I see your freshly invigorated face, all giant gurning grins and bug-eyed fervour, overjoyed at being handed back your relevance. This is right up your street, isn’t it? The prodigal son returns, lauding your outsider status, laying down the challenges you’d never actually pick up yourself. You’re here to poach some more credibility, leading the charge for Brexit straight into the heart of the establishment.

It’s time for another Great British Tradition – democracy! Looking at what we all voted for a few years back, deciding it’s not really working for us any more and throwing it back to the people. How nice it is to remember we can take that approach when it’s convenient, choosing the least pragmatic solution to the tedious impasse of our national crisis when it suits the Tories’ aims. It’s going to be much easier to sort this all out when our parliament ends up so hung it trips over its own bellend every time it tries to climb the stairs.

We’ve been absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to naked ambition in British politics over the last few years. Even so, never before has it been quite so stark to see that precious few of our elected representatives have the vaguest interest in putting country before party. The Liberal Democrats have decided to do away with the votes of 17 million people entirely and yet Swinson seems utterly convinced she’ll somehow get a mandate to govern. She’s like a third-rate swimmer who thinks the best way to beat her personal best is to reduce drag by cutting her own legs off.

Then there’s Johnson, who could probably have got his Brexit deal through with a few amendments if he’d just allowed the appropriate time for scrutiny of the bill. Instead he pulled another of his cheap sleight of hand tricks with a timetable he knew nobody would go for, creating a Brexit-based battleground to achieve a majority for his domestic agenda. He knows full well that without one his worthless aesthetic fixes for the gaping wounds of austerity will never pass through Parliament. When your entire campaign pitch is “look, I’ll press reset on all the terrible things my friends and I did to you” you aren’t a visionary and you certainly aren’t the hero. You’re Trevor from Eastenders, shoving Little Mo’s face into a casserole even as you insist you’re the good guy.

Labour have their own problems with sincerity, despite Corbyn’s clunky run-up towards an attempt at pragmatism. Having run on a 2017 platform of delivering Brexit the pivot towards a confirmatory referendum might be everything Remainers were originally asking for but it does nothing to convince Leavers that Labour have their best interests at heart. Even if they were swayed, further delay and a softer Brexit is a difficult sell to a livid core of voters who now treat leaving the EU like a frustrated wife waiting for their husband’s Viagra to kick in. It’s been ages, they’re desperate and the only thing that can satisfy them now is a Brexit hard enough to blast their kidneys out of the smalls of their backs and splatter them across the far wall in a shower of gristle.

Which is where you come in, Nigel Farage, paint flaking off the crude signage on your grubby little wagon of snake-oil. Everyone these days is in the vote-splitting business. You clearly watched Years and Years and saw it as a set of instructions rather than a cautionary tale warning against our starkest dystopian future; the idea of playing kingmaker obviously has you stiffer than a coked-up Keith Vaz. You don’t even need to pretend to be interested in doing any work any more, going so far as to make it clear you wouldn’t be interested in a ministerial role of any description, as if you’d be in any way deserving of one. The gall of it is astonishing, your entire pitch being “look, I’ll work exactly as hard as I did as an MEP by never turning up for work, but I’ll hand you some votes if you fancy them.”

You’re the biggest farcical hypocrite of all of them, a lazy establishment do-nothing who even outlines in plain English just how little work he’s willing to do in exchange for a paycheck. Then, mere days later, you walk back on it all by ruling out standing altogether. What sort of Brexit crusader refuses to even put the armour on, terrified he’ll be poked full of humiliating holes by an electorate who might deny him his green sofa for the eighth time?

It sums you up, Nigel Farage. You’re nothing but noise and a hollow costume, utterly dispassionate about lifting a finger to genuinely help anybody. The mauling you’d get from a constituency who would rapidly realise just how myopic and feckless you truly are would be too embarrassing. Better instead to snipe from the sidelines, insisting to all the spectators that you know how to best play a game you’ve never got off the sub’s bench for. It’s a dark little place in your soul that generates all this delusion and bitterness – a memory so thoroughly suppressed you can barely recall it.

I see you, Nigel Farage, a little boy all dressed up in his finest tweed, chomping on a candy cigarette and holding a pint of apple juice. It’s a splendid ruckus, this birthday party, isn’t it? Full of honking and hee-hawing little Englishmen, all dressed up in their finest costumes. There’s the kids in red and blue, the kid with the bucket on his head, the kid in the dolphin outfit. You’ve honked and brayed with the best of them, desperate to make friends, desperate to come across as a child of the people.

I see you all assembled around the chairs, Nigel Farage, all the participants ready to go. I hear Agadoo begin to blare out of the PA, stumpy little limbs flailing and dancing as you all start stamping around them. It’ll be a piece of piss, this. It’s an easy game, isn’t it? You understand it better than all of them.

I see you pause to admire yourself in a mirror, holding up your pint, your cheeks ruddy, your grin beaming. I hear the music stop.

I see the frantic scramble behind you and I see you turn a moment too late. I see the kid in the dolphin’s outfit planting himself in the final chair, his fist pumping the air.

I see the candy cigarette fall from your mouth. I see your lip trembling, your eyes filling with tears.

That was meant to be your seat, wasn’t it?

I see you, Nigel Farage. I fucking see you.

** Enjoying I See You? Don’t forget to check out the new podcast: http://iseenews.buzzsprout.com **

I See You

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