Lord, I hope not.
This week, I spent my Sunday arguing with a stranger on the internet about the political parties in Britain (which was every bit as agonising as it sounds). Until then, I really thought that UKIP were essentially the rather unhinged character that no one wanted to associate with.
Honestly, I still haven’t gotten over the fact that UKIP (that’s the United Kingdom Independence Party) managed to snag their first parliamentary seat earlier this month, and that they’re set to feature in the next round of televised debates (where, hopefully, people will get to see the ill advised stances shatter).
I understand that people are looking at Westminster politics with some level of scepticism (some of it probably deservingly), but UKIP are not the outsider heroes that they seem to be doing an awfully good job of convincing people they are. Immigration as an issue is not just as simple as “keep them out” or cut all immigration across the board, but that tends to be what many people see as the UKIP solution, I suppose it is actually close to what UKIP would propose. Many articles have highlighted the fact that immigration is not the main problem that Britain faces and so, extraordinarily, slashing all kinds of immigration will not be any real solution to problems in areas that have more felt the problems than the boons of a more globalised world. Painting immigration and immigrants as the source of the country’s ills is a trend that I deeply fear. The often touted Farage phrase ‘unity’ actually appears more to mean ‘division’ coupled with hostility towards perceived outsiders.
The sentiments UKIP are attempting to feeding off are more peculiar still when its considered that the tax cuts that they propose would help nobody but the country’s richest people, yet they are trying to appeal to the ‘normal person’ in Britain. UKIP’s proposals would even harm British people (http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/02/18/ukip-are-proposing-flat-taxes-which-are-a-weapon-to-limit-the-size-of-the-state/) and essentially take money from services such as disability benefits to fund their policies which are essential for a huge number of people. In addition, UKIP supports introducing more grammar school to the country in the name of social mobility. It seems mystifying that Farage has been able to defend this plan without realising the irony of claiming to want to help young British people get on even footing by brining back a system of education which far disproportionately favours the wealthy.
UKIP’s record towards gay people is unsurprisingly absolutely dismal. From blaming the bad weather earlier in the year on gay marriage to branding gay adoption abhorrent and claiming the NHS should fund “gay-cure” therapy, the prospect of this party making significant electoral progress would be like some terrifying return to the fifteenth century. Recently, Farage announced his desire to totally keep HIV-positive migrants out of the country which seems astonishingly immoral and ghastly an attitude for a plethora of reasons. Farage essentially calls anyone with the virus criminals with no moral decency despite clearly having literally zero knowledge of HIV-AIDS, its causes, or implications. The level of homophobia that UKIP wishes to embed in British politics is truly disturbing. I dread to think what will become of asylum seekers to Britain persecuted for their sexuality in their own country in the (hopefully) unlikely event of UKIP getting a significant parliamentary voice.
It is only a matter of time before some disgraced UKIP would-be MP is involved i some sort of sex scandal though, so at least that’s something to look forward to.
I also feel compelled to highlight that UKIP also proposes cutting UK foreign aid by the colossal figure of 85%. This seems to underline the attitude of the divisive, isolationist, xenophobic, homophobic, self-interested party. I really implore people (even those Jeremy Clarkson loving, daily mail reading, top gear watching, “how ya diddling? -Not three bad, I hope” types) to think about voting UKIP and what the real impact of even one more UKIP MP would be, if nothing else, hearing about UKIP in the news constantly is just becoming a little tedious.