When UKIP says the pathetic and stunningly inaccurate comments of MEP Godfrey Bloom are being ‘discussed right at the very highest level of the party’, we can be absolutely certain this is true. But there won’t be any sanction for Bloom.
For while Paul Nuttall may be Nigel Farage’s deputy leader, Bloom occupies a special and very senior place in the Farage hierarchy, not just as a party ally on the Brussels gravy train, but as one of Farage’s closest confidantes and advisers. He is very much first among Farage’s right hand men. He is also too stupid to represent a threat to Farage’s position as leader, so he fits the criteria for senior status in the party. As such, Bloom is teflon and regardless of the harm he may do to UKIP, Farage adores him. It will all be laughed off internally over a pint or six.
So what of the comments themselves? Racist? No. Pathetic, boorish, arrogant, demeaning, antagonistic, needless and stupid? Absolutely. But then this story is not unexpected because Bloom has demonstrated these same character flaws, among others, many times before and he does it because he revels in courting controversy and thinks it plays well to UKIP’s core constituency. Making such comments also allow him to indulge his fetish for acting like an uneducated juvenile delinquent.
But lacking judgement of a soundness even a 10-year-old can boast, Bloom is the poster boy for much of what is wrong with UKIP and Farage himself. He was talking to an audience of activists who would likely benefit from reassurance that UKIP’s leaders, of which Bloom is one, have serious messages to convey which have the capacity to resonate with respectable voters who are sick of the mainstream political stitch up and want a viable alternative at the ballot box. Instead they got the hackneyed old misogynist and cultural supremacist staggering along his usual path, the bottom of the sewer.
Bloom could have made a serious point, using powerful oratory to burn into people’s minds the injustice of sending billions of our tax pounds overseas, where so many of them are squandered and snaffled by corrupt agencies and politicians, while vulnerable people at home are in desperate need of a hand up and get less help than they need or deserve. A serious message delivered in a compelling manner by a person of substance can have irresistible appeal. But no. UKIP has Bloom.
That covers the pathetic, so what of the stunningly inaccurate? Bloom, lacking the intelligence God gifted to an amoeba, decided to venture onto the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to force the state to review whole life tariff prison sentences that are handed down to the very worst murderers. In what he probably considers to be a very witty little rant, he said:
You can torture people to death but you jolly well can’t give them a full life sentence because that’s against their human rights.
He went on to berate the lack of a death penalty. The wannabe hangman, as per usual, was wrong about life sentences. As much as I despise the activism of, and our submission to, the ECHR that was not what the ruling did. There is nothing preventing a whole life tariff being handed down. There is nothing preventing the state keeping the most dangerous criminals behind bars until they die. What the ECHR did was require that from time to time the sentence is reviewed to ensure it remains appropriate.
I resent that the ECHR required this. It should have been a British court making such a ruling. But there is nothing wrong with the ideal of reviewing sentences, at which point the state can say ‘yes, the sentence remains appropriate in this case and remains applicable to this convict’.
But when we are dealing with someone as superficial and disconnected as Bloom, facts and reality are repelled by the sheer life force of ignorance that denotes the man.
UKIP should be ashamed of the shocking embarrassment that is Godfrey Bloom. But behind closed doors today they are probably lauding him.
UPDATE: Well, well, well. As I expected UKIP’s course of action on this is to effectively do nothing. The official response is in. Steve Crowther, the Ukip chairman, said:
We are asking Godfrey not to use this phrase again, as it might be considered disparaging by members from other countries. However, foreign aid is an extremely important debate that needs wider discussion.
Yeah, that should do it. Heads being stuck firmly in the sand as Nigel’s pet must not be chastised.
Also par for the course is that UKIP clearly has no issue with Bloom’s misrepresentation of the ECHR ruling on whole life tariff sentencing. Perhaps their lack of ‘doing detail’ means they don’t understand exactly what was said. Far more important to them is getting the Blessed Nigel a photo call in a pub, or trying to keep up with him as he is pursued from venue to venue in Scotland.