With the up and coming Local elections and next years General elections looming on the horizon there has been a large spike in publicity materials doing the rounds in my local area. With that in mind I wasn’t surprised to see a UKIP flyer stuffed in my letterbox when I returned home from work earlier this week. A quick look on my FaceBook wall would show that I’m not the only person to have had one either.
The flyer was swiftly placed in the bin (recycling of course!) and it has had no effect on persuading me that UKIP are anything else but a group of neoliberal fascists. The response these flyers, and the wider publicity that I have also seen, have sparked quite a bit of debate on social media among some of my friends and colleagues and I have seen a number of comments calling UKIP a “Real Alternative to *insert Lab-Lib-Con party name here*”
While I normally wouldn’t bother embroiling my self in public debate regarding politics, because lets face it, the only other thing worse to talk about is religion, I felt the UKIP hype deserved a blog post to try and myth bust some of the drivel that UKIP stands for.
Talking of Drivel… lets take a look at the UKIP manifesto, or lack of one as it were. Nigel Farage (UKIP Leader) actually disowned the 2010 UKIP manifesto calling it “Drivel” and they are currently going into the 2014 European Elections without an official public policy document!
Lets be honest though, Manifestos don’t mean diddly squat when it comes to real world politics to any of the big player. Unlike in students’ unions where the manifesto becomes gospel and you can be linched for so much as painting a wall Dulux Ocean Floor Blue when you said it would be Duck Egg Blue when you were campaigning! A prime example of this was in the last general election… Clegg and the Lib Dems… At least he said sorry!
OK, so with there being no manifesto as such, let me just touch on some of UKIP’s main policies, starting with their core policy (and only policy worth a second thought or debate!) to withdraw from the EU. This policy actually has some meat to be discussed and can, justifiably and rightly so, divide opinions. Being part of the EU has a number of pros and cons. These can be discussed until we are all blue in the face, convincing people to take a side can be very hard, but to some people this policy strikes with their own moral compass and make UKIP a “genuine alternative” to them and that’s fine.
UKIP’s other policy are less worth of discussion. For example they want to introduce a flat rate of income tax of 31%. That means those people on low and medium incomes would be hit with an astronomical tax increase while the rich would see a tax cut.
UKIP are also reported as wanting to divert money out of state schools and put it into private schools and they have pledged to increase military spending by building something like six or seven aircraft carriers. This would cost around £50bn to complete and would be a huge waste of money! This money would be better spent on UK education and fixing a very broken and poor NHS system.
Not only are the policies they stand for all sorts of backwards but the party its self is full of racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobes and when UKIP were confronted with evidence of this, Nigel admitted he couldn’t do anything to vet its candidates to keep them out. Only recently Andre Lampitt, a UKIP Member, was suspended for sending a series of racist tweets and back in 2013 Richard Lowe, the former Councillor for where I live and UKIP Candidate for Chester at the time, was forced to quite over his support for same-sex marriage.
To top things off UKIP are hypocritical. Not only did the party leader Nigel open a trust fund in a offshore tax haven, avoiding paying thousands of pounds in tax that could have been put back into the economy, he has also claimed over £2m of tax payers money in expenses and allowances. A man of the people he truly isn’t!
If you want a “genuine alternative” to the Lib-Lab-Con parties, there are so many better parties to back instead of UKIP!
– The green Party: committed to holding a referendum on membership of the EU, explicitly oppose neoliberalism.
– Monster Raving Loony party: Just for a bloody good laugh, still a better vote than UKIP.
– The Socialist Party: Alternative to the Lib-Lab-Con parties, Anti neoliberalism activists.
As usual, feel free to comment and try to keep it open for debate and respect other peoples opinions.