Today, the country will vote in the European Parliament election; by the 25th, the people of 27 other countries will have voted too. Half the UK also have to vote in local elections.
Let’s rewind four years. In the run-up to the 2010 general election, polls showed that the economy was the main voting issue. Yet between then and now, 19% of the country no longer consider the economy to be the important issue they once did. Bizarrely, social issues are the ones which dominate, and UKIP have been able to capitalise on two of them: the EU and immigration. In the opinion of this SLATUKIP member, this all reflects the utter insanity of the current UK political landscape.
(For the sake of argument, let’s be generous to UKIP and assume: i) that by leaving the EU now, we will prevent 2 million people from migrating to the UK (even though we know it’s much less than that); and ii) the upper bound of the House of Commons Library’s estimate on the proportion of UK law that conforms to EU regulation – 14.1%.)
Stop and think about all this for a second. This is INSANE. Forget all the bigotry of UKIP for a moment, abhorrent though it is. Here is a party whose main focus is to prevent people from entering the UK who would form, at most, 3-4% of the UK population, and to change who controls, at most, 14% of our laws. They have nothing to say about how they would govern the remaining 96% of the population. They have nothing to say about HOW those 14% of laws should be implemented, how to reform those laws to make our country more successful and fairer, just WHO should control them. They have nothing to say about the remaining 86% of laws either. They have nothing to say about the economy. They have nothing to say about making our infrastructure and public services better, except a promise to reduce the fractional burden on them that may be caused by immigrants. And people intend to vote for them on blind faith and vague emotion: a mixture of patriotism, nostalgia and disillusionment.
How are UKIP the answer to our problems?