The Ukip leader said he should never have spoken out about the wheel falling off his car, after questions were raised about the so-called assassination attemptSuch accusations clearly should never be made without substantial evidence. It appears that Farage has "shot from the hip" as he always has been inclined to do. It's a trait he has played on within the concept of being "honest" in contrast to other politicians. It's a strategy that worked when speaking to the converted and outside mass media scrutiny.
However with a higher profile and the intense spotlight of the forthcoming referendum it's difficult to conclude that his comments could be anything other than damaging for Brexit if he's associated with the leavers.
Farage's comments also leaves UKIP's de facto mouthpiece Breitbart in a difficult position:
If Breitbart London had made a faux pas as large as the Guardian, the Independent, LBC, and the Huffington Post – we’d be laughed out of every shitty, Westminster drinks reception for weeks on end.But then whoops:
I confess, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told me about this specific concern [assassination] over his car in November of last year. Off the record, not for reporting. “Fine,” I sighed. After the, “Oh my God, are you okay, mate?” obviously.Farage has now admitted such claims are a "terrible terrible mistake". If true then Raheem Kassam is not the first, nor will be last, to be dropped in it by Farage where loyalty is an unusual concept. I wonder if Breitbart will follow its own advice.
That such a story made the rounds does though neatly illustrate the decline in standards in the UK media. The Mail on Sunday published the claims without critical content; a claim which was reproduced by the mainstream media at the time with no critical analysis. It took the internet to take the claims apart.
Ironically for a man who understood the need to bypass the legacy media when trying to establish UKIP as a credible political party in the late '90s - he used public meetings as a means of negating the hostility of the media - the internet has passed him by.
Of additional concern is news that Farage, having made a "terrible mistake", has now gone public regarding advocating a "public protest" on new alcohol guidelines - this from a man who spends a lot of time in the pub.
This then is all about Farage and not Brexit. It's becoming clear that the sooner he is distanced from the leave movement the better.