On Thursday the 2nd of April the election campaign groaned into life as we were presented with each party’s grinning figurehead, and thus as it has always been, the watching public was immediately treated to a predictable feast of counterfeit confidence and imitative indignation.
There was one however that appeared to stand out; someone whose umbrage appeared genuine, his phlegm unrestrained by script or premeditation. You see, Nigel Farage knew something that we didn’t. He knew that he didn’t have to memorize restrictive statistics or propose a balanced economic strategy. Simply put, Mr Farage knew that he didn’t have to play by the same rules; his narrative was golden, and simple things like accurate percentages couldn’t fault the faith of his bulging convictions.
As Nigel Farage harangued his opposition, raising his voice to a bouncing tenor and stating, “In this five years, the national debt has doubled”, not a brow in the audience was raised. Cameron though looked startled and sensing weakness Farage pounced, his hubris swelling to that of a fine baritone as he reverberated, “Mr Cameron will not admit that his party has doubled the national debt to £1.5 trillion”.
Cameron’s inability to call to mind such an irrelevant statistic as the increase in national debt since he took the helm aside, it’s worth pointing out that the national debt certainly has risen under the stewardship of the coalition, but not quite so much as Farage, in all his excitement suggests.
Just before the coalition government came to power in 2010, the ONS Public Sector Summary recorded the national debt as standing at £960 billion and, as Nigel attests the latest forecasts place the debt at £1.5 trillion, a rise of just over 50%. Significant? Yes. Doubled? No. In fact the only doubling that appears to have gone on at all is on the part of Farage, as he mistook a 50% increase for a 100% increase, and screamed as much in the country’s single most televised political event for 5 years.
Knowing how much Mr Farage enjoys hurling out muddled misrepresentations of latterly debunked statistics, one is thus left in possession of two options. Either our every-day Mr Farage cannot comprehend statistical percentages, or he is making an unfortunate habit (and a career) of knowingly spewing forth wildly exaggerated mistruths in order to clumsily fit his poisoned narrative. Despite the observation that the more wild his exaggerations appear the further from the truth his narrative appears to be, I imagine we’ll all be sorry when the golden horde of HIV infected tax-burdens burn the last refuge of Faragian Britain to the ground. Won’t we?