“Teflon Nigel,” a name given Nigel Farage by his colleagues because apparently criticism doesn’t stick to the Ukip leader, who recently found his party passage into the mainstream, has now been crowned with the ultimate compliment by the Times. The publication stated that Farage is “the man of the moment” and “is a game-changing politician,” which lead to the choice of the Ukip leader for the title “The Times Briton of the Year.”
As the Independent notes, the coverage by the Times “chronicled the Ukip leader’s journey from the 2010 general election, when he quite literally crashed to the earth in a light aeroplane that became entangled with its trailing party banner.”
Farage has definitely had one success of a year. The year resulted in the election of Ukip’s first two MPs – Tory defectors Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell – which was a tough reality for David Cameron.
Times draws on the “crushing” defeat Farage had over Nick Clegg in television debates, and also made note of the fact that Nigel has been guilty of “ruthlessly exploiting every opportunity that has fallen into his red-trousered lap.” The newspaper also chronicled the focus of Ukip on immigration EU membership and the strategies utilized to gain the support of voters from both Labour supporters and Conservatives alike.
Although support for the man of many faces is increasing daily, support of his spokesman, Winston Mackenzie, has recently taken the fanaticism and praise for the leader to a whole new level by comparing the Ukip leader to Jesus.
The Independent recounts Mackenzie’s words.
“Jesus was one man, we’re his army. Farage is one man, and we’re his army and that’s what it’s all about… Farage is like (non-stick) Teflon – he can do no wrong. Everywhere he goes, it doesn’t matter what he says or does – he gets away with it.”
However, the praise Farage received over the course of 2014 has also been countered by an equal growing displeasure directed not only towards the leader, but the entire Ukip party for a host of reasons. The Times’ feature of the year’s most notable Briton admits that over 2014, Ukip has become Britain’s most “disliked party” over worries about “racist tendencies in the party” and specific revelations of certain members deemed to be “sexist, homophobic or unpleasant.”
The concerns as mentioned are far-reaching. For this reason, the Times’ crowning of Nigel Farage for Briton of the year has been met with a firestorm on Twitter, as expected.
Once again I wasn’t named Times Briton of the Year. Must work on my casual racism and misogyny before next years nominations.
— Kenny (@KennyDownSouth) December 27, 2014
Candidates for Briton of the Year. 1. William Pooley: fought Ebola; got Ebola; went back to fight Ebola again. 2. Nigel Farage: sat in pub. — Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) December 27, 2014
The Times naming Nigel Farage as Briton of the Year makes this country a much darker place to live in. I feel utterly embarrassed.
— Rob B. (@_Rob_B) December 27, 2014
What was Nigel Farage’s Twitter response to receiving the title given by the Times?
Despite all, The Times has named me Briton of the year. Attacks aside, I am grateful. Thank you. http://t.co/6gqGvjoPVL
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 26, 2014
The final comment written by the Times completing the feature about their selected Briton of the year, Nigel Farage, is the perfect summation to the leader’s standings, “No one did more to shape British politics in 2014. For good and ill [Mr Farage] is therefore The Times Briton of the Year.”
[Feature image courtesy of The Telegraph]