Voices: Nigel Farage showed how irrelevant he’s become with a single tweet

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I won’t pretend to feel sorry for Farage (REUTERS)
I won’t pretend to feel sorry for Farage (REUTERS)

I don’t usually like to make a habit of writing about people’s misfortunes, but when it comes to Nigel Farage I think we can all make an occasional exception.

He recently tweeted: "For years I would gain 30,000 new Twitter followers per month and most tweets would get 5,000+ retweets. Now I’ve had zero growth for 18 months & engagement is at an all-time low. It’s the same for thousands of others. Twitter’s algorithm now needs to change — and change fast!”

If that wasn’t bad/funny enough, he also included a video where he complained about being “shadow banned”. In case you don’t know what that means, “shadow banned” is a phrase teenagers use, mostly on Tiktok, when they think there is a specific conspiracy against them. This large corporation, which makes its money from viral content, is deliberately stopping you from going viral because… well, who knows?

There might be a more mundane explanation. Perhaps Farage has just become boring and irrelevant after Brexit? With his lifelong mission now achieved, he doesn’t know what else to do. He has no cause to rail for; no mission to rally his troops over. And since the national media has largely stopped paying attention to him, his star has sunk further.

Farage knows all this. So he’s been desperately trying to find a new bandwagon to jump on. A few weeks ago he said he would start a new campaign for a referendum on “net zero”, ie. the UK’s commitment to get to zero carbon emissions by 2050. But that campaign ran into problems straight away.

First, the venue where the initial rally was going to be held decided to avoid hosting him. He hastily reorganised his rally, but the second venue cancelled on him too. So the rally never happened.

Worse, new research by a centre-right thinktank found that Farage’s campaign idea was overwhelmingly unpopular with Britons. Sixty per cent of British voters support our ambition of reaching net-zero by 2050, compared to only 10 per cent who oppose the goal. Nearly seven out of 10 voters said investing in renewables was the best way of securing the UK’s energy supply, The Independent reported. Farage has barely said a thing about his campaign since then.

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I won’t pretend to feel sorry for Farage. The fewer of his poisonous rantings are seen in public life, the better. But a man has to make a living! And he’s more than welcome to claim he has been “shadow banned” if that helps him get some desperately-needed attention and some more work.

It only seems like yesterday when Farage was hawking his charms on a website called “thrillz” – encouraging enamoured young lovers to pay him £74 so he could send a message of love. As my former colleague Rupert Hawksley put it: “The only question is: do you hate your partner as much as Farage must hate himself?”

I guess the Valentine’s treats weren’t that bountiful. Neither, it seems, did Farage manage to squeeze much mileage out of Novak Djokovic’s refusal to take a Covid vaccine. Moreover, the world leader he once admitted to admiring the most – Vladimir Putin – has become a bit unpopular in the west lately.

All in all, things look pretty bleak for Nigel Farage these days, I have to admit. Maybe Twitter “shadow banned” him because he just got too pathetic. It’s enough to make you feel sorry for Farage. Almost.

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