We tend not to do politics this way

Nigel Farage fears he has been the victim of an assassination attempt after his car was sabotaged, causing a terrifying motorway crash.
The Ukip leader careered off a French road after a wheel on his Volvo came loose while he was driving from Brussels back to his home in Kent.
When the police arrived at the scene, they told him that the nuts on all of the wheels had been deliberately unscrewed, The Mail on Sunday has established.

Assassination sorta went out of favour with the Duke of Buckingham, around that time or so.

To cut someone dead took on a different and more effective meaning.

As to this:

The Ukip leader is considering a new career as a television presenter if he leaves politics after the EU referendum.
Mr Farage has been involved in discussions with production companies about fronting a three-part series on military strategy, including a history of the First World War. News of Mr Farage’s talks has been spread with glee by his growing number of critics in the party, who argue that Ukip needs a fresh leader to reinvigorate it.
Last night, a spokesman for Mr Farage said that the idea of him fronting programmes had been ‘bubbling away’ since early last year – when the TV companies were first contacted – but no deals had yet been struck.
Last night, ex-Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom, who once shared a flat with Mr Farage in Brussels, said he could see why the party leader would be interested in presenting a military history series.
Mr Bloom said: ‘We have done military tours together. Nigel is a very good raconteur, “Corporal Snoops manning the machine-gun at the bridge… here’s the spot he won his VC”, that sort of thing.’
A spokesman for Mr Farage said: ‘The TV thing is an idea that has been bubbling away for a while. He’d be bloody good at it – and it was discussed last year. But no deal has been done.’

When I worked for the party my direct boss was someone with 30 years experience of making TV. And Clive was absolutely adamant that Nigel would be extraordinarily good at that very job. Used to insist that he would make a fortune at it.

39 thoughts on “We tend not to do politics this way”

  1. With this and the plane crash caper –it is….. interesting.

    You are shockingly naïve about politics Tim. It is a business that draws in the worst liars, sociopaths, psychos and general shithouse clerks that this planet has to offer.

  2. I reckon a car would become damned near undriveable over 20mph with all wheel nuts loose. Careering off the road is something that results from a sudden failure, whereas 5 bolts coming undone would cause massive vibration before catastrophe. I’d put this down to mistranslation of what the Gendarmes said and the journalistic habit of getting everything wrong, especially that of things said in foreign.

  3. @ Tim Newman

    I agree. Having once neglected to torque the nuts on a car before driving off it was obvious that something was wrong as soon as I picked up any meaningful speed.

    Could it have been the hub nut coming lose?

  4. Could it have been the hub nut coming lose?

    Possibly. I guess we couldn’t assume the journalists could have told us if it was.

    This subject is fresh in my mind because yesterday I swapped over my summer tyres to winter tyres (I change the whole wheels so I can do it myself). I’m enough of an engineer, or rather, former Land Rover mechanic, to have bought a torque wrench and found out that 140Nm is the required torque.

  5. They did say that there was a single locking nut on each wheel and it was when one of these sheared off that the car went out of control. The extra stress when the other nuts had come loose caused the locking nut to fail.

  6. While loosening the bolts wouldn’t work, at least unnoticed at any speed, you *can* do this, intentionally or not, by overtightening the nuts and ruining the thread.

    The weakened thread would hold the wheel at low to moderate speeds on a decent road, but it wouldn’t hold at high speeds. And only one would have to come loose to cascade to the other 4.

  7. I am sceptical about this story, too. Why wait until January to mention it when it allegedly occurred in October? I suspect it has more to do with UKIP’s internal power struggles. The story will certainly encourage paranoia among Farage’s supporters and could be useful for encouraging a siege mentality and so unity in the party.

  8. Agree with Tim.You’d know long before a wheel came off. Having driven csrs with knock-ons, stopping to retighten a loose wheel’s a regular feature.
    Except.
    Was it raining?
    Stripping all but the final threads, then torqeing down onto a dissolveable washer would produce the desired result.

  9. @Tim Newman
    @Grikath

    It could also have been that ole Nige had a new set of tyres fitted at a fast-fit centre who’s idea of torquing up wheel bolts is “until the windy gun stops”

  10. The only thing missing is a motive. If you wanted your country to stay in the EU Farage is absolutely the man you’d want leading the out party. This is a guy with a popular cause who can’t even get himself elected as an MP. Has Richard North got an alibi, because only euro sceptics would want him out of the way.

