Saturday, October 16, 2004

The rotten heart of UKIP

The Daily Mail today offers a useful reflection of the past week’s events in the European Union.

In an editorial headed: "Still the rotten heart of Europe", it notes that: "We have just witnessed an almost surreal week in EU politics". "Where else", it asks, "but at the rotten heart of Europe could thieves prosper and honesty be punished, while MEPs ignore corruption and rage instead over a Commissioner who dares express his Christian beliefs".

The Mail, of course, is making the contrast between the sacking of Marta Andreasen and the European parliament objections to Rocco Buttiglione after his remarks on homosexuality, observing – as indeed have we in the Blog – that "nothing changes – nothing improves… the EU once again covers itself in disgrace.

I might have added to rider to this, by referring to its own page seven, where it reports on the latest adventures of Godfrey Bloom, who is accused of getting "hammered" (i.e., blind drunk – now there’s something unusual) in a restaurant and then attempting to grope a party of female rugby players whom he had invited to Brussels on the pretext of showing them round the parliament.

One cannot help but note the contrast with our previous Blog. While a Conservative MP, Owen Paterson, spends the night on a trawler to research the malign effect of the CFP, UKIP MEP Bloom spends the night in a fashionable – and expensive – restaurant, getting blind drunk and groping girls at the taxpayers’ expense, then to sleep it off in a four-star hotel.

We have recently been wondering what UKIP is doing – apart from having arguments about who is to be leader - not least after its silence when the government made a German firm preferential bidder for the supply of British Army trucks but at least we know what one MEP was doing.

Bloom is now attracting considerable hostility from the activists in his own region, Yorkshire and Humberside. Despite his willingness, according to the Mail, to shell out on £1500-worth of beer, champagne, steak and oysters in order to entertain the girls, he has been notoriously reluctant to spend even a bent ha’penny on helping his election team set up a regional office and a decent administrative infrastructure.

It now seems that UKIP has got something in common with "Brussels" – a rotten heart.

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