So, dear floating voter, you’re thinking of putting your cross next to the name of the UKIP candidate. After all, that Nigel Farage is only saying what you’ve been thinking for years, isn’t he? If only the Government had more chaps like him, eh? Even better, what if the Government was run by chaps like him? Well, before you deploy that cross, perhaps you should check out what that might mean.
Take that controversial energy policy, for starters: climate change is held not to be happening, we’re told there is no point in doing anything about it, and the flawed studies of Gordon Hughes, who missed the cost of the gas out of his wind versus gas power comparison, are rolled out. And UKIP think there are blackouts on the way because old power stations are being closed.
The inconvenient fact – that new power stations, and not just wind farms, are coming on stream all the time – gets lost in the hail of misinformation. You can read the UKIP trip into the world of power generation make believe HERE [.pdf]. Note that it skates oh-so-lightly over the issues of nuclear power station cost and the small matters of waste and decommissioning.
Then there is immigration, the supposed bedrock on which all other UKIP policies are built. This would be drastically curtailed, although exactly how this would be accomplished is not convincingly told. Sadly for this idea, a recent study has suggested that taking this action would cost the economy around £18 billion over a five year period. And that wouldn’t be the only UKIP extra cost.
A programme of not only building nuclear power stations, but also more prisons and more warships, would depend on £120 billion being saved annually elsewhere. Nige and his pals assert that this would come from not being in the hated EU. But the cost of membership is a mere fraction of that, and there would still – as with Norway – be a cost attached to being outside.
Additionally, we would have to replicate EU wide bodies if we were to insist on our own standards for agriculture, fisheries, competition issues, food, and more – unless, of course, we were to do away with such trivia, which would mean not being able to trade with the rest of the EU, and more than likely the rest of the civilised world too. We would enjoy our splendid isolation while the world passed us by.
But there would be lots of shale gas exploration, tax cuts for the well-off (UKIP favour a flat tax), new aircraft carriers, education vouchers, new flood defences, and compulsory tax discs for cycles. And we’d have the freedom to catch as much fish as we wanted without anyone in Brussels being able to do anything about it. Apart from split their sides laughing when the stuff ran out.
People should look carefully what UKIP is really offering. Because it won’t work.