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Question Of The Day

Have You Ever Used the Phrase "Bongo Bongo Land"?

"Can't say I have, mate."

UKIP politician Godfrey Bloom has been given a slap on the wrist by party leadership for using the phrase "bongo bongo land". In fact, they've since banned the use of the phrase entirely, which is a funny thing for a political party to have to do.

Bloom used the phrase to describe foreign countries that receive British financial aid, going on to claim that the money is misused on buying, "Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it that goes with most of the foreign aid".


When he was challenged on his use of the phrase, Bloom defended it by saying he thought he was "standing up for ordinary people at the pub, the cricket club, the rugby club – the sort of people who remain completely unrepresented under the political system that we have".

I wanted to know whether this suppressed, underrepresented mass really existed, so I went to ask some people a question: Have you ever used the phrase "bongo bongo land"?

Paula, 33, architect: Umm… no. I’ve never even heard it except for on the radio today.

What do you think of UKIP and this particular gentleman?
Well, he’s awful. They’re awful. They’re pretty much the BNP in disguise. They just focus on the high end of society, really, and this guy should be seriously be removed.

Do you think the aid the UK sends to foreign countries is really used on Ray-Bans and Ferraris?
I think foreign countries’ governments misappropriate a lot of aid. That’s something they accept that happens and I don’t know really know what they can do to avoid that.

Ellis, 24, pricing executive: Can’t say I have, mate, no

What about "ordinary people in rugby clubs"? Do you hear them say it often?
Can’t say I ever have.

What about UKIP, the political party? What do you think of them?
I don’t really know much about it. Doesn’t sound too nice, though.


Richard, 42, architect: Nope.

How often have you heard that phrase before?
I’ve never heard it, other than on television, when it's been used in satire.


How would you address the phrase?
Umm, yeah, it’s pretty racist, to be honest.

Bunch of idiots.

Fair enough.

Ali, 29, nomad: [laughs] Bongo bongo land? No. I can quite honestly say I haven’t.

Do you think it’s typical for someone to use that phrase?
Well, I’ve never heard someone use that phrase before. I like to think I’ve heard a lot of stuff, but that’s one I haven’t heard.

What do you think of UKIP?
I think they’re a bit farcical, to be honest – a bit of joke. But they seem to be resolute on sending themselves down by repeatedly making gaffes that are just poured all over the media. A lot of political parties have gaffes, but they seem to be taking it to a new level. They’re just a non-racist BNP.

So the statement isn’t racist?
No, it is. But yeah, you can chuck that in the mix of gaffes now as well.

Do you think aid to foreign countries is being spent on the kind of luxurious items that Godfrey Bloom has suggested?
I’m sure it happens a lot, yeah.

Trystan, 29, artist: I’ve never personally used the phrase myself.

So you’ve heard it before?
Not on the street – like, in real life.

Okay. Well, what do you think of the people who use it?
Generally, if I was being charitable, I'd think they’re from an older generation and holding some conservative views.

So is it OK for them to use it?
Well, if I wasn’t being charitable I’d probably say they’re pretty racist.

And are UKIP racist?
Well, they’re pretty reactionary and conservative. Most of their policies seem to be based on fear-mongering, really. Not a big fan. Not a big fan of Nigel Farage either.

And do you think the UK’s foreign aid is being shelled out on Ray-Bans and apartments in Paris?
It probably has happened. I don’t think the majority of aid would end up being used for that, though.

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