UKIP: not a bunch of racists

Comment

This article is a response to Jake Hurfurt’s piece entitled ‘The ghost of Oswald Mosley still lurks’ in Issue 2. Send replies to any of our articles by emailing [email protected]

There seems to be an awful lot of misinformation about UKIP. And believe me, if the discourses were true, I would certainly not be a member. We’ve had a few problematic characters: Godfrey Bloom and David Silvester being those that Oxford students will probably be the most familiar with. But our goals are far too important for us to be deterred by such people.

‘UKIP dislikes immigrants, right?’ Wrong. The vast majority of immigrants come to Britain to contribute, socially and economically. But our immigration system is flawed. We have a huge oversupply in the labour market, particularly in relation to unskilled and low skilled workers. It cannot be right that our government increasingly adds to this problem by having an open-door policy. The result is that wages are driven down, people are exploited and unemployment remains relatively unchanged. UKIP want a points-based system that does not discriminate against people from Africa, Asia and South America as the government’s current policy does.

‘But UKIP hates Europe?’ Not at all. European nations are among some of our closest allies, but we want out of the European Union on the grounds that it is entirely undemocratic. Unelected people write the laws, referendums are scoffed at and ignored and the EU has failed its financial audit every year for the past 20. The EU also stifles trade. Arguments about losing three million jobs can only be sustained if one believes that the EU will stop trading with us, despite the fact that we will instantly become its biggest export market and that they already have free trade deals with countries such as Mexico. ‘Don’t some things require international cooperation?’ Yes, and this can still be achieved, but it does not require forced political and economic union.

‘But UKIP members are a bunch of fruit cakes, loonies and closet racists’? Well done for swallowing an establishment lie. Such people exist in all parties, though UKIP members are much more widely reported. We are the only party to ban anyone who has ever been a member of any extremist group from membership – which is more than can be said for the Labour Party who have fielded a number of ex-BNP candidates and even have an ex-Nazi councillor in Milton Keynes!  We’re the only major party to have a Friends of Poland group after the collapse due to lack of interest in similar groups from the Labour and Conservative parties. We stood more black and ethnic minority candidates in the 2013 local elections than the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats, and as many as the Labour Party – though still, may I add, not enough. And we were found to be the most favourably viewed party in Britain by a poll conducted for The Independent.

Further to this, I fail to see why people are so closed-minded towards a party that: led on preventing disastrous intervention in Syria and is now calling for the government to accept Syrian refugees, that wants no tax on minimum wage, that doesn’t believe we should be burdening students with enormous debts. And sure, our 2010 manifesto was drivel, but when it’s written by an ex-Conservative (who has now defected back), what can we expect? UKIP are a libertarian, common sense party. Some polls have us at double the figure  the Liberal Democrats are polling nationally, and over the coming years the party will continue going from strength to strength.

So the next time you clench your fists and stamp your feet at the mention of UKIP, think about whether you’re reacting to the party itself, or misinformation spread by the old parties in a bid to quell the political earthquake coming in May.

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