by Simon Baxendale
Ask anyone in the UK with a slight interest in politics who Nigel Farage is and you may well get a different response each and every time – the former leader of the UK Independence Party (and current MEP, or Member of European Parliament) is a polarizing figure in British politics, and while he may not be an elected figure for British parliament, his presence is still very much felt. Farage was one of the faces of Brexit – his party, UKIP, was famous for pushing for a referendum on the UK leaving the European Union from the word go – and now it seems they’re more or less getting what they’ve been looking for, Farage has moved on to the world of radio broadcasting among other endeavors. Among other famous friends, he is well-known for being a close ally of US President Donald Trump – with the Commander in Chief supposedly having suggested previously that Farage would make the perfect Ambassador to the US.
Background aside, Farage has been in the news this week amid all the Brexit chaos for very different reasons – legal ones, potentially – and it involves legendary rock stars Rage Against The Machine, bizarrely enough. The band, too, are no strangers to keeping their names in the spotlight, and continue to court a massive fanbase – but it seems the outspoken MEP has earned their ire this week, which may result in a legal battle if matters aren’t resolved soon enough.
The issue between RATM and Farage surrounds the name of his regular podcast – and its logo. The public figure has earned himself a cease-and-desist letter on behalf of the band as a result of his show not only being entitled ‘Farage Against the Machine’ (clever, though potentially and allegedly libellous), but also as a result of the podcast reworking the band’s logo to its own ends. That’s not all – to say that RATM delivered Farage a rather provocative rebuke on that matter is putting it rather mildly.
“Your anti-immigrant rhetoric, lack of social compassion and barely disguised racism and xenophobia are the antithesis of what RATM stand for,” the letter reads. “Stop using RATM’s name and logo, change the name of your podcast and find some other target to troll. We suggest President Trump.”
Quite what will happen to Farage’s podcast remains to be seen – but with RATM leading a ‘F***NigelFarage’ hashtag on Twitter earlier this year, they’ve made their feelings on the MEP and his use of their intellectual property very clear indeed.
▶ To Brexit or not to Brexit: Uncut interviews with Tony Blair and Nigel Farage