Matthew Walther is sorry that UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage removed Godfrey Bloom from the party's caucus in the European Parliament. He shouldn't be. Frankly, Farage should have washed his hands of Bloom years ago.
As Matt notes, during a UKIP Conference on Women, Bloom shouted, "This place is full of sluts," after two female UKIP members said they did not clean behind the fridge. Even if we accept that Bloom intended the remark in good humor, I think Matt ought to ask himself if this is something he would say at a public event, especially one intended to raise the party's prestige with women.
Following the conference, Bloom was confronted by a reporter on a separate matter. Michael Crick of Channel 4 asked Bloom why there were "no black faces" on the cover of the party's conference brochure. Admittedly, it was a silly question and Bloom gave a silly answer by calling Crick a racist. Had Bloom left it at that then it would have been an amusing episode.
However, Bloom then took the brochure and hit Crick over the head with it. While I'm sure some people might laugh at that visual, it is still assault. What Matt's video doesn't include is that after hitting Crick over the head, he told ITV reporter Paul Brand, "You treat me badly, you'll get a lot worse than that."
It isn't that Bloom had a bad day. He's been at this for a long time.
Shortly after becoming a MEP in 2004, Bloom told the EU Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality that "no self-respecting businessman with a brain in ther right place would ever employ a lady of child bearing age."
In an effort to combat the perception he was hostile to women, he invited several female students from Cambridge University to the EU Parliament in Brussels. Things didn't go well. He alarmed them with his comments about womens' breasts.
Bloom has frequently appeared drunk in public and it has been enough to get him banned from several hotels in Strasbourg (where the EU Parliament also sits). He has also been drunk during parliamentary sessions. On one occasion, Bloom asked if the Cambridge University's Womens Rugby Team should wear their logo on the front or the back of their uniforms. On another occasion, Bloom was so intoxicated while giving a speech that he needed to be helped out of the chamber.
Last month, Bloom said the EU should not give foreign aid to "bongo bongo land."
The UKIP has a chance to be a viable alternative to both the Tories and Labour. But it cannot be if the UKIP becomes synonymous with the words and deeds of Godfrey Bloom. He could write a brochure as to how not to advance the UK Independence Party.
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