First let me start by stating my ‘allegiance’. I for the most am a conservative in mind. I used to be Labour/Liberal Democrat in past, but like all people, over time my thoughts and ideas changed like they change with most people. And as most, we want to support the team that looks out for us, and is closest to our ideals. We often keep it in that order of importance.
The issues are not with the parties, they, for the most did nothing wrong to make me change my mind. They had priorities as any good party would have, and as they change I felt less with one and more with the other party.
So why, from Australia is this part on UKIP coming? Well, I grew up in Europe and I spend most of my life there. Perhaps at times I still miss being in London, but that would apply to anyone who has been to London. Only the dead do not miss London and even that might be debatable. So as I saw the news this morning on how UKIP made some staggering victories from the conservatives I started to ponder it all. So this is where I am at present.
What do most know about UKIP? We saw some people lash out against them as they lash out against most opponents they are worried about. Then there was (too) little from UKIP and of course the votes and those who flocked towards them in droves.
When you look online, there are heaps of reviews. The Australian wrote ‘Send in the UKIP Clowns’, ‘the anti-immigration UK independence party’ and a few other less than flattering headers.
So taking a look at their site at http://www.UKIP.org had several papers that could be read, downloaded and or printed. It seems that they have information that is ready for all. One of the quotes that was on page 2 of their manifesto was “On January 1st 2014, The UK will open its door to unlimited numbers of people from Romania and Bulgaria”.
In the current economic and financial climate that makes entire Europe suffer, this message would scare plenty of people in the UK. There is even a quote from Ed Miliband MP, leader of the labour party in there. Yes, there is a simple message. So, why am I interested?
From my view many Commonwealth nations are connected. Even if Australia has a strong mining community (a force our own PM seems to be happy to break into suffering little parts), we are connected with the UK. If your mother was in danger, would you NOT come to her rescue? I think that we will always come to the aid of England, even when they lack Cricket skills ;-).
The message from UKIP remains simple, yet life is not that simple, but it ought to be. This is why Mr Cameron is now in a situation where he has to pick up the pieces. I will go one step further, even if the press was not willing (or able) to make it. If the current standing is not rectified fast, the conservatives might find themselves in less than a minority position, they will end in a position that will take multiple government terms to rectify.
So let us take a look at these issues that gave strength to the UKIP.
Open immigration from Romania and Bulgaria. Open immigration is always an issue for any nation that is in a much better place than the nations where immigrants come from. Yet, these two are not in any good state, so if those people have a chance of a much better life they will come. Yet, in support, the Netherlands has been dealing with massive scaled rental allowance fraud from Bulgarian gangs. The Dutch information program ‘Brandpunt’ (= flashpoint) even showed how organised bus trips from Bulgaria exist, just to start this method of fraud. One website even mentioned “Bulgaarse televise zendt cursussen ‘Hoe misbruik te maken van het Nederlandse systeem'” (=Bulgarian television transmits courses on ‘how to abuse the Dutch system’).
In the current climate this is what the UK might have to look forward to in one way or another. So, when we see UKIP announcing that they want to get out of the EU in the current climate, many people listen.
Is UKIP correct? This is where my shoes become a little tight for comfort. Life and politics are not that simple. No matter how much we would like it to be, the UK is currently in a 1 trillion deficit issue. It needs an increased economy and it needs export to keep it all real, yet the prospect of losing a 0.3% economical increase (achieved by the conservatives) is not likely to survive after the open border policy starts next January. There is another reality that does not bode well for Mr Cameron either. Many Nations in Europe have no real grip on their budgets at present. Germany seems to be the only one on par for now. Even the UK has a problem, but that is an UK issue. As they remain in the EU, they also inherit the issues of Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus. Each of these 4 are now loudly protesting in a state of anti-Austerity and as such, should their governments be overturned, then the chance of them cleaning up their own mess is not likely to happen any day soon. UKIP wants to be away from the EU when that happens. The reality is that the brunt of those blows would push the Netherlands, Belgium and France on their financial knees as well. Then what?
