Saturday, 21 September 2013

Godfrey Bloom, Kung Fu master

Two reasons for being the millionth person to post this clip of the Godfrey "Slapper" Bloom meltdown.

1. Because it's hilarious.
2. Because, having slept on it, I think I've worked out what Bloom was trying to do here. He's a politician with strong beliefs about how the world works, used to thinking tactically about getting his message across. What's happening here probably isn't an outbreak of pure insanity (although it must have looked like it to ordinary people like those guys in construction helmets and hi-viz jackets who give the camera a cheeky wave about 35 seconds in). I think it's a case of misjudged tactics and a head-on collision between preconceived beliefs and hard reality.

Ukippers believe, (and I know this, because they say it loudly and often), that the "liberal establishment" are trying to close down debate about their pet subject, immigration, by using the word 'racist.' Bloom is operating with this preconceived belief. So, when he's "attacked" (i.e. questioned) by a journalist, he tries to do something clever. Those devious liberals are always using the "r" word to shut people like him up, so he'll turn the tables on them by using the same magic word to shut his opponent up. Like a wily Kung Fu master, he will use his opponent's own strength to defeat him. This cunning plan turns out to be a tactical error.

He's so convinced the that the '"r" word is nothing more than a talismanic "get out of jail free" card that people just brandish to win any debate that he's become oblivious to the concept that the word actually has a specific meaning. So he just throws it at Michael Crick, without a moment's pause to consider how bizarre it sounds in the context of defending the sea of white faces adorning the Ukip conference brochure.

He then tries to bluster it out and take control of the interview by using the power of anger, which might have worked if his pomposity hadn't got the better of him ('How dare you!' was almost the worst thing he could have said at this point in the interview, although if he'd gone for 'How very dare you!,' the fail would have been perfect).

Once he'd gone that far, there was clearly no way back and slapping the reporter with a copy of the whites-only conference brochure was probably as good a way to go as anything else he could have done.

I don't think I've seen a full-on comedy meltdown done better since Basil Fawlty hung up his tweed jacket. An instant classic.


Anonymous said...

At least Bloom is not a Westminster clone like LibLabCon repeating politically correct scripted nonsense like the other parties they don’t believe and will never fulfil

Sign petition to allow UKIP to participate in 2015 General Election TV Debates. Almost 22,000 have signed. At 100,000 it goes to Parliament

Andrew King said...

Thanks for joining the conversation, Anonymous. In terms of providing great telly, unscripted nonsense of the Slapper Bloom variety may well be the way to go, although it's probably not that great as a basis for governing the country, so I think I'll pass on the pro-fruitcake petition (if Ukip ever becomes as popular as "The Great British Bake-off", I might start to worry).

By the way, there's no need to hide your identity - I'm just a bloke with an Internet connection, not part of a sinister Liberal conspiracy to have you locked up in a politically correct Gulag.

Of course, I might just be saying that to lure you into a false sense of security, so maybe it's best to take precautions. I might know where you live. Watch out for those black helicopters, Anon...