James O'Brien interview: Post-Theresa May politics, will Nigel Farage be our next prime minister?



but it still is apparently not second nature to people to hold politicians to account for things they've actually said before you let them go off and start flogging the next gallon of snake oil James O'Brien hi you have become a torchbearer a weather vane for a large part of this country where do you draw your confidence from weirdly I think almost by accident they put out clips of me talking into the ether usually not even talking to callers in the first instance it was these these call them monologues or rant depending on whether you like me or not and they just went nuts that element about your broadcast thing that Ellen about your politics in your approach what I'm trying to ascertain is whether you think that's how effective at is it changing people's minds how effective is that are getting someone to change their position on something I've changed a lot over the years from when I first started doing I was a lot more declamatory even in the last couple of years I did what I do now and the stuff that tends to go nuts on the internet is the stuff that you lead people out which is I think what literally what educate means in Latin to be pompous for a moment you you ask people why they think what they think five years ago ten years ago I was doing what everybody else did which was tell you what I think and then ask you what you think and sometimes never the twain shall meet which is I think part of the reason why we're in such a mess now because that has become the accepted model and doing a manufactured conflicted debate on television or radio has become a replacement for having current affairs broadcasting that tells you what you need to know not that says you know climate change MMR brexit Trump here are two sides there aren't two sides on those four issues there is the right side and then there's everybody else and and everybody else needs help coming over to the right side and the last thing that is going to help them is treating them as if their position is valid as everybody else is we'll talk about being on the right side then because I think the criticism that some people would throw at you what criticism is that I think people would say they feel that you're a bit smug yeah and how much then is calling your book how to be right about profit yeah provoking that or does it lend any credence whatever so I don't know I mean you can't be smug if you look like a wizard you can't be smug if you keep losing arguments you can't be smug that you'd need to invent a different word I don't know what it would be but if if you agree with the person I'm arguing with and they end up looking stupid I completely understand why you would call me smug but it's just a euphemism for right so hard to be right was better than how to be smug how much do you think do you feel at all it's being impotent or ineffective in recent times being worse than impotent has been actively poisoning the public discourse I think from it's hard to pick a place that isn't but in in particular you'd have to look at Paul Degas editorship at the Daily Mail coupled with stuff I was a little late to the party on actually I I thought all of the content creatives in the internet sphere we're all top top top people like Joe I didn't know about Infowars and I didn't know about Breitbart and occasionally they'd pop up on my radar but they were so vile and so obviously unpleasant that I'd turn my radar off and then suddenly you've got Donald Trump claiming that the Washington Post is fake news and Alex Jones is a trustworthy news sort and and he's in the White House and you realized oh this has gone far too far already but in Britain I you just look at the Daily Mail and what the Daily Telegraph has become what the Daily Express became under Richard Desmond what the Sun has been forever but except for that brief window under David Yellin but which it has doubled down on under Tony Gallagher and and it's it's it's utterly repellent and it was so used to it and I would start off in newspapers if I'd stayed in newspapers I wouldn't say this stuff I wouldn't see this stuff I got friends people I love who still work on titles I've just mentioned and we tend not to talk about it at all because I would be paying my bills I only ever wanted to be a journalist and if that was the only opportunity I'd got I'd be doing I wouldn't be doing columns saying things I didn't believe but I'd be writing about Theatre or politics in a newspaper where the comment writers were writing stuff that I found repellent and I'd have to persuade myself I didn't find it repellent so for me Murdoch Kelvin Mackenzie Paul Dacre are responsible for turning Britain into an international laughingstock in the process isn't over yet it's worse with Baker because he went after the independence of the judiciary that um enemies of the people headline he went after parliamentary sovereignty with that crush the saboteurs from page he went after academic independence academic freedom with the our remaining univer those three front pages for me triangulated fears and suspicions I'd had for a long time and when I wrote the original conclusion to the book I wrote the first thing we have to do is get pulled a car out of the editors chair at the Daily Mail and get Alex Jones off social media and about a week before it was going to the printers both of those things happen so it's the first taste of trying to write a book about current affairs well affairs are a tiny bit to current and it's been no different with a baby boat release which I've done a an updated chapter for which will be out a date by the time we finish this interview is it not a bit of a cop-out though you know to say that the media are complicit in whatever it is that you dislike or that you know it's not about what I dislike it's about speaking to people on page after page after page in that book we've been persuaded of things that aren't true so I dislike deception but that's not controversial or smug and it's not a cop-out they've been lied to they've been told that immigrants are stealing their jobs when they're not they've been told that immigrants schrödinger's immigrant is simultaneously stealing your job and coming over here to claim all your benefits which is not true you find one example of it that does not extrapolate into six million people doing it they've been told that political correctness has gone mad without knowing what is meant by the phrase political correctness or why having political greatness would in any way be a bad thing they've been given clubs with which to sort of hit people over their head or to hit themselves over there usually and that's not a question of me not liking what they're saying that's a question of demonstrable untruth being mainstreamed by the most powerful people in the British media almost exclusively bankrolled by non domicile tax avoiding billionaires who claim to be patriotic so so no I don't accept that criticism I'm just sick I'm just saying I think it might so it's a tale as old as time isn't it yeah and it's a trick now pulled off by Corbin Faraj Trump you know blaming the media is almost a tactic now yes yes it is and but it doesn't mean that everybody who does it is wrong you know Jeremy Corbyn blames the media because the alternative would be to talk to them and Seamus Mill doesn't want him to for reasons that are pretty obvious to anybody who's ever seen Jeremy Corbyn being interviewed Donald Trump blames the media because he's trying to normalize corruption so if he can get fake news up and running and then his own when evidence