The author is a teacher. Joe Baron is a pseudonym.

I’m a big fan of Nigel Farage. He’s a political Titan. Without him, we’d still have Theresa ‘the grey’ May in number 10. That fact alone makes him worthy of a knighthood, in my book. But he has really messed up during this general election, brutally demonstrated by the defection of four of his most prized candidates yesterday.

His excuse that Annunziata Rees-Mogg’s withdrawal was down to her loyalty to her brother Jacob was desperate, as was his conspiratorial claim that all the defectors had ties to the Tory Party. It’s been a precipitous, ugly and perhaps irrevocable fall from grace.

He’s unconvincingly attacked Boris’s deal, and, although agreeing to withdraw Brexit Party candidates from all 300-odd constituencies held by the Conservatives, he’s continued to attack Boris, our only hope of delivering anything close to what the people voted for back in 2016, and stubbornly refused to withdraw candidates from marginal seats currently held by Labour – an unfathomably vacuous decision that could see a Labour victory as the Brexit vote splits in these crucial marginals. Brexit could be put to death. And Farage, yes Farage, could be the executioner. Hard to believe, eh?

It could have been so different. He should have withdrawn his troops from all but a few seats in which the Tories had no chance of winning. Such a move would have been selfless, statesmanlike and, above all, rational. As things stand, he’s allowed his ego and visceral hatred of the Tory Party to cloud his better judgment. Yes, they may be arrogant, entitled, born-to-rule, sneering mediocrities who’ve gleefully attacked and disparaged Farage for 25 years. But they’re our only hope of Brexit.

Further, if Farage had played his cards right, appeared statesmanlike and above the fray of petty party politics, committed to the betterment of his country and uninterested in personal advancement and devoid of ambition, he’d have elevated himself to greatness among Brexiteers and, perhaps, constructed a powerful springboard for a resurgence.

The Tories are still the Tories, wet, dreary and perpetually bullied by our liberal-left media and institutions. Even after Brexit, immigration will continue unabated and loony leftist policies on transgenderism, crime and punishment and terrorism will continue to be implemented. There is a place for a modified Brexit Party, committed to finding sensible, thoughtful answers to the challenges of identity, the mass movement of peoples, democracy and statehood that we face.

I, for one, am only voting Conservative because I believe, tentatively, that he is our best chance of realising what 17.4 million people voted for back in 2016. And because the survival of our democracy will be determined by Brexit’s fate, for me, this is a single issue election. As far as their wider policies and ideological outlook are concerned, from what I’ve seen, the Tories do not offer an imaginative, radical programme that matches the grave magnitude of the challenges we face. And I’m not talking about the largely confected threat of anthropogenic global warming. I’m talking about Islamic terrorism, mass immigration, globalism and identity, as well as the unsustainability of the NHS in its current guise, crime, punishment and education. The Tories offer no credible answers to these challenges. It’s going to be the same old same old.

Farage had a window of opportunity. He may have blown it, though, and unwittingly stumbled into obsolescence.