UKIP – are they BNP lite?

Tomorrow the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage will face questions from members of the Mumsnet parenting website. Already the debate is hotting up as recently joined Mumsnetters, who may or may not be UKIP members face tough questions and a bit of ridicule.

It is difficult not to ridicule when comments such as 

Don’t get me wrong about feminism. I’m all for women exercising their right to be mothers and homemakers.

Our leaders are well respected on the international stage… I’m really talking about the only international stage that matters: the United States of America.

American Mormons that I speak to absolutely love Nigel for his verbal attack on van Rumpuy et al. They say that they would much rather have someone like Nigel as their president than the Kenyan born CFR member president that they have at the moment. 

in a reference to the conspiracy theory that Obama is not actually American born, which was refuted by a the poster iCod: 

oh this is all a big myth.

i like the idea that mrs obama senior had the prescience of mind to FORGE a birth certificate just in case her newborn wanted to become president

Ok, these quotes were all from one rather strange poster, so perhaps we should look at the others.

What I find really “monster raving and looney” is how many of the posters on here think it’s perfectly sensible to be a member of an institution so undemocratic (the EU) that it refuses to give the people referendums on whether they want to be in or out, ignores them when they do say NO (Eire),is presided over by unelected faceless bureaucrats on the gravy train who are paid more than than elected politicians, milks us for millions every year etc etc

The EU. The objection to the EU forms a large part of the UKIP policies. Particularly the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) is criticized as a waste of money. Now, I am not a fan of the CAP but then neither is the current government, who plan to reduce the CAP subsidies.

The UKIP want Britain not just to cut CAP subsidies, they want UK out of the EU altogether. This cost saving measure will lead to up to a third of EU born immigrants being sent home. This is tied up with their immigration policy, in which they aim to:

 End uncontrolled mass immigration
· Introduce an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement
· Regain control of Britain’s borders to stop foreign criminals from entering our country
· End abuse of the UK asylum system and expel Islamic extremists
· Introduce a strict new points-based visa system and time-limited work permits
· Triple the number of UK Borders Agency staff engaged in controlling immigration (to 30,00

Now, I do have a problem with this, and a large one. The insistence that immigration is out of control, that immigrants are coming to UK to live off benefits and abuse the NHS is simple scare-mongering. 

Which explains the shaming statistics that 59% of Brits think that there are “too many immigrants” in UK. Almost 25% of Brits do not think that immigrants should have access to state schools, even if they are here legally. 80% would bar illegal immigrants to free health care. These views are not shared with the rest of Europe, where they are far more welcoming towards immigrants. 

Britain prides itself on being open and tolerant but these figures show a different, a shaming side to our country.

Political parties such as UKIP and BNP, along with right wing tabloids, encourage British voters to fear immigrants. 

We are told that immigrants want our jobs, our benefits, our schools, our health service. 

These stories are a mixture of skewed statistics, misinterpretations and sheer bald faced lies. 

But they are believed. More fool us.

When I was 19 years old I moved to Germany. I had intended to stay for one year but met a wonderful guy and stayed longer. I lived and worked in Germany, I paid my taxes, I contributed to the society. I married that wonderful guy and we had two children. We are now in Switzerland where we are able to work because we are EU citizens. Getting a work visa for an American citizen is much harder, many of my friends are unable to work in Switzerland. 

Switzerland has a very high immigrant population, 20%, rising to over 30% in the Canton of Geneva. The unemployment rate is currently about 3.5%. So much for too many immigrants meaning higher unemployment.

If we allow immigration and let the immigrants work, then they are contributing as much to the country as the next person. Blocking immigration will mean that the country is short of skilled workers. 

More than a third of immigrants living in UK come from the EU. So why do we have the image of immigrants being burka-wearing, benefit-cheating, bomb-making terrorists in making. Oh, that would be the Daily Express, of course. 

The UKIP want us to believe that they are pro-British, not anti-foreigners. They want us to believe that they are different to the BNP. I don’t think so. They share many of the same political ideals, but wrap it up in a blanket of patriotism and Best of Britishness.

Interestingly, the Conservative/Liberal Dem government is said to be cracking down on immigration and benefit fraud. Which makes me wonder if there is any important part of the UKIP manifesto that is still attractive to voters.