But I could stand one pint with him, quite possibly even a pint and a half. With Messrs Nicholas Clegg, Edward Miliband and David Cameron, however, I would cross continents to avoid taking even a fluid ounce. The other leaders – and I do think we must refer to them in the same breath as Farage, just because it annoys them so hilariously much – look about as convivial as haemorrhoids. They have spent the week of the local elections looking like pompous arses, while the affable semi-berk Farage has led Ukip to the biggest surge by a fourth party in England since the second world war.
I haven\’t got an earthly what it all means, but that feels rather appropriate: it appears there\’s never been a better time to trade on one\’s lack of expertise. The Farage story might be subtitled Cometh the amateur hour, cometh the man. And standing with his pint and a fag amid the wreckage of the economy, Farage is perfectly entitled to ask where exactly the experts have got us.
Of course, that such a man should emerge as a power player in British politics tells you something fairly horrifying about the state of British politics – but that\’s certainly a column for a political commentator less amateurish than myself. Farage may be small – but so, in comparison with their postwar predecessors, are the other party leaders. The difference is that Farage knows he is small, whereas the others do not wear their delusions of adequacy lightly.