Farage plays to his strengths at Trump rally and shows what Ukip has lost

If there were any Ukip supporters still in doubt about what they have lost with the retirement of Nigel Farage, a glimpse of the longtime party leader addressing a Donald Trump rally in Mississippi would soon put them straight.

It was an arguably unpromising arena for Farage – a largely unknown British politician addressing a partisan crowd about a subject, Brexit, about which most audience members cared little.

But Farage won cheers by sticking to his time-honed rhetoric of slightly shaggy populism, low on specifics but heavy with generalist calls to national pride and taking back control.

“I think that you have a fantastic opportunity here,” he told the crowd. “With this campaign, you can go out, you can beat the pollsters, you can beat the commentators, you can beat Washington. And you’ll do it by doing what we did for Brexit in Britain.

“My advice for you – if you want change in this country, you’d better get your walking boots on, you’d better get out there campaigning. And remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment.”

This was a potentially tricky audience handled with skill and verve. It will leave some Ukippers wondering if any of the low-key candidates vying to succeed Farage next month – even the favourite, Diane James, is unrecognisable to most British voters – could pull off such a performance.

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