The punk rock icon appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier today (March 27) to promote his new book Mr Rotten’s Songbook. In the interview, he told presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that he had a “fantastic” encounter with Farage after the ex-UKIP leader and Bob Geldof both led opposing flotillas up the Thames. “I wanted to shake his hand because it was silly beyond belief,” Lydon said.
On Brexit, he added: “The working class have spoken and I’m one of them and I’m with them.” (As an aside, Lydon’s famous line “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” could become an appropriate slogan once the UK starts feeling the effects of Brexit.)
Finally, he described Trump as a “complicated fellow”, saying that “what I dislike is the left-wing media in America are trying to smear the bloke as a racist and that’s completely not true. There are many, many problems with him as a human being but he’s not that and there just might be a chance something good will come out of that situation because he terrifies politicians.”
He added: “This is a joy to behold for me. Dare I say, (he could be) a possible friend.”
Though it’s easy enough to see why someone so famously anti-establishment might be drawn to politicians who also portray themselves as anti-establishment ‘men of the people’, Lydon’s public statements would suggest that the substance of Trump and UKIP’s politics differ fairly sharply from his own. Just a few days ago, for example, Lydon was discussing his belief in a one-nation state, describing how borders create divisions. A few years earlier, he was also calling UKIP “a black hole for the ignorant to fall into” and saying that “their talk about immigration is subdued racism”.