So Godfrey Bloom thinks Ukip has no policies? Perhaps I can put him right

It was Godfrey who turned attention away from policy and on to himself

Share

I planned to spend my weekend winding down ahead of Christmas and the impending arrival of friends and family. But fate, with a helping hand from fellow politicians and the media, has meant that avoiding responding to comments made about me has been rather difficult.

First, and most disappointingly, there was Godfrey Bloom, the Ukip member who in an interview published on Saturday said, among many other things, that I was “not interested in policy” and that Ukip was a “no-policy party”. Well let’s talk about policy. Since I became leader of Ukip for the second time in November 2010 I have fought hard for our voice to be heard beyond EU and immigration issues, especially on education and energy. I put every fibre of my being into trying to professionalise our campaigning methods in Parliamentary by-elections and local elections. There is no doubt that my recent major surgery is as a direct result of hugely overworking.

That brings me to Ukip’s 2013 conference which, contrary to what Bloom says, was all about policy. The objective was clear: I, as leader, would stick to the core issues on which we would fight the European elections next year. But crucially we would give a big profile to other figures in Ukip to outline our broader domestic policies as a reinforcement of our local election success of May.

On the morning of the start of conference the big new policy announcement was the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to tap some of the profits of shale gas to help to pay for the increasing costs of long-term elderly health care. It was a brilliant idea, based on a Norwegian model, and chosen by Tim Aker, our first ever full-time head of policy. In order to confront the “Ukip is a one-man band” criticism, I decided not to release this policy myself but to give the job to our energy spokesman, the excellent Roger Helmer MEP. And when I heard the  One o’clock news on the BBC, I nearly cheered. Item 1: Farage says Ukip will win the European elections. Item 2: Roger Helmer announces a proposal for a sovereign wealth fund to pay for elderly care.

While all this was happening a women-in-Ukip meeting was in progress. It was now that an earlier Godfrey Bloom comment about “women not cleaning behind the fridge” got aired, and then with the TV cameras on him, he suddenly blurted out that “this place is full of sluts”.

Within minutes the political reporter Michael Crick had been bashed over the head with a conference programme, something that many politicians have wanted to do over the years, but it was unhelpful nonetheless for Bloom to do it. The third and perhaps most damaging incident was a direct threat by Bloom to an ITV journalist that unless “proper respect” was shown he would get a bash over the head too. So at the very moment that the “no-policy party” was unveiling new ideas and looking forward to hearing a speech by Lord (Digby) Jones, former UK trade minister, Godfrey turned attention away from policy and on to himself.

Bloom now apparently claims that a “deal has already been done” with the Conservatives and that in exchange for standing down Ukip candidates I will be given a seat in the House of Lords. I have no idea where this could have come from, other than the wilder shores of the internet.

As recent polling has shown, less than a third of our vote comes from the Tories and our real potential is with Old Labour and, very interestingly, formerly non-voters re-engaging with politics. Why on earth would I want to sell out Ukip when we are on the verge of changing British politics in a fundamental way? My intention is to ruthlessly target the right seats to break into Westminster. The polls in our key areas show that this is now a realistic possibility. To remove all doubt: I have not had a conversation with any political party about doing a deal. While it is true that Ukip really should be offered some seats in the House of Lords, especially if Mr Cameron honours his pledge to make the chamber representative of voting patterns, this would not interest me. These allegations are a total fabrication.

Even if these allegations weren’t ridiculous enough they do seem rather highbrow compared to the bizarre outburst on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday by the Tory defence minister Anna Soubry. This is a woman who proved to not even have a grip on her portfolio last month when on Question Time she showed she had absolutely no idea about the Royal Navy support ships being built in South Korea.

Her half-hearted apology after her rather anatomical description of me is clearly not genuine, and I look forward to standing a Ukip candidate in her constituency in 2015.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Don’t pity me for eating alone, just give me a better table

Rosie Millard
Aerial view of planned third runway at Heathrow  

Heathrow expansion: This final 'conclusion' has simply fanned the airport flames

Chris Blackhurst
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most