Saturday, April 03, 2010

Sing a simple UKIP song

I'm cheating a bit by rushing onto UK Independence Party before the election is announced on Tuesday. I will come back to the Scots and Welsh Nationalists and some of the smaller parties, but wanted to give fair due to a party that claimed they came second at the last European Elections.

The temptation to take the mickey out of UKIP is strong and I was planning to christen them with the theme tune to the Wizard of Oz.

If only we could get out of Europe....then everything would be wonderful. All the nasty witches of the economy and hundreds of thousands of immigrants  would magically be sorted out and Britain would be home again.

UKIP plan to 'end multiculturalism', ban the wearing of the burka in public and take Britain out of the EU, but sign free trade agreements to protect 'European jobs' (50% of the UK's trade is with the EU). Expand the the military by 40%, establish an English Parliament, get European lorries off the road, release businesses from 120000 EU laws, make St. George's Day a holiday... you get the picture. Here's their summary manifesto.

This is the sense that comes out strongly from their speeches and TV appearances. However, delve a bit deeper and there is another more interesting theme that emerges. Simplicity. Or as they would put it 'straight talking'. UKIP aim to cut through all the complex governance of 21st century life and make things clear again.

UKIP and their leader Lord Pearson (have you heard of him?) would remove all existing taxes and replace them with a flat 31% tax for everyone and a local VAT tax for Councils. This idea is appealing - hard to avoid, everyone knows what they're getting and where it's going. The simple theme is continued through a smaller number of benefits, 'life meaning life' and abolition of regional government.

Transparency is an important part of accountability and engagement. It's very difficult to challenge something  if it's wrapped up in bureaucracy, jargon and exceptions. Sometimes in our effort to be fair we make something so complex that it obscures justice. That's where UKIP have a valuable contribution to make in UK politics. However, simplicity from a defensive heart can cause oppression. Locking up 'career criminals' for good, a virulent attack on the public sector and ending 'abuse' in the asylum system come from a fear of change and ignorance of 'people not like us'.

The UKIP sing a simple song which is initially appealing and touches some of the real frustrations of bureaucratic modern life in the UK and problems with the EU. The racist ' I don't understand you foreigners' undertones are disturbing.
When UKIP gets down to detail it feels like they fade away, stick their fingers in your ears and wish things were like they were when they were children. After me, sing 'La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la laaaa.'
Watch the video. For you Carpenters fans, their version is here as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment