Thursday, August 08, 2013

Jesus in Bongo-Bongo Land

From Brother Ivo:

Jesus was not a politically correct teacher. On occasions he could articulate a popular prejudice, before demolishing it and building it into his teachings or parables to draw or even shock his audience into engagement with deeper truths.

The hero of his story about one who confounds prejudiced stereotypes was a much disrespected Samaritan. The degenerate prodigal son, who is welcomed back home by his patient grieving father, had sunk as low as sharing the food of pigs (how low can you get?). And the Syrophoenician woman, who claims the fallen bread for the 'little dogs', is feisty enough to recover from being initially rebuffed. All of these are concerned with matters of ethnicity - 'Rabbi in racist taunt scandal'.

Perhaps the most powerful rendering of Jesus' seeming PC insensitivity comes when he accused his detractors of being that most terrible of all PC creatures - the hypocrite.

Jesus had lived very close to the Graeco-Roman city of Sepphoris where he probably worked as a carpenter. That Roman imperial town had a theatre where the actors performed in masks hiding their true identities, so when Jesus castigated his opponents, telling them that they could not mask their true selves from God, he hit them with a stinging racial simile. Adopting the term 'hypocrite' he was effectively saying, "You are not really living up to your God-fearing Jewish heritage: you are just like those.. Greeks!" How un-PC is that?

Language is a complex and confusing medium. The same words mean different things to different people: there are implications, nuances, 'dog whistles' and coded meanings. Few prejudices/agendas hide in plain sight more successfully than 'Politically Correct' - the clue is in the title.

We have constant news stories centred upon what can or cannot be said. It has always been like this - rather like the poor, the politically correct - the thought police - have always been with us.

Godfrey Bloom of Ukip has inflamed our latest incarnation some with refererance to 'Bongo-Bongo Land', a term he borrowed from the late Alan Clark. Tottenham MP David Lammy objects that the fans of his local football club proudly commemorate their anti-racist pro-Jewish associations by calling themselves 'Yids'. A black American singing group once outraged people by calling themselves 'Niggas with Attitude' - a discomfort richly exploited and explored by comedians like Chris Rock and Reginald D Hunter. We should not imagine such language is the sole preserve of the white cultures: 'cracker' and 'kuffar' are two obvious examples from wider afield. It remains, of course, perfectly respectable to use that abusive epithet 'Tory'.

Our friends at the BBC devoted time to the issue of Mr Bloom's chosen mode of expression, eliciting two interesting contributions. An 'anti-racist campaigner' told us that 'intention is irrelevant to the outcome of prejudice', whilst the Shadow Minister for Overseas Aid proffered the example of Ghana as a a good example of foreign aid, but gave no acknowledgement of the existence of bad examples.

Had she been less quick to rush to the studio, she might have reflected upon the behaviour of the ruling family of Gabon's President Bongo, whose use of that country's wealth does seem to go some way to strengthening Mr Bloom's case. Apparently Bongo-Bongo Land is a real location situated somewhere in Paris.

It is, however, the earlier criticism that catches Brother Ivo's attention: 'intention is irrelevant to the outcome of prejudice.' Really? Does no good ever come of confronting, exploring and transforming the language of division?

The speaker was plainly much younger than Brother Ivo, who was around at the time that Western society began to address the ways in which prejudice was fortified through race and gender language, and he can say with confidence that plain speaking on issues can and does have its place.

Occasionally, Brother Ivo goes back to the library of his youth, which includes a collection of the routines of the late Lenny Bruce, whose libertarian impulses were a forerunner of many modern comedians. It cannot be said that he should be given unqualified approval, but his instincts in areas such as this are worth considering.

In the early 60s, in a divided nation split into racial ghettos, Lennie Bruce prised apart the fencing and got them laughing at - then with - each other. It was important and healing work, yet it would never be allowed under the language rules of the Politically Correct. The PC brigade of his time prosecuted him, spied on him, broke his career and contributed to his death in drug-abused loneliness.

Lenny was an anarchic performer who could soar or crash. He attempted to associate disperate ideas freely and spontaneously, and this was a dangerous art on many levels - legally, artistically and culturally. He said the unsayable, which could be both offensive and liberating. He loved free-form jazz and sometimes tried to employ a similar approach in his humour.

In one nightclub routine he addressed the issue of race. He did so using the models of an auction, a poker game and a drum solo in which he converted racial epithets into rhythms which subsumed their hurt into a gumbo of meaningless sound whilst allowing the audience to laugh together at the absurdism of the performance, and thence the absurdity of their initial discomforts.

Surveying the room, he picked on the collective minority nature of his audience.

Imagine the shock as he asked "Are there any niggers in here tonight?" He stroked the prejudices by saying there's at least one working amongst the hired help, and then (shock) identifies two more - paying customers no less - sitting with a kike.

Soon he is raising them at poker with a mad invented currency comprising Micks, Spicks and Pollacks before auctioning in a volley of bids, upping the price in increments of Kikes, Hicks and Greaseballs.

His diverse audience was thus drawn together in tension as he pooled their prejudices and insecurities, until finally he releases them from their guilty laughter by making his point that 'the word's suppression gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness'.

He does not quite say "Your racist sins are forgiven you", but that is almost the subtext. The audience have had a shared experience of discomfort and catharsis as they faced what they thought of others and what others thought of them, and yet they were bound together in the enjoyment of Lennie Bruce's mischief making.

Jesus also used absurdity to challenge and transform. He talked of planks in eyes, camels going through the eyes of needles, and even fed multitudes with a few loaves and fishes. He provoked his Jewish audience by siding with the Samaritan until he transferred their disapproval to the great and the good - the priests and the Levites (aka the 'Politically Correct').

Where prejudice was concerned - whether against Samaritans, Syrophonecians or Romans - Jesus began with the prejudices of the people as they gathered, but transformed it, working with the grain to take the audience to a better place.

This, in a way, is what Lenny Bruce and his free-thinking followers like Reginald D Hunter and Chris Rock also do, confronting the unsayable and the PC police who deliberately seek to shape debate according to their rules, even if the mavericks might be heading in a similar direction.

It is, of course, a foolish and doomed enterprise. When children were told they must not call their fellows 'stupid', they cheerfully appropriated the preferred PC term 'challenged' as their insult of choice. Insulting language, like water, shifts and finds its own level.

Unfortunately, although Godfrey Bloom may present as a bar-room bore who enjoys the rough and tumble of controversy, he was making two fundamental points that were completely ignored by those rushing to defend their control of language. For the PC, that is the priority. But it is not everybody's, and it is certainly not Brother Ivo's.

It is legitimate to question whether a country with massive debt should have its (often wealthy) politicians deciding that its poorer taxpayers should be transferring wealth abroad: that is doubly the case when the UK taxpayer of modest means sees that aid either directly abused or rulers such as President Bongo exploit his country's resources for his own enrichment. His is not a unique example.

Where was the outrage at this?

One cannot help thinking that Godfrey Bloom, Lenny Bruce and Jesus of Nazareth will be on the same side of the issue.

It is outrageous when rulers steal the children's bread.

That should be the greater story.

Brother Ivo invites those huffing and puffing over Mr Bloom's preferred style of delivery to get their priorities straight and to follow the advice found in the Book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 verse 16:

"Be not righteous, overmuch".

Brother Ivo is the Patron Saint of lawyers.


Blogger David Hussell said...

Excellent post, Brother Ivo. A most enjoyable clarification. Many thanks.

8 August 2013 at 09:56  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 August 2013 at 10:20  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 August 2013 at 10:36  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Bro Ivo.
Well presented. The hypocrites of today are the PC Brigade.

I was so offended by the interview on C4 news last night with Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

He used his position as a non white news presenter to harass Mr Bloom, not over the principal content of his speech, namely the waste of overseas aid, but the issue of his use of two words that have no literal meaning, only a subjective observation. His persistent pressure on Mr Bloom was not politically correct considering Mr Bloom is an MEP and deserves a measure of respect. As a viewer of the news, I did not appreciate the wasted time pursuing nonsense. Because he is not white, this is all he was interested in, not the main issue of aid.

8 August 2013 at 10:37  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Lenny Bruce was a total degenerate. A foul mouthed, car wreck of a junkie; dead from his excesses by 40. His only legacy was to make profanity and drug taking in public 'acceptable'.

Bloom on the other hand has exposed himself as rather inept at expressing himself on the political stage by 'talking down' what is a serious issue of concern and for what - comic effect?

Language is the most important element of cultural definition and Bloom has done the UKIP image damage in as much as he makes them look clownish and rather unintelligent.

Not so much an issue of political correctness, more an issue of expecting a higher standard of delivery from prospective govenors of Great Britain plc.

8 August 2013 at 10:40  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Mr Bloom is a hero for our times.

If he and UKIP back down at this initial hurdle they can forget my vote (and many others, I suspect).

The country is pinning its hopes on him standing his ground.

This is only the beginning of an onslaught of playing the man not the ball, because the whole degenerate lefty political class is absolutely terrified of UKIP.


8 August 2013 at 10:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a typical “Godders Gaffe” the sort of tripe for which he is renowned. Mr Bloom should have turned the argument back on the questioner by repeatedly hammering home the important issues surrounding overseas aid and sweeping aside his breach of Political Correctness as a trivial irrelevance. It takes considerable political skill to do this. UKIP displays a kind of political naïvety. A refreshing, down to earth, no nonsense, difference from the rest of the pack. The unholy trinity. LibLabCon. Three in one PC Cultural Marxism.

Salvation may not be found in UKIP but Nigel Farage is the closest the UK comes to having a leader of the opposition.

8 August 2013 at 10:49  
Blogger Nick said...

Mr Integrity

Channel 4 News is not news, its propaganda. The BBC are exactly the same. It is a sign of their warped priorities that they care more interested in a meaningless word than they are in the massive corruption found in many nations in receipt of UK aid. Don't bother watching them. I have stopped after many years as I no longer wish to be polluted by their distorted views.

As to Mr Bloom's comments, I wonder if there were any compaints from Bonga-Bongan Embassy? I suspect not. I am intrigued t discover it is in Paris though, as I am heading there for a holiday shortly.

As His Grace says, it is the PC brigade who are the hypocrites. They are doing no favours to the Third World by steering the debate down this pointless blind-alley.

8 August 2013 at 10:50  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Dreadnaught,

Lennie Bruce was not offered as a role model but he had a degree of courage in facing up to the received " wisdoms" of his time (such as racism) and discomforted the powerful which does have many more meritorious examples.

He was a fearless champion of free speech for which he deserves credit and is worth invoking in this context.

8 August 2013 at 11:34  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well said, Belsay Beagle and Jay Bee.

Absolutely, the PC brigade are the modern day hypocrites, concentrating on the speck in their opponents eye but forgetting about the plank in theirs.

8 August 2013 at 11:58  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

So, the hapless Mr. Bloom made a comment in early July. (Can't find the actual date of the offence - this is the nearest I have got and it was on Mr. Bloom's own website) It is now August 8th and the comments seem to have started just a few days ago. I can't help wondering why it took people the best part of a month to decide that they are offensive words. To my rather simple mind taking offence is an instant response. Why did they have to be worked up to it? One things does seem clear though. Keeping the date out of the news seems to be a deliberate political ploy by the anti UKIP press.

8 August 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Well Mr Bloom is an economist and they are not known for their talents of flowery, polite language.
At least he's not a fake, simpering, sycophantic clone of the manufactured politically correct politicians we have in Westminster today.

He said in public what a lot of Victor Meldrew types will be thinking and discussing in private about the waste of foreign aid in many Bongo Bongo lands.

8 August 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Nick said...

Irene's Daughter

The thing is this is not real offence, but rather a knee jerk pretence of indignation conditioned through and endless deluge of political correctness from the media.

Has anyone complained except the usual Thoughht Police? Of course not. They are more likely baffled by our reaction to such meaningless names.

8 August 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Lennie Bruce was not offered as a role model but...


Yes he railed against white on black American racism - I just found it somewhat ironic, that his repertoire should be called in to defend Bloom the Buffoon, in a case of what some perceive to be, another case of white on black racism in British politics.

I sympathise with Farrage's undoubted embarrassment at the antics of some of the gaffe prone representatives of UKIP. Bloom could at least have had the decency to include the millions of wasted aid money we give, that ends up funding Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The idiot Bloom needs to realise politics is a serious business and he is clearly out of his depth even if he is only paddling around in the murky gravy of the EU.

8 August 2013 at 12:59  
Blogger David B said...

@Brother Ivo, who said -

"Brother Dreadnaught,

Lennie Bruce was not offered as a role model but he had a degree of courage in facing up to the received " wisdoms" of his time (such as racism) and discomforted the powerful which does have many more meritorious examples.

He was a fearless champion of free speech for which he deserves credit and is worth invoking in this context."

Bruce could also be very funny - something of an asset in a comedian. I first came across his name many years ago in a Paul Simon song which said "...I heard the the truth from Lenny Bruce". In this context, though, perhaps that is somewhat by the by.

Well said, anyway.

Once again there is much I can happily agree with in your opening piece, too.

Not all liberal atheists bow at the alter of PC. Actually, come to think of it, few of my friends and acquaintances, on line or IRL, bow at that alter.

Perhaps it is worth quoting from HG's bottom line as a reminder - it is, after all, something that led me to some respect for him.

"Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse."




8 August 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Dreadnaught we plainly agree on much.

Bloom may have expressed truths inelegantly/ foolishly, but his clumsiness is the clumsiness of many and Brother Ivo does not want to bow to the orthodoxy of the progressive movement. Lennie Bruce was a liberal hero, but as Brother David B observes the liberalism of Lennie Bruce is not that of the modern PC crypto-Marxist.

One of Brother Ivo's current heroes is Thomas Sowell who brilliantly observes that saying the same thing ( all people should be treated as equal whatever their race ) would have had you labeled radical in the sixties, mainstream in the seventies/eighties but dangerously reactionary in these times of " positive discrimination"

8 August 2013 at 13:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Thomas Sowell - an interesting man by all accounts: I'll check him out - thanks Bro Ivo

8 August 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger RetiredPaul said...

It is noticeable that Godfrey Bloom has offered to apologise personally to anyone who he has genuinely offended.

In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus tells us that the responsibility for dealing with 'offence' is for the person offended to approach the offender to sort it out. It is to be done directly between the two parties concerned; by implication, this challenges the current predilection for deciding that other must have been offended by something, and demanding action.

In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus warns people that if they judge others, they will be judged in the same way.

Whether he meant it or not, Godfrey Bloom is taking the Biblical approach to this situation!

8 August 2013 at 13:46  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Brother Ivo

It would be far preferable to call political correctness by its proper name - heresy. For that is the actual charge being made. It is a means to defend the unstated and unprovable presuppositions of the reigning world view. Heresy has religious overtones that the modern world seeks to avoid. But that world also has its inquisitors who demand repentance in the face of suffering. And for the same reason - to impose a uniform worldview of the population.


8 August 2013 at 14:25  
Blogger Jon said...

There's a few things here.

First of all, there's the manufactured outrage of those who purport to be offended by his statement but aren't, (and then, of course, there's the manufactured outrage of those purporting to be offended by the offense manufactured in the first place). Guido links to a good article called "How to be outraged on the internet" which sends up this phenomenon nicely!

The fact that Mr Bloom allowed his message to be so easily obfuscated in favour of the outrage he has attracted because of his ineptitude at communicating it suggests he's not that bright.

Either that, or he's double bluffing us. Maybe he's a comms genius - realising that a random old codger on the right of the political spectrum saying something which reminds most people of their embarrassing great uncle would ordinarily be ignored as not newsworthy, he has harnessed the manufactured outrage his context generates and has given his feather- weight views some otherwise unmerited airtime?

8 August 2013 at 14:26  
Blogger Jay said...

@Jon - I, too, almost suspect that the 'old duffer' persona might be a useful ruse...or perhaps he just refuses to bow to the altar of Political Correctness and remains delightfully unreconstructed unlike our bland, grey, mainstream politicos. I couldn't have been alone in understanding perfectly what he meant by his expression when I first heard it and I consider the issue to be a serious one which deserves attention.

...and a shrewd observation, indeed, by Thomas Sowell.

8 August 2013 at 15:46  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Retired Paul,

Whether he meant it or not, Godfrey Bloom, is taking The Biblical approach to this situation.

Spot on !

This is not uncommon amongst the "of the people", albeit middle class, Ukip types I meet frequently. It reflects a time, their youth, when Biblical ideas were floating about everywhere, in the ether of British society, so without any formal theological training people absorbed it, and lived accordingly. He may have had it planted in his brain in Sunday School, in a now long forgotten lesson, perhaps. With that framework to guide us, whether the individual was a committed Christian or not, and many were not, society was set up better than now to get along together, although obviously far from perfect.
My forebears used to come out with all sorts of Biblically based gems, of useful wisdom and insight , unselfconsciously, without realizing it, even though most of them had no formal academic schooling after the age of 14, although they knew their crafts and run successful, profitable businesses, directing small workforces etc. But regular Sunday attendance at Church or Chapel reinforced the patterns of behaviour they had learnt as children.
Let's stand up to the PC media bullies and encourage more morally correct analysis of issues of national concern and refuse to be browbeaten by the PC bullies and immature hypocrites.

8 August 2013 at 15:50  
Blogger chris e said...

" It is outrageous when rulers steal the children's bread."

If he had in fact criticised specific acts of corruption by the leaders of the states receiving such aid you would have a point. He did not and you do not - he was all for not giving the children any bread to start with (to continue your somewhat tortured metaphor).

8 August 2013 at 16:33  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I was offended by the BBC's biased and sanctimonious coverage of the issue. I am offended by the way that hard left spokespersons are intrduced as 'a spokesman fromnthe charity/think tank...' whereas on the rare occasions a consrvative commentator might get the chance of a word in edgeways they are introduced as being from 'the right wing group...'

There seems to be a heirarchy of offendedness here. And the BBC decides whose offendedness matters. Not mine anyhow.

8 August 2013 at 16:37  
Blogger non mouse said...

Brother Ivo: It's all these American slang words you use. I mean, I don't know what they mean, so I can't exchange meaning with anyone who means anything by them. Not that I want to anyway; I prefer English.

OK. So I guess the "N" word is more native than most of them. Even so, it's not so much English as corrupted Spanish/frogular: "negro/negre" = Black. And the Overseers for the Elites -- those gaffers and gangers who follow Marx and Engels in replacing 'racism' with 'classism' --- those slavedrivers: They require us to use the word Black.

Why? Oh, I see. We shouldn't corrupt other people's languages!!!! The little dears are commanding us to use English. Well why didn't they say so in the first place? Their own English is surely sufficiently superior!

Never mind, though. I'm quite interested that Beryl Markham* was one who noticed that bone structure lends a natural expression of superiority to African faces. My father saw it too, and he never used the "N" word. Rather, he coined the phrase "highly nigrastical gentleman." Or lady. As the case may be, or the occasion might warrant. I don't use that for communication either, though. No American-English speaker would catch my meaning. Not a ghost of a chance.**

Anyway, skin-colour has nothing to do with anything, and "Bongo" is a Cuban-Spanish word too. For me, that means it represents more than one kind of brain-battering "noise pollution." Spanglish is nearly as bad as froggish.

Furthermore, who knows? Maybe the de-colonised, or even the neu-colonisers, are repetitively banging those drums to convey meaning that no English-speaker can understand! Soooo.

For our own comfort and safety, Maybe we should "Ban the Bongo" --- instead of crucifying a man who noticed that all those foreigners are "messing with our means." And our meanings.

*West with the Night
**negre: Black; ghost-writer. Oxford French Minidictionary.

8 August 2013 at 16:53  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother/ Sister Chris E

You might note that Mr Bloom did allude to aid money being spend on Ray-Ban sunglasses so he was making the point -I agree rather obliquely. Brother Ivo does evidence President Bongo's use of Gabon's own wealth hence the specific charge.

The Daily Mail today illustrates several similar regime misuses of resources.

It is not incidentally a tortured metaphore but rather a reference to Christ's own words which many here will have identified without prompting.

8 August 2013 at 17:31  
Blogger Berserker said...

I was dressed in bongo clothing and bonging at my bongo drum in dear old bongo land, where Edward Lear was once known to have caught a nasty form of bongoitis. When up to me came a stalwart citizen of lovely Bongolia and asked would it be OK to say: 'Clog Land or Brown Windsor Soup?'

I replied, sipping my bongo cocktail, you can say what you like mate if you've got the bongo colour and speak the bongo lingo but don't push to the front of a queue!

8 August 2013 at 17:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That fellow Bloom. Yes, you Sir !

The country is behind you, you know. Although he will not be visiting his alma mater, the beloved “Mouse”, until the weekend, this man can stand here now and assure you that you will be feted as a speaker of common sense in beer drinking circles. And that is the power base from where UKIP will eventually ascend to power. The Lib / Lab / Con coalition know this, and to protect their hegemony, the blighters are conspiring to tax the good old British pub out of existence. For it is in our great public houses that reason triumphs over political correctness. It always has.

It’s rather worrying that politicians of this day want us all drinking at home, in isolation from our fellows, listening to their conditioning via the television set, and the propaganda of the finest lefty media set ups outside of communist countries. We need UKIP to break this devious nonsense. But first we need UKIP to mount a campaign to instruct all who will listen what they are doing to our pubs and why they are doing it. And they, the voters, will listen, and they, the voters, will NOT forgive.

And Sir, there really is no such thing as bad publicity, especially where UKIP is concerned. If the establishment turns on you like they have, you know you’re onto something. And the public know it too, what !

So, march with a quick step, speak loudly, and carry on that man !

8 August 2013 at 18:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The Daily Mash has some subtle help on the matter:

"BONGOBONGOLAND last night insisted it has never received a penny in international aid. The country’s president spoke out after UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom claimed all of Britain’s £11bn aid budget was being sent to the small west African nation. [...] Bongobongoland sits between Liberia and the Ivory Coast and was a British colony until 1959. When it was granted independence everyone in Britain assumed the news reports referred to the entire African continent."

8 August 2013 at 18:13  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't think this is going to do much harm to Mr Bloom or UKIP. The main thing is that neither should act as if they are guilty, because they are not guilty. Mr Bloom may need a bit of advice about dealing with the media, but that's all.

The media reaction, particularly C4, reminded me of the scenes in N. Korea following the death of Kim Jong-Il, particularly the mass hysteria, and scenes of people crying in the streets. You don't know how genuine the expressions of eotion mwere, but you know that nobody dared to show any other emotion. Such is the coercive power of this kind of robotic mindset. The person is imprisoned in a single world view and cannot think any other way.

Channel 4 News is probably the most sanctimonious news program around. UKIP may do better to avoid it, or at least put their more experienced media-savvy politicians on it. Either way, they should expect lots of mindless interrogation about "racism"; not the real issues.

8 August 2013 at 19:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Can’t see the problem here anyway.

For all we know Bongo may well be a perfectly acceptable boys name in Africa...

8 August 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger LEN said...

'Motive' must be the deciding issue when one uses emotive speech.

If one goes outside the boundaries of Political Correctness to drive home a valid point 'motive' should be taken into consideration.(As with some of the remarks of Jesus.)

But IF racist or homophobic remarks are made solely to denigrate (mention no names but we all know who he is!)those to whom the remarks are aimed at that is entirely a different matter.

Mr Bloom was making a valid point .

8 August 2013 at 19:19  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I'd hazard a guess that this little episode has strengthened the Ukip hand. Anyone attacked by both CONservatives and Labour has to be worth voting for, and only PC conditioned robots will be upset by his, admittedly silly language.

How can our lazy media miss the real moral issues here, namely, misuse of hard earned taxpayers taxes by sending it to unaudited governments, AND, the harm that EU protectionist policies has, inhibiting trade with African producers. Lift that, encourage trade, not BIG AID, and that's how you lift people out of poverty. Business not hand outs promote prosperity. Not that the BBC will want to listen as they rather like taxes, especially when they are called License Fees.

These sort of issues demonstrate the dividing line between those who face up to fair play and reality and those who hide their political doctrines behind PC nonsense. That's my prejudice anyway.

8 August 2013 at 19:25  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Bloom's point was legitimate, but his language was gratuitious. When Lenny Bruce (hugely overrated, by the way) used words like "nigger" and "kike", he was - for all that he was winging it - using them for a focused purpose. When Godfrey Bloom said "Bongo Bongo Land", he said it without the slightest thought, because that's how he thinks of the people of developing countries.

Fair enough, maybe a country like Britain, producing nothing, circling the economic pan and with a monstrous debt problem, shouldn't be shovelling out billions in aid, but where does this guy get off talking like the Viceroy of India?

8 August 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan, your posts reminds one of Gandhi. That clever bastard dressed like the piss poor to get what he wanted. At least give Bloom some credit for honesty...

Note. When Gandhi came to England, someone asked his entourage why Mr Gandhi dressed so sparingly in this cold clime, was he that poor. Back came the reply “It costs a lot of money to keep Mr Gandhi looking like that.”

8 August 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger plishman said...

Bigotry is both ungentlemanly and un-Christian. However, reasoned discrimination or discernment is the primary survival strategy of the human creature.

Feigned taking of offence, for political reasons ('wilful naivete') is intended to cohere the anger of malcontents both at home and abroad against the culture the people so doing wish to destroy.

Why such people would want to do this is something of a mystery, since they will if successful be also destroyed by the forces they unleash. It therefore appears to be a will to create chaos at any cost, which only makes sense as a sign of non-human evil at work, since humans in no way profit from it.

8 August 2013 at 20:09  
Blogger Rubber Duck said...

Taking offence is the new bullying.Without a doubt the other parties are bugging, hacking, tracking and eavesdropping on UKIP to find something to make a hoo-ha about. If Farage caves in and sacks Bloom he will just look weak. He has done this before. What Bloom was saying was dead right - we do waste billions we can't afford on giving "aid" to places like Pakistan that just carry on sheltering terrorists regardless.

8 August 2013 at 23:30  
Blogger Rubber Duck said...

@ Corrigan. Not much developing going on in most African countries these days. Or have you got a scoop?

8 August 2013 at 23:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

I do agree with Bro Ivo's considered opinions on this and the strangle hold political correctness is having on the free expression of views and our rights to challenge the orthodoxy of 'diversity' and its illiberal nature.

However, I think Corrigan is also correct in saying that a senior politician needs to be more aware of the factors at play. I see no harm in well meaning buffoons in politics. They add colour. However, let's not make a hero out of him. Godfrey Bloom undermined his argument by being rather silly and showing he had somewhat daft ideas about the people's of Africa. Offensive? No.

