Why I can’t Vote for UKIP

While I sort of agree with them about Europe, in common with most of the electorate, I just don’t think it’s that big a deal, and we’re probably going to get what we want – a 2 speed Europe – anyway. I simply don’t know to what practical problem “pull out of the EU” is a solution. There is a democratic deficit at the heart of the EU of course, and I would like a bit more parliamentary sovereignty  But UKIP seem to imagine EU membership is without benefits and leaving is without cost. Most of what makes the UK a shitty place to live is home-grown. Our politicians have (alas) not been as effective at protecting our basic liberties as the European courts.

Points 1 & 2 in “what we stand for” deal almost entirely with Europe as if it’s a mill-stone round our necks, preventing democracy and prosperity. If they get their way, and I hope one day they do, there are going to be a lot of disappointed UKIPpers who are going to have to find another boogeyman to blame for their inadequacies.

They claim to want to cut the deficit but make spending commitments in areas of defence, law and order, and offer tax-cuts all round, paid for, it seems by a local sales-tax to replace VAT (this is a EU-mandated tax, you see…) and the benefits of leaving the EU. This is, obviously laughable.

I cannot live with their immigration policy which is pure demagoguery allied to ‘lump of labour‘ fallacy idiocy.

Their law and order policy looks like an expensive and unjust march towards a police state and mass incarceration along red-state US lines. I cannot support this.

They plan to re-introduce Grammar schools. This has long been on the Tory activist wish-list. I am not sure separating the sheep from the goats at 11 is just, or that it will appeal to the majority who know, in their heart of hearts that little Johnny will be a goat. The only reason the Tory ‘free schools’ policy isn’t supported is that it can’t be sold to golf-club bores as a return to a better yesterday.

“Our way of life” is a bit more than smoking in pubs and fox-hunting. And for a ‘libertarian’ party, there seem to be a fair few dog-whistles about ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘immigration’. Yes, yes, yes. I know it is possible to debate the meaning of the word, and abhor the “seperate but equal” apartheid for which it stands. But that’s not how the white working class electorate see it: in the North UKIP are competing with the BNP for ex-Labour voters. The party may not be racist, but they are certainly gunning for racists’ votes.

UKIP have a thin veneer of libertarianism, masking an unpleasant demagoguery. In common with most small parties, they can afford to have uncosted and simple policies, as they will never be called upon to implement them. At heart they’re mere Poujadistes, anti-intellectual protest-votes for people hankering for an imagined past. People who feel the Tory party, competing in the centre-ground for votes, has abandoned them, or never represented them, in all their resentful, chippy glory. I’m just disappointed so many clearly intelligent correspondents seem taken in. Farage aside – he at least has wit and energy – the party is rather unpleasant.

My prediction: the Party’s current polling is an ephemera which will last until the next round of Euro Elections. Nadine Dorries will defect to UKIP, and sit as their MP until the next election. You’re welcome to her. They may even come first in the popular-vote at the Euro elections but this seems unlikely  and this is a measure of the public’s contempt for the institution. They will then come fourth, behind the Liberal Democrats in the general election, and win no seats.

28 replies
  1. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    I don't vote FOR anyone. I vote for whoever's most likely to defeat the Labour candidate, unless I like the MP. I voted for Kate Hoey in Vauxhall (anti-euro, pro fox-hunting Labour MP? very useful) In practice, the Tories chime with most of my views.

    I am genuinely enthusiastic about what Gove and IDS are trying to do and I (alone, it seems) rate Cameron.

  2. Simon Cooke
    Simon Cooke says:

    Agree with most of this – and especially with the comment about Gove & IDS. These are the battles that matter and will make a real difference.

    Will never forgive Cameron for promoting nannying policies like minimum pricing and for his prurience.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    "they can afford to have uncosted and simple policies, as they will never be called upon to implement them"

    Isn't that what was said about the Liberal Democrats?

  4. Simon Jester
    Simon Jester says:

    "UKIP seem to imagine EU membership is without benefits and leaving is without cost"

    I'm not a member of UKIP, but they are the party I'm most likely to vote for at the next election (at least, at the moment).

    EU membership does have benefits, but the costs greatly outweigh them.

    "I cannot live with their immigration policy which is pure demagoguery allied to 'lump of labour' fallacy idiocy."

    There seems to be an element of that in the first sentence under point 3 of their "What We Stand For" page, but the rest of it mostly advocates some restriction on immigration (although I don't believe a "freeze" on permanent immigration is necessarily desirable).

    While most libertarians would favour unrestricted migration between countries in an ideal world, many recognise that it is incompatible with a welfare state. Until we scrap the welfare state, some restrictions on immigration are necessary (unless we wish to destroy the welfare state through migration; this may have unforeseen consequences).

    "Their law and order policy looks like an expensive and unjust march towards a police state and mass incarceration along red-state US lines."

    I don't think I read their policy the same way as you. Only the declared aim to "Double prison places to enforce zero tolerance on crime" seems even close to your latter point; even there, it seems more likely to reduce overcrowding, and ensure that specified sentences are actually met (instead of being reduced to stop the prisons bursting at the seams).

    I don't see any indication that they want to "march towards a police state", at all.

    On schools: Gove's policy is a good one, but I view reintroducing Grammar schools as a better one. (Yes, in Libertopia there would be no such thing as state schools, but Libertopia is not on offer.)

    On the next general election: my own best guess (nothing more) is that the Lib Dem vote will collapse (though they will still retain some MPs), while there will be a significant increase in the UKIP vote (possibly insufficient to give them a single MP). We may therefore have a situation where the Lib Dems have more MPs, but a smaller share of the overall vote; I wonder which party the BBC would treat as the third party, then?

    (As if we don't already know!)

    Which brings me on to my final point: as long as the Lib Dems are the third party, "moderates" will gravitate to them, as being the perceived centre-most party.

    However, if the main parties become Labour – Conservative – UKIP, which way will "moderates" incline?

  5. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    I genuinely can't stand the anti-politics, waaa! they're all the same mentality which allows Labour, who's supporters have religious faith in their party, to win when they should be out of power for a generation after fucking up so badly.

    UKIP may cost around 5-10 seats at the next election and cost a Tory majority. Lib-Dems would LOVE to do a deal with Labour.

    Many UKIP say they welcome this, so that Labour can "finish the job" and "break the country, "so we can rebuild".

    It's nonsense.

  6. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    I get bored of the endless streams of ignorant invective under my cycling posts.

    What a surprise. The Anonymong who think cycling is, like, the worst threat to our way of life, like evahhh is a UKIPPER. That's another reason I can't vote for the bunch of Mouth-breathing, gin & jag, petty bougeouis golf-club bores.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Jackart you talk almost as if those votes that UKIP might win belong to the Tories as of right, simply because they are the main opposition party to Labour. This is something that all supporters of the big parties have a tendency to do, it's why Labour hate the Lib Dems so much, nothing to do with principle, they think those votes are really theirs. This is exactly what's wrong with the system we have, the approach always seems to be that we must vote for whoever we hate least rather than approve of most because otherwise we are splitting the vote and revealing our political immaturity. I'm not even sure that Labour really are any worse than the Tories or rather that the Tories are much better, is there any real evidence that their approach to the overwhelming economic crisis is actually going to work ? I can't see much.
    As for voting for UKIP, I did at the last council elections, not that I'm really a supporter but because I wanted to vote positively for someone, rather than just spoil the ballot paper but maybe wanting badly to take part in a democratic process doesn't matter to you because I didn't vote for the right people ? Having recently been condescended to by a Labour activist and told I was "silly" for mildly suggesting that maybe UKIP weren't a racist party, I'm in no mood to be told much the same thing by a Tory. My attitude to this kind of stuff is to say, "bollocks if I'm being lectured by all the big party partisans and told not to vote for UKIP I'm bloody well going to do it out of spite". Not a good way for you to get support for your party.


  8. Toby G
    Toby G says:

    More and more people are starting to put EUkip under the microscope, in fact, the press won't need to look far to find the skeletons in the closet, yet alone pick apart their paper napkin policies.

  9. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    Thornavis " you talk almost as if those votes that UKIP might win belong to the Tories as of right"

    But I say "in the North UKIP are competing with the BNP for ex-Labour voters" in paragraph 7.

    Toby G. Yes. This is why small parties don't often succeed. Those who can make it in politics do largely within the larger parties.

    Yes this creates a self-selecting elite, but until it stops working (and Brits are amongst the richest, most secure people to have ever lived) they won't risk voting for loonies. Except where it doesn't matter: in Euro elections.

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    "I get bored of the endless streams of ignorant invective under my cycling posts."

    Funny, because I cycle 14 miles a day in all weather and traffic, yet still you couldn't bring yourself to debate a simple point with me because you'd already dug yourself in a hole by arguing the wrong points and name calling.

