As a campaign bus adorning the
The reality, however, is much different — and much funnier.
Farage’s decision to stay bus-bound in Wakefield was prompted by his earlier dousing in a banana and salted caramel milkshake by a member of the public. The 32-year old man who threw the drink at Farage nonetheless. the latter was campaigning in Newcastle was subsequently arrested on suspicion of common assault and criminal damage. The man stated: ‘I was quite looking forward to [the milkshake], but I think it went on a better purpose’.
The incident on Monday is the latest in a string of lactose-based attacks on far-right politicians in the UK. Last week, footage emerged of Tommy Robinson suffering the same milky fate. Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) has gained a reputation for his uncompromising anti-Islamic views and is standing as an independent candidate in the North-West of England in the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin, who is under investigation for remarks he made about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips, has reportedly suffered the milkshake treatment four times during his campaign.
The incident involving Farage has prompted a debate over the direction of political debate. There are many who believe that milkshaking sets a dangerous precedent, stifling political discussion whilst facilitating an increase in more violent methods. In his response to being doused, Farage tweeted that such acts were making campaigning ‘impossible’, acting as an obstacle to ‘civilised democracy’.
Given these remarks, it is odd therefore that Farage made the Trumpian move of banning Channel 4 from Brexit Party press conferences over the weekend following questioning on Channel 4 News over his expenses and financial relationship to Leave.EU financier, Arron Banks. What is more, despite his apparent desire to participate in a ‘civilised democracy’, Farage was filmed in May 2017 claiming that if Brexit was not delivered he would have to ‘don khaki and pick up a rifle’ — one can only assume to pick off milkshakers, the real enemies of democracy.
In addition, the emergence of
The next time Farage thinks of bemoaning the ‘impossibility’ of political campaigning as a result of lactose-based drinks, he should reflect on how the politics he propounds facilitate a certain impossibility for almost three-quarters of ethnic minorities in Britain: going through life without abuse because of the
In response to the incident, a Downing Street spokesperson affirmed that the Prime Minister ‘has been clear that politicians should be able to go about their work and campaign without harassment, intimidation, or abuse’. Similarly, former Labour prime minister Tony Blair argued that
Whilst the milkshakes may not (yet) have committed racial or atrocities on a mass scale, it is worth remembering that Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Moseley
The rise of the far-right is real and it has to be checked. Milkshake is not an ideal instrument to this end, nor is it sustainable, but it has proved a useful symbol nonetheless. It takes the recent white nationalist symbol of milk and makes it look ridiculous. It publicly humiliates those who represent a politics which is premised on and sustained by the active subjugation and humiliation of those who are more vulnerable
Anyway, what kind of snowflake gets upset by a bit of milkshake thrown at them?
Image Credit: Sky News