After a quiet couple of weeks for his party which were only really punctuated by poor publicity, renowned pint-guzzler and Ukip leader Nigel Farage must have thought ‘I’ve got it! I’ll pledge to take part in dry January! That will get me back in the papers for the right reasons.’
Lo and behold it has, and Ladbrokes have even gone to the trouble of pricing up Farage’s odds of being seen drinking or admitting to having a tipple before the month is out at 6/4.
This is an intriguing price considering the warped way politicians think, particularly cult-of-personality types like the former commodity broker, whose fellow party member Winston McKenzie recently described as akin to Jesus.
Part of Farage’s shtick over the past couple of years, when Ukip have made huge inroads in the polls, has been the role of pint-and-fag politician, who gives common sense to you straight and will roll back the frontiers of the ‘Nanny State’ if ever elected to govern.
It would be only too easy for the 50-year-old to explain away having a drink in January in spite of his pledge, and may even do so deliberately if the purples struggle for good press in the meantime.
With the General Election only five months down the line and Ukip still expelling candidates who hold dreadful views on such issues as gender and race, Farage will need to constantly remind voters what they liked about his lot in the first place.
Making a song and dance about his, and the downtrodden British public he claims to represents, need for amber sustenance during the final, wintery days of the Coalition could easily be imagined as good PR by the ‘fruitcakes’.
However, Ladbrokes’ 4/1 about Farage announcing he will quit smoking before the election should not be touched.
He needs to stay as faux-cheery as possible over the next few months. Giving up the fags won’t help.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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