Sunday, 27 April 2014

Why are some people intending to vote UKIP

Why are some people intending to vote UKIP on 22nd May?
Firstly, there's always been a shifting "protest vote" in modern British politics, between ten and twenty per cent of the electorate who have no clear principles, allegiances or outlook, beyond a sense of grievance that things aren't going their way.

But to those considering voting for Nigel Farage's "people's army": do you know what you're voting for?
The seriously wacky stuff - repainting trains, making seatbelts voluntary, and all the other stuff Nigel Farage disowns when it's brought to his wayward attention - is bad enough. But UKIP's main programme is even more alarming.

Opposition to immigration has always carried more than a whiff of racism. Around UKIP the whiff becomes a stench. In most cases immigrants are enterprising enough to leave their own countries in search of a better life here, and prepared to work harder when they arrive. So the self-styled "true Brits" - selfish little Englanders -- want the nanny state to keep these hardworking incomers off their patch.

Then we come to Europe. How many UKIP supporters know anything about it beyond what they've seen from a Spanish beach or all-inclusive hotel? Have they any idea what the founding principles of the European Union - above all to prevent another ruinous war, a goal which, remarkably, has been successfully achieved - actually were? European politics can be a bit silly, but by and large it's about improving the lives of all of us Europeans. It's not just jobs either; so much of the legislation that actually makes life bearable - from the goods we buy to the air we breathe - comes from Europe.

Finally, what has UKIP to say about the biggest issue of our century, human-influenced climate change? Simple really: it isn't happening; let's bury our heads in the sand, and it might just go away.
In general historical terms, the denial of climate change is an outrage, because, if unchecked, it will ruin the lives and prospects of the whole of humanity. If, like so many of us, you are disillusioned with British politics, I think there's a way to make your "protest" count for something positive on May 22nd: by voting Green, not UKIP.

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