Dave Allen had a strong Catholic following because he poked well meaning fun at the Church and he was very funny.

Artists like Lennie Bruce are, I think, at the edge of sanity and like all people at the margins offer insights into the absurdity of life. I didn't particularly enjoy his comedy but I respected him none the less for confronting the 'madness' of so called normality. There was no maliciousness in him - and that's the key.

8 August 2013 at 23:41  
Blogger Ivan said...

In any case Bongo-Bongo Land was better off under the colonial administrations. Africans are largely useless at self-government.

9 August 2013 at 00:50  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Unfortunately, Ivan, so are the English.

9 August 2013 at 06:29  
Blogger Nick said...

It makes me smile to see so many politicians and media people jumping to the defence of a nation that does not even exist. Presumably, they are so frightened of the big PC god that it detaches them from reality.

As others have pointed out Mr Bloom has offered to apologise to anyone he has GENUINELY offended. That is the wise approach. Of course nobody is genuinely offended : just phoney outrage.

9 August 2013 at 07:35  
Blogger chris e said...

"It is not incidentally a tortured metaphore but rather a reference to Christ's own words which many here will have identified without prompting."

I understood perfectly well where the original quote was coming from - I was commenting on its use to describe this situation (which was also metaphorical).

9 August 2013 at 09:08  
Blogger Preacher said...

Well written Brother Ivo.
Jesus was never PC,a read of the gospels makes that clear.

I believe that the Duke of Edinburgh is quite famous for non PC slips, I wonder why the BBC haven't sent a reporter to harass him?.

Lenny Bruce was a bad mouthed drug taking comedian. But that doesn't mean that the things he said didn't stir the conscience & challenge the people in his audience to confront their prejudices, & he challenged the establishment over issues that they preferred to ignore or keep hidden.
Bob Dylan wrote a tribute to him titled "Lenny Bruce is dead" & it's worth a listen.

The Westminster fat cats are scared of UKIP, not without reason, so we must expect more 'exposes' of a similar nature for the foreseeable future, or at least until daft as a brush Dave, nasty Nick & "I have a cunning plan" Millipede are evicted.

9 August 2013 at 11:52  
Blogger Peter D said...


"They said that he was sick 'cause he didn't play by the rules
He just showed the wise men of his day to be nothing more than fools
They stamped him and they labeled him like they do with pants and shirts
He fought a war on a battlefield where every victory hurts
Lenny Bruce was bad, he was the brother that you never had."

10 August 2013 at 00:23  
Blogger Ivan said...

Corrigan, I reckon that given the sheer extent and duration of the British Empire, there are bound to be buffoons and cads aplenty. But when the British granted freedom to the colonies, they left behind in every case functioning institutions and were generous with financial and military support. Those countries that could hack it, India, Malaysia and Singapore went on to greater heights. The Africans largely did not. Now why is that? Part of the reason is that the African polity has not gone beyond their xenophobic tribalism. One index of deteriorating circumstances was the exodus of the Indians, all through the 70s and 80s. In Africa all democracy means is that the big man of a tribe grabs the goods of the system and distributes to his hanger-ons down the chain. They in turn ensure that he remains at least for a while. The paradigmatic example being Zimbabwe, but the other countries are not all that different. When the white man was there, he was able to ensure that the people got a fair deal since he was so high up the up the pole for all manner of reasons, that others did not mind deferring to him. People of small means would regularly call on Ian Smith when he was out of power to ask for help or intervention. When Rhodesia was under him it was a bread basket. Now it is another African basket case.

10 August 2013 at 11:04  
Blogger Luther said...

I take pride in being a Protestant.
I take pride in being a Fundamentalist.

Mr Bloom was wrong - but only because the real issue is that much of the aid goes to countries who spend as much (or more) than we give them in aid on Space programmes and the like (countries which are probably not in wherever 'Bongo-bongo Land may be thought to be).

12 August 2013 at 21:49  

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