Sat up in a classical pose, hands clasped, back straight as a ruler and body tilted diagonal so as to push an open chest to his interviewer, Rob Comley certainly carries the body language of a politician. He’s had training. Most probably informal; a hand on the shoulder and a vial of advice from one of his party’s more experienced political operators in how to deal with pesky journalists asking pesky questions.
As the chairman of Young Independence, the UK Indpendence Party’s acne-ridden youth wing, he can certainly expect to face a lot of those. Ukip is a political party with scandal running through its veins. A dickie-bow-tied magnet for eccentric public servicemen and outspoken flag-wavers alike, Ukip finds itself in the news as often for politically incorrect drama as it does for policy. And this is a state of affairs that it is happy to revel in; anti-politics, anti-authoritarian and often appallingly racist, the Ukip patriarch is that antiquated yellow and purple smudge on Britain’s political spectrum, just to the right of Melanie Phillips. Surely I was in for a treat then, meeting up with this wicked parent’s pubescent offspring? As I walked through Wapping’s cobble-stoned backstreets on the way to the interview I allowed my mind to imagine the kind of person Comley to be, in that bizarre way humans do when they create whole personalities for people they’ve never met. Would he be a mini-version of Ukip leader Nigel Farage, an annoyingly charming zealot with a diminutive tweed jacket? Or would he be an incoherent anti-intellectual with an English flag tattooed across the back of his neck? Either way, I was sure that I was about to step into the same pub as a nutter. Oh happy days.
Read the rest of the interview on Planet Ivy.