A man grew a moustache to mixed reaction. You could write that about anybody these days. Anybody who has the ability and the bravery to wear a moustache at a time when fitting in requires that you don’t. That sums up Nigel Farage though. When it was cool to denounce your country and your heritage and to speak of how things would be so much better if we could all just use the Euro and get rid of democracy for our everlasting benefit Nigel was out there, bravely out of step, proudly proclaiming that the right way forward was to value your country and to be proud of our nation with its long and interesting history and to see the quality in the way that we do things. If this new venture of Nigel’s ends up being anything like his last then in about 25 years expect to see more than half of people in the UK wearing moustaches.
The curious thing about a moustache is that it serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Compared to a beard which is multi-functional the tash is positively useless. A beard is a very natural thing, it just happens if you stop shaving. Beards have been around as long as man himself. During Shakespeare’s time it was all the rage, even some women had them. If you’re a bit down and you want to ride it out then allowing a beard is a great way to exercise that unkempt feeling by matching your demeanour with a lower level of follicaly focused maintenance. A moustache though, that demands a high level of personal grooming, the beard and the moustache are mutually exclusive. If you grow a full beard the beard becomes primary and assimilates the moustache. So why on earth would anybody ever have one? I suppose it comes down to the difference between doing what you want and doing what you must.
When I spoke to Nigel about this earlier I wanted to ask all the important questions. I wanted to know how long it took to grow, what it feels like, why he decided to grow it and if anybody put him up to it. Truthfully it isn’t in my nature to be that organised and so there’s no ‘exclusive’, I didn’t ask the right questions. There is one piece of information he did impart though and that is that he intends to take part in this year’s Movember fundraising and awareness effort.
Movemeber has become something of an annual celebration with men of all ranks and significance taking part. Nigel had considered getting involved with this campaign for a couple of years and has owned a moustache before so has experience. We’re all famous in our own right, for something or another to varying degrees. Ronnie Pickering was famous just for being Ronnie Pickering, or at least that’s what he thought. I know some of you will struggle to remember what happened but I laughed so hard I’ll never forget it, Google it if you want. Nigel on the other hand is known all over the world, I have a friend living in South Korea who is desperate to meet Nigel. His fame is as a consequence of his devotion to the political cause of freeing the United Kingdom from the tyranny of Herman Van Rompuy and his cabal of merry men at the EU commission. He says one day he would like to see all of Europe free from the domination of the parliament in Brussels. Understandably he didn’t demonstrate support for Movember sooner because it would be a distraction from what he was really trying to achieve and judging by the froth the soup strainer has created in just 2 days he was probably right.
Movember itself has its roots in Australia. The earliest known record of deliberately adorning ones fisog with neatly manicured bonsai beard specifically to raise awareness of male-specific cancers dates back to around 1999 with the campaign becoming official in 2004. It started off as just a small effort but it caught on and gained momentum as curators of moustaches demonstrated their bravery in exchange for cancer awareness coinage.
It’s no secret that one of the three near-misses Nigel dodged during his 52 years was the dreaded C. Such was the emotional impact felt in his early twenties when he was on his back in hospital and receiving care, when he stood at the better end of the long white corridor he developed a relationship with his nurse Grainne Hayes and that became a marriage and the start of a family. I guess if it hasn’t happened to you it would be difficult to imagine what you would do under the same circumstances. Of course Nigel being Nigel he wants to talk about it and hopes to make a difference. And by golly, when Nigel says he will make a difference does he have a good track record. It’s only August and he says at this point he regards this as dipping a toe in the water and by his own admission it has created a lot of interest. Whether or not this moustache will be the one he uses in November is yet to be decided.
Make no mistake, Nigel feels passionately about this. He’d like to attract a lot of attention to the cause. In fact he went so far as to say he’d like to draw as much attention to male cancer as possible. Whatever you think of Nigel you’d be a fool to deny that he has passion and a catalogue of achievements. You may not agree with him on matters of democracy but when he joins in with the banter and grows some facial hair spending his capital to draw attention to a good cause he deserves a break. I’ve no intention of sprouting any sympathy bristles this year but I respect the way he has used his credit to draw attention to the cause. When I said it has created a lot of fuss he simply said in his usual refrain – “it’s crazy, isn’t it”