of his own corruption emerges he can do that false equivalence thing and you know how many members of his campaign team are in prison now but his base still thinks that Hillary Clinton did something wrong with her emails but they don't understand or particularly care about but Trump's managed to create that false equivalence by doing the fake news stuff lies that are told and attempts to undermine fundamental principles of our democracy like academic freedom parliamentary sovereignty and an independent judiciary that that is a different beast entirely but what they've done cleverly more so Trump and ferret and Corbin what they've done very cleverly is kind of turn I know you are but what am i into a political ideology so every time you criticize them for doing so they say I know you are but what am I so someone somewhere today after farad's was turned over last night on Channel 4 News for having some mansion in Chelsea that's being paid for by reportedly allegedly paid for by Aaron bang somebody somewhere on social media one of the breaks it's a party supporting half-wits will be saying well why haven't you looked at Vince cables rent or why haven't you looked at change UK they just ignore the the because it gives them an escape route and the media have done that they've built the escape route let's look at that now that and so reports this week that Nigel Faraj receives a significant donation from businessman Aaron banks nearly half a million quid in any other time that would be the end of someone's political career would it no I think so I got a tweet from so I think someone on the time saying no it wouldn't but again she was saying I don't blame American media for Trump but I thought my queendom do actually but I think it would have been I think I think a British politician it's not legally obliged to disclose all of this stuff because the MEP rules are different it's only seven years I think or six years since Nigel Farage pledged to publicly have his European Parliament expenditure independently audited so I'm sure that's gonna happen any minute now but but yeah I think you're right and that's why that's why I think um that you can't pin that on anyone except the media who else would have led the calls for standards in public life to be upheld if not the media you know they're not gonna do it voluntarily 450 13 grand a month for a mansion in Chelsea well he's punting around the country claiming to represent the interest of ordinary working people almost all of whom under any brexit analysis are gonna be economically damaged by a No Deal and thirteen grand a month for a mansion in Chelsea it's not gonna touch him in the polls and he's gone too far we're down the rabbit hole now and that has to be the media's fault because who else is the bridge between the politic the body politic the poly political world and the put the politician and the punter it's ours but we've blown it absolutely blown it well come to that no deal side of things in a minute but I'd like to talk about the brexit Party for a moment if you could call it that maybe perhaps a group and the reason I say that it's because at the moment there's no discernible policy beyond that no deal and there isn't a manifesto does that just make it amounts of a cult of personality around houses and he knows that and I think I'm just surprised by some of the people that are helping him but when you look into the spike it is it's in the former members of the revolutionary communist party out that I mean there's some interesting questions to be asked there but yeah I look at what the cult of personality is since this brexit party launched he's claimed that he founded it which he didn't he's claimed that he was saying no deal is better than no breaks it before the referendum which he wasn't again back to the media how is he allowed to lie like this on unchallenged answer well we don't he said after the Andrew Marr interview I won't come back again and that is if you had to knock shell everything the fear that they won't come back these people that deliver clip clicks and unpopularity the fear that they won't come back is why they don't get properly held to account so you did found it he didn't say no deal is better than a bad deal before the referendum result he's got no members he's only got supporters there's no evidence of where the money has come from there's no evidence that he has been funded in the way that he claimed it's being funded we know that some businessman have been giving large donations to the party we now know reportedly there and banks has been paying his rent on her 13 grand a month mansion in Chelsea and a 5 grand a month body guard stroke so far we know that the two people who had to step down as treasurer and chairman because they were found to have posted precisely the sort of vile social media Islamophobia and racism as his old mates in UK are still on the board we know that it's not a political party in any sense he won't answer questions about where the money comes from he won't answer questions about things he said in the past he won't ask the questions about policies because there aren't on any all he does is complain about a narrative of betrayal and victimhood and if that's not a cult of personality then I'm a banana how did we end up here then how did we end up with that No Deal forensic being advocated if you never said it before how has he managed to get to a position where he can say it now because Tereza may employ the phrase that had become the the bleeped of the brother of the brexit betrayal narrative july 2016 i wrote on twitter Faraz we'll be back not as quickly as last time because the route he asked a distancing himself from the reality of break sit before he come back bleating about betrayal I was that was within a month of the referendums oh I knew it it's not particularly clairvoyant of me but people are still surprised by it it's come to this because nobody ever thought that it would reach into proper politics you kit were always a bit funny the European Parliament whether you were Pro European well we're all European well whether or not you not none of us took it seriously enough none of us knew how much we owed to those relationships and that's why no one ever thought that this mainstreaming of oh it doesn't matter we'll put someone else on the panel who's telling the truth they'll balance each other everyone know that and then of course you begin to realize there are people in the upper echelon of the British media who actually agree with that worldview and actually are Xenophon they can are unpleasant and are dreaming of a return to sort of Victorian style values which won't hit all the people that the voters think it will hit like the Muslims and the immigrants and the feckless work shy about it will hit them that's how that's how awful is there anyone you think are loving British politics lots of people I mean the problem with brexit is it's the lens through which we now look at everything so probably if I do it off the top of my head everyone I'm going to mention it's probably going to lean toward to remain but a lot of them will have voted for the withdrawal agreement on the grounds that that does deliver at least what the referendum promised to deliver I like people who prioritize national interest over personal interest so anyone at the moment where there is to change UK lot who have really not played a great hand but they have probably jeopardized their own careers in order to do what they thought was right Nick Bowles I thought that was a moment when he did live in the house walked away I think David Lammy is a very special politician it was when I