Wednesday, April 28, 2010

UK elections: So how about UKIP?

I have seriously flirted with voting for UKIP, until tonight.

Why UKIP? Well it helps that Googling UKIP comes up with "Libertarian, non-racist party". Beyond that there are many policies consistent with wanting less government:

- Flat tax of income tax of 31% and income tax free threshold of £11,500;
- Abandon the European Union, but retain free trade and investment with the EU;
- Reject carbon taxes or carbon trading as it rejects interventionist policies on climate change;
- Allow people to opt out of the NHS with a tax credit scheme;
- Introduce school vouchers and allow free schools to be established;
- Abolish regional assemblies.

OK, not too bad. However, then it gets a bit more tricky. It isn't just the typical war on crime stuff or the rather odd massive increase in defence spending, it means policies that frankly are contrary to freedom:

- Amend takeover code to prevent "foreign interests" gaining control of "strategic British companies". In other words, outright socialist nationalism;
- A socialist style public works programme of nuclear power stations and high speed rail lines;
- A 5 year freeze on ANY immigration for permanent settlement, effectively shutting out the world's best and brightest regardless;
- Zero tolerance on crime, "three strikes and your out" without removing victimless crimes;
- Expand NHS coverage and keep it free;
- Ban BAA (a private company) from expanding Heathrow runway and terminal capacity;
- Build more social housing, ban greenbelt development and introduce democratic planning controls;
- Ban the burkha and veiled niqab in"certain private buildings" (quite why you need to on private property is a bit odd)
- Oppose GM food production and retain farming subsidies.

Of those, it is the amendment of the takeover code, the ban on immigration, irrational ban on GM food production and the belief in more state spending that make UKIP unpalatable.

On top of that, I asked my local UKIP candidate how he would cut the budget deficit. He said, among other things, that withdrawal from Afghanistan would help. Apparently Afghanistan reverting to the Taliban and the Taliban spreading to Pakistan shouldn't be a concern! In addition, the other answers were partly trite (cutting the ID Card while laudable wont save money already spent!).

The ONLY reason to vote UKIP is a protest vote to rattle the Conservatives, which is safe since UKIP really only has a chance in one seat (not mine). UKIP says to them to not take their core voters for granted, and that for many the European Union remains an issue. However, do I really want to be associated with a party that is so vehemently anti-immigration? Do I want to be associated with being hardline on crime, including drug and censorship "crimes"? Do I want to give moral support for public works programmes and banning some foreign investment? Finally, more specifically, do I want to support a candidate who opposes UK involvement in Afghanistan (and doesn't know the UK has already withdrawn from Iraq)?

My conclusion is, no. The candidate himself is not worthy of my moral endorsement.

So I am left with the Conservative candidate, of whom I know little. He's next in the questioning...


Richard McGrath said...

Pity the UK Libertarian Pary isn't standing in your electorate, Scott.

I have wondered about the UKIP. They do have great policies but spoil it somewhat with inconsistency.

Jeremy Harris said...

Sounds to me Liberty that your only option if you want to vote is to sign up as an independent candidate...