The other day I shared this post about UKIP on Facebook without checking my facts.
After reading some of the comments left by others challenging the validity of these shocking statements, I figured I’d better do my homework. After all, how can I complain about the masses repeating what they read in the media without questioning it if I am equally guilty of doing so? Just ’cause it’s right on, don’t make it right.
My first stop was, naturally, the UKIP website. I wanted to find a summary of what they are all about, and was expecting to be challenged on some of my prejudices. After all, this country thrives on shock tactics and negative press, why should the far right be exempt? It made very interesting reading. So much so, I felt compelled to make some notes in the margin.
The following text is the genuine UKIP manifesto. I haven’t adulterated a thing, but I have taken advantage of their approval of free speech to answer their points. Here we go…
What We Stand For These are anxious and troubled times. As crisis follows crisis, our politicians do nothing in the face of dangers rearing up all around us. Taxes and Government debt rise. Energy and transport costs soar. Unemployment is too high. The NHS and state education strain under a population increase of 4 million since 2001. Another wave of uncontrolled immigration comes from the EU (this time Bulgaria and Romania). Yet the political class tells us the EU is good for the UK. A gulf has opened between the ruling elite and the public. Because they must all follow Brussels diktats, each of the establishment main parties is now so similar voters have no real choice. The EU controls Immigration, Business and Employment, Financial Services, Fishing, Farming, Energy and Trade. It seeks now to control Law and Order, Foreign Affairs and Tax. Only outside the EU can we start to solve the problems our country faces.
To me, this reads like a classic Daily Mail front page editorial. Shocking sound bites and fear mongering. Not a good start. WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!! PENNILESS AND ALONE!! WHILE SOME IMMIGRANT MAKES OFF WITH MY WIFE!! etc. Naturally, this is all because of filthy foreigners.
Return Power to the UK
• A vote for UKIP is a vote to leave the EU and recover power over our national life.
• Free trade, but not political union, with our European neighbours. We are the EU’s largest export market: they depend on us for jobs – not the other way around.
• Binding local and national referenda, at the public’s request, on major issues.
Our European neighbours depend on us for jobs? But I thought UKIP wanted to stop foreigners taking our jobs? I’m confused.
Protect Our Borders
• Regain control of our borders and of immigration – only possible by leaving the EU.
• Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for 5 years. This means private health insurance (except emergency medical care), private education and private housing – they should pay into the pot before they take out of it.
• A points-based visa system and time-limited work permits.
• Proof of private health insurance must be a precondition for immigrants and tourists to enter the UK.
Some of this is fair enough, look at how hard it is to start a new life in Australia or America for example. However, what about human beings forced to survive unimaginable hardships, such as civil war, dictatorships, famine who will be raped, tortured and/or killed if they don’t find asylum.
Furthermore, many asylum seekers want to work but are hindered in doing so by immigration law. It’s the Government who forces these people to live on the state. Are you saying only those with significant financial solvency are entitled to freedom and the right to live in peace? It’s a classic case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). More of that later.
NB; It’s DEPENDANTS. Go and sit in Dictionary Corner, and think about what you’ve done.
• Save £55m a day in membership fees by leaving the EU and give British workers first crack at the 800,000 jobs we currently advertise to EU workers.
• No tax on the minimum wage.
• Enrol unemployed welfare claimants onto community schemes or retraining workfare programmes.
• Scrap HS2, all green taxes and wind turbine subsidies.
• Develop shale gas to reduce energy bills and free us from dependence on foreign oil and gas – place the tax revenues into a British Sovereign Wealth Fund.
• UKIP will abolish inheritance tax. Inheritance tax brings in under £4bn – less than a third of what we spend on foreign aid. The super-rich avoid it, while modest property owners get caught by it. It hits people during a time of grief and UKIP will budget in its 2015 spending plans to completely abolish this unfair death tax.
• Make cuts to foreign aid that are real and rigorous.
Leave the EU? OK, I get it, that’s a biggie for you. No tax on minimum wage? Fabulous idea. Enrol unemployed claimants into schemes? Hmmm. Not sold on that one. Scrap HS2, all greeeeeee………. hang on. WHAT????
Firstly, let’s be clear about this undisputable fact: fossil fuels are a FINITE RESOURCE. To the layman, that means THEY WILL RUN OUT ONE DAY. And UKIP want to stop investing in researching sustainable energy that isn’t reliant on a finite source and doesn’t destroy the planet to invest in shale gas??? They then go on to say that this will help us be less dependent on foreign oil.