did unfiltered with him actually that I saw a passion kept politicians when they're talking about themselves and normally a hell of a lot more animated than they are when they're talking about principles and policies allow me in my experience is the opposite Lemmy came alive when he was talking about the stuff that he cares about and was a little bit impatient and bored when we were talking about him Ken Clark I had the pleasure of interviewing at length quite recently for my full disclosure podcast and he was he was a legend there's plenty of people I like but what I've realized in the last few years is that the politicians who are doing the best job are probably the ones whose names we don't know because they're not on speed dial for Andrew Marr or LBC or BBC Breakfast there they're not in it to get their faces on telly you see a pudding like mark Francois getting interviewed absolutely everywhere every single day and you realize that for every mark Francois please God there are 10 MPs who were busy doing constituency work I'm not whining on about his second world war revivalism wet dream is there anyone then in the Conservative Party leadership picture after Theresa May that doesn't fit those criteria the woman are just compared to our Dolph Hitler done that's not a joke I mean I think it was I like if you had to pick someone I quite like the cut of amber rods jib the problem is they're all now hostage to this No Deal nonsense to this No Deal lie all of them even there we go Van Johnson went through different lobbies on the withdrawal agreement the two chairmen and vote leave went through different lobbies in yet they're still claiming that there's some sort of homogeneous representation of seventeen point four million people and you can see Hunt has already moved on it trust has already it's despicable to see actually utterly utterly despicable to see people who know that it is going to do an immeasurable harm to the national interest and the economy but they also know that there's no way they can lead the Conservative Party unless in the current climate they publicly state that no deal would be better than remaining and and you think things are bad mate they're about to get a hell of a lot worse you can that's the argument then for a second referendum yeah it has to be although I feel it Carly and the ties today was Philip Collins Carol your call is someone called Philip in The Times today was very persuasive on the argument of why that would actually if you called off brexit you it could make things worse not not I don't think the threats of picking up rifles and this sort of Nod peace in the nation yeah March of the the Zima framed hooligan I don't think that's going to happen but it could damage democracy in a way if it happened after our second referendum it would be mitigated hugely I've even flirted lately with the idea just do it and let them see but of course that is inflicting avoidable damage upon the nation's most vulnerable people and I don't understand why anybody goes into politics whatever their party or ideology might be if not to protect the people most in need of protection unfortunately the politicians riding high in the public perception at the moment are the ones who are in my view the ones who are actually going to make who believe in making people's lives worse they believe in deregulation they believe in removing health and safety they believe in getting rid of collective bargaining power provided by trade union membership they really do believe that if bosses are free to do whatever they want then their world will improve and you don't have to go back very far in British history to see why they believe that you know look at Downton Abbey and think of a world in which or eight five six people lived a life of untrammeled luxury while a hundred people toiled below stairs to provide it people look back on that nostalgic Lee and the bit I don't get is why the 21st century voter who would be thanking his lucky stars to have got a gig as second under footman thinks that returning to the days of a Rees muggy and full lock hogging cap doffing aristocratic model is going to be good for him that's the bit I don't get and that's the bit that scares me the most the deference that is abroad at the moment this idea that I will trust him because he's posh and Johnson tree smug farad's all slightly fake in their postures no one talks like Jacob Riis well I've got a lot of mates that went to eat and I went to bloody ample fourth nobody talks like that unless they've sat at home pretending to listen to his sister if his sister Prince William sounds like Grant Mitchell next to Jacob Riis mug it's a conscious decision it's it's a Lord snooty pantomime performance but it works people think we're he's incredibly posh we must trust him David Cameron's books out in September is it yeah you can read it I feel compelled to be hard not to isn't it but why you don't hear his side of it do you all of them he's probably the one I really yeah because I know in that list of Johnson very smart they are I know what they are it's why their fans hate me so much especially Farage's I know what he is he knows that I know what he is that's the thing they can't forgive but I hold up mirrors that's my job on the radio and if they hate what they see in the mirror it's not my fault Cameron don't quite get it don't quite get it two stories which probably get to the heart and why do you want to be Prime Minister I think I'll be good at it and someone told me very recently I can't tell you who that they met him when he'd been in the job for about a year and they said how you getting on how you finding a guy yeah it's very interesting so to see the Premiership solely through or from the perspective of your own relationship with it not to mention at any point I can do good I can help I can improve just to look at all the career options that are open to you as a quasi aristocratic old Etonian conservative leaving Oxford mother-in-law oh I'm a gig at Carlton Communications working for Michael Green but he obviously had his eye he thought I had the befitting of my status that's why he wanted to be Prime Minister that's why the country is in the toilet what gives you hope James Oh brawn young people which is not patronizing or um I hope or even paternalistic but you look at the breakdown in the numbers look at a climate change look at Greater Sundberg look at the way that the the brexit party as you mentioned earlier their support is almost almost entirely confined to people above 60 and older met most of whom for what it's worth are actually people in the southeast who've paid off their mortgages it's narrative about working-class northern voters is as patronizing as it is ridiculous as MPs are an utterly point out brilliantly and as the council elections recently proved but and history gives me hope enter V Lee and his lot recently and I asked him why he because he had its private eye I mean you know he should be even more dismayed and depressed about politics than I am but he just said as a classicist and as a historian I've seen it all before that doesn't comfort me as much as it comforts him because I don't want to go through it again I I kind of go for that those who don't learn from history are condemned forever to repeat it but but but it can't carry on even if it's just the pendulum theory of politics it will get here it might go further and then it will swing back again and for about I don't know 13 minutes in 2037 and everything might be alright for a while and then we'll start swinging in that direction what better place to leave it perfectly mate tea really changed you

