Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Is UKIP starting to get serious?

It's confession time. I voted UKIP at the European elections - but I have always considered them a single issue party. When it came to local or General elections I wasn't impressed by what they offered in their manifesto - and when they appeared on TV they had a dreadful habit of always banging on about the EU even when it was a totally separate issue (yes, I know the EU interfere in just about everything, but to keep harping on about it when discussing, say, health was pretty bloody annoying).

So annoying was this habit that even a hardened EU sceptic like myself was turned off from voting for them at local or General elections.

However, for the first time in a year or more I have taken a look at their website and what do I find? Only the inklings of coherent and intelligent policies!

I've just read through their policy on education (pdf) and I have to admit it's rather good. It scares me to admit it, but I actually support pretty much everything in it. I expect some people would prefer to see more depth or detail, but in my opinion it provides just the right amount to enable me to understand the essential thrust of the policy without getting too bogged down with statistics and gobbledygook.

In my opinion, that is what policy documents should do.

I haven't looked at any of their other documents yet and as far as I can see there is only one more at the moment - regarding a flat tax policy. But if the UKIP education policy is an indication of what is to come then I have to admit I am deeply encouraged. It's good, conservative stuff.

They still need to do a whole lot more to win me over completely, but as things stand they are a more viable option than Cameron's Not-The-Conservative-Party. If they can keep this up I might even consider joining them.


youdontknowme said...

I would never vote UKIP. The BNP have far better policies. If you will do a bit of research you will find that in the last general election wherever UKIP and the BNP stood against eachother the BNP won more of the vote 95% of the time

Stan said...

To be honest, youdontknowme, I'm not sure UKIP and BNP are competing for the smae votes.

BNP strike me as a party that appeals essentially to the disaffected Labour voters - the predominantly white working class who feel betrayed - quite rightly - by Labour's pandering to the ethnic vote and multi-culti industry. They tend to do well in traditionally Labour areas.

UKIP, I believe, appeal more to the disaffected Tory voters in the traditional Conservative areas who feel let down - equally rightly - by Cameron deserting them.

I believe both parties have an opportunity - if they can make the right decisions now - to make significant impact at the next election, but they both need to make sure they use their limited resources efficiently.

I believe BNP are actually pretty good at this anyway, but UKIP much less so - and I expect this explains why UKIP were trounced by BNP in constituencies where they competed directly with them. BNP don't put forward candidates unless they believe they will make significant impact, UKIP put candidates in any old place. In that respect, BNP really expose UKIP's amateurism.

I also agree that BNP have far better policies than UKIP - but that's because UKIP don't have much in the way of policies except "withdraw from the EU". The signs are that they are changing, though, and this education document is encouraging.

Personally, I would not rule out voting for either - but it is unlikely that either will put forward candidates in my area anyway. Slough is a strong Labour area where their support remains bouyant thanks to the high ethnic population.

The only thing I am certain of is that - as things stand with the main parties - I will not be voting for Labour, Tory or Lib Dem candidates (and the Greens are just stupid).

youdontknowme said...

"BNP don't put forward candidates unless they believe they will make significant impact"

That might be true with the general elections but it's not with council elections. I mean I might be standing as a candidate in my ward where I probably don't have any chance.

Stan said...

When I say "make an impact" I don't necessarily mean win the seat.

A lot of people get put off voting BNP by the excessively negative press coverage - but if they see several hundred/thousand others have done so then they may change their mind next time around.

Good luck if you do stand.