Will Self calls Nigel Farage and Donald Trump 'grubby little opportunists riding the coat-tails of history'

'I always think its a bit of a paradox that Nigel Farage subscribes to the great man of history view given that he doesn’t quite shape up to that sort of stature himself'

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Friday 09 December 2016 11:27
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Will self called Farage a 'grubby little opportunist'

Journalist Will Self has branded former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and US President-elect Donald Trump “a grubby little opportunists riding the coat-tails of history”.

During an appearance on BBC’s Question Time, the writer was asked about Time magazine naming Mr Trump their “Person of the Year.

He dismissed the idea that Mr Trump and Mr Farage – who was also shortlisted – were “great men of history”, and said instead they were “grubby little opportunists”.

Mr Self explained: “I always think its a bit of a paradox that Nigel Farage subscribes to the great man of history view given that he doesn’t quite shape up to that sort of stature himself.

“And while I think that Trump is certainly a personification of major changes in geopolitics I’m not so sure it is the man himself who is truly significant - it is more what he symbolises.

“As with Brexit, it was a political eventuality that people did not expect but that’s because we’ve moved beyond the frame or politics as it has been understood for a long time. Trump rode that wave, to some extent he created it as well, but Trump? Nigel?

“Step back for a minute people, these are not great statesmen. They are grubby little opportunists who are riding the coattails of history.”

The award for Time’s “Person of the Year” goes to the public figure the magazine’s editors believe has had the most impact – good or bad – on the year’s news.

The former reality star’s victory in the Electoral College shocked pollsters and pundits who predicted the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, would triumph.

His victory has been put down to working class resentment in the key rust belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who feel they had been left behind by globalisation.

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