So even though Mr Cameron is right that life is complex, the appeal that Nigel Farage wants to do an Alexander the Great and cut the Gordian knot is not that far-fetched and is starting to appeal to a much wider audience. There is even additional support as the Netherlands did not get their budget in order and now gets a one year extension. In addition, their own labour party is entering a state of possible disarray as its members oppose a plan earlier approved in a coalition deal with the VVD (Dutch Liberal party). In this situation to get certain deals, the Dutch Labour party had to accept the standing that the Dutch Liberals want a harsher expulsion policy for illegal and criminal immigrants. To make this coalition work Labour had to go along with this to get some of their own agenda points to work. Now the party members want to move away from the Liberal stance on immigration (as the Labour mindset was never on par with that) and MP Samson was unwilling to do this. He had a standing agreement and he wants to keep his word. He also warned that pushing this would come at a cost for labour. Labour would have to hand over something else and even in the short run this would be likely an expensive change for the Labour agenda. So even though this is currently being talked about, it is clear that a crises point could come. In addition, there is no indication that the Dutch economy is changing for the better. There was mention of 0.6% of shrinking of the Dutch economy. In case you were wondering why this issue matters, it does! (Read on to learn why)
You see, if the Dutch economy gets any worse it will soon go towards a situation France and Italy are in (with a lot less deficit). Consider these nations nearly all with an overall average unemployment rate of 12.1%. These people will seek solutions and are very willing to cross borders for a better option. So, the fear that UKIP propagates is a real one.
In addition, the Gordian knot will have several benefits in these regards, but what is the downfall? There is the reality that the response from the Eurozone might lean towards a preference choice in business partners and removing the UK from the top of that list as/if they move out of the EU. It comes with the ‘we take care of our own and ours first’ taking the UK out of that equation. That is a reality to face too.
Does one outweigh the other? I feel certain that UKIP made no real investigation into that part at present. The question becomes what is done after they get the votes, and when they grow large(r), will they be able to provide not just ‘answers’ but also come up with solutions? The latter might be an issue as Nigel Farage stated on Sky News on May 3rd that a reshuffle was needed as they grew more than anticipated. That statement is fair enough when we see that thus far they gained 139 seats. It is a massive victory indeed.
Yet if there is another side then it can be found in their manifesto on page 4.
- Protecting the greenbelt – opposing wind farms and HS2.
If the UK is to move forward then a proper energy policy is needed. They could consider more nuclear power, yet in the end, alternative fuel will be the future. Considering that the UK gets more wind daily then an average flying jet turbine, wind farms need to remain an option. In addition, if the UK will opt out of the EU, things will get more expensive in the short run, perhaps in the long run too. A strong energy policy would be paramount to keep the cost for the average citizen down and moving away from wind farms as an option seems less like a good idea.
Next on the list are 4 of the points mentioned.
- Tax should be as low as possible.
- Cracking down on crime and anti-social behaviour.
- More police on the streets.
- Cutting council executives and managers, not front-line services.
These issues are nice to hear, just like the quote we see in a fortune cookie. The tax statement is nice, but will it change? As ‘low as possible’ is just like ‘as soon as possible’, if the second one could mean ‘never’ then the first one could remain ‘too high’. There is actually more to this. Cracking down on crime is something the police have always done. Could more be done? Sure! There is however the issue that a budget needs to be kept and the UK has its own Austerity measures to consider as the 1 trillion deficits is not going away any day soon. This is where the third statement comes. Sure more police on the street sounds nice, but there is an infrastructure. Adding to the police force is nice, but with what money? The police forces have been bled dry and cut to ‘too little’ and not only in the UK. So if they tamper with the infrastructure to keep the promise of more police in the street the result is likely to be counter-productive down the line, then what will UKIP do?
So you see, they talk to the public, and tell them what to hear, but will it solve anything? This part is the debatable one. Yet, down the line, we must admit to govern one must be in office, and they did get into the office and now they must prove it.
I will not join the queue where they are labelled as fruit cakes and such. Mr Cameron is right that they will become a party to be reckoned with. The interesting part is how this will play out. The old duo Clegg-Miliband is now a lot less likely to survive, that part Mr Nigel Farage did achieve. What will Labour do next is the question. They are still the biggest for now. If they are to survive then they must align. It is unlikely they will find themselves with the Tories, yet it is either that, or their new option UKIP.
And here is where we see exactly the issue that Dutch Labour and Liberals are having (PVDA/VVD). What items are given and what are taken and what happens when the MP’s strike deals their constituents will not agree with? A British political sciences student in the late 90’s once told me “Coalition cabinets are the most entertaining, volatile and corrupt forms of governments”. I thought that his point of view made a lot of sense. The UK is about to join those ranks as they need to form coalitions at both sides of the isles. Will it be about the people or the MP’s and their futures? Time will tell but there is clarity in no uncertain terms. Those who did not give clear explanations of the why (as it was too complex) are now in a state where they must redraw lines and re-educate the masses as they figure out what to do next to get their seats back.
So the title ‘You’re Kidding I presume?’ Is very correct, yet who is stating that line, and whom are they stating it to is left in the open as both sides could claim that title and both side should be able to answer it.