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Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom expresses regret over ‘bongo bongo land’ remarks

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Senior Ukip MEP and financial services spokesman Godfrey Bloom has issued an apology for any offence caused by his “bongo bongo land” remarks, after earlier in the day stating he had no regrets about the comments which have caused a media storm.  

Last night, the Guardian reported that the MEP, a former IFA and member of the influential European economic and monetary affairs committee, had told a party meeting in the West Midlands that the UK should not send aid to ”bongo bongo land” where it is then spent on Ferraris, Ray-Ban sunglasses and apartments in Paris.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has previously hit out at MEPs for using the term ”bongo bongo land”. Ukip has asked Bloom not to use the term again but he insists he will not resign and will stand again in the 2014 elections.

Speaking to Money Marketing this morning, Bloom said: “I never apolgise and I have got nothing to apologise for. I will comply, if the party chairman does not want me to use that expression then I won’t. What did I say that was wrong? Did I say anything that was wrong? I’m happy not to say [bongo bongo land] again but I’m not apologising.

”I have no regrets. Good lord, no, I’ve never done so much radio and television in my life. The messages of support I have been getting are overwhelming. Almost everyone, except political opponents, agree with me. Ordinary working people in Yorkshire agree with me.”

He aded: ”It’s been fascinating and I’m absolutely delighted because everyone is talking about the billion pounds a month we are sending abroad when I have got people in my constituency waiting for cancer treatment and dialysis machines because we can’t afford it.

”We are cutting the police force and cutting defence, we ’re closing down accident and emergency wings of our hospitals. It’s £1bn a month with £400m going to the EU with no audit trail.”

However, in a statement released on his website this afternoon, Bloom says: ”I used a term which I subsequently gather under certain circumstances could be interpreted as pejorative to individuals and possibly cause offence.

”Although quite clearly no such personal usage was intended, I understand from Ukip party chairman Steve Crowther and leader Nigel Farage that I must not use the terminology in the future, nor will I and sincerely regret any genuine offence which might have been caused or embarrassment to my colleagues.”

Bloom has a responsibility for helping put together the party’s financial services policies and recently drew up a number of tax proposals with University of Georgia economics professor David Kamerschen that were put to Ukip’s national executive committee.


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There are 31 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Just how long have we got to put up with idiots who are ‘politically correct’ but miss the main points through their bigotry?
    Its the message that matters and if it takes terms such as ‘bongo bongo’ then so be it.
    I totally support this and wish that the real matters were addressed instead of being allowed to continue.
    Its ‘our’ money and I do not see why we are stupid enough to give it away like this.
    Lets get Berlusconi to give his opinion!!
    oh, sorry thats Bunga Bunga!!

  2. So we have a man who NEVER apologises. He can’t make any mistakes then can he?

    Usual UKIP nonsense. Like all right wing parties, they prey on people concerns. Personally, I don’t want this man representing my industry at all.

  3. Well said Godfrey you are spot on, the sooner we come out of bongo bongo land the btter

  4. Slightly naive comment above. It is a political tenet that one never apologises.
    I would much rather have parties taking into account people’s concerns than those of the left which seem to know nothing but dogma whilst getting countries into huge financial messes. The UK and France spring to mind but doubtless I could think of many more if needed

  5. paolo standerwick 7th August 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Spot on as the other post said. UK has gone mad. UKIP have all my future votes.

  6. I think the actual message will find sympathy with a great number of people irrespective of their political persuasion. The question is to what extent should our own problems take second place to those of the people of other nations? Many will say that we should look to our own position first.

    Having said that the language in which the message was couched was unnecessarily offensive. The modern euphemism is “third world” and you would expect a politician to know that.

  7. I also agree with Godfrey its the message the counts, there is more money going out the back door than we know about and it has to stop along with all these Quango’s.

  8. Jane Summerfield 7th August 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Ken Hayden ‘Like all right wing parties, they prey on people’s concerns’……….errr, isn’t it the role of political parties to deal with the concerns of the public, rather than ignoring them? UKIP grow strong while other political parties ignore those concerns and indeed try and make people feel bad for even having them. Fascism takes hold when people feel ignored!