45 Replies to “James O'Brien interview: Post-Theresa May politics, will Nigel Farage be our next prime minister?

  1. Jeasus this thread is full of ideology and little in the art of debate. People have strong opinions but weak mentalities, as they are unable to change their minds when presented with counter arguments.
    It perfectly sums up brexit really!

  2. O'Brien thinks he represents the down trodden, the poor and the working class. He doesn't, or at least not much any more, in particular he doesn't care what 17.4 million people want in a democratic vote. The right of politics is now the left and represents the middle classes, wealthy and the elite – people who want cheap labour and long weekends away. The left ie the poor have now moved over to the right and some are automatically right wing extremists for supporting Brexit. O'Brien is extremely bias and spreads fake news every morning. Tony Benn, Barbara Castle, Michael Foot would be turning in their graves.. added to this Galloway and others see the truth about the EU and its corruption.

  3. If Farage, O'Brien's LBC colleague, is so objectionable then why doesn't he do the honourable thing and resign?

    Because his current niche as smug, fake, Remainer-in-Chief who is so intellectually insecure he only takes on (albeit with one hand over the mute button) midday drunks and the educationally less gifted, is feathering his Chiswick nest rather nicely don't you know? He could at least spend it on some clobber, he looks like a hungover Sociology lecturer who is sleeping in his car while the divorce goes through.

  4. A public schoolboy who uses the word 'mate' more often than an exasparated zookeeper prodding at a panda enclosure.

  5. Problem with obrian he seems to win arguments on his radio program because he controls who he has on. He picks people who no nothing and that makes him look good. Obrian is one of these typical liberal left bohemian middle class who live in trendy part of London no nothing about the real working class and think they are intellectual super brains who know better than the working class he is one of the most bias people I've ever come across.

