I saw yesterday that a couple of papers were reporting that Farage ‘fears for his life’ after the brexit vote, and that he’s getting so much abuse these days that he is now scared to leave the house. My initial reaction was ‘Good! That scumbag deserves every gobful of saliva hurled at him.’ But then I realised that that was exactly how he wanted people like me to react: He wants to cast himself in the victim role, up against all these intolerant, abusive ‘Remoaners’. As the persecution of ethnic minorities skyrockets, largely thanks to him and his moronic supporters, he is trying to make out that it goes both ways, that the outists are facing intolerance too.
This is a sneaky move. If we react how he expects us to react, by saying that he deserves it for all the trouble he has caused and the hatred he has stirred up, we prove his point. He wants us to stoop to his level; he’s bating us, drawing us in in order that he can cast us as the aggressors. He knows we won’t be able to resist challenging such a hypocritical, self-pitying statement, coming from a man who has made the lives of so many a misery. But if we say anything, we fall into his trap and allow him to take the moral high ground. If on the other hand we condemn these attacks, we automatically invalidate any criticism of him, giving Farage the legitimacy he craves: we help him cast his attackers, justifiably angry at the problems this man has caused and the xenophobia he stands for, as being in the wrong. It’s staggeringly manipulative. The only solution for us is to point out what he is trying to do; rather than get angry and start hurling the insults he expects and wants, we must show we can see through it.