Nigel Farage’s astonishingly rude attack on the EU president, Herman van Rompuy, is making waves this morning. In a transparent attempt to replicate Daniel Hannan’s YouTube success, the Ukip MEP declared that van Rompuy has “the charisma of a damp rag” and the “appearance of a low-grade bank clerk”. At one point he even asked, “Who are you?”
The former Belgian prime minister’s mild response, an eyebrow raised here and there, went some way, inadvertently, to backing up Farage’s outburst.
I think we can all agree that van Rompuy, to borrow Winston Churchill’s description of Clement Attlee, is a modest man with much to be modest about. But here’s what I don’t understand: surely, as an anti-federalist, Farage should be grateful that the EU is led by a political pygmy? Wouldn’t the traffic-stopping Tony Blair have been far worse?
Either way, in the unlikely event that Farage beats John Bercow in Buckingham, we can expect the celebrations in Brussels to continue long into the night.
P.S. Over at the First Post, Neil Clark also argues that Farage’s attack is incoherent.