Newspaper review: 'Bongo Bongo' comments debated


Just how offensive was UKIP's Godfrey Bloom when he said British aid was being spent on luxuries in "Bongo Bongo Land"?

"Pretty offensive," is the verdict of Stephen Glover, in the Daily Mail, but he says Mr Bloom "speaks for the majority of Britons" on foreign aid.

The Daily Express agrees, saying he "could have chosen his words better, but he speaks the truth".

But Zoe Williams, writing in the Guardian, says the MEP's comments were racist, not least because he tried to portray most of Africa as an undifferentiated mass of uncivilised people.

The Times says Mr Bloom was playing to populist prejudice, and suggests UKIP must decide if it wants to be a genuinely constructive player in politics or remain the equivalent of the pub joker.

And the Sun says his "crass outburst" shows why those who care about important issues such as overseas aid and immigration should not vote UKIP.

In the Independent's cartoon, Mr Bloom is a cannon that has just backfired on his leader, Nigel Farage, hitting him below the waist.

The caption reads: "Shooting themselves in the bongos."

'Small revolution'

The Bank of England's promise of no sudden moves on interest rates - dubbed "forward guidance" - features in several papers.

In the Daily Telegraph's cartoon, the bank's new governor Mark Carney is a magician called "the incredible Carney" - although, given the slow pace of the recovery, he's pulling a tortoise out of his hat instead of a rabbit.

The Financial Times calls forward guidance "a small revolution" - although it believes the biggest risk is simply that it will have little effect.

The Times says Mr Carney's policies make "economic sense" and praises him for showing determination in the task of restoring stability.

Its main headline, though, calls the pledge of low rates "a fresh blow to hard-hit savers".

The Guardian is cautious about what it calls "Carney's gamble".

What lies ahead is a recovery built on credit and house prices, says the comment page - "Sound familiar?"

Repair old clothes

The government is telling people to "make do and mend", according to the Telegraph's main headline, as ministers try to comply with European Union rules on cutting waste sent to landfill.

The paper says Environment Minister Lord De Mauley wants families to resist the temptation to buy the latest gadgets and clothes, and repair their old ones instead.

The Daily Mail's main story is a health warning for over-65s to drink less alcohol.

Some experts believe heavy drinking among older people is a hidden problem, and safe-limit guidelines for pensioners should be cut in half.

Finally, a few of the papers are agog at a parking space that has gone on sale for £300,000 in London.

"No mod cons, no period features, just a rectangle of asphalt," notes the Telegraph.

It's near Hyde Park and is "barely big enough to squeeze in a hatchback", according to the Sun, which points out that the same money could buy large homes in Yorkshire or Cheshire.

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