If you hate listening to audio or watching video (as opposed to reading the printed word) as much as we do, or if you’re just at work and can’t, here’s a complete transcript – courtesy of one of our splendid readers – of this morning’s BBC Breakfast appearance from UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom.
Once again, the very last line of the transcript is the killer.
SIMON McCOY: A senior UKIP politician has been filmed saying Britain should not send aid to what he called “Bongo-Bongo Land”. Godfrey Bloom, who’s an MEP, made the comment in a video obtained by the Guardian newspaper. Mr Bloom, who denies being a racist, claims that the countries given the money sometimes squander it on luxury goods. Here’s exactly what he said:
(video footage): We’ve been let down, time and time again. How we can possibly be giving a £1 billion a month when we’re in this sort of debt, to Bongo-Bongo Land, to buy Rayban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris, and all the rest of it that goes with most foreign aid.
F-18s for Pakistan – we need a new squadron of F-18s, a couple of squadrons. Who’s got the squadrons? Pakistan, where we send the money! I mean, again, I’m going to have to come back to that word, I’m very sorry to use it again, it’s treason. It’s treason.
McCOY: A heart-felt speech from Godfrey Bloom, who’s in our house studio for us this morning. Good morning to you.
BLOOM: Good morning to you!
McCOY: Hindsight’s a wonderful thing. Do you regret making those comments?
BLOOM: I never regret anything I say. It was a public meeting, and if I regret it… I’m not a Conservative politician, instinctive political correctness, I tell it how it is, and that’s what they like in Yorkshire, which is where I’m speaking to you from.
McCOY: Where is ‘Bongo-Bongo Land’ then?
BLOOM: It’s a figment of everybody’s imagination. It’s like Ruritania or the Third World. It is just an alliteration to somewhere which represents, erm, a lot of the places where our money goes. £1 billion, incidentally, in that speech, that I repeat it – £1 billion a month, when people here in Hull are waiting for cancer treatment and there’s not enough money. Treason is the word I use; treason it is.
McCOY: What do you say to Laura Pidcock? She’s from the educational charity, ‘Show Racism The Red Card’. She says your suggestion that the money goes to buying designer sunglasses and apartments is offensive to people who live in abject poverty.
BLOOM: No. She clearly didn’t listen to the whole speech. What I was saying was, some of the money finds the right place. But the point I’m making is, it is for people to give money to charities in the philanthropic society – and we are, and we are – according to their choice.
It is not for rich men, like David Cameron, to take tax from old-age pensioners in my constituency, and hand it out willy-nilly, with no audit trail. There’s no audit trail – we don’t know where most of this money goes, you know.
McCOY: Your party, UKIP, is saying that this is being discussed at the highest level within the party. What would you say to them if they said you had to be a bit more careful about your language in future?
BLOOM: Er, well, they know me by now. My boss isn’t David Cameron, my boss is Nigel Farage, and thank goodness he doesn’t… he’s not Pavlov’s dog, knee-jerk reaction to everything like David Cameron seems to be. The point that I made, and I’m very very glad that I used that phraseology, because I’ve done six radio shows already this morning.
I’m bringing to people’s attention the reason that we’re cutting A&E hospitals, the reasons we’re cutting defence, the reason we’re cutting police. We don’t have to if we stop giving what is 100% very nearly of our GDP growth from 2014. It’s treason, it’s a disgrace, and I’m very glad to flag it up. And already this morning, only halfway through, I’ve had messages of support from all over the country.
McCOY: What do you say to those people – and there are people out there, because we’ve had messages, some in support of what you say. Some have been offended by what you said. So what do you say to them?
BLOOM: I don’t see how anybody can be offended by a reference to a country that simply doesn’t exist. It’s ridiculous, and it tells you that it’s August and we’re in the Silly Season.
Now I know I’ve offended some Guardian journalists, but I’m a UKIP MEP. I get paid to upset Guardian journalists, that’s what I get paid to do. And if I’ve upset them, I’m very glad indeed.
McCOY: Do you not accept that the use of the phrase “Bongo-Bongo Land” is inherently racist?
BLOOM: No I don’t. That’s only in the BBC’s politically-correct mind. Are you accusing me of being a racist?
McCOY: Do you… do you think you are?
BLOOM (threateningly): Think very carefully. Think very carefully before you answer that. Are you accusing me of being a racist?
McCOY: No, my answer is a question: do you think you are?
BLOOM (angrily): Don’t be absurd! Ridiculous!
McCOY: A lot of people watching this will, may have some sympathy with what you’re saying. What they disagree with is the way you said it. Use of words like “Bongo-Bongo Land” and the manner in which it was said. Do you accept that some may be offended by that?
BLOOM: Erm, the people who are offended by this are normally left-wing journalists who want to be offended. They are in the business of being offended. I don’t represent them – I don’t want to represent them.
I represent people at the pub, the cricket club, the rugby club, here in Yorkshire, and I tell it like it is, which is why my vote went up in 2009, and I suspect if I stand again it will go up again. They like it up here in Yorkshire, telling it like it is. What a shame more politicians don’t do that.
McCOY: If UKIP came to power at the next election and you had a wider stage, what would you do with the aid budget?
BLOOM: I’d cancel it completely. Er, aid is for emergencies, and we’d keep it for emergencies, like a tsunami or an earthquake, and it’s quite right and proper that the country helps those people. What I would do, I would reduce taxes to give more people money in their pocket, and then they can be philanthropic with it as they chose.
But I say again, I’ve got old-age pensioners here, up in Yorkshire, trying to stretch by on £105 a week, waiting for medical treatment, while we give money away. It’s a disgrace. And I think most of your viewers will view it as a disgrace.
McCOY: They may not view as a disgrace any money that saves lives abroad, and there’s obvious evidence that money sent from this country does.
BLOOM: Money sent from the country, under the right circumstances, is fine, but there’s a moral issue here. I agree there’s a moral issue. Er, people should give money to charity, I believe they should, I do myself. It is not the government’s role to take money by threats of force, which is what taxation is, and give it to countries – and the whole of that speech is worth listening to – Pakistan brought F-18s, a squadron of F-18s.
Some of our money goes to Argentina – I bet people didn’t know that – who just brought twenty Mirage jets from Spain, which might be used as a hostile attack again on the Falklands. Some of it goes to India, where they have a nuclear aircraft carrier and a space program. I say again, treason! Treason is the word.
McCOY: Thank you very much for joining us, Godfrey Bloom. Thank you for your time this morning.
BLOOM: You’re very welcome.
CARRIE GRACIE: Let us know what you think. 61124…
McCOY: A lot of you already are!
GRACIE: Is the aid budget treason, or what? Yeah. Just keep them coming in.
McCOY: Most of them, at the moment, are supporting it. Er, “Well done Mr Bloom, for speaking for the majority”, says this text. “Hooray!” is another. Do let us know. 61124.