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
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?
Ted Malloch, right, with Nigel Farage.