17:38 Monday 29th April 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
CHRIS MANN: Are the UK Independence Party just a collection of clowns? One of their Euro MPs says firms shouldn’t employ children (sic) of child-bearing age. But in this weeks’ local elections they are fielding more candidates than ever. Our political reporter Robin Crystal explained more.
ROBIN CRYSTAL: What we’ve got here is if you remember a few years back the Prime Minister when asked about the United Kingdom Independence Party said some of the were fruit cakes and closet racists. Though Ken Clarke was asked at the weekend, the Cabinet Minister, was asked, well do you agree with that. He said that in some cases their candidates, yes they are. (TAPE)
KEN CLARKE: It’s very tempting to vote a collection of clowns, or indignant angry people who promise that somehow they’ll allow you to take your revenge on the people who caused it. You should actually vote for people who you think are going to be sensible county councillors. (LIVE)
ROBIN CRYSTAL: So what’s he talking about here? Well of course it is the council elections coming up in a few days time, and as you were indicating, UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, are putting up three times as many candidates as they have done before in such local elections, and they’re focused, and they’re expected to take votes mainly from the Conservatives. So the Conservatives are hitting back. You may have seen some indication at the weekend that some of the newspapers running stories about UKIP candidates being members of far-right parties. One of them apparently, it’s alleged, saying there are too many Muslims in this country, and another one saying the Second World War was engineered by Zionists in order to establish a state of Israel. Now basically this is electioneering, and it’s because the elections are coming up.
CHRIS MANN: Ken Clarke, known of course as a bit of a bruiser on the hustings.
ROBIN CRYSTAL: Yes that’s right.
CHRIS MANN: And many times he’s done that in elections in the past. But let’s look at the facts here. Does UKIP really think women of child bearing age should stay at home?
ROBIN CRYSTAL: Well this isn’t a candidate, this is a Euro MP, a Member of the European Parliament. His name is Godfrey Bloom, and he says, and I’m quoting, no self respecting businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child bearing age.(TAPE)
GODFREY BLOOM: If I wanted a receptionist, or I wanted a dental nurse, I would be thinking very carefully indeed about the age of that woman, because she has to turn up at nine o’clock every morning. This isn’t rocket science, is it? This is perfectly straightforward small business policy. (LIVE)
ROBIN CRYSTAL: And Mr Bloom says he’s not in any way anti-ladies, or anti-women. This is because the law is wrong. It’s a draconian employment law that means at the moment until it’s changed no self-respecting businessman would employ, well, we’re talking about, what are we talking about, a large section of the working population aged between sort of sixteen and forty five. And for good measure he has a pop at the Tories too, (TAPE)
GODFREY BLOOM: We’re over a trillion pounds in debt. We have 28% youth unemployment. I’ve got a Jack Russell terrier that could have done a better job than these comedians. (LIVE)
ROBIN CRYSTAL: There you are. The Tories are comedians and UKIP are clowns.