Andy McSmith's Diary: Fruitcakes, nutcases and the Ukip MEP for Yorkshire Godfrey Bloom

 

When the Ukip leader Nigel Farage told the Parliamentary Press Gallery this week: “Whilst from time to time, we may well attract the odd loony, the odd fruitcake and the odd nutcase, doesn’t every voluntary organisation?” is it possible that an image of Godfrey Bloom, Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, flashed through his mind?

Mr Bloom is famous for once telling journalists that he wanted to deal with women’s issues because “I don’t think they clean behind the fridge enough” and “No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a woman of child-bearing age.”

Mr Bloom has been accused of taking the wrong attitude towards women, and has decided to knock that on the head by opening a new webpage, entitled “Godfrey Bloom The Misogynist?”, featuring photographs of himself in the company of women, including two that have been given the heading “Godfrey and the girls”.

Perhaps someone could explain to Mr Bloom that the words “misogynist” and “sexist” have distinct meanings.

Praise that Miliband could do without

Ed Miliband must have groaned on hearing that the Respect MP George Galloway had described him to the Evening Standard as “quite impressive, physically and intellectually.” Praise from that quarter is praise he does not need. Galloway was less complimentary about Gordon Brown, whom he described as “sociopathic” and “completely out of place,” with “a smile like a brass plate on the lid of a coffin.”

The man we want back rather than out

While Westminster’s attention was fixed on Abu Qatada, who is still in the UK, in the smaller debating chamber off Westminster Hall MPs discussed the case of Shaker Aamer, who cannot get back here. He has been held without charge in Guatanamo Bay for 11 years. The Tory MP Jane Ellison, in whose Battersea constituency Aamer’s wife and four children live, suspects there is some truth in the suspicion that the Americans do not want to allow Aamer back to the UK because they do not want the public to know what was done to him while he was under interrogation. The Foreign minister Alistair Burt said that “the United Kingdom Government... believes the continued detention of Shaker Aamer is wrong,” but there does not seem to be much they can do about it.

Why bees and  elephants don’t mix

David Cameron caused a buzz during Prime Minister’s Questions by announcing that he is the life patron of the Oxfordshire Bee Keepers’ Association. Their March newsletter contains the fascinating fact that bee keepers in West Africa are co-operating with farmers to prevent elephants from trampling crops. Elephants do not like bees, and stay away from fields where there is a hive.

Appointment opens old wounds

The think-tank Policy Exchange has threatened to reopen an old wound with its choice of new deputy director. He is Mark MacGregor, who was chief executive at Conservative Central Office 10 years ago, when he was one the officials who could not reconcile themselves to the fact that Iain Duncan Smith won the 2001 leadership election. MacGregor left in 2003 and was replaced by Tim Montgomerie, who has never forgiven his predecessor for “Betsygate”, the inquiry into whether IDS had improperly employed his wife as his diary secretary. “Very disappointing appointment by Policy Exchange,” he tweeted. The inquiry cleared IDS.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes