HAVING contributed to a Conservative 80-seat majority at Westminster by standing down Brexit party candidates at the last election, Nigel Farage now wishes to re-brand his party as “Reform UK”, the voice of anti-lockdown groups during this global pandemic.

The ultimate carpetbagger, in tandem with chairman Richard Tice, has spied a populist gap in the UK political market to represent those who are coronavirus deniers or those who believe in the myth of herd immunity. As usual, Mr Farage, fresh from deifying President Trump on the campaign trail, cares less about any principles or moral code than the opportunity to make a fast buck or to satisfy his narcissistic craving for media attention.

Reform UK will target its political messages of half truths, panic and mendacious scientific evidence at the gullible, the desperate and the ignorant. Mr Farage will doubtless be backed by right-wing capitalists who see him as a vehicle for enabling their self serving enterprises to succeed or expand. Leaders of countries deemed unfriendly towards the UK may well seek to encourage him (perhaps even through financial backing) and Mr Tice to inflame discontent amongst the people of the UK for their own personal gain.

However, the idea that Reform UK could possibly make any inroads in Scotland as they try to contest the next Holyrood elections must be regarded as risible. Led by a far right-wing English nationalist and serial political failure, it is clear that this new party will follow others like the politically moribund George Galloway into the dustbin of Scottish history. Let us not forget that this is the same Mr Farage that was hounded out of Edinburgh whilst campaigning for UKIP in 2013. Seven years ago he made the dubious decision to hide in a pub to escape the wrath of a group of irate Scots.

If he returns next year he will be sent packing again to take his repugnant ideas and unethical practices with him.

Owen Kelly