We spoke to Godfrey Bloom when he came to Durham and bought ‘beer for the men and wine for the ladies’
Durham’s favourite racist uncle talks alcohol, banks, and hitting Michael Crick
“Beer for the men and wine for the ladies”, barked Godfrey as he opened a £300 tab at the Dun Cow Inn on Tuesday evening. “Keeps it simple that way”.
Clad in a thick tweed jacket and yellow pocket handkerchief, the former UKIP MEP was right at home in Durham, which might explain why this was his thirteenth visit since 2004.
He cited as a pulling factor the Durham Union’s “après-ski, as it were” – although they have a lot to learn from the Oxford Union, who have “more money than they know what to do with. You can drink yourself to a standstill at their expense, until one o’clock in the morning.”
Mr. Bloom, who has been described as a “wince-inducing gaffe machine”, has a reputation for controversies, such as calling sub-saharan Africa “bongo bongo land” and hitting journalist Michael Crick on the head with a UKIP brochure after he pointed out that it only showed white people.
When asked whether he regretted his political career, Godfrey replied, “je ne regrette rien. And neither does Michael Crick, with whom I had lunch last year.”
Mr. Bloom, who says he “devoted 25 years of my life and a quarter of a million pounds of my money to getting the referendum”, has been “a very happy man” since Brexit, but has “no interest” in UKIP today, having left the party in 2013 after joking that female party activists were “sluts”.
Here for the launch of his ‘aide-memoire’, a 36-page “train-ride” document intended for anyone who fears that “there’s something dodgy with banks”, Godfrey spoke to around 40 Durham students, claiming “I’ve always got on very well with the undergraduates here. I don’t not get on with anybody.”
When challenged about what new information his £3.20 document offered the “layman”, as he put it, he claimed university economics courses are “completely out of date. It doesn’t work like it’s explained in universities, that’s long since gone.”
The aide-memoire is a diatribe against “crooked central banks”, renouncing the “extremely dangerous” situation of a devalued pound sterling, universally broke banks, growing debt, and no safety valve.
Godfrey does not believe Brexit had an impact on the value of the pound. “Pretending that the recent fall in Sterling is a phenomenon associated with Brexit is of course clearly absurd, it’s ridiculous.”
The former soldier, banker, and politician was excited for the launch of his aide-memoire, as well as the ten pints he hoped would accompany it.
Despite his stipulation that beer be for men and wine for ladies, I (who am male), enjoyed a large glass of pinot at his expense.