Nigel Farage is the most influential politician in Britain today. But here's the catch. He's not actually a politician. He's a businessman using the political system to create a democratic debate.
He doesn't use words like "when we are in power" as the other three parties do, often accidentally. He doesn't profess a desire to climb the ladder that other "professional politicians" harbour. Well, we all look for advancement in our careers, don't we?
He doesn't want to recruit us into the mechanics of socio-political partisanship or economic philosophy. He is neither, left, right nor centrist.
He is a single-issue man. There is only one thing on his agenda. He believes that the UK has ceded too much legislative control to the European parliament, which, he believes, creates legislation that we, the people, have not voted for. He thinks this is undemocratic.
Putting aside the pantomime debate on the BBC (although I'll briefly remark on Clegg's continual personal jibes at Farage, demonstrating that he, Clegg, was very afraid of his opponent's arguments and therefore chose to attack the man, not the policy), Farage is behaving in a way that career politicians cannot understand.
He is looking at our democratic system as an outsider would, not as someone embroiled in the mêlée of day-to-day political chit-chat, back biting and one-upmanship.
He is also looking at our democracy as a contract. A deal struck in the mists of time, that ordained that we, the people, should have a say.
In this he is being highly contemporary, whether he is aware of it, or not.
Let me explain.
Just about all UK voters are now so reliant on the Internet that it has become a physiological need (see Implosion).
It is an automatic move for us to reach for our screens, (smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs) to verify and learn.
Farage operates within that free, open source world. All he asks for is transparency of information and motive and a right to decide for ourselves. In that way he is wholly consistent with the modus operandi of the web.
He is not saying he has all the answers. He doesn't patronise us by suggesting that it's all too complicated and we'd better leave it to the experts. He may sometimes shoot from the lip and be gauche with his views. But at least we see he is not reading from a pre-written hymn sheet.
The Internet provides politicians with an opportunity to learn from the electorate not just pander to it.
Politicians can learn that the UK electorate is now able to exercise an enormous amount of personal discretion over many aspects of life.
The Internet has provided us with more than a search and connect tool. It has hardwired us to look beyond initial promises and offers. It has trained us to be skeptical and cynical. It has demonstrated that there is more truth out there than is currently being served up.
Farage is not inviting us to join a party, in order for it to run the country. He's encouraging us to ask questions, get information and then decide. He is asking us to join a movement. He sees it as a movement to re-instate democracy. That's a powerful clarion-call. And it explains his growing popularity.
I was very pro the EU before I heard Farage. I'm not anti the EU now. And I'm not particularly "pro-Farage". But he doesn't ask for that kind of allegiance. It's not personal with him. It's not political with him. It's a priori democracy with him.
No, his arrival on the media scene has made me thirsty for the gifts of democracy, which I now believe are being denied me.
These gifts are uncannily the gifts of the Internet. - that is, a system in which we all participate equally.
Farage might not be able to change our relationship with Europe. But he has fired the first shot in a campaign to revolutionise and modernise politics.
And that can only be a good thing.