|"Slut - a slovenly or promiscuous woman"|
Of course the MSM loved it, it received top billing on every News outlet in the UK and made the front page of every newspaper.
Yes, we all know Bloom isn't in the first flush of youth and that his use of the word in a room of women of a certain age was no doubt intended as humour, but it's the sort of humour that is wincingly unfunny when broadcast to a wider, not in on the joke in the first place, audience. I also suspect that any women, regardless of political persuasion, under the age at which point you qualify for a winter fuel allowance would find the notion of somebody asking about their house cleaning abilities a little too personal. Ironically of course the flow of banter that eventually led to the offending comment began with an answer from a male member of the audience.
Nobody under the age of fifty would recognise the word slut in its old meaning, that is slovenly - particularly in the times we are living, after all the much publicised worldwide 'Slut Walks' didn't involve the wearing of Marigold gloves and the carrying of tins of Pledge (well not the carrying of Pledge anyway!).
It does, for me at least, raise a bigger issue, when does a private event become a public event and a free for all. If Bloom had had something sensible to say would that have gone unreported, well yes presumably, after all the Nigel Farage speech was broadcast live across BBC TV and radio channels and on the independent channels, on 5Live it was broadcast uninterrupted a recognition that perhaps UKIP are being taken seriously in the week it was announced that their membership is rising whilst the member of the Conservative party is now reaching hitherto undreamed of low numbers.
Nigel 'Ordinary bloke's' speech was good, even if it did play fast and loose with a couple of facts that might have confused the better informed and led to some fist waving by the less informed. Okay it was preaching to the converted but I suspect that given the position it was across the radio and television it may have well given many people something to ponder. In many ways it was the Pixies/Nirvana style of political speaking, you know the quiet/loud/quiet approach, the denial of racism, the distancing from the BNP, the realignment of the party as a serious party with serious intentions and with Britain at the centre of those intentions. I also doubt that there is anybody who would contradict his assertion that it was better to have a party of free thinkers and speakers rather than one that bowed to the politically correct, presumably that was before he crossed through Bloom's name on his Christmas card list and suspended him from the party. Context is everything, I had a conversation with a female member of staff this week that out of context would get us both suspended because, to an eves dropper not aware of the original joke it would have been declared to be explicit in the sexual nature of its content, not to mention a slap round the chops from our respective partners but we, as Bloom indeed did, judge our book not by the cover but by the contents.
I suspect Mr Farage's speech, in terms of ideas and themes, is not to far from the one that many 'traditional' Conservative voters would hope that David Cameron will be giving in ten days time at The Conservative Part Conference 2013 in Manchester. At a time when a survey commissioned by the Labour Party shows that Labour voters are now blaming Labour as much as the Conservatives for the current economic situation Cameron has the chance to reach beyond the heads of the invited audience and state the reasons why those who are disenchanted with the Conservative party but not brave enough to follow UKIP should stay, and those disenchanted with Labour and who are telling Labour they won't vote for them again are really serious about voting for the Conservative party in 2015.
*former Villa and Man City defender who hold the record for most career own goals.