What happened to that “full scale war” that followers of Nigel “Thirsty” Farage were going to unleash upon UKIP if they kept his chosen successor, Steven Woolfe, off the leadership ballot? This blood-curdling prophesy, made by Farage’s former trusted lieutenant Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, had been relayed by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who had obediently recycled it.
Behold a blowhard of no discernible substance
So where was the “full scale war”? The Fawkes folks had told readers that “Guido is told that Farage has been keeping a close eye on proceedings. Nigel is still the leader and has the power to appoint a new chairman and cancel the leadership process … Farage allies say they have evidence of conflicts of interest among anti-Woolfe NEC members, including personal relationships”. Yeah, watch out, there would be lots of smears.
Where, then, was the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) that had been foretold? Where was that executive action to appoint a new chairman and cancel the leadership election? Simples. It did not materialise. There hasn’t been any kind of challenge, and the leadership hopefuls that have got themselves on to the ballot are now making their pitch. The likes of Kassam are on the outside, looking in. And they are not happy.
We know this because the Fawkes rabble has returned to the subject today, telling “Leaked Messages Reveal Conflicts Of Interest In UKIP NEC”, and going on to let readers know “Five members of the UKIP NEC which voted to block Steven Woolfe from the ballot had potential conflicts of interest, leaked messages reveal”. Only “potential” conflicts of interest? What kinds of conflicts are those, then?
Three of the NEC had indicated support for Lisa Duffy before the vote to bar Woolfe from standing, and one had said she had already supported someone who was not Woolfe. Well, big deal. There would have to be some kind of link demonstrated between not backing Woolfe and deciding that he should not be on the ballot for the reasons given.
But the nod-and-wink is good enough for The Great Guido, who has announced “Douglas Carswell says he doesn’t have a dog in the fight though obviously he’s not a fan of Farage, who wanted Woolfe to win. Allies of Steven Woolfe say this is evidence the NEC vote was a sham and are considering a legal challenge”. Two things here. Carswell not being a fan of Mr Thirsty does not implicate him in the manoeuvrings of his colleagues, and the “legal challenge” looks like desperate propagandising - probably from Kassam.
The Fawkes rabble prophesied open warfare in UKIP if Woolfe were prevented from standing. It didn’t happen. There was going to be an EGM and the whole leadership election process would be scrapped. It didn’t happen. Now there is talk of some kind of “legal challenge”, which probably won’t happen either. How much more of this kind of success can The Great Guido stand before telling Raheem Kassam to shove off?
Kassam is full of wind and piss. And UKIP can get on fine without him. End of story.