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What to do on May 22nd?

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 18 May 2014

It is entirely likely that thanks to Labour dirty tricks, that is to say the Mrs neglecting to put me on the electoral roll, I shall not be able to vote at all this week. We will troop over to the polling station near her old flat on Thursday and find out.

If I can vote what should I do? As a dyed in the wool Eurosceptic and someone who believes that the entire political class should be strung up with piano wire my natural inclination is to vote UKIP. After all the European elections do not really matter do they? My guess is that enough folks will view it this way to ensure that Mr Farage and his supporters will be celebrating triumphs in both the local and European elections as I explained HERE earlier.

I do not care if UKIP contains more than a smattering of prize loons that does not deter me.

However, I find that when Mr Farage moves away from Europe, where I agree with him 100%, to other matters I get rather agitated. He is clearly now trying to appeal to traditional Labour voters and so he supports a minimum wage (a tax on jobs) and there is talk in UKIP circles of backing the living wage.  This is not a pro-business agenda but it will also not assist the poor since it will destroy jobs.

I remember wincing when I heard him at UK Investor Show 2013 talking about gay marriage. He said that he did not care about the issue but could not understand why the Tories were so obsessed about it. That was a coded message to the sort of Tory voter who believes that “shooting one pooftah might cure the rest” or that gays cause climate change. As a libertarian I do rather care about this issue.  Ones sexuality is nobody’s business but your own and the State should not allow different folk to be treated differently on this matter. I doubt it won Call Me Dave any votes to push gay marriage through but, for once, the spineless little creep showed principle.’ As a libertarian one should care about this issue, UKIP clearly does not and is happy to see different folks treated differently because of whom they choose to sleep with.

And then there is immigration. Ever since Baa Baa black Sheep was banned as being offensive the R word has been used with gay abandon. I do not accuse UKIP of racism. I simply accuse it of being wrong and of lying to the British people. Immigrants are not coming to the UK from Europe to “take British jobs.” They are coming here to do the jobs that British shirkers (as opposed to workers) refuse to do because they would rather live on welfare.

Curbing that immigration would be profoundly bad for Britain. Immigrants, on balance, pay more in tax than they claim in benefits (as opposed to the indigenous population who are net takers). Immigrants create wealth by starting, in disproportionate numbers, new business which offer jobs and generate tax.

The UK is not overcrowded as UKIP claims. We have 1.3 million empty homes in Britain.

However we also have a welfare system and a health system which are unjustifiable and unsustainable with or without immigration. The libertarian answer to the problems of the UK is unlimited immigration combined with a massive overhaul of both health and welfare.  Yes that does mean paying a small sum for using the NHS because any service that is free (see Food banks) will by definition face unlimited demand. And yes it does mean slashing benefits.

I support these things not only because it is the libertarian way but because it would benefit Britain greatly. Some who opt to be idle would suffer but that is THEIR call. Others, most notably the low paid, would see great benefits from the tax/benefits changes that are needed.

In his heart Farage knows this. But UKIP is sending out a different message. It is populist one but it is a total lie.

My wife’s parents came to Britain as immigrants. In a Farage regime they would not have been welcomed. But both have worked hard paying taxes all their lives and have two daughters who have done the same. In a Farage Britain that family would not be there but White Dee would still be living on Benefits Street. We would all be so much the poorer for that. It is not just my wife I think of ahead of Thursday but the staff at Real Man not one of whom is British but all of whom work hard taking jobs that Brits refuse to take, paying taxes and making this a better Country. In a Farage Britain such folks would not have enough points to enter the UK or would be barred completely.

I find the rhetoric of UKIP on this matter so offensive that although some urge me to hold my nose and back them I just cannot. Chatting to an Aunt of mine by marriage just now she said she felt the same way. Her mother arrived in the UK as a child, a refugee from Russia. Would she have been welcomed in Farage’s Britain? We both agree not. My Aunt says that she too cannot hold her nose and back UKIP for the same reason. For my Aunt’s mother, for the staff at Real Man, for my in-laws and because UKIP is just lying to us all I cannot vote for the party.

And so I am floating between spoiling my ballot paper (if I have one) and the Tories. I suppose just to cancel out the vote of the Mrs who will as ever be backing “the people’s party” I will have to vote Tory. After all it is a Mickey Mouse election and so it does not really matter.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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