[ooyala id=”l3cTVyZTqQvfShGvmB8V9cOAhiRhh_9w” ]
There’s a funny thing I’ve noticed, which is that Ukip supporters – those doughty warriors fighting the PC orthoxy, demanding the right to say the unsayable at all times – are the biggest bunch of crybabies the political world has ever known. Write the slightest little thing about them – like Tim’s funny and almost affectionate parody of their conference itinerary, earlier – and dozens of them turn up in the comments, weeping bitter salt tears about how it’s all a Lib-Lab-Con smear campaign organised by Lynton Crosby and Ed Miliband because they JUST CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.
(It is also a statistical certainty that, at some point, someone will quote Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”)
Anyway, I’m just saying that because I’m going to have to say something a little rude about Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom now: he’s a chump.
He sparked mild outrage a few weeks ago by saying we should stop sending aid to “Bongo Bongo Land”, which definitely isn’t in Africa. But today, in just a few short hours at the Ukip conference, he has:
• Called two Ukip women “sluts” because they don’t clean behind the fridge
• Hit a Channel 4 reporter, Michael Crick, over the head with a copy of a Ukip brochure and called him a “racist” after the reporter pointed out that there were no black faces on the front of said brochure
• Threatened to punch a reporter from Yorkshire TV (after the Michael Crick slap: “You treat me badly, you’ll get a lot worse than that… That is a threat to any journalist.”)
In his defence, the “sluts” thing was (I think) a sort-of joke, hingeing on the fact that “slut” used to mean “unclean woman”. It’s not a very good joke and he has, let’s face it, called two women “sluts” in a very public place, but you can sort of see what he’s aiming for.
The thing is, of course, that it won’t make the slightest difference to Ukip’s polling. There is a small subset of Britons, who say things like “What ho, barkeep” and “My good lady wife”, who will think he’s a straight-talking no-nonsense sort of chap, and who probably think that describing oneself as “an alpha male” is perfectly normal and not at all weird. They will already vote Ukip. There is another subset who think he’s basically evil, and they will already vote Lib Dem or Green. And then there is, I suspect, a large majority, who think he’s a complete comedy figure, a sort of political clown, and think this stuff is just good harmless fun but they’d no more vote for him than they would Screaming Lord Sutch. None of these groups will change their opinion after today.
Apparently he’s on stage in a few minutes. I’m going to tune in.