Farage finds Ukip aw­ful. How does he feel about his more sin­is­ter friends?

His as­so­ci­a­tion with ex­trem­ist Ted Mal­loch is more dis­turb­ing than the new­found dis­taste for his party

The Observer - - Comment & Analysis - Nick Co­hen

Nigel Farage clutched his pearls and re­signed from Ukip last week, protest­ing that he of all peo­ple could not pos­si­bly as­so­ciate with crim­i­nals. The de­ci­sion of his suc­ces­sor Gerard Bat­ten to hire con­victed fraud­ster and in­vet­er­ate yob Stephen Yax­ley-Len­non (aka Tommy Robin­son) was sim­ply “too aw­ful to con­tem­plate”.

Farage isn’t al­ways so choosy about the com­pany he keeps. His al­liance with “Ted” Mal­loch, a lit­tle man who thinks he’s a big deal, tells all you need to know about Farage and the move­ments that dom­i­nate Bri­tain, the US and the emerg­ing dic­ta­tor­ships of eastern Europe.

You should re­mem­ber Theodore Roo­sevelt Mal­loch – once heard, it’s not a name you for­get. In the weeks af­ter the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Bri­tish broad­cast­ers scram­bling to find Trump shills couldn’t get enough of the An­glo-Amer­i­can aca­demic. Grin­ning to the cam­eras, Mal­loch told the BBC he was likely to be Trump’s am­bas­sador to the EU. “I helped to bring down the Soviet Union,” he bragged, “so maybe there is an­other union that needs a lit­tle tam­ing.” Farage was im­pressed and a friend­ship was born. “Ted Mal­loch is the boy!” he cried.

Mal­loch made all the right rightwing noises. Like so many ex­trem­ists, like Farage him­self, he saw Putin as an ally. (And how telling it is that “con­ser­va­tives” who say they loathed Soviet com­mu­nism have been will­ing to bend the knee to a Rus­sian dic­ta­tor who learned his dark arts dur­ing his ap­pren­tice­ship as a KGB hood.) In­ter­viewed on Putin’s pro­pa­ganda sta­tion RT, Mal­loch dis­missed the story of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion as a “spoof”, and played the tough guy. “I sus­pect I’m in deep trou­ble for even go­ing on Rus­sian TV,” he said, but he was man enough to take the heat.

Turn­ing to Mal­loch’s writ­ten works, af­ter 50 years of read­ing, I can safely say his 2016 mem­oir is the most overblown, self-sat­is­fied book I’ve ever en­coun­tered – and I’ve re­viewed Rus­sell Brand. Davos,

Aspen & Yale is, as its ti­tle sug­gests, pitched at the An­glo­sphere’s one per cent. Mal­loch is un­apolo­getic in his de­fence of Wasp achieve­ment. “We don’t have an eth­nic pride day,” he de­clared, “it’s not a Waspy thing to do.” Wasp ser­vice is con­tin­u­ous. Such is Wasp mod­esty that they don’t even ex­pect to be thanked, but steadily “fly the flag ev­ery day” as good and faith­ful ser­vants must. Overblown and self-sat­is­fied, as I said, but also men­da­cious.

In an ex­em­plary ex­er­cise in fact-check­ing, Henry Mance of the

Fi­nan­cial Times showed the mod­est Mal­loch was nowhere near mod­est enough. Mal­loch claimed that, de­spite his po­lit­i­cal in­cor­rect­ness, for you are no one in Mal­loch’s world if you are not po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect, “Her Majesty, Queen El­iz­a­beth, has knighted me into the Or­der of St John”. Her Majesty had done noth­ing of the sort, and had merely bunged him the equiv­a­lent of an MBE.

The FT could find no record of the praise he claimed Mar­garet Thatcher be­stowed, or of the Scot­tish laird­ship he claimed to pos­sess. Ox­ford Univer­sity re­jected Mal­loch’s as­ser­tion that he was once a se­nior fel­low of its Wolf­son Col­lege. Even Trump was unim­pressed – and what kind of fail­ure as a brag­gart and bigot do you have to be to fail to im­press the 45th pres­i­dent of the United States? – and re­fused to ap­point him as US am­bas­sador to the EU.

I should not have to em­pha­sise the ap­peal of the slo­gans Mal­loch and, by ex­ten­sion, Farage and Trump, par­rot. (And, of course, Mal­loch calls the FT’s dis­puted claims a “po­lit­i­cal as­sas­si­na­tion”.) Even now, “lib­er­als” can­not walk in the shoes of a white work­ing man in York­shire or Penn­syl­va­nia. What place is there for him in a lib­eral world where su­pe­rior voices with Oxbridge and Ivy Leaguee­d­u­cated ac­cents tell him he is a ben­e­fi­ciary of “white priv­i­lege”?

What has been barely em­pha­sised is that Mal­loch is not just an­other An­glo­sphere con­ser­va­tive rolling around the clubs of London and Washington pro­mot­ing the white back­lash. Boast about how you break the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect rules too of­ten and too loudly and you are soon break­ing the rule of law. In Hun­gary, the “il­lib­eral democ­racy” of Vik­tor Or­bán, de­fended by Bri­tish and Euro­pean con­ser­va­tives for its un-PC stand against mi­grants, is turn­ing out to be no kind of democ­racy at all. Or­bán has driven Hun­gary’s best univer­sity out of the coun­try and pretty much wound up the free press. When we turn to Amer­ica and Bri­tain we find the friends of the fas­tid­i­ous Farage re­ceiv­ing a visit from the cops.

On 28 Novem­ber, a draft le­gal doc­u­ment drawn up by Robert Mueller, the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion, al­leged that Mal­loch was the bag­man scur­ry­ing be­tween Wik­iLeaks and Trump’s men and that Rus­sians had hacked the Clin­ton cam­paign’s emails and passed them to As­sange, as he hid in Ecuador’s London em­bassy. Mal­loch was al­legedly a courier serv­ing Roger Stone, a rightwing US fixer and dirty trick­ster. “Get to As­sange at the Ecuado­rian em­bassy in London and get the pend­ing Wik­iLeaks emails,” Mueller’s doc­u­ment had him cry­ing.

Last week the Guardian sug­gested Mal­loch may re­gret his claim that he wouldn’t care if he was in “deep trou­ble for even go­ing on Rus­sian TV”. His con­tacts with Putin’s media lack­eys turn out be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to Mueller’s agents.

To date, Farage has got away with his pose as a mod­er­ate, who shud­ders at shar­ing a po­lit­i­cal party with a con­victed crim­i­nal, with­out any­one point­ing out that do­na­tions to his and Ar­ron Banks’s Leave.EU cam­paign had in the view of the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion com­mit­ted “mul­ti­ple breaches of elec­toral law”, all of which are de­nied. Which goes to show how peo­ple still think in boxes. The 2016 Trump and Brexit cam­paigns, Putin, As­sange and the con­ti­nen­tal en­e­mies of free­dom feed off each other. The new right thinks and acts in­ter­na­tion­ally. We should do the same.

What kind of a fail­ure as a bigot do you have to be to fail to im­press the 45th pres­i­dent of the United States?

Steve Finn/Splash­news

Ted Mal­loch, right, with Nigel Farage.

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