“What’s so bad about UKIP?”
by Andy Davis
I was recently at a party where one of my less politically-engaged friends innocently asked “just what’s so bad about UKIP?” to an almost stunned silence in the room.
Having worked a six-hour shift earlier in the day, and having consumed a few too many beers, I was in no state to answer my friend on the night. However, if I had been in the right state of mind and body, here’s what I would have said:
Firstly, UKIP have gained an unprecedented amount of media attention, particularly from the BBC, over recent months, for a party which has no representatives at any national level. The UK media wouldn’t dare consider handing BNP leader Nick Griffin a pint on a live edition of the harrowing ‘This Week’; they wouldn’t even give Green leader Natalie Bennett a glass of water on ‘Points of View’ (and they’ve got something UKIP haven’t – an MP), and yet, on the night of the local elections, there’s Farage mingling and drinking alongside Alan Johnson, Michael Portillo, and the nightmarish Andrew Neil.
Secondly, UKIP are far more right-wing and dangerous than most people, the media at large, or they themselves would have you believe. Not only is their answer to pretty much every problem facing British society that of “if we left the EU, and halted immigration, everything would be fine,” but their other policies are, frankly, ridiculous.
Hey, remember how popular the poll tax was? Well, UKIP want to re-institute that; a flat rate tax of 31% for every single person in the country, regardless of income. In effect, a massive tax cut for the wealthiest, and a large tax rise for those on the lowest incomes. Not to mention the fact that we don’t want to give Tommy Sheridan another excuse to rear his ugly head.
UKIP are opposed to the promotion of the rights of LGBT, women, and ethnic minority groups. They oppose same-sex marriage on the grounds that “As a democratic libertarian Party, (UKIP) believe that The State should play only a minimal role in the lives of the people of the United Kingdom.” So, state intervention in establishing marriage as between a man and a woman is fine, but intervene further to allow homosexuals to marry? A disgrace! A step too far! You’d laugh at someone if they used this to justify their blatant homophobia in any other situation.
In regards to women, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom has previously expressed his opinion that companies should not employ women of “child-bearing age”, because of the apparent cost of maternity leave. Nigel Farage, in an interview with Mumsnet in 2011, unreservedly agreed with this. Although I am unable to find any clear UKIP policy on women’s health, I can make an educated guess that Prime Minister Farage would limit the accessibility of abortions, contraception, and sex education.
During the 2010 General Election, UKIP actively called for the banning of Islamic religious dress in public places, whilst defending the rights of Christians to adorn religious jewellery. It is also official UKIP policy that the “promotion of multiculturalism” be halted – whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Finally, UKIP want to establish “boot camps” for young offenders (*cough* concentration camps! *cough*), to double the number of prison places, and scrap the Human Rights Act (which only abolishes the death penalty, guarantees you the right to freedom of expression, thought, religion, association, marriage, education, property, life, to not be tortured, habeas corpus, to free and fair elections, etc – so nothing important then).
If that all sounds good to you, then go ahead and vote for the BNP in suits – sorry, I mean UKIP. I always make that mistake.
For Christ’s sake, UKIP describes itself as “non-racist” on it’s website and official material. You wouldn’t introduce yourself as “non-racist” in everyday life, would you? “Hi, I’m Andy, and I’m not a racist.” I think the lady doth protest too much.
Farage may come across to some as a likeable ‘every-man’ who’s “just saying what we’re all thinking” (personally, I think that he’s a sexually-repressed, awkward, and bile-inducing ‘little Englander’), but he and his cronies would happily turn Britain into a totalitarian state which hates, well, anyone who isn’t a white, middle-aged, Christian male.
Think Mad Men crossed with North Korea. That’s what’s so bad about UKIP.