August 15, 2004


The anti-PC show (EDDIE BARNES, 8/15/04, Scotland on Sunday)

GEOFFREY Bloom may well be Britain’s most politically-incorrect man. The 54-year old, who became the UK Independence Party’s MEP for Yorkshire and East Humber in June, announced his credentials last month, upon arriving for work at the European Parliament.

He wanted to focus on women’s issues, he announced, because "I just don’t think they clean behind the fridge enough". Yorkshire women were to be excepted from any criticism he added, because they "always have dinner on the table when you get home". Generally speaking, Bloom added, that was the right place for them to remain. "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age."

He wears a bowler hat and pin-stripe suit to work ("as did my father and his father before him") is a keen supporter of country sports and admits to drinking too much at the bar of his local rugby club where he is vice-president. He represents the woolly liberals’ perfect hate-figure, and was widely castigated after airing the above views. [...]

Largely due to the deliberately provocative language he used, Bloom has been dismissed as a crackpot right-winger who belongs in the 1950s. But in truth, his views now seem to be nearer the 21st century centre ground than ever. Bloom may carve an outrageous course - but last week revealed that the backlash against political correctness he represents is now in full sail.

Conservative leader Michael Howard chose the north-east town of Middlesborough to launch his own assault. The location was deliberate; he was introduced by the local mayor Ray Mallon, the city’s former police chief who became known as ‘Robocop’ for his no-nonsense method of policing. Based on New York’s ‘broken windows’ policy, all acts of vandalism are pursued with the same vigour as more serious offences in order to nip the descent into crime in the bud. In his speech, Howard also turned to New York - to Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, and to the passage where a gang of hoods excuse their actions, singing: "I’m depraved on account of I’m deprived." "Juvenile delinquency is purely a social disease," sings another.

"West Side Story may have been written by an American at the tail end of the 1950s, but these attitudes are all too prevalent in British society today," Howard said.

"The decline of responsibility and the proliferation of rights have left us in an ethical quagmire, which is undermining our fight against crime. The clear distinction between right and wrong has been lost in sociological mumbo-jumbo and politically correct nonsense."

Sadly, Britain was already pretty debased by the 1950's--the 1850's is a more attractive target.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2004 1:17 PM
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