Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ok you have my interest

I'm still considering who I'll vote for in the next general election, though to be sure it wont be any of the Big two and a half. So I'm looking at minority parties even though they almost certainly wont win, there's a chance that if they get enough votes the Lib/Lab/Con pact might just start to take notice of what people actually want as opposed to what their pollsters and lobby groups say we want.

So, UKIP have a conference going on at the moment and as with the Tory mini conference I ran an eye over them, unlike the Tory conference though, these guys at least have some policies I can get behind as opposed to a leader I think is just a Blair lite clone.


"I don't want to be rude, but..."
It's not the UK Independence Party motto, but it could be.
"This is going to be the most boring, pointless, futile general election ever held in this country."
The quip from the former UKIP leader, MEP Nigel Farage, brought the house down here.
"These prime ministerial debates will be so boring. The three main party leaders at Westminster look the same. They sound the same. And on the issues of substance, you can't put a cigarette paper between them," he adds in typically pugnacious style, to applause.
500 activists have gathered in Milton Keynes for the party's final get-together before the general election.
now a general election is imminent again, the party's trying to broaden its message - and broaden its appeal. Why?
Put simply, whilst many people may sympathise with the party's message, many don't see Europe as a big enough issue when choosing a government.
So UKIP is desperate to convince voters they are not a one-trick political pony. Yes, leaving the European Union remains their central objective, a decision that would save Britain £120bn a year, they claim.
But they are also setting out a raft of other specific, populist policies on taxes, immigration, crime, energy and the environment.
"UKIP was the first party to be sceptical about global warming," the manifesto says. "The British welfare system has become ridiculously complicated," it adds.
The party wants to introduce a flat rate of income tax, which it claims would take 4.5 million people out of tax altogether. Another policy would see a 40% increase in the defence budget.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the recently elected party leader, might be a millionaire former Conservative peer but he's no Nigel Farage when addressing an audience.
Hesitant and faltering at times, he rarely looked up from his notes. He's understated, but still passionate.
His twenty minute address was a mixture of conviction: "The plain fact is the only way we can address the problems of the economy and immigration is by leaving the EU" and campaigning advice: "Don't let people tell you on the doorstep a hung parliament is bad. A hung parliament is infinitely preferable to the rest of them," he said to cheers.
Ok I want out of the EU, no secret there, but so do the BNP so that's not exactly a vote winner with me, but a flat rate tax is something that I approve of, it simplifies things as does an increase in the defence budget, assuming it goes to the sharp end (equipment etc) and not bureaucracy. Being a bunch of global warming climate change sceptics helps too, kicking the environmental lobby and the green levy into touch will not hurt the economy, concentrate on pollution and waste yes, useless windfarms no. I don't think anyone does not think the welfare system is overly complex, simplification is a must, it should be a safety net for the unemployed an uncomfortable place for those who will not work and a comfort and support for those who cannot due to health/disability. Though I want to read more about how they intend to do this.
 I don't agree with their devolution policies though, I don't think we can go back to having grand committees for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, though at least UKIP seem to realise that the problem has to be dealt with as opposed to being worried about.
UKIP claim to be the real Tories, I can see where they are coming from on this, they are offering what a real Tory would want.
More on their policies and its manifesto.

As for the Conservative party well yesterday they announced that they were to introduce a carbon levy. Definitely not a vote winner, it's a stealth tax and frankly I think we pay too much in tax already and don't need anymore.

So, UKIP have my interest, I'll have a look at the other minority parties soon to see what they have to offer.

4 annotations:

John R said...

You said of Lord Pearson..."Hesitant and faltering at times, he rarely looked up from his notes. He's understated, but still passionate."

I agree with your thoughts on the actual policies and, like you, I am checking out the minor parties as I am totally pissed off with the big 2 1/2. However for the leader of a prty that wants power (or a share of it) to put in a performance like the one I saw on the BBC yesterday is quite amazing.

Couldn't someone have found him an autocue so he could look up at the audience and press for goodness sake?? Despite the good content it was dull, dull, dull and makes me doubt any good could come of voting to support that party.

To make any of the changes UKIP are proposing will take energy, drive and passion....none of which was on display during that speech.

They just dropped right down my list of possibles.

Quiet_Man said...

Oh I agree it wasn't a great speech, but Cameron does great speeches as did Blair. It's content I'm looking at, if they can do what they promise, they are in the running for my vote.

John R said...

QM, the problem will be to convince anyone that they CAN do what they promise given the low-energy presentation of their policies.

I'm a great fan of substance over style but when it comes to getting flocks of sheeple to vote for you a bit of fire in the belly is needed. I cannot imagine a single waverer (never mind someone with set views) being swayed in the slightest by what I saw on the Beeb.

James Higham said...

If we don't get out of the EU soon, we are in deep trouble. It's not just that we lose sovereignty but we lose the ability to reverse the draconian policies which are already becoming law and the 1100 plus waiting to be introduced. One needs to read the fine print and the fine print is mortifying.

We must get out.