Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Thoughts on UKIP

In a recent poll, 31% of voters said they would vote for UKIP, if they knew they had a chance of winning.

The main question that comes to mind is: WHY? Why are UKIP so popular?

Firstly, UKIP capitalises on the public's distrust of Westminster politics. This means that the antiestablishment notion of "ordinary folk against the political class" (a direct quote from UKIP's first election broadcast) seems extremely appealing. UKIP's "People's Army" therefore increases with more and more of the politically disillusioned.

Ironically, Farage is far from our shared image of an "ordinary bloke." A white, middle aged straight man, educated in a private school, previously a city broker and now funded by various Eton graduate investment bankers, there does not seem to be much to distinguish him from the other parties it claims to be an alternative to. It seems his strongest link to being an "ordinary bloke" is his ability to balance a pint on his head, and have an "open, easy-going personality" (according to my friend).

In addition, most of UKIP's policies seem to be policies for the rich - their plan to scrap inheritance tax, for example, exacerbating the problem of the rich keeping the cycle of inherited money within a family, and their 35p income tax pledge may actually punish the moderately well-off at the expense of the even richer.

Although recent studies have shown that migrants actually contribute £25 billion to the UK economy, UKIP are most famous for their policies on immigration. Perhaps intentionally, they have exploited the public's fear of immigrants, how they're using our resources, taking away jobs and housing, not paying taxes and exploiting us. They demand "an end to uncontrolled unskilled migrant labour coming into Britain," taking the jobs that Britons could have occupied (yet the only kind of jobs that would be freed up by not accepting any more unskilled migrant labourers would be the kind of jobs not many are attracted to - ie. unskilled labour).

UKIP's immigration policy would also include controlling the "quality" of those who enter the UK - including their health, as well as their ability to work. He even stated that those with HIV should not be allowed into the country.

This scapegoating has increased hatred towards migrants even more than previously, which does nothing for the unified, unprejudiced, and accepting society that Britain should be. Innocent people who just want a better life are being demonised, for problems out of their control.

Many unsavoury characters have been attracted to these policies, including those such as Kevin O’Doherty, a UKIP council candidate who has said that there is "no such thing as a benign Muslim," and has been pictured with tattoos containing Nazi imagery. Another (later fired) joked that storms were caused by the government legalising gay marriage, and Farage himself has said that women who take maternity leave are "worth less" to their employers than men. Although most of these claims are the fault of individuals and not the party as a whole, it still goes to show which party racists and homophobes choose to join.

These are obviously just thoughts about UKIP, their exponential popularity and a few of their policies. You're entitled to your own opinion, but I'd advise you to think twice before you vote UKIP.


No comments:

Post a Comment