Mr Steerpike has obtained an exclusive extract of everyone's favourite Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom's new book A Guinea A Minute, which comes out later this week. His response to accusations of misogyny is worth reproducing in full, not least for the chatter it might start:
'I was asked by a journalist what I would be doing on that committee. He was such an earnest young man, I could not resist the sport. I intend to get women to clean behind the fridge I told him with equal earnestness. Well it was one of those “no news days”. Someone shoved a camera in my face “what else?” they called sensing a story where none had been. “Well,” I said, “On a more serious note, much of the employment legislation works directly against the interests of women. For example no small businessman with his brain in the right place would dream of employing a woman of child bearing age.” The point of course that under current law a woman does not have to tell a potential employer she is pregnant at the interview, they are not allowed to ask her about her plans for a family or how she would cope with a family. As the employee does not have to commit to returning to work or indeed if she ever will. This means no permanent replacement can be recruited. No employer/employee contract can be drawn up for such a contingency. So across the land there is covert discrimination by employers against women of child bearing age. Very largely by women who have started their own business, over 52% of new businesses in 2012.
For the first 24 hours I was vilified as Neanderthal (The Guardian, full front page, colour photo) and almost every other newspaper in the UK some of whom had reported I was advocating women should not work but stay at home to clean behind the fridge.
What a tremendous lark. It flashed around the world. The Hindustan Times came out in support, as did the South China Post. By the time the Sunday papers came out and the transcript of what I actually said was made known I was swamped with supporting letters and emails. One of the Fleet Street senior female journalists India Knight came out with a headline “By gosh Godfrey you’re right!”. My strongest support came from business women. They are a feisty lot. I hardly had a single dissenter from anyone who had read what I actually said.’
Whatever you think of the old boy, good on Bloom for donating all profits from the book to military charities. Form an orderly queue for copies.