After last month’s dismal elections, the EU parliament’s (newly renamed) Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality is getting a new member from Britain, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom. The Guardian tells us a little more about this champion of women’s rights. In his own words:

I want to deal with women’s issues because I just don’t think they clean behind the fridge enough. […]

I am going to promote men’s rights. […]

I am here to represent Yorkshire women, who always have dinner on the table when you get home. […]

No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age. […] I know, because I am a businessman.

The use of you in the third quotation is particularly interesting.

Paul Foot called UKIP “[the Tory party’s] new lunatic and xenophobic fringe”. (I’m not the first blogger to say this, but nevermind: I don’t always agree with Paul Foot, but I much enjoyed reading his Guardian columns and will miss him. He died four days ago, aged 66.) They got 16% of the vote in the UK and 12 seats, but already had to suspend one prospective MEP, who is accused of housing benefit fraud.

Mrs Bloom, the Guardian reports, “is better-known than he is — or at least she was until last night — as one of the country’s leading horse physiotherapists […].” I guess she delegates the cleaning behind the fridge to a maid. Mr Bloom already used the fact that his wife is “half-Polish” to head off accusations of xenophobia directed at his party. Careful, Mr Bloom, greater nationalists than you have been in a similar situation, and it hasn’t changed the course of history.

3 comment(s) for 'Poor EU parliament'

  1. (Comment, 2004-07-23 21:59 )

    Don’t worry. Mr Peter Mandelson (Mandy to his Brazilian chums) is on the way to EU HQ in Brussels. Mandy resigned not once but twice from the cabinet of the UK government for financial impropriety. The unmarried Mandy will obviously make a big impact where it counts as our new EU Commissioner (Commissar).

  2. (Comment, 2004-07-24 01:10 )

    Well, I’m in France, and there’s a string of court cases waiting for the president once he finally leaves office (if he ever does). His former PM has actually been found guilty of illegal party financing and just stepped down from the position of party leader. He might become an EU commissioner, to think of it. (The commissioner business is what I find most harmful to EU democracy.)

    “Unmarried”? Now that’s an euphemism I haven’t seen in a while. I’m all for objecting to financial wrongdoing, but on other counts Mr Mandelson might just be qualified to work on gender issues. But as a commissioner, he won’t be doing that.

  3. (Comment, 2004-07-25 01:28 )

    I scarcely think Mr Mandelson is qualified, properly, to carry out any of the functions of a commissioner whether they are in his remit or not. His appointment has focussed, very sharply, the general unsuitability of many of the people appointed, to what are clearly, undemocratic and unaccountable positions of almost unlimited power, complete immunity, and very considerable largesse. Not to mention the perks and junketting. Peter Mandelsson will no doubt cut a very fine and dandy figure on the canape circuit, while he buries, quietly, the remainder of our sovereignty. (And if I knew how to put in accents I would do :) )