Thursday, April 13, 2006

What are these elections for again?

Following on from the earlier question about whether the local elections are a chance to decide who runs local services or a referendum on the Prime Minister, we now return to the subject. The United Kingdom Independence Party launched its campaign for the local elections.

UKIP was formed as a single issue party devoted to pulling the United Kingdom out of the European Union. Exactly what this has to do with town halls is beyond me and the UKIP website doesn't give many answers.

(On first looking at it, I noticed that UKIP doesn't have a URL! Now inaccurate party web addresses are nothing new - the Scottish National Party were for a long time plagued by the joke of, whilst Not So Very New Labour similarly has a address despite not being a UK wide organisation. However this may be because of an unofficial UKIP website nicking the URL.)

At a glance the UKIP website doesn't really explain why they are contesting local government elections when the EU issue is an irrelevancy. There's a tiny mention at the bottom of their manifesto:

The UK Independence Party has 10 elected members of the European Parliament campaigning to take Britain out of the European Union – we do not think it right that most of UK law comes from Brussels and unelected EU bureaucrats. Likewise, we insist that local government in Britain must be returned from unelected Whitehall bureaucrats to local democrats. In 2006 we aim to raise the number of local UKIPcouncilorss, who will join the campaign for bringing representative democracy back to the British people.
So the party is no longer a single issue campaign! The manifesto contains hilarious pledges such as their position on local taxation:

Local Taxes

What's the problem? Council Tax has almost doubled in many areas over the past few years, hitting pensioners in particular. A vast amount of money is wasted on bureaucracy and politically correct jobs without the public ever being consulted.

What's the solution?

  • Reorganise national and local taxes to slash council tax by 50%

  • Return financial responsibility to councils by letting them keep local business rates

  • Cut the money wasted on politically - correct initiatives and appointments.
So all the problems of local government finance can be swept aside by transferring over the business rates and axing some jobs and initiatives. I wonder why no councils have achieved this?!

Is this the real face of UKIP?Given the recent row, it's interesting to note that a search for "fruitcake" on the UKIP website yields no results. Nor are there any hits on Nigel Farage's own website. Nor does the site contain any reference to Nigel Farage's alleged remarks, "We will never win the nigger vote. The nig-nogs will never vote for us".

And and for further hilarity, the UKIP list of branches can't decide if Croydon is in London or the South East, despite the Croydon branch's own website being clear that it is in London! One wonders if Nigel Farage and Gerard Batten know much at all about their constituencies.

This party isn't even the biggest joke in politics - that accolade goes to the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

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