A Tour of the Minor Parties 6 – UK Independence Party

I found Nigel Farage’s performance on Question Time last week to be horrifyingly entertaining. Personally, I can’t get past the idea that UKIP were specifically formulated to appeal to Daily Mail readers.

Web Presence

I’ll give this one a big “meh”. Distinctly functional, but underwhelming. In contrast the Welsh UKIP site is nearly as horrid as the SLP’s was.

I found the single most annoying part of the site was that all their detailed policy proposals were in the form of PDFs. Bad on so many levels. Dear UKIP stop doing this now.

Another failing is the almost complete lack of any personal presence by their candidates. I could find out who the candidates are, but very little about them.

Policies

UKIP provide a handy summary from which I shall select an unrepresentative sample.

UKIP will leave the political EU and trade globally and freely.

You’ll trade “freely”? Really? I’m not sure that word means what you think it means.

We will freeze immigration for five years…

I thought so. You see this free trade thing, it involves the free movement of labour as well as goods. You can’t be for free trade and against immigration, it doesn’t make sense.

The UK would withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights

Who needs those pesky Human Rights?

We will radically reform the working of the NHS with an Insurance Fund, whilst upholding the ‘free at the point of care’ principles.

I’d have to see the details of this but it doesn’t sound immediately batty. However, I would suggest that any healthcare system that is free at the point of delivery is going to be expensive.

We will take 4.5 million people out of tax with a simple Flat Tax (with National Insurance) starting at £10,000. We will scrap Inheritance Tax, not just reform it and cut corporation taxes.

The regressive nature of a flat tax aside; how are you going to afford an NHS free at the point of delivery with all this tax-cutting?

All joking aside the thing I dislike the most about these policies is their strident, and faintly racist, advocacy of closed borders. I don’t want to live in a world were I can’t choose to go and live and work in another country. The world is almost entirely better off for immigration. To take a trivial example the NHS (which UKIP is apparently a fan of) would fall apart without the thousands of foreign doctors and nurses it employs. Should we deport all of them. I mean some of them aren’t even white.

European Policies

Like a lot of the anti-european parties UKIP does a good job of articulating it’s specific policies for the European election.

The only people who should decide who can come to live, work and settle in Britain should be the British people themselves.

Yes, I think you made this point earlier. It’s just as tiresome now.

…we should not be focussing on the insular regional trading blocs, but opening our arms to trade with the rest of the world, starting with the Commonwealth.

I wasn’t aware of any huge barriers to trade with Australia and New Zealand, other than them being on the opposite side of the planet. While Europe is right next door.

Not Mental

I choose to characterise them as eccentric, possibly dangerously so.

Summary

Never in a million years would I vote for this bunch of xenophobic, mercantilists.

As an amusing side note, Nigel Farage has recently been lionising the Euroskeptic President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus. Mr Klaus happens to be a real free marketeer of the Austrian school. You can bet he doesn’t agree with UKIP’s economic policies.

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