To the utter disgust of some of the purist BTLers on Mr Raedwald's fine blog, Farage has made his move. An entirely logical move, and actually the cleverest use of the leverage he has carefully assembled. And, as luck would have it, more or less exactly what Raedwald asked of him first thing this morning. Everybody's been thinking the same the past few days - we said it ourselves in our post at the end of last week.
Two of Drew's Laws of Politics are in play here:
#4: The lines of logistics in politcs are short. Meaning, (most) decisions can be taken - by the right collection of people - in the small confines of a smoke-filled room: and if they are decisive people (unlike, e.g. May or Corbyn) they can be taken quickly, in a single sitting.
Neatly, Farage ensured he entered the fray with the shortest possible lines of logistics in the context of a democracy (more or less), his party being quite literally a one-man band reserving unilateral powers of decision-making to N.Farage, esq. Doesn't get tidier than that, short of being J.Stalin or A.T.Hun.
#1: Never buy off anybody at a price higher than absolutely necessary. One of the neatest tricks in politics, as in business, is to get oneself into a position where one can threaten to make the obviously stronger party suffer a severe but avoidable nuisance. Then sit back and wait to be bought off; to exact a fat fee for the ransom-strip so cunningly acquired. In practice this frequently works out much more lucratively than it should - in business, as in politics. Just as most businessmen secretly hanker after a monopoly, (and criminals seek enrichment without time-consuming effort), so most politicians dream of unopposed election, victory by acclaim (vide both Blair and Brown in turn). Their inclination, therefore, is to rush for the metaphorical (or actual) chequebook and do a deal.
Fearing more inconvenience than is actually plausible, they generally pay too much. What would Cameron give for the opportunity to recalibrate his own offer to the electorate in 2015? What joy came to Tony Blair by giving Brown full and explicit control of both the Treasury and domestic policy? Etc etc etc: this particular strand of human history has been playing on a loop since 4004 BC.
Though further and better particulars are awaited in the present case, it looks very much as though Boris has held his nerve superbly, and paid nothing. And Farage, making his own calculations, needed the concurrence of precisely nobody to carry his conculsions through.
I expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth across the public domain at this hilarious development.