Nigel Farage’s one-man alliance has already fallen apart

Tom Peck

Your regular reminder that, in just a few weeks time, somebody really will win this election.

Will it be Boris Johnson, who was today unable to visit a bakery because too many protestors had gathered outside to tell him to go away?

This after spending yesterday quite literally being called an “a**ehole” on the national news, by flood victims for whom the prime minister’s presence in their town proved about as welcome as the grayling in their living room.

(Seriously, it’s the most common species in the now-burst River Don. I don’t write this stuff.)

Will it be Jeremy Corbyn? He was heckled in Dundee by an almost performatively inarticulate Scottish nationalist, who was demanding a second referendum on Scottish independence that he seems to think Corbyn won’t give but Boris Johnson seems to think he will, so you’ll just have to come to your own view on that one.

Will it be Jo Swinson? Her party was announcing some new policies on racism, the announcing being done by Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna, which is understood to be the first announcement either has made all year that wasn’t to announce they were either leaving, forming or joining a new party.

Will it be Nigel Farage? No it won’t. Not least as he’s not standing in almost half the available seats, and isn’t actually standing himself at all.

But he was in South Yorkshire, announcing his party’s candidate for Hull West and Hessle, which isn’t actually in South Yorkshire. But then again, neither was Nigel Farage, he was actually in Hull, which isn’t in South Yorkshire, it’s just that he thought he was.

That candidate, naturally, is Michelle Dewberry, first seen on The Apprentice in the mid 2000s. More recently seen on absolutely any politics programme that will have her, having reinvented herself as a kind of northern, working class, female pope. Dewbal infallibility is a real thing. Whatever the issue, however openly she will admit to not understanding it, she can, nevertheless, never be wrong by virtue of her epistemologically bulletproof northernness.

The return of the death penalty? The beatification of Donald Trump? Chemical castration for anyone who can’t prove they’re not secretly a paedophile? All these thing are absolutely right and correct and if you disagree, well, that’s the liberal metropolitan elite for you.

Has any single cultural entity bequeathed quite such a legacy to the world as The Apprentice? Inter-war Vienna perhaps? The Oxford Union?

To watch the show now is not merely to wonder at who it will be that accidentally drops an actual dog turd in the artisanal sausage machine, but which of them will wind up doing Nazi salutes in the European parliament or frog marching your third generation immigrant neighbours on to a transport ship.

Still even Nigel Farage’s current plan, to only run against Labour and Lib Dems, and not the Tories, a policy best understood as the world’s first entirely one-sided alliance, is already coming unstuck.

At 3.59pm, Rupert Lowe, former chairman of Southampton FC and now former Brexit Party candidate, announced with fully one minute to go that he was officially backing out in Dudley North, to make sure the Conservatives win.

This was not how it was meant to be. When you spend weeks begging for an alliance, then end up doing one just with yourself, at least you know that no one can break it, as there's no one in it but you. Except now they have.

If the whole thing reeks of a stitch up, that’s because it’s exactly what it is. Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, Green, SNP, the lot, all conniving with one another to contrive for the voters the limited options that suit their needs best.

Brexit has broken everything and broken everything utterly. Whoever wins, everything is already lost.

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