  6. yet more propaganda from the countries biggest fake. Don't get me wrong, I despise Farage and all the other establishment stooges but at least they're not kidding anyone. They have their noses in the trough and don't care who knows it. James O'brien ,on the other hand, is far more dangerous because he can get otherwise intelligent people to think differently. O'Brien is establishment through and blue.

  7. James is one of the outstanding commentators of our time.He is more than a match for the main protagonists (Farage, Bozo et al) of this Brexit nonsense and what's more is, they know it.In the absence of conviction politicians, perhaps he should stand for public office – he'd get my vote

  8. The reason this guy gets so much hate is because he speaks the truth plainly and simply in a way that seems to irritate a lot of the people who believe lies.

  9. Obrien is a disgusting hate preacher. Yet is given a free pass by his listeners in his echo chamber. Disgusting human being. I'm surprised he speaks so much considering the amount of time he has the mayors coxk in his mouth. Scim.

  10. I like James and think he speaks a lot of sense, but to lump Corbyn in with Trump on his response to the media is a little disingenuous. In an article headlined Jeremy Corbyn apes Donald Trump and attacks 'mainstream media'
    Corbyn is reported as saying "As you may have noticed, some of the mainstream media are sometimes slightly hostile and critical."
    Blistering.
    But it is based in truth – they are. Perhaps fairly, perhaps excessively.
    If Trump said that it would be a rare case of him telling the truth. Instead, he calls them "fake news" and "enemies of the people".
    Please can we not make such ludicrous equivalencies – but yes, hold Corbyn to account just as we should every politician.

  11. No, I think O'Brien is right in most of his comments, but where has he been for the last few decades as we have been screwed over by the so called Liberal Elite and State Media. The 'disconnect' has been the biggest proof of their unquestioned smug arrogance .

  12. He's no better than the politicians themselves. Politicians haven't just started telling lies or selling untruths. He is using something that cove been said for every referendum or general election that's been since the find world war. He's just an obnoxious fool. There are two sides. Not a right side. Fucking idiot.

  13. "Schrödinger's Immigrant" is by far the best way I've heard to describe the otherwise contradictory statements often bandied about regarding immigrants. Brilliant.

  14. James O'Brien is an out and out hypocrite.

    He's all for mass immigration. Loves the idea of flooding the UK with third world savages yet won't live among them!he, like Sheila Fogarty on LBC live in White enclaves. I think it's Chiswick that obrien lives in with Fogarty living in Putney or just beyond it. She had her region on her Twitter Bio until recently.

  15. Thanks Joe – JO'B is common sense; if Brexiters can't handle common sense, actual fact, then they must acknowledge either they haven't educated themselves, or they subscribe to these liars

  16. Never mind Victoriana, why would anyone want to go back to the UK of the 70's (at or around the time the UK joined the EEC)? Bread strikes, 3-day week, rationed power, oil crisis … probably not a period to feel nostalgic about, and the immediate precursor of what the UK is walking away from. I assume that going back to pre-EU membership means resetting the clock to that period.

  17. Where are you Obrien on Corbyn and the liebour party on the antisemitism within the party you always call Brexit yet cherry pick your own ideas

  18. When people stop arguing and accept democracy i.e the leave vote, we can then move foward with issues that affect our lifes on a daily basis.

  19. I assume he agrees with the freedom of speech? Then he says I suggest we change the editor of the DM and and get Alex Jones off the internet. Oh yes no one on the left lies, really? And Trump turned Clinton into a bad person? really. How about the media ignoring what she did? That's OK. He a typical lefty that wants only his way of thinking including academic freedom, means continue the left indoctrination. You keep writing your books mate. They'll all get read in London.

  20. Voting for Farage out of protest because you don't like the way the government behaved about Brexit is like drinking out of the toilet bowl in the pub because you don't like the taste of the beer.

    Mr Fartarse (oops, Farage) might be so full of himself, but he is forgetting that the turn out for European election was just an apathetic 36%.

    The parties (UKIP and Brexit party) which support a Brexit make up 37%, whereas the parties against a Brexit (LibDem, Change UK, Plaid Cymru and the Green party) make up over 40%. So he is just as delusional as May and the other Muppets! Or as Marti Webb would sing ; 🎶So my fair weather friend. You're wrong again.🎶

    The only ones who have a say about Brexit are the Tory party and they are still in power.  As May said, the only person who can sort it out is the one who can find a compromise.

    The show is not over until the fat lady sings.

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