Some may be tempted to dismiss Nigel Farage’s resignation on Monday as leader of Ukip as just another piece of characteristic impulsiveness. That Nigel, what a card, he’s always resigning. Did it in 2009. Didn’t last. Tried it after last year’s election. Didn’t last. Now he’s done it again this year. Always comes back though – the bookies still have him at 2/1 to lead Ukip into the 2020 election. So ignore it. It’s just Nigel. He’s not serious.
Maybe, but the context could hardly be more serious. And Mr Farage should take responsibility for a change. Britain has just voted to leave the European Union. Barely 10 days on from that historic decision, two of the people most directly responsible for winning the vote have simply walked away. Boris Johnson fronted the official leave campaign and has now thrown in the towel in the Conservative contest because he has been disowned by Michael Gove. Mr Farage fronted the lavishly funded unofficial campaign and he has quit too.
Where is any drop of moral seriousness, or any ounce of public responsibility, in that? There seems to be none in either man. Both Mr Johnson and Mr Farage were willing until less than a fortnight ago to do anything, to say anything, and to rubbish anyone who disagreed with them in the cause of leaving the EU. Yet they never once said what leaving would actually look like. They mocked anyone who expressed concerns.
Yet, having won, they simply walk away.
The model of someone in politics to achieve a task, that done to leave politics, just doesn’t seem to gain traction in Guardian minds, does it?
That most in hte trade are mere careerists is obvious, but the possibility of someone being principled seems to escape them.