  9. If this “media storm” is as big as it is stated to be then it is obviously a very slow news day. As Anon @ 12.31 says its the message that is important but in the lunacy that is political correctness, this gets lost. Everyone is so sacred of causing “offence” at someone elses expense that the world is going mad at a rapid rate of knots. Its ridiculous. I would bet my house that if a referrendum was held to keep foreign aid or dump it and spend the money in our own country to help get more nurses onto wards it would be a n overwhelming YES to dumping it. But alas in todays world those in the media or political opponents simply pick up on a badly worded phrase and to hell with the meaning behind it. This is because they want to be seen as being cleaner than Hiacynth Bucket’s living room. I was going to say whiter than the driven snow but thought that some of you out there would have said I was being politicllay incorrect, at best or racist at worst without knowing anything about me. (And for those who would say that, you prove my point of world gone mad).

  10. @Jane

    I totally agree with your sentiment and that of other people who have posted here. No current political party has the guts to sort out these fundemental issues. What I object to are parties that literally prey on peoples genuine concerns such as the EC, foreign aid, immigration etc. They should be addressed but not in the insulting way this gentleman has demonstrated.

  11. Goldfinger D Megabucks 7th August 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Sometimes you need to call a spade a big shovel !

    UKIP and Godfrey Bloom in particular are merely stating what most are already thinking !

  12. *sigh*, the way it’s talked about this money has no wider benefits to the global ecosystem or our own interests. It does, although that doesn’t fit with populist rhetoric.

    It’s either that or he really has no idea, oh wait…

  13. Post-colonial guilt?

    Britain is no longer a colonial power but we suffer from post colonial guilt. We should leave this guilt behind and look to our own future. Godfrey Bloom is spot on – once again. Well said Godfrey! Britain gives more than £1billion in aid to India, even though India has almost three times as many billionaires as we do, is a nuclear power and has its own space programme! Charity begins at home and Goddrey is perfectly right to point out that many of these countries should not be benefited whilst UK citizen suffer.

  14. Neil F Liversidge 7th August 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Bongo-Bongoland? Didn’t they play for former Soviet Republic of Bulimia in the last world cup?

    On a serious note it’s a sad fact that corrupt dictators squander aid and leave their people impoverished. I think we should just divide up a country’s aid allocation between its inhabitants and share it out. Some would spend, some would invest, some would save, some would start businesses. Collectively they’d have more power than their rotten governments and aid wouldn’t go on weaponry, rockets and vanity projects. True power to the people, citizen!

    Anyone know where I can get an invite to Berlusconi’s next party?

  15. A the billion pounds a month being sent abroad when Godfery has people in his constituency waiting for cancer treatment and dialysis machines because we can’t afford it.

    And how much of that billion pounds every month actually reaches the people who need it? Charity begins at home.

  16. Wrong end of the stick Godfrey!

    Monetary flows giving rise to expenditure in Bongo-Bongo Land are evidently having a very positive effect:

    1) helping Italian car and sunglasses exports thereby boosting GDP (UK perspective – current economic risk to the UK arising from unhealthy mixture of bond default / debt to GDP ratio / political instability / contagion risk) as well as

    2) increasing French domestic expenditure and tax revenues as a by-product of property purchases (UK perspective – major trading partner as the 2nd largest economy in Europe but also in triple dip recession as of July). M. Hollande is no doubt appreciative.

    Neoclassical international trade theory would suggest that we in the UK see a return benefit arising from these flows whereas diverting expenditure to a public good, particularly when funded on the back of QE money-printing (inflationary debt creation) does not seem a viable comparison.
    In short, we would be borrowing money to fund a non-productive item (G Brown’s idea of investment which doesn’t seem so attractive these days).

    Plus, discretionary spending in the UK inevitably widens the trade deficit given our love of foreign goods (aka imported inflation) though it might help the German car industry. But not Yorkshire…

  17. Just remember – he wont apologise.

    Until his boss makes him.

    What an embarrassment.


    I suggest that rather then be offended, the good citizens of Bongo Bongo Lands ought to beef-up their border controls… The reason?

    Millions of impoverished Britons searching for a better life are about to sneak across into their bountiful paradises…

    Bongo Bongo Landers, beware of those damn Britons – they’re nothing but trouble…

    Mark Gendala,

  19. Some worry about political correctness – I would rather they addressed the immorality of taking our money through taxes to fund their favourite charities. This is not what taxation should be for and we are quite capable of supporting our own charities with our own money. In a similar manner MAS is the brainchild of politicians who do not have the guts to pay for it through their own pockets or general taxation.

  20. One would expect a little more ‘savoir faire’ from one who purports to represent his constituents, his party and the country. Unfortunately it does seem that UKIP is rather overpopulated with Oiks.

    However if you look at some figures, the general thrust of what he has to say is confirmed.

