Sunday 3 March 2013

That UKIP manifesto in full

Ask anyone to name UKIP’s policies and they would probably struggle to produce more than this:
  1. Britain should leave the European Union
  2. Er...
  3. ...That’s it.
But UKIP does have other policies, and the Independent on Sunday has published a special report (‘What voters should know about Ukip’), which provides some long overdue scrutiny. One overriding theme emerges:
If Ukip had a name that truly reflected its priorities, it might be called the UK Immigrationphobe Party. Ostensibly the anti-EU party, an obsession with immigration and exit from Europe as a means to close Britain’s doors is its prevailing motive. The word immigration runs through its policy statements like red lettering in seaside rock, and its proposed five-year ban on entries to the UK is the message it rams home on every doorstep.
But there is more to UKIP than xenophobia. Its policies are a saloon-bar bore’s wet dream; a catalogue of the sort of prejudices you would expect from a bunch of cantankerous old gits:
[UKIP] is deeply sceptical of global warming, wants to abolish inheritance tax, employers’ National Insurance contributions, aims to partially reverse the recent hunting and smoking bans, and would increase defence spending by some 40 per cent. It is, in thought if not yet in personnel, the extreme right-wing of the Conservative Party in exile; a party run in the main by self-made businessmen with an agenda to match. And it has a record of defections, internecine squabbles and acrimony, plus scandals that have led two of its former MEPs to jail.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant, so the most effective way to deal with UKIP is to expose it to scrutiny. There is a risk that publicising UKIP’s wackier and uncosted proposals may inadvertently rally more cantankerous old gits to its cause. That is a risk we can cope with.

So if you hear any Liberal Democrat ‘strategists’ argue that, to deal with the rise of UKIP, we must trim to the right, have them taken outside and shot.

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