−⓪∕⑤Finally to UKIP, the last party I looked at. I wasn’t sure how to view them really and I wasn’t sure I wanted to look at them as they stand for pretty much the opposite of what I believe, but I headed over to their site and I’ll be honest, I felt uncomfortable entering it. Not just because of the racism that people believe is at the core of this political party, and its’ xenophobia, but because it is a party of men and women who, by their nature, have no empathy for others. However, I was determined to approach reading their manifesto objectively rather than emotionally so, with a mug of tea and a note book that only I can read (a bonus of being so dyslexic, no one else can read my notes or copy me) hear we go….
My first impression was the the site seemed, normal. not impressive, lots of purple but a little bland. I was surprised that there were no Union Jacks, no sign of our colours anywhere, a surprise for a party so patriotic I assumed, reinforcing my thoughts that the Union Jack is now a nationalistic symbol – a flag of the far right just like the English flag was deemed before it. So, as with the other websites, they ask you to register or get involved, lots of ‘join us’ and ‘join the peoples movement’ and the like. I did notice the first question the site throws at you is ‘will you voting UKIP yes or undecided?’ which was a little strange, where was the no? But on I explored, ploughing through the tweed with amusement as I read out aloud the claims they made to be a party of the people, for the people and the same jargon all political parties throw out at some point. As I searched more and more I came to realise that this was a very simple website, it looks like a basic web build from a provider such as WordPress or some other large website builder, nothing very special about it. So I headed over to the main event, the manifesto, like the conservatives, you could read it on site, which was nice not like Labour where I had to download it. It was very purple, as expected and first item, shock, immigration (shock, horror, what a surprise I know) health and living standards. So with these three in my head I set into reading the first load of pages, which were just them beating their own drum, we are so different, we are unique, we are special- at one point I thought I had dropped in to some hipster dive bar, it was that bad, then a nice random throw to the Magna Carta pulled me back in, it had been hard going.
So this is what I gleaned: drop out the EU (another shock) and from the money we save for not being in the EU we use in the NHS, scrap HS2 as it’s a waste of money (which is a fair comment) foreigners can’t use the NHS unless they have medical insurance just like that beacon of the civilised world America (sarcasm I know it’s hard in written form) no income tax for lower and middle earners, 6000 new police/border agents, no tuition fees (which did surprise me) get rid of inheritance tax, bedroom tax – the last three sounding like good ideas. I was a little confused about the that I did find some things that I could agree with such as raising the tax threshold from £10,000 to £13,000 before paying taxes and the 40% threshold to go up to earners over £55000. How are they going to do this was my thought as I read on. It seems they believe that they would save 9 billion a year by being out of the EU! No reference to the income from EU. Then I went onto look at the darker side of UKIP policies started to emerge; lower foreign aid from 0.7 to 0.2, in line with America, who are appalling in the way they don’t pull their weight, unlike the rest of us in the top five countries and now UKIP wanted us to go from the biggest aid giver to the poor level of America, and this is where UKIP started to fall apart. It was clear to me, as I read on that UKIP would promise us the sun if they thought it would work. The first few pages were pledges for things that seemed good and they lure people in, in the hope they would only read that far and think, oh they are ok. But plough on and they promise to scrap the department for energy and climate change, scrap international development and close down culture sports and media, cut all state sponsored charities such as the young entrepreneur start up programme, they support fracking and seek to supplement north sea oil with re opening coal mines and stations and getting rid of green energy programme, seeking to float these as private companies using government money, in the hope they hope to get the money in the investment market (WHAT… gambling with our money!) Then it completely imploded as they promised to abolish SATS ‘to free children from stressful exams’ but they plan to create a highly selective school system with grammar, technical and vocational colleges – so who decided who goes to which? It just says they will test them each year and move them out if placed incorrectly!!! They say they will abolish AS levels, already done guys. They state that 45% of student loans don’t get repaid so UKIP should propose to give free education to some subjects and offset that by making others much more expensive. Social engineering – free for medics and business, expensive for all other areas; creative courses, history, geography, teaching courses – all must pay heavily. Now I was losing the will to live, what a load of bunkum – a few more of their ridiculous ideas:
- Building programme of 500 houses a year (recipe for housing crisis)
- Inheritable mortgage (so you get saddled with your parents debt)
- No mansion tax (because ukip is full of business men and women who gain.
- Go back on global targets on emission – they state that the united states and china aren’t trying so ‘why should we’ (what a childish response)
- Support fracking (I know I have said this before but come on how stupid do you need to be)
- 12 mile exclusion zone backed up with 200 miles patrolled zone around the UK for shipping and fishing( this makes no sense we don’t have the ships and political and military might to do this so this is just random)
- Repeal l human rights legislation (Yes, you heard right, get rid of our human rights, just in case you were thinking of voting)
Now this is an actual quote from their manifesto ”zero tolerance to cultural practices that are illegal or which conflict with British practise” the first bit sounds alright but the second bit – WOW really what the hell are British values. I have no idea, does that mean I’m going to get locked up because I don’t agree with their right wing views, or I don’t go to the pub every Friday. UKIP rejects “multi culturism” they reject the very idea of sharing a society with people who are not like them.
UKIP claim to be a party of the masses but if this is what the masses wants then our education system and general moral standard has fallen a huge way down. Britain still has standing and we have always sought to help those less fortunate; foreign and domestic. We know China, Russia, and the United States are self indulged countries but we don’t have to become the same. We have over 1000 years of continuous history and we are the fore-runners in so much of the modern world. We have done terrible things and brilliant things but we have led the way on fair treatment, fair play – we can’t move to become isolationist and over-zealous nationalistic country. Farage is the son of a city banker, an investment player who is playing at being an ‘ordinary bloke’ – a man who objects to the EU yet fleeces £2million from a body he doesn’t agree with – that speaks volumes about his character. He is a man whose favourite world leader is Putin, and he would have gone to the far right rally in Russia recently, if it wasn’t for our election getting in his way. A minus score for this lot from me!
So that’s it – four episodes to cover five parties and five manifestos. I do hope everyone does go out and vote but that we do so thoughtfully, not just to follow how our parents vote but I urge you to really think about who you think will make a better future – a future you want to be part of. I hope you enjoyed reading this wander through the manifestos and if you found it interesting or relevant then do share it with people. Enjoy the rest of your week