Friday 2 June 2017

6 Questions every ex-Ukipper needs to think about before they vote

UKIP are in complete meltdown and it seems highly likely that their ex-voters will get to decide which kind of Brexit the United Kingdom goes for.

At the 2015 General Election UKIP picked up some 3.8 million votes, which accounted for almost 13% of all votes cast. In 2017 they'll be lucky to break 4% the way things are going, which means that some 2.5 million+ ex-UKIP voters will have a huge influence on the kind of Brexit Britain ends up getting.

If you're an ex-UKIP voter fleeing the chaos under Paul Nuttall's oafish and inept leadership, then you're almost certainly wondering which other party to support in the 2017 General Election.

This article is designed to help you make up your mind by considering the case against Theresa May and the Conservatives.

Me and Ukip

Before I start with the six questions, I'd like to make it clear what my relationship with UKIP is. As far as I'm concerned there are three main types of Ukipper. 

Tory opportunists
There are the opportunistic ex-Tories who have riddled the party and turned it more into a vehicle for ultra-right Thatcherite economics (even though most of the voters and membership are significantly  more economically centrist than Tory voters) than a genuine protest movement. I despise people like Roger Helmer, Janice Atkinson, Douglas Carswell, William Legge, Bill Etheridge, and the current leader Paul Nuttall. They all stood as Tory candidates in elections before infesting UKIP and turning it into a Tory Trojan Horse Party.

The extreme-right

As you know an awful lot of distasteful extreme-right fanatics have hitched their colours to the UKIP bandwagon. The BNP vote has disintegrated to almost nothing since their high point in 2009 (over a million votes) and the Britain First hate chamber regularly promotes UKIP. I have no time for the extreme-right, white supremacists neo-fascists and the like. You would understand how much I despise these people if you'd seen just a fraction of the abuse, hate mail, threats, insults and death threats these people have sent me over the years.

Aside from the Tory opportunists who colonised UKIP and the extreme-right bandwagon-jumpers, there's another Ukipper demographic, and judging by my reading of the statistics it's actually by far the biggest. It's a demographic of quite reasonable, economically centrist, non-bigoted people who just saw UKIP as a means to an end, the end of course being Brexit.

This article is for you.

The six questions

Question 1: Are you a patriot?

Do you believe that British infrastructure and services should be run by Britain, for the benefit of British people ... or do you believe that it's best off as it is, carved up and sold off to all manner of corporations and foreign governments?

Do you believe that the Chinese government should own significant stakes in our railways, water companies, power stations and National Grid? (as they already do)

Do you think it's right that 74% of our rail franchises are operated as cash cows for foreign governments, but the UK state is barred from bidding to run its own rail network for the benefit of the British people? (as is the case now)

Theresa May likes running Britain in this ridiculous manner, and she's absolutely determined to keep it this way. 

As far as Theresa May and her neoliberal Tory bully-boys are concerned, it doesn't matter if the governments of China, and France, and Qatar, and Singapore get a slice of UK public infrastructure, as long as their corporate mates get nice flat slices too.

As long as their corporate mates get the chance to milk obscene profits out of the British people, who cares if communist China and the Islamist tyrants in Qatar get to cream some off too? - That's genuinely the Tory attitude!

Jeremy Corbyn wants to repatriate British infrastructure and services, including the rail franchises, the Royal Mail, the national Grid and the water companies (check the labour manifesto for yourself)

jeremy Corbyn also wants to set up a network of not-for-profit energy companies in order to challenge companies like EdF (the French government) and Eon (German state owned) to increase competition and get a better deal for UK energy customers. Theresa May and the Tories hate this idea and want to stop it at all costs.

If you're an economic patriot you wouldn't dream of voting for Theresa May and her treasonous neoliberal agenda, you'd vote for Jeremy Corbyn and renationalisation.

Question 2. Do you want sensible immigration policies?

In 2010 Theresa May promised to reduce migration to below 100,000 (she increased it to the all time record high of 336,000). 

In 2015 Theresa May promised to reduce migration to below 100,000 (she totally failed again). 

In 2017 Theresa May is promising to reduce migration to below 100,000, but who on earth would believe her empty anti-immigration rhetoric 3rd time around?

Instead of just plucking an arbitrary number out of the air like Theresa May, don't you think a better approach might be to look at immigrants as people rather than as numbers?

Some of them are people coming to live with their British families (highly likely to integrate into British society and contribute to the economy and to society). Some of them are foreign students who bring huge amounts of cash into the economy (£25 billion per year) then go back again. Some of them are workers who fill skills shortages (if a job needs doing it's obviously better that an immigrant does it than nobody, otherwise the economy suffers).

However some of them are deliberately brought into the UK to undercut British workers.

Don't you think an immigration policy that differentiates between socially and economically beneficial migration and harmful immigration practices like undercutting, gangmastering, and exclusive overseas recruitment makes more sense than treating a wealthy foreign PhD student, the foreign spouse of a British national or an NHS doctor as exactly the same as someone who has been brought in by gangmasters in order to undercut UK wages?

Well, Labour has listened to reason and they're not plucking numbers out of the air like Theresa May.

