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.