    Africa has received £500 billion over last 50 yrs. in aid. The result? Zero growth. Africa’s share of World’s poorest rose from 1:10 to 1:2 over period.
    Each year $140 billion exits Africa almost 4 times the amount of development aid.
    Equatorial Guinea stores $2 billion in oil revenues offshore!

    If you examine the Corruption Index, in Africa only Botswana comes out with any credit appearing at No 30 – all the rest are in the bottom quarter. Out of 174.

    However UKIP fans also need to know that out of the total of UK expenditure (covering everything) while Foreign Aid accounts for 1% -(which is as Mr Bloom points out – a hefty chunk) our contribution to the EU amounts to a piffling 0.2% and arguably we do get some advantages for this.

  21. You all realise that the sum of all our National aid is ony 0.5% of gross national income. Not alot when you consider the quality of life some people live in.

  22. incompetent regulators award team 7th August 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I recently watched a couple of TV programmes on German attitudes towards their communities and work ethics.

    For every day’s work wasted in German’s work day in the 70’s, the UK wasted 10 when the unions ruled. Things have got worse in the UK since then.

    We need to get own home in order first instead of politicians playing PC cards for cheap votes. In the UK we need to get our ‘ATTITUDE RIGHT’ in the workplace and stop forking out to those who have a sense of dependency whether in the UK or abroad. We need to stop wasting money sent overseas and stop forking out money for lazy scroungers over here on benefits.

    Finally, public sector pensions should be abolished for ever retrospectively. Then all our UK financial woes will disappear.

  23. Its not £1bn a month its £700m a month. It is a lot its true but it buys us influence and someof it does help people. If you want influence in the world and consequent benefits from trade you have to pay your way.
    Otherwise the guy is clearly a fool and does the industry no credit. While the majority who have commented somewhat agree with Bloom the majority out there (your customers) will be offended or think him an idiot even if they agree with his sentiment.

  24. @Fully Informed

    That ‘influence’ you are talking about – not having a lot of effect in the big wide world is it !

    Funny too that ‘influence’ costs most other countries considerably less as a % of GDP and weilds considerably more ‘influence’ than good old blighty !

    Godfrey Bloom is stating the obvious and want them overwelming majority think in my view !

  25. @ Fully Informed

    “If you want influence in the world and consequent benefits from trade you have to pay your way.”
    Quite so. Absolutely correct. As one whose firm won an Export Award in a previous incarnation, I can fully endorse this. That these countries will only do business if palms are greased is an ongoing fact of life.

    Unfortunately today it’s called bribery. And while companies are severely constrained from ‘influencing’ it seems it is perfectly OK for Governments. Personally I call that hypocrisy.

  26. The point about apologising is irrelevant,no politician ever apologises for anything,so he is no worse or better than anyone.The issue language used was perhaps ill advised but was certainly not racist ,but its got the whole matter of supporting foreign dictatorships,particularly in Africa the headlines it needs.Why are we supporting any country who use our taxes to run private armies and provide senior officials with multi millionaire lifestyles whilst denying their citizens basic rights to live work and enjoy the fruits f their labours? The desire to help is laudable, but our ability to keep a check on its effectiveness is laughable. All overseas aid should be on a quid pro quo basis only.We are no longer policemen of the world and so we should not be the worlds charity either.

  27. @ Paul B
    “Why are we supporting any country who use our taxes to run private armies and provide senior officials with multi millionaire lifestyles whilst denying their citizens basic rights to live work and enjoy the fruits f their labours”
    Did you mean to say FCA rather than country?

  28. @simon mansell

    Interesting to see such latent racist comments about post colonialism. A few years ago I went travelling around India and discovered how much we took from that nation alone. How we divided and ruled. What a mess we left behind. It’s quite pathetic to say that just because they have more billionaires and nuclear power we should stop aid.

    As for Africa, I agree as the rulers constantly prove they are experts at mismanaging money…

  29. RegulatorSaurusRex 9th August 2013 at 2:44 pm

    What do we expect from a former IFA? Most of them suffer from foot in mouth disease, particularly when under the influence of alcohol..

  30. ‘latent racist’ comments.
    here we go again!
    another bigot tied up in the need to pay for our past sins!!
    another whiff of hypocrisy on the use of racism as a reason to berate what is fundamentally the truth-we do not integrate and probably never will with a culture that breeds people who do not respect other peoples culture!!!

  31. You may of course be wondering where Bongo Bongo Land actually is. I have found it on Google Earth at 51.505924,-0.020238. It has a colony at 51.500996,-0.017307

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