They've set out a policy of clamping down on harmful migration and companies that undercut the minimum wage, and they're also proposing to introduce a migration fund so that areas that have had high levels of migration over the last decade will get extra funds to stop infrastructure and public services from getting over-stretched. Don't believe the Tory lies that Labour want uncontrolled migration, read the Labour manifesto on immigration for yourself.

Question 3: Do you believe in public safety?

Since 2010 the Tories have overseen the longest and deepest cuts in police numbers in history. They've reduced the number of police per 100,000 people back to 1970s levels.

They've also slashed the UK border force (meaning more than a million people per month pass through our airports without proper security checks), shrunk the army to its smallest size since the Napoleonic era (and brazenly lied to the public about their army-slashing agenda too), sacked 10,000 fire service personnel, and closed dozens of A&E units.

The Tories clearly and undeniably considered their (economically illiterate) austerity dogma to be of far more importance than public safety.

Labour would put 10,000 more cops on the street, increase funding to the UK border agency, hire 3,000 more fire fighters, and stop the latest Tory plan to close even more A&E units in its tracks. Theresa May and Amber Rudd refuse to say whether they would stop cutting police numbers now, even after Manchester!

If you believe in public safety you wouldn't dream of voting for even more Tory austerity cuts to the public safety budget would you?

Question 4: Do you believe in fairness?

Theresa May's shambolic and uncosted manifesto of misery has something nasty for almost everyone.

  • She's promising to snatch food out of infant school children's mouths. 
  • She's scrapped the 2015 Tory pledges not to raise National Insurance and Income Tax for ordinary workers (any guesses why?). 
  • She's going to scrap the Triple Lock and Winter Fuel Allowance for pensioners. 
  • She's planning to asset strip anyone who gets ill and needs social care with her so-called Dementia Tax.
  • She's also keen to bring back the barbaric practice of ripping live foxes to pieces with packs of dogs when 84% of the British public want it to stay banned.
The objective of all of these cuts is to save money so that she can hand another £70 billion in tax giveaways to corporations and the super-rich!

Jeremy Corbyn believes that after seven years of it, it's time to stop the Tories loading austerity onto the poor and ordinary in order to help the super-rich elitists literally double their wealth.

Jeremy Corbyn thinks it's time to redress the balance a bit by pledging no tax rises for the 95%, and making those who can easily afford it pay a little bit more. Don't you agree with him?

Question 5: Do you support the Westminster establishment?

Theresa May is the embodiment of the Westminster establishment. In 1997 she was handed one of the safest of safe Tory seats. In 2010 she was handed the Home Office and allowed to stay there for six years despite her record-breakingly bad performance on immigration, and her savage ideologically driven cuts to the public safety budget. Then in 2016 she was hand-picked as Tory leader by her fellow Tory MPs without even the Tory membership getting a vote.

Jeremy Corbyn is about as anti-establishment as you can get. He was a constant thorn in Tony Blair's side, opposing the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, opposing Gordon Brown's bonkers PFI economic alchemy schemes, opposing the reckless deregulation of the financial sector, opposing the introduction of the ID database, opposing every harebrained privatisation.

Then in 2015 Corbyn stood as a 200-1 outsider to become the Labour Party leader and somehow won a landslide victory with the votes of 250,000 ordinary Labour members!

After the Brexit vote the Westminster establishment tried to use it as an excuse to destroy him, but he stood strong against the Anyone But Corbyn coup that was orchestrated by the Labour faction of the Westminster establishment. And he was swept back to the leadership with an even bigger majority than he had before!

Just go out to your local newsagents and look at the front pages. Can't you see that such an extreme fearmongering campaign against Jeremy Corbyn can only be explained by a neoliberal establishment that is absolutely shit-scared of losing the grip on power they've held since 1979?

Brexit was part one of the anti-establishment revolution. Corbyn is step two.

If you hand the keys of 10 Downing Street to Theresa May, you're simply inviting the Westminster establishment to conduct Brexit exclusively in their own interests, not in the interests of ordinary people up and down the country.

If you give Jeremy Corbyn a crack, he'll give the complacent Westminster establishment the shake-up they've so thoroughly deserved for decades

Question 6: What kind of Brexit do you want?

Do you want a Brexit that is negotiated by the right-wing core of the Westminster establishment to benefit them, and their corporate mates, and the dodgy tax-dodgers who bankroll their party, and the property speculators who are queuing up to get their teeth into the NHS property portfolio under Theresa May's Naylor Report firesale plans?

Or do you want a Brexit that brings British infrastructure and services back under British control, to be used for the benefit of the British people?

A Brexit that makes sure every kid gets the chance of a decent education 
no matter what their background, and every adult who needs retraining gets free access to the National Education Service too?

A Brexit that properly funds public services like the NHS, police, fire service and UK Border Agency?

A Brexit where immigration is determined by a sensible policy-based approach that allows positive migration and clamps down on negative migration, rather than just plucking numbers out of the air and missing them by miles>

The choice is clear. You can vote Tory for a Brexit for the billionaires, or you can vote Labour for a People's brexit.

I know which kind of Brexit I'm going to chose. Do you?

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