Twitter is awash with outrage about Mike Read's 'just for fun' UKIP calypso sung in a faux Jamaican accent. Personally, I am now looking for his covers of Al Jolson's Mammy & Peter Sellers' Goodness Gracious Me... But as I have said before, we should not be distracted by these silly antics. Mr Farage and his acolytes are no fools: they know that by consistently creating such ridiculous promos, the public will fail to notice what a) they are really doing and b) the gaping chasm of policies for any serious political party.
Did you know for example that yesterday, UKIP managed to patch together a new European Parliamentary grouping so as to save its funding? You can read the story here: Ukip does deal with far-right, racist Holocaust-denier to save EU funding Funny how that story broke on the same day that Mike Read's single was released...
And if you Google 'UKIP Policies' you get this: What We Stand For, which is about as informative as soggy food label which may contain nuts...
So, I thought I would ask ten questions of UKIP, so that we can shine a little more light on their programme for government should any of them get elected or even hold the balance of power next May...
1) Do you think that free market economics should apply to health & social care, including the application of TTIP (which is likely to mean many US companies bidding to run our NHS)?
2) You say that you will allow for the creation of new grammar schools: how will such decisions be made and who will fund the consequent costs?
3) One of your 'issues' is "No to Political Correctness - it stifles free speech". Do you have a glossary of which words, phrases or practises that would be banned? Also, does free speech include politically correct phrasing?
4) You state that you will "prioritise social housing for people whose parents and grandparents were born locally". How will this impact upon the responsibilities of local government to house at risk homeless people? And is it 'parents and grandparents', or ''parents and/or grandparents' or ''parents or grandparents'? Will there be extra points for great-grandparents too?
5) You say that you will legislate for "binding local and national referenda, at the public’s request, on major issues". What will be the threshold for the 'public's request' and 'major' issues. Who get's to decide on what is 'major', for example?
6) You say that "Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for 5 years" and this means such items as "private health insurance (except emergency medical care), private education and private housing". What about other state funded benefits such as motorway maintenance, policing and the fire service? Would immigrants have to fund their own private versions of these also?
7) If the UK leaves the EU, what will happen to the millions of Brits currently working and living in mainland Europe?
8) You say that there will be "No tax on the minimum wage". Does this include people who have other incomes that take them above the personal tax allowance but decided to earn some more money on top, but at a minimum wage?
9) You say that you will "Scrap HS2, all green taxes and wind turbine subsidies" while developing "shale gas to reduce energy bills and free us from dependence on foreign oil and gas". Please can you confirm that shale gas/oil will not be subsidised in any way?
10) You say that you wish to "remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights": which Human Rights currently covered by the European Convention do you not agree with?
I look forward to the answers...
PS UKIP promised a document outlining more detailed policies... when is this going to be published?
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