Pride, so they say, comes before a fall. And on Monday evening there was no more proud gathering than that of former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, his spokesman Dan Jukes, and professional flunky Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, all smiles as they paraded themselves as “The A Team”.
Kassam, an appallingly immodest being with much to be modest about, had been ejected from LBC’s London HQ earlier that evening, having had an altercation with Farage’s long-time producer Christian Mitchell. How bad this was can be deduced from the BuzzFeed report, which tells “LBC staff are calling for action from management after a second ugly confrontation at the station's London radio studios between producers and Nigel Farage's inner circle in less than 48 hours”. Hence Kassam’s ejection.
There was more. “Kassam says he was signed into the building by Farage's spokesperson around the time of his 6 p.m. show, but LBC sources told BuzzFeed News he did not have permission or authorisation to be there from anyone at the station … staff members felt ‘shaken’ by his behaviour … Kassam's frustrations appeared to be directed at LBC staff over the station's political editor questioning former Trump strategist [Stave] Bannon”.
Squeaky contract's up finger up the bum time
What was worst was the intimidation indulged in by Kassam: “After being escorted from the premises, Kassam posted a picture of Mitchell's face to his Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with the LBC producer's work email address, inviting his followers to get in touch with him to ‘tell him what you think’”. Real amateur stuff.
But Kassam’s swaggering triumphalism, although it might have given him a warm feeling, is about to backfire on him and Mr Thirsty big time. As Zelo Street hinted recently when noting the imminent arrival at LBC of former BBC stalwart Eddie Mair, one of the existing roster of presenters is likely to have to go to make way for him.
And since then, it has become clear that LBC is looking to dispose of Farage’s services when his contract comes up for renewal, which I am told is imminent. Apparently, advance notice of his departure has already been given to advertisers, some of whom may have been less than happy at being associated with the former head Kipper.
So Farage is going to be out at LBC. The usual stock explanations would then be deployed - “Looking for a change” … “New opportunities” … “Time to move on” … “mutual agreement” - but how much better it will be to have the excuse that Raheem Kassam has now given them, after his crude amateur heavy mob impression.
More like The A-Hole Team
After telling of that idiocy, BuzzFeed then added “Kassam told BuzzFeed News he was ‘joking around’: ‘I think the LBC staff don't know my sense of humour. It was meant in jest. If I've rattled anyone who is a bit sensitive, I am incredibly sorry.’”
He wasn’t joking around, he doesn’t have a sense of humour, it wasn’t meant in jest, and he isn’t sorry. But he soon will be, because the “joking around” will be on him.
“Call me Ray” just gave LBC the best possible excuse to dispense with Nigel Farage’s services. What a complete and absolute shower.