    Looks like more fantasy from Farage to me.

  11. Assassination sorta went out of favour with the Duke of Buckingham, around that time or so.

    Margaret Thatcher would like a few words with you.

  12. Tim Newman:
    “I reckon a car would become damned near undriveable over 20mph with all wheel nuts loose. Careering off the road is something that results from a sudden failure, whereas 5 bolts coming undone would cause massive vibration before catastrophe.”

    I had loose wheel nuts on the front left of a VW Golf MkII. Didn’t realise for days because the symptoms were almost exactly the same as dirt contamination of the CV joint (an irritation, not a danger), something I’d experienced lots due to rubber gaiters splitting tediously often.

    In a straight line, even at high speed, there was no issue. Only on turning did vibration occur, and even then it was just a substantial “ticking” through the steering wheel, much like the CV joint annoyance.

    Fortunately, I found out the easy way.

  13. I saw some Interpol figures (forget the exact source) according to which about 90% of politically inspired violence in Europe is committed by left wing rather than right wing groups.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    Ralph,

    It s a left wing mantra that the end justifies the means as the lefty heroes Stalin and Mao demonstrated.

  15. In a straight line, even at high speed, there was no issue. Only on turning did vibration occur, and even then it was just a substantial “ticking” through the steering wheel, much like the CV joint annoyance.

    Sure. But you’d go through a couple more stages between annoying vibration and catastrophic failure.

  16. “Used to insist that he would make a fortune at it.” Only yesterday, Tim W, you were insisting that all politicians were in it because they could make more money in politics than elsewhere.

  17. Philip Scott Thomas

    …about 90% of politically inspired violence in Europe is committed by left wing rather than right wing groups.

    With the exception of Abraham Lincoln*, every major attempted political assassination, successful or failed, was committed either by someone with mental health issues, e.g., Charles J. Guiteau, or a left winger.

    * Booth is rather difficult to diagnose. The election of 1896 is considered by some historians to have scrambled the positions of both major parties. Before that election, they say, the modern Democrats = Left/Republicans = Right dichotomy wasn’t true.

  18. “every major attempted political assassination, successful or failed, was committed either by someone with mental health issues, e.g., Charles J. Guiteau, or a left winger.” Are you claiming that all the assassins in the great days of Roman Catholic assassinations were loonies?

  19. Philip Scott Thomas

    Sorry. Missed out a key bit of info there. It should have started, ‘every major attempted political assassination in the United States’

    That includes elected Presidents – Garfield, McKinley, FDR, Kennedy, Ford and Reagan – and Presidential candidates such as Bobby Kennedy.

  20. PST>

    In what world is the CIA either left wing or insane? How about the Mafia?

    And Guiteau was no more insane than Ritchie is. Then again, arguably Garfield was murdered, not assassinated, despite being President: he was not killed for any political reason.

    How about Sirhan Sirhan? He was a far right religious extremist, and neither mad nor lefty. And then there’s this delightful chap:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byron_De_La_Beckwith

    Carlo Tresca wasn’t shot by a lefty or a madman. Nor was Malcolm X. Nor was George Lincoln Rockwell. Or MLK. Or Milk and Moscone, or Alan Berg, or the rather notable case or Orlando Letelier. And every single assassination of an abortionist. I could go on, but I think the point has been made.

    Funnily enough, I’ve had exactly the opposite discussion with a lefty recently, and I pointed out to him, as I will to you, that neither political wing has a monopoly on violence, discrimination, or any other human failing or vice.

  21. Always considered it odd that Lee Harvey Oswalds (and it was him who did JFK, all the conspiracy bollocks is bollocks) political beliefs (man was a rampant Marxist up to the end) has been overlooked.

    You would have thought that Cold War era US pols would have jumped all over that “THE COMMIES KILLED OUR PRESIDENT!”

  22. Is Farage going to take this to the police and press charges, or at least seek to establish if he has been such a victim? He ought to do so otherwise this could be a case of attention-seeking. My cynicism etc.

  23. Dave, Malcolm X was killed by Nation of Islam members. Right wing, you say?

    Sirhan Sirhan was an Israel hater, like all right wingers. Wait . . . what?

    ‘I could go on, but I think the point has been made.’

    Yes, you are clearly a political hack.

  24. Gamecock>

    Religious extremists: right wing or left wing?
    Extreme nationalists: right wing or left wing?

