By thine friends shall ye be known, Nigel.
It’s an image that isn’t going to go away in a hurry. I expect to be seeing this for a long time to come.
Firstly, Nigel Farage. His expression gives a lot away. It is one of deep, child-like joy. His mouth is wide open like a toddler delighted by its own reflection for the first time. He is more pleased about this than he is about the vote to leave the European Union. What was Farage’s reaction to winning that ‘prize’, the culmination of all his political work? To immediately resign, saying he wanted ‘life back’.
Here, in Trump’s ridiculous gold lift he looks liberated, and overjoyed. It’s because Trump’s victory – so plain in what it represents – is a much more clear validation of Farage’s life view. To be male, white, racist, misogynist and suspicious of the unfortunate is to be back on top. Nigel’s reaction to a Trump victory? To look giddy about becoming US ambassador to the EU in a new administration. So much for loving Britain.
Which brings us to his new political idol, the unreal Donald Trump. His is the practiced grin of the huckster, the salesman who is about to open his battered suitcase of knock-off dreams and shop-soiled populist-policy snake-oil.
The expressions say much, but for the final word, look instead to their hands.
Farage’s is 100% deferential. He gestures towards the bigger man, acknowledging his greater status, the very distillation of his unseemly haste to cross the ocean, forgetting – or jettisonging? – even his Remembrance Sunday poppy.
Trump just gives a thumbs-up. The ultimate, don’t-care, who-is-this?, got-somewhere-to-be, brush-off, funny-little-Brit!, who-are-you-again? gesture of low effort dismissiveness.
By your friends will we know you Nigel. But face it, mate. Once you’re out the lift, he’s behind your back, laughing with his real buddies.