With details due to be confirmed in January about the style and make-up of Nigel Farage’s new political party, a short series of warm-up rallies sees him getting supporters in the mood for the rebirth of his life in frontline politics.
Consequently opening night in Carshalton saw expectations running at fever pitch with a pre-Christmas party-like atmosphere of ecstatic jubilation as hundreds of bigots, disenfranchised Tories and Ukippers, xenophobes and elderly Daily Mail readers took their seats in rapt anticipation of the first performance on what’s being dubbed by many commentators his ‘Rule Britannia Comeback Tour’.
The stage set was simple and sparse as red white and blue laser beams swept the room with two statues of Britannia flanking the podium and a large plasma screen showing clips of Nigel’s June 2016 early morning ‘Independence Day’ speech.
The lights then dimmed and to tumultuous applause as the PA belting out The Dam Busters March, he was carried on-stage in a sedan chair borne aloft by four road crew wearing bowler hats with Union Jack t-shirts and shorts. And right form the get-go he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
He opened with a blistering attack on immigrants delighting his audience with an extended improvised passage about dole-scrounging and fraudulent benefit claims that very nearly brought the house down. At one point a blue-rinsed septuagenarian supporter got past security and draped her knickers over Nigel’s head before planting a kiss on his cheek.
After the interval it was vintage Farage all the way as he made an impassioned plea for Mrs May to be ousted as soon as possible with calls for an immediate second no confidence motion, before moving onto what the crowd had been waiting for and he did not disappoint. It was obvious to all that his powers have not been diminished and it was as if he’d never been away when he closed the last forty minutes of the set with a tour de force all guns blazing full-frontal attack on The EU.
Of course he was called back for the obligatory encore; a tough-talking piece slating Remainers wherein he confirmed that he is indeed to go back into frontline politics with his new party and personally see that the resounding 52% majority who voted Brexit will not be betrayed. And on that note, with the crowd going crazy, there were two massive thunder flashes and a confetti cannon blast and he was gone.
As they left the venue the audience, seemed to this reviewer, to be frenzied, fired-up and on the lookout for a late night roast beef dinner with all the trimmings.