When Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, accompanied by his chief spinner Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn, fetched up at LBC yesterday morning for The Great Man to be interviewed by the moderately grumpy – but, as it turned out, excellently briefed – James O’Brien, the thoroughness of what The Italian Job’s criminal mastermind Mr Bridger would have called “A Good Going Over” could not have been predicted.
Squeaky interview finger up the bum time
Less than half an hour later, Mr Thirsty had been comprehensively done up like, well, a Kipper, appropriately enough, as O’Brien exposed him as the racist charlatan many already knew he was (the clincher was Farage’s suggestion that “Romanian” was equivalent to “criminal”). Worse, the interview ended, apparently, with “Lunchtime” having to physically drag Farage from the studio.
So far, so disastrous, so how would the UKIP faithful react to their Dear Leader being shown up? Simples. In Kipper fairyland, there was always plenty of abuse to go round, and outright denial for the rest. “Listened to LBC interview today and dare I say – I thought Farage performed great! Never lost his cool under real pressure – go Nigel!” wibbled David Coburn, lead European Parliament candidate for Scotland.
Coburn’s unintentionally hilarious attempt to rewrite recent history provoked other like-minded souls to join in the spinning, and Frank Fisher had a new angle – Nige’s kids. “Listened through twice – O’Brien is obscenely partisan, bringing Nigel’s kids into it – Farage did brilliantly” he declared. O’Brien is equally demanding of all his interviewees, and the family Farage was relevant to the question being asked.
Another supporter opined “It wasn’t an interview [think you’ll find it was] but a calculated attempt to disparage a party that has the status quo very worried indeed”. Replying to this, another follower asserted “It was nothing to do with Farrage [sic]/UKIP policies, just a vehicle for James O’Brien to show off, bully and sneer”. This would be true if O’Brien were less tenacious with others, which he is not.
Do we have any advance on pretending it went wonderfully, “setup”, and “sneer”? You betcha, says Sarah: Nick Ebdon was ready with some basic abuse. “A large vocabulary doesn’t signify intelligence [think it does, actually]. O’Brien is neither smart or [sic] charismatic”. You don’t get an LBC show by being thick.
Go on, there must be someone telling us to “look over there”: there certainly was, and his name was Trevor Charles. “James O’Brien was a disgrace – hardly a proper ‘debate’”. Very good TC, it was not a debate, because there was nobody for Farage to debate with – it was an interview.
The demolition of Farage’s credibility at the hands of O’Brien was bad enough for UKIP. The refusal to accept reality afterwards is worse. And the abuse, coupled with the inference of victimhood, is just pathetic.