obvious advantage of being able to speak like a ‘member of the human race’.
Nigel Farage comes across as a ‘cheeky chappy’ who will hustle you out of every hand he is in. He is not as loose as he appears and this was borne out of his refusal to stand for the recent Eastleigh by-election, where he might have won the seat as he has better name recognition than the candidate UKIP eventually put up, and, he has a penchant for campaigning stunts which would have got the attention of the media much earlier. In the end UKIP did OK but it was not the break through that it could have been. In poker terms his ROI was not as big as it could have been.
He has clearly played his hand competently, but not brilliantly . He has David Cameron rattled and with his pledge of not going into any sort of electoral pact with the Tories, is seen by many as a master stroke as it destabilised the Conservatives and all sorts of ‘candidates’ from Theresa May to Adam Afriyie were seen as possible challengers, if David Cameron falls.
The main problem with Nigel Farage is that he is a good political poker player but he does seem to get rubbish hands in the form of his supporters. David Cameron once said that the members of UKIP were “fruitcakes”, “loonies” and “closet racists”. So when the Tory machine starts to gear up and expose elements from within UKIP as “fruitcakes”, “loonies” and “closet racists” , this leaves Nigel Farage looking somewhat unprepared and like a novice poker player looking for an inside straight.
This week will see how effective the Tory machine is at branding UKIP as a one issue protest party (they want to get out of the European Union), inhabited by individuals who should be nowhere near the levers of power.