    I have no idea what the fuck you think you’re saying, but it’s coming out as some kind of incoherent string of nonsense syllables interspersed with small bubbles of spit and strings of drool.

    Dan>

    I think we can safely put LHO in the nutter camp. He was only a Marxist in the sense that he also thought the world owed him far more than he was getting in America. Then he went to the USSR, and despite being significantly more privileged than most there found it also didn’t treat him the way he felt he should be, so defected a second time, back to the US. He wasn’t political at all, he was a whinger.

    Frankly, the whole thing was something of an embarrassment all round. The most popular President of the most powerful nation on earth, killed by an ex-serviceman who’d defected to the USSR before running home like a kicked dog? Those with whom that particular buck stopped were only too happy to see it overshadowed by mourning and stories about Mob/CIA involvement. They weren’t just caught with their pants down, but with skidmarks on their undies.

    In any case, the general reaction in the USSR was one of genuine respect and sympathy, starting from the very top with Khruschev. There’s no doubt both that Kennedy had impressed him during the Cuban Missile crisis, and that he was not made happy, to put it mildly, by having Johnson to deal with instead.

  25. @ Dave
    Try getting just a few of your facts correct. Ike was far more popular than JFK. I hated JFDulles with good reason but not Ike. JFK was disliked by a large number of, mostly black, Americans and hated by a significant minority of those.
    In 1960, the numbers reported were that Nixon got more individual votes than JFK but JFK got more Electoral College votes (solely because Mayor Daley jinxed the voting machines in Cook County, Illionois).
    I liked JFK, but I am not going to be so silly as to claim that he was more popular than Ike (nor either Roosevelt).

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “How about Sirhan Sirhan? He was a far right religious extremist, and neither mad nor lefty.”

    Sirhan was just another run-of-the-mill Palestinian terrorist killing for Palestinian terrorist reasons.

    So a Leftist.

  27. So Much For Subtlety

    The obvious person to ask is the girlfriend or the wife. The hubcaps? Please. Someone has been reading too much Perry Mason.

    Proper Leftists have Soviet advisors and so go for the limpet mine.

    But Britain has had the odd political killing. Who can forget Rinka? And of course Lloyd George had someone killed.

  28. I don’t know the truth of this, but the other day I was reminded of the French Secret Service planting a bomb in Rainbow Warrior. If this was sabotage it might not have been the intention to kill Farage but serve as a warning/disruption of his activities. Watching Nigel address the European Parliament the reaction of some of them is definitely If looks could kill. I had a wheel come loose once (which may well have been my poor maintenance) but I had no warning until the car went out of control (no harm done as it happened).

  29. I once had a similar incident on the M1 in my old mini. Wheel started to vibrate so pulled off, fortunately next turning only a few hundred yards. Looking to pull over on side road at low speed wheel flew straight into a field and car crashed onto drum brakes. Had just had it serviced and suspect the nuts hadn’t been tightened properly. No suggestion of assassination attempt…

  30. SMFS>

    As I pointed out above, one normally calls religious or nationalist extremists right wing rather than left wing – but this highlights how silly those terms are, given that what’s most concerning is not the brand of extremism, but that something is taken to extremes.

    So, sure, we can argue the toss about exactly who is what wing, but it doesn’t affect the bigger picture; no wing has a monopoly on any human failing. Fucksakes, we’ve got Pol Pot and Pinochet to prove that.

    Really, the big problem in (especially UK) politics these days is that people like you, on either side, insist that their side is holy. In the UK, that results in the left getting a free pass to be as antisemitic and racist as they like.

    Ironically, MacShane is a convicted fraudster, and yet also just about the only Labourite intellectually honest enough to condemn Labour’s racist wing.

  31. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “As I pointed out above, one normally calls religious or nationalist extremists right wing rather than left wing”

    And yet the Palestinians are good socialists. Or at least the PLO was back then. People are known by their friends. The Palestinians are cause of the Left. Bobby was killed by one of his own.

    “no wing has a monopoly on any human failing. Fucksakes, we’ve got Pol Pot and Pinochet to prove that.”

    Pinochet had no known human failings.

    “Really, the big problem in (especially UK) politics these days is that people like you, on either side, insist that their side is holy. In the UK, that results in the left getting a free pass to be as antisemitic and racist as they like.”

    That is funny. Most amusing. It is my fault your side of politics is racist and anti-semitic. Well maybe if you were over there calling them out they wouldn’t be?

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