If you haven't heard of Godfrey Bloom, imagine Boris Johnson
with less hair and no charisma. In short, he is somewhat gaffe-prone. UKIP's annual conference was held in London Friday and yesterday; at one of its fringe meetings, Mr Bloom made a joke about "sluts" that went down well with the women members present but which was twisted out of context and blown up out of all proportion by the press pack. Then, after being challenged by some politically correct moron about the lack of non-white faces on the front cover of the conference brochure, he blew up and whacked him over the head
This was clearly another joke, complete with feigned righteous indignation, but of course the media have it in for UKIP, and they were having none of it.
You can hear the sluts comment in context on YouTube
. The quality of the audio is debatably even poorer than Mr Bloom's sense of humour, but it was clearly a joke that is just as clearly being exploited by the media to bash the party.
What was not so funny though and what may do the party more damage in the long run was the speech
made by energy spokesman Roger Helmer. And if UKIP ever does come to power and puts these policies in place, the real damage will be done to Britain.
While Mr Helmer made some valid criticisms of the Government's current energy policy, his attack on Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was unwarranted. Yes, she did get herself arrested at an anti-fracking protest as a publicity stunt
. So what?
It may be indeed is likely that the environmentalist lobby has exaggerated the dangers of fracking, but that is par for the course. Activists exaggerate the dangers of everything from sport to alcohol consumption; that doesn't stop people drinking themselves to death.
While Mr Helmer and probably many UKIP members would be happy to see shale gas extracted from the Earth in this country in massive quantities, most people wouldn't, and the idea that alternative energies such as wind turbines are "playground technologies" is frankly absurd. Hasn't he heard of the gigantic wind farms
that are currently being constructed off the coast of Northern Ireland? Or the new project
What about the new energy sources being developed now by teenagers
who are chasing a prize by Google? Or the kite energy systems being developed by the company's Sergey Brin
If Mr Helmer believes we have enough oil, coal and gas in the British Isles or the world even for the next fifty years, he should check out Professor Bartlett's presentation
on energy, arithmetic and population.
The manufactured outrage over Godfrey Bloom's fringe meeting joke will soon be forgotten, but policies that may be disastrous for the future of this country's energy industry are no laughing matter.