In the UK’s upcoming 2015 general election, many people seem tempted to vote for Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party (an anti-Europe, anti-immigration party), seeing it as a fresh change from the tired old politics of the main parties. Here are some rather quick, but no less damning thoughts as to why that’s a terrible idea.
1. Although it’s right to be concerned about the supply of jobs and accommodation, immigration is still very beneficial to our economy. This is just a fact. There are more Britons living abroad than there are foreigners living here, and in healthcare, more is spent on treating Britons abroad that is spent in the UK treating foreigners. Moreover, immigrants, especially but not only those from the EU, continue to contribute significantly more in taxes than they take out as a share of public spending. If anyone is dragging our public funds down, it’s super rich tax avoiders, not immigrants (You can look this up for yourselves, but I may find the references for these again when I have time.)
2. Most economists and business leaders agree that leaving the EU would also be very bad for our economy. See: http://www.britishinfluence.org/
3. The decisions the EU makes would continue to have big affects on us even if we left it, so leaving would deprive us of the ability to contribute to and affect those decisions.
4. As we all know from the literally constant stream of scandals, UKIP are outrageously homophobic, racist, and sexist. But more than this, their policies would be very harmful to women, particularly in the areas of workers’ rights. Maternity leave and pay would be especially badly hit, discouraging women from working and hence from paying tax also.
5. UKIP are a split off group from the Conservative Party. So if you don’t like the Tories it would make no sense to vote UKIP, as they are even more dangerously right wing. They don’t just want to scrap our free-at-the-point-of-use NHS, but the welfare state more generally- all in the name of making Farage’s fellow rich banker friends even richer at the expense of those in need. True, this is not in their manifesto, but they’ve made their thoughts clear enough.
6. They are nationalists like the BNP or other hateful nationalist groups in history. Their policies are based on the selfish view that British (or just English) people are more important than people who happen to live in other countries, as evinced by Farage’s views voiced in the first leader’s debate on 2 April, of deporting foreign AIDS patients and scrapping international aid!
7. The record of their MEP’s in the EU Parliament is deplorable. They take their wages and generous benefits but don’t do anything. It seems that on the rare occasion they turn up they don’t actually vote on anything (unless it hurts elephants). I can understand that they want to boycott the EU, but if so they should have some integrity not take this money they complain we ‘waste on the EU’ into their own pockets.
8. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Party have consistently revealed themselves to be firm climate change deniers, rejecting all of the scientific evidence on this most important of issues.
9. UKIP are not an alternative. As should be clear from point 5, they would exacerbate rather than reverse the incumbent Coalition’s damaging policies of economic austerity. A true alternative to the corrupt Westminster system of the Tories and Lib-Dems, would be the Green Party, Left Unity, or the Socialist Party– why even the Labour Party would be better! See this excellent article.
10. If after all this you still like UKIP, then you should vote FUKP instead, they’re just like UKIP but they make more sense: