Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Vote YanKIP

Advising Airstrip One readers how to vote is probably one of the least effective things one could ever do. Firstly you are a rather, ahem, select bunch. I prefer to think of you as the remnant, others would be more vulgar and just say that we have a small readership. The other reason is that the sort of people who not only understand the importance of British independence, but can also follow the argument tend to make up their own minds when voting. I'm glad this is not Samizdata, but I do have my regrets.

However, I will still go ahead and say who I will vote for and why I have reservations about my choice. Firstly however I will say who I will not vote for. Labour has been a disaster for this country and it's independence. With Blair it's not even been the competing treachery argument of whether our independence should be given away to Europe or America, they've done both. They deserve to be punished.

On the competing treachery question I don't think that there is one contributor to Airstrip One who does not see Europe as a more invasive and immediate threat than America. On that basis the Liberal Democrats - and various Celtic nationalists - are also out (although they are better than Labour).

RESPECT are laughable, and if they were to get an MEP then the anti-war movement would be stuck with this albatross of socialism and America hatred forever.

The BNP should be ruled out for different reasons. As both BNP sympathisers and opponents of this blog have pointed out their foreign policy is hostile to Europe and America. However I disagree strongly with their flat earth trade policy (and general ignorance of the benefits of a market economy) and their immigration and repatriation policy manages to be both vindictive and daft. There's also a sneaking feeling that while they have certainly cleaned up their public act there are still the same old boneheads - and should the cause of British Independence be linked with the fash? Try arguing for tighter immigration controls and count the number of sentences before you are accused of supporting the BNP, and you will see what I mean about the danger of the BNP hijacking the case for a patriotic foreign policy.

So the choice is between UKIP and the Tories. Both parties are too close to America, so I will come on to this subject later. On Europe the Tories actually deserve a lot more credit than they are getting. They are actually calling for repatriation of European powers, although as these are fishing policy and foreign aid where only a European Commisioner could pretend that Europe has succeeded in these areas. The government is also proposing repatriation of powers, on the more radical area of regional policy. However repatriation of powers is being publicly broached, and the Tories deserve credit for this.

The Tories also deserve credit for blocking the constitution. IDS's supposed obsession with this meant that Blair found himself with little other option than to concede this point (after Howard took over) before the Euro elections.

However the question is whether the Tories go far enough when there is a perfectly acceptable and electable alternative. The Conservatives still wish to remain in the EU (although they avoid saying "forever") while UKIP doesn't. The Tory representatives will still sit in the European People's Party, an avowedly Federalist party, despite earlier efforts to extricate themselves from it - and Michael Howard is now a patron of the Federalist Tory Reform Group. It is not unfair to say that UKIP would not exist if Ken Clarke were retiring - so why is Howard bringing him forward.

The Tories have brought on themselves. In this election it is UKIP that deserve's your vote. They will fight like ferrets as soon as this is over, they are far too pro-American (there is a good - but sadly off line - article in the New Statesman about their commitment to America, there's also a back handed compliment from pro-war Nick Cohen saying that little Englanders provide the "only unanswerable" antiwar case) and they won't win in Westminster. But the European Parliament is a joke that's elected by Proportional Representation.

They deserve UKIP.


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