As a long-term opponent to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), it is an interesting opportunity to finally be given the chance to sit down and attempt to refute their cause once and for all. As UKIP now sees itself as an actual party, no longer just affiliated with exit from the EU, a comprehensive argument must be made.
Firstly, the immigration debate. The idea that unparalleled access to the UK, coupled with high quality public services will lead to an unsustainable influx of migrants to the UK. For this economic argument, it is well known that too much immigration causes deflation. Indeed, if too many immigrants are coming over to the UK, with my more leftist logic, it should be the responsibility of the government to increase spending to grow the economy to counter any deflation. This would allow greater economic benefits for greater people. UKIP supporters are always keen to point out that the unchecked immigration will cause strain on public services. However, the reason I fail to associate with this policy is that it is government austerity cutting schools, not the fault of immigrants.
As for the social integration of immigrants, I am not voting UKIP because I really see no duty for immigrants to integrate. Surely the reason they are not integrating is they may not be confident enough to do if they perhaps struggle with English. They should not be accused of flaunting civic duties for such a minor discrepancy. Furthermore, we are a Liberal Democracy are we not? As such, the idea of forcing people to talk to a certain group of people and not another seems illiberal at least, verging on the dictatorial.
Finally, the fact that UKIP have removed the idea of an ‘immigration target’ does suppose that they have realised that this debate is more akin to flogging a dead horse, with a lot of the underlying arguments essentially stemming from blind bigotry.
We should not let blind nationalism set our economy back 50 years
Moving on from my problems with UKIP’s immigration policy, their economic policy in general also fails to impress. It is indeed their rhetoric that really bugs me here; Farage is bitter about foregoing the UK seat on the World Trade Organisation in favour of an EU seat. He often likes to praise the UK for its economy, whilst referring to the other 27 member states as mere hindrances to British prosperity. This is just bizarre. Yes, the UK is very impressive in its services, but it does not have the agricultural expertise of France, or the mechanical and industrial capability of Germany. We should not let blind nationalism set our economy back 50 years; pushing us back into isolation.
On this point, it is UKIP policy to assume that we can somehow negotiate a ‘more favourable’ agreement within the EU (something I see as unnecessary) whilst retaining all the benefits from a free trade area. I see no advantage to this. Such an endeavour would seemingly be for nothing; Switzerland has that ‘great’ deal and must oblige to nearly all EU law, whilst having no say in which laws are made.
As for their other, non-EU related economic policies, they wish to eradicate inheritance tax. This sounds like the party of the ‘people’ doesn’t it? How can they keep up this ‘party of all’ rhetoric whilst essentially saying that they are completely happy with increasing the wealth gap; it is madness!
Their ecological outlook is dire. In their official policy, they state how they want to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change alongside the scrapping of Green subsidies. To me, this encapsulates their credibility; officially, 95% of scientists are very much in agreement that human beings have definitely contributed in some way or another to the degradation of the environment. How can they side with the minority so decisively? If it were 80/20 maybe there would be a case to criticise the majority, but 95/5!? It baffles me.
UKIP’s foreign policy is equally perplexing. Their insistence on reducing foreign aid by £9bn per annum whilst committing to ‘fully resourcing military assets and personnel’ gives an insight into their deft hand at diplomacy. Essentially, we would be a country happy to go over and kill people, whilst refusing to help those who are ravaged by both war and neo-liberal capitalism.
Comprised of members who are stuck in their old ways
As for the social policies of UKIP, they are rather illiberal. Their immigration policy stretches to cause fear and concern to international students, who will be forced to pay international student fees unless they take science or maths, whereby they agree to bind themselves to UK for 5 years after their degree. Why should international students be forced to stay in a place which essentially doesn’t welcome them? As well as this, UKIP’s attitude towards LGBT+ members is poor to say the least. The party LGBT+ chairman left them due to feeling unwelcome and the party refuses to even have any official policy concerning LGBT+ members! For such a drastically under-represented group, this is disgusting. Women equally lack any policy helping them, with their gender only being mentioned in relation to the military. This describes a party which is comprised of members who are stuck in their old ways and refuse to help rectify institutions which cause cultural inequality.
Seemingly intolerant right-wingers
I also refuse to vote UKIP on its track record of political organisation. The fact that they are essentially a cult of personality is worrying. Recently there has been news about a UKIP MEP who quit because Nigel Farage ran UKIP as a ‘Stalinist-Dictator’. What would the country be like if Farage came to power? It would be a cabinet of ‘yes’ men (it almost definitely will be all men, unfortunately) eager to approve whatever the ‘great leader’ said due to his ‘friendly’ character and his comical pint-in-hand.
To conclude then, I am not voting UKIP because, at its essence, it is a group of seemingly intolerant ring-wingers who refuse to perceive problems of inequality in the world, whilst blaming anyone who is different for problems they did not cause. I do not want to be part of a country which instils fear and subjection into those who come from abroad, whilst preaching false accounts of democracy as they attempt to justify an increase in the wealth gap.
By all means disagree with the UK. By all means disagree with my lefty-liberal spiel. But do not vote for UKIP if you do not wish to see the UK fall into ruin.