After a great conference first day we were listening to the closing speeches when a clearly distressed Steve Crowther told us that Godfrey Bloom had put his foot in it again and in Nigel Farage's phrase "destroyed" UKIP's conference. Of course after our successes on May 2nd his year there was much more media coverage than usual so this was a big chance blown to restart momentum after the usual summer hiatus.
Reaction in UKIP to Bloom's suspension in UKIP is apparently divided. "Free speech should triumph! No surrender to Political Correctness!" is the cry.
This reaction is understandable from those who fear that UKIP, now within sight of breaking the grotesque hold of the LibLabCon over our political discourse, will become corrupted in pursuit of power. I imagine it is waking nightmare for all of us who love our party and country that one day we may see it decay into playing the political class game of lies and evasions, spin and image that so revolts us and caused most of us to join UKIP in the first place.
However, I think on this occasion this reaction is wrong.
UKIP prides itself on telling the hard truths that our effete, cosseted, metrosexual political class continually shy away from. Fine. However, telling that truth almost always hurts the feelings of some of those who listen. Knowing this to be the case, we still do so because we consider it to be the lesser evil. That does not, though, makes us necessarily insensitive: indeed, there is still the onus on the truth teller to be as sensitive as possible in phrasing their remarks as to not cause gratuitous pain or in ways that could be misinterpreted to be grossly offensive or inflammatory.
None of us will always get the balance right and sometimes we will either shy away from battle or overstep the mark. However, Bloom's behaviour has consistently exhibited a casual insensitivity that at the very least bordered on prejudice.
Whatever the outcome of the National Executive Committee's deliberations, we simply can not afford this pattern of behaviour in the future.
Saturday, 21 September 2013
Bloom Blows It
Godfrey Bloom|ukip conference|