Unfortunately, Nigel Farage doesn’t seem to have done his homework here because the UK is way behind the rest of the world when it comes to shale gas potential. Eventually, we’d end up with our collective tails between our legs, begging for energy from China. Again, a perfect example of NIMBYism. After all, we can’t have middle England’s views of their stripy, gnome-adorned lawns being sullied by hulking great wind turbines!
Never mind that if we carry on at this rate, we’ll enter an energy famine and those same middle Englanders will probably be BBQ’d by a roaming tribe of cannibalistic Sun readers in a British Mad Max style reality.
The thing about this section of their manifesto that makes me laugh the most is how they attempted to shoehorn this ludicrous proposal between two reasonable financial ideas. A classic example of a shit sandwich. I am not surprised about the foreign aid, however this is a double edged sword. Mainly due to the less than honourable political intentions that are usually the catalyst for giving aid in the first place. So, at least they don’t seem to have any designs on global domination. Thank heavens for small mercies.
Safeguard Against Crime
• No cuts to front line policing.
• Make sentences mean what they say.
• No votes for prisoners – that’s what losing your liberty means.
• Prevent foreign criminals entering the UK – by re-introducing border controls that the EU forced us to abandon.
• Scrap the European Arrest Warrant, which sends British citizens to foreign jails without evidence, just to answer questions – replace it with a proper extradition system. • Remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Once again, I find myself nodding along quite happily to a seemingly reasonable list of proposals. Until I reach number six and am brought sharply back to reality. Human rights be damned! Bring back hanging, and while we’re at it, let’s round up those damned feminists and see if they can breathe under water!
Care And Support For All
• Open GP surgeries in the evening, for full-time workers, where there is demand.
• Locally-elected County Health Boards to inspect hospitals – to avoid another Stafford Hospital crisis.
• Prioritise social housing for people whose parents and grandparents were born locally.
• Allow the creation of new grammar schools.
• Make welfare a safety net for the needy, not a bed for the lazy. Benefits only available to those who have lived here for over 5 years.
I whole heartedly agree with number one. We currently live in a country where one is forced to take the entire day off in the hopes of getting a doctor’s appointment.
Number two’s a bit meh. Using a recent NHS scandal is a cheap and obvious tactic, but I’m not sure if more pen pushers is really what the NHS needs right now. More medical staff, maybe? Just sayin’.
It’s number three that really gets my attention. What they appear to be offering is more free housing to members of habitually unemployed families. Quick – better get on the list now, son. The last point is reinforcing the notion that you have to be foreign to be lazy. Surely it’s the lazy who are the most likely NOT to have moved for five years.
NB; The person who wrote their copy would do well to note my use of the word five in this sentence. Back to school with you.
Free Speech and Democracy
• No to Political Correctness – it stifles free speech.
• The law of the land must apply to us all. We oppose any other system of law.
• Teach children positive messages and pride in their country. We want to unite through better integration.
No to political correctness? That is rather a broad statement. And how do they plan to police this new law? Will everything we say be monitored? A thousand lashings if we don’t use at least two of the UKIP-approved list of phrases daily? “Bernard, quick! Call that effeminate man a faggot, we’re being watched and you’re letting the side down.”
The law of the land? I may be the ignorant one here, but I genuinely don’t understand what is meant by that statement. I’ve probably seen one too many westerns, but all I can visualise is Clint Eastwood.
The most alarming thing about UKIP’s final list of outdated and ridiculous statements is “Teaching children positive messages”. I have nothing against pride in one’s country, and find it sad that you can’t be openly patriotic without being seen to be fascist, but I certainly wouldn’t want UKIP endorsed brain washing sessions in the classroom. It’s a horribly scary, dystopian concept.
UKIP is a patriotic party that believes in putting Britain first. Only UKIP will return self-government to the British people.
This country was built by people from different lands, who we shipped in and used to our own ends, while it was convenient to the Colony, and while they ‘knew their place’. England is a far richer and more exciting place to live as the colourful cultural mixing palette it is today. Imagine if you removed every foreign influence. What would we be left with? Middle England and UKIP voters might relish the idea of a white-picket-fenced, sausage and mash eating, Sun-reading, bingo-playing existence…
But I am going on record now: if I find myself in a UKIP Britain, I’ll become the immigrant. Somewhere a bit more cosmopolitan.