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Stop sending money to Bongo Bongo Land, says UK political official

Godfrey Bloom
Godfrey Bloom

UK Member of the European Parliament Godfrey Bloom has a clear stance on foreign aid.

“And how we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we are in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo Land is completely beyond me.”

He said that during a private event recently. I checked the maps and can’t seem to find where Bongo Bongo Land is located. Given that the UK has managed to invade just about every country I can only assume that Bloom knows of a small island country that cannot be found. He couldn’t have been making a thinly veiled racist remark about a country he does not care about in Africa. It must be somewhere.

Word is that it is between Liberia and the Ivory Coast and was a British colony until 1959.

He also lists off things bought with foreign aid: Ray Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and F-18s for Pakistan.

Not to worry, he does talk about human rights too. Bloom expresses his delight to participate in public executions as a way of showing how international rules on human rights are preventing the UK from ‘controlling out own destiny.”

The Guardian reports that Bloom responded to his critics after the video of his remarks became public.

Bloom said that suggestions that his comments carried any racist implications were “absurd” and “laughable”, adding that he has two Kashmiri staff and a Polish wife. He stood by his remarks, saying: “What’s wrong with that? I’m not a wishy-washy Tory. I don’t do political correctness … The fact that the Guardian is reporting this will probably double my vote in the north of England.”

He defended himself further today saying that he was speaking to “ordinary people in the rugby and cricket club.” He may not get the electoral boost he hopes from the incident as his UK Independent Party leadership distanced themselves from Bloom’s remarks.

Steve Crowther, the Ukip chairman, said: “We are asking Godfrey not to use this phrase again, as it might be considered disparaging by members from other countries. However, foreign aid is an extremely important debate that needs wider discussion.”

The Daily Mash (satire alert) spoke with the leader of Bongo Bongo Land, Brian Inkatwe to ask about all the UK aid money going to the country.

President Brian Inkatwe said: “We get by on our own. I think it’s because no-one actually believes we exist.

“I have written to the UN on several occasions asking them if they could give us advice on starting a rural banking scheme, but every time they write back and tell me that the phrase ‘Bongobongoland’ is horribly racist and that I should stop wasting their time.

“Some aid would be nice as our economy has suffered since Chinese factories started pumping out cut price bongos.”

Watch the clip:

Update: Turns out that Bongo Bongo Land is not the invention of Bloom. It dates back to 1985 when conservative politician Alan Clark used it to describe where ethnic minorities are from. From the Guardian:

Clark, who was commenting on black groups feeling uneasy about the collection of data on ethnic minorities, reportedly said, “They are afraid we’ll be going to hand them over to the immigration services so that they can send them all back to Bongo Bongo land.”


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]