    So please, go ride under a bus and do us a favour.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    "UKIP may cost around 5-10 seats at the next election and cost a Tory majority."

    That's what I was referring to. You also defeat your own argument by pointing out that in Rotherham UKIP were the most likely to defeat Labour and therefore, according to your 'anyone but Labour' voting policy, a good thing. It's a point of view but not I think a very coherent one.


  12. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    Anon. If I have been rude to a fellow cyclist, I apologise. It's difficult to tell one annonymong from another.

    I get so much of the 'daily-mail comment thread' bile about not paying tax/being licensed/not obeying the rules (as if cars do)/being both in the way AND on the pavement/ that it's difficult to tell.

    And it's sometimes fun to wind them up. I too cycle in all weathers, and all traffic situations and I do know what I am talking about.

    I just can't see why judiciously running a red light, when it's safe and I'm inconveniencing no-one (often the opposite) is a problem.

    It's as if the motorists want us to suffer the same inconveniences (congestion) we ride a bike to work to avoid.

    Many cyclists disagree. Fair enough. But I'm not waiting behind a truck, just to avoid upsetting someone who hates me anyway.

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    You're assuming that only the Tories will suffer from voters switching to UKIP but as you yourself point out they take votes from Labour too . Maybe not as many and not so crucially as from the Tories but how can anyone be sure ? If a Tory / Lab marginal goes red will that be because of UKIP or because voters have switched straight to Labour ? This is unknown territory and in any case you seem to have come back to the 'those votes belong to us' position. The trouble with your analysis is that you are talking about two different things, you've given reasons why you don't support UKIP, which is fair enough, apart from Europe I'm inclined to agree with most of them. You go on from that though to decry UKIP for taking away the voters who are probably most disenchanted with the Tories anyway – their previous natural supporters, the problem here isn't UKIP it's that the Tories are rapidly loosing the support of everyone, that's what will do for them in 2015 unless something changes radically pretty soon.


  14. Curmudgeon
    Curmudgeon says:

    "UKIP will cost 4-5 seats, not the 20-30 were all those UKIP votes to come to the Tories as hyperventillated by some on the Tory right."

    It's reckoned that UKIP probably cost the Tories 4-5 seats in 2010 – obviously not the 20 or so where the UKIP vote was more than the Tory majority. However, if UKIP can substantially increase their vote share in 2015 it could well cost the Tories more seats – 10, 15, perhaps even more.

    Unless there is a major change in Tory policies, or some sort of catastrophic breakup of the EU, those Tory votes are not coming back.

  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I'll have what your having – only obey the laws that suit me.

    You rant like a petty criminal with all your effing and you obviously ride like a petty criminal, maybe you are a petty criminal!

  16. Simon Jester
    Simon Jester says:

    I do wish people would restrict the cycling comments to the cycling threads; Jackart is perfectly capable of rational discourse on almost any subject except cycling, so such comments instantly poison any unrelated thread.

  17. Simon Jester
    Simon Jester says:


    It's not so much the rhetoric as such, as it is the automatic assumption that anyone who disagrees with you in virtually any respect with regards to cycling is automatically The Enemy, J. Bonnington Jagsworth, a fascist-swine who was welded into their car at birth, etc. etc.

    Judicious red light jumping isn't so much of a problem, but it's the "judicious" part that's the problem; also, there's the point that some people will argue that cyclists ought to obey the law, as long as it is against the law to jump a red light. (It might be a good idea for cyclists to lobby for an appropriate change to the law, so that it would become lawful for cyclists where safe to do so.)

  18. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    Simon, of course it would be nice if people obeyed the law. And most motorists are fine. However there is a minority of dick-heads who ignore the rules about passing close to cyclists. These are the same people who tailgate in freezing fog. They need to lose their licence.

    Motorists are so upset by red-light-jumping not because it's unsafe, but because they feel (not think, feel) everyone on the road should have to endure the same inconvenience.

    Without the ability to judiciously jump red lights, cycling is no longer quicker than J. Bonnington Jagsworth (which I am going to plagiarise).

  19. Simon Jester
    Simon Jester says:

    The point about the law was not that I thought people should always obey the law, but that some people think the law should always be obeyed, while others will use the letter of the law to try to ensure that cyclists have to endure the same inconveniences as motorists.

    Which is why I suggested lobbying to have the law amended; there are at least some cycle-friendly MPs.

    J. Bonington Jagworth was one of Peter Simple's characters:

    (Apparently I misspelled his name in my previous post.)


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