Peter Dominiczak, Telegraph (London), August 7, 2013
The UK Independence Party MEP who referred to “bongo bongo land” has promised not to use the phrase again after being rebuked by Nigel Farage.
Godfrey Bloom refused to say that he regretted using the term but said that he has told the Ukip leader that he will not say it again.
Mr Bloom’s comments were described as “objectionable” after he said in a speech said that people who receive UK aid money spend the money on “Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it”.
The video, obtained by the Guardian, also shows Mr Bloom railing against the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for ruling that full life sentences could not be handed down.
However, it was his reference to “bongo bongo land” that caused the most controversy.
“My boss Nigel Farage has asked me not to use it again and I’ve promised him that I won’t and if it upsets my boss, obviously I don’t want to do it and I don’t intend to use the term again,” Mr Bloom told Sky News.
“But what is good, what is good now, I’ve turned this into a national debate on where £1billion of our money goes every month and if I’ve achieved that I think I’ve done my country some good.”
Earlier, Mr Bloom had responded to claims that his remarks were offensive by repeating his original remarks and claiming he is prepared to apologise to the ambassador of the fictional country.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Bloom was unrepentant and when asked what he would do if he was criticised by the Ukip leadership he said: “I’d say righto, sorry, sorry everybody. If I’ve offended anybody in bongo bongo land I shall write to the ambassador at the Court of St James and apologise to him personally.”
After laughing Mr Bloom added: “My job is to upset the Guardian and the BBC. I love it. I love it.”
Today presenter James Naughtie replied: “You’re not upsetting anyone here. It’s quite entertaining in fact.”
In the footage of his July speech at the meeting in Wordsley, near Stourbridge, Mr Bloom says: “How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month when we’re in this sort of debt to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me.”
He claimed aid was being squandered on luxury items, and said that while Britain is in need of new planes, it is Pakistan which gets a squadron of F18s where we send taxpayer’s money.
Later in the speech, but in the same video, he says in that because of an ECHR ruling “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.
“We can’t hang them because we’re now a member of the European Union and it’s embedded in the treaty of Rome. It’s a personal thing, but I’d hang the ——- myself.
“Especially for some of these, especially for the guy who hacked the soldier to death. I do hope they would ask me to throw the rope over the beam because I’d be delighted to do so.”
Mr Bloom, who pointed out he has a Polish wife and Kashmiri staff, said that his comments were not racist.
Asked by the BBC where “bongo bongo” land is, Mr Bloom referred to “Ruritania” – a fictional country in Europe that formed the setting for three novels by Anthony Hope.
“Well I don’t know,” Mr Bloom said. “The BBC and the Guardian have got themselves in quite a state about it. I don’t know where Ruritania is either – there is no such place of course is there? Like the third world. Where is the third world?”
He added: “When a country has a trillion pounds of debt and we’re cutting our hospitals, our police force and we’re destroying our defence services, that the money should stay at home and people who want to give money to worthwhile charities…what I would argue is that is for the individual citizens. It’s not for the likes of David Cameron to pick our pockets and send money to charities of his choice.”