Godfrey Bloom's ‘bongo bongo land’ comments are simply risible. Let's treat them as a joke - and focus on the real racism in British politics

The Ukip MEP sounds like nothing so much as a 70s clown

It looks like a bad stand-up show. A man in a suit is talking into a microphone as a star-studded black drape sparkles behind him.

Godfrey Bloom could easily be a spoof of a loony rightwing MEP. The problem is he actually is one.

Addressing a clutch of supporters in the West Midlands on Monday, Bloom was caught on camera talking about foreign aid: “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."

Brilliantly, he suggests that this money is spent on: "Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it".

Now there are calls for his party leader to stop him standing for election again.

This is wrong: the man is clearly a comedian – if only he had the self-awareness.  

And the bongo-bongo land reference was not racist, it was risible. The Pub Landlord could have said it.

Suddenly Kenneth Clarke’s remark that Ukip are a bunch of clowns is proving true.

We can wave our fists in the air or enjoy Mr Bloom as a comic addition to the UK’s political landscape. He says of the European Human Rights Commission: “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”.

What Mr Bloom needs is not opprobrium but his own talk show.

To his credit, he has not backed down and denies, if unconvincingly, being racist – he knows the gallery he is playing to and has said: "I'm not a wishy-washy Tory. I don't do political correctness. The fact that the Guardian is reporting this will probably double my vote in the north of England”.

Bloom is a sitcom character from the 1970s and - if he carries on like this - he should be up for an award.

His nuggets from the past include "no small businessman with a brain would employ a woman of child-bearing age", and that women don’t clean behind fridges enough.

It should be perfectly acceptable for a Ukip candidate to say “ bongo-bongo land” -- this is a party that is endorsed by the EDL for goodness-sake.

If anything, Bloom makes a strong case for the return of the sitcom Mind Your Language to our TV screens – we can all do with a comic vent from the monolithic strictures of political correctness.

After all, the fact that no one in the Lib Dems has resigned in protest at the Home Office’s “racist van” is far more shocking than the dim rants of a Ukip MEP.

And it is this that efforts to smash racism should be directed at: intimidating spot checks on “illegals” – who remain human no matter what vocabulary we use –  which even the great woolly liberal Nigel Farage has slammed as “not the British way”.

(You have really have to worry when you out-Ukip Ukip.)

As the Conservative Party returns to tactics worthy of its “If you want a n***** for a neighbour, vote Labour” days, the civil rights group Liberty yesterday despatched its own “anti-racist” van into the community. 

This, someone should tell Lynton Crosby, the Prime Minister's election strategy guru, is what's "stupid" - not Kenneth Clarke's take on Ukip, as he believes. Mr Clarke was right – and recognising them as clowns, instead of aping Ukip’s polices, will consign Mr Bloom and co to the comedy circuit.

Video: Godfrey Bloom interviewed on Channel 4 News