A couple of lengthy emails have shuttled back and forth between us and I am more excited than ever about the direction that the party seems to be taking; their thinking accords pretty closely with my own, and it is also gratitfying to be asked for my opinion on those policy ideas. I will admit that I am flattered that someone who is influencial in party policy is taking on board the suggestions of someone who has only been a member for a matter of weeks.
I am also impressed that UKIP seem to be researching their policy ideas properly. I know this because I now have a draft copy of their tax policy document which, at the cursory glance which I have given it, seems to be eminently sensible. Obviously, I cannot reveal any real details, but let us just say that a Flat Tax and far higher Personal Allowance are on the agenda. For all of those that argue that a Flat Tax is more regressive than our current system, may I suggest that you have a look at Allan's excellent projections.
Tax Credits could be scrapped. Thousands of civil servants would no longer be required. Self Assessment tax forms would only have two numbers to fill out. And finally, the lefties would get what they always wanted: a proper progressive tax system that redistributes wealth to the low paid. Automatically. No forms to fill out. No “means tested” shite to put up with. You simply get to keep what you rightfully earned.
Surely that is better than what we have now?
I shall be studying the UKIP tax policy document much more closely and—as I have ben invited to do—relay back any comments or opinion on it. I shall also be drafting up further emails and posts on initiatives and how these might be marketed and implemented. In the end, although I am just an amateur I have a fairly good grasp of marketing techniques (having done that job for over 40 plays in ten years) and can, believe it or not, also write reasonably well (well enough to merit a Press Pass on the strength of a couple of reviews at this Fringe anyway).
Frankly, it is a buzz to be able to give my political opinion and have it listened to. More, it is a thrill to be actively involved in political policy and in a party that already seems to be attuned to my preferences. Not only is UKIP's central policy—that of leaving the EU—the most important political necessity facing this country, but also the party's economic and political philosophies—such as being implacably opposed to ID Cards, believing in a small state, encouraging enterprise, rewarding work whilst providing a safety-net for the truly disadvantaged, promoting personal freedom and responsibility and much more—accord so closely with my own that I could become positively evangelical about it.
Fraser Nelson, writing in The Scotsman, seems to think that UKIP are unelectable.
WHEN David Cameron is accused of alienating traditional Conservative voters with his tree-planting, hoodie-hugging and Israel-bashing, he has an easy riposte. Where are all these frustrated souls going to go? Defect to the high-taxing Liberal Democrats? Sign up to Gordon Brown's progressive consensus? Mr Cameron can reach out to the left as much as he likes if he has his party membership cornered. And this is why the UK Independence Party leadership contest is so potentially important.
UKIP has had a pretty miserable life since it was set up as the Anti-Federalist League in 1991. But two years ago, it delivered a shock to the Westminster consensus when it claimed 16% of the vote in the European Parliament elections - forcing the Lib Dems into fourth place. The question for the Tories is whether UKIP could, with the right leadership and message, manage this again.
It is not psephologically impossible. The British electorate is increasingly fed up with its three major parties, who are considering turning to state funding because the public is unwilling to supply the cash they need. Voters have shown themselves capable of defecting en masse to upstart parties - or, in the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, switching from one party to another just to be awkward. The protest vote is there for the taking.
But it needs leadership.
But the Conservatives can relax for now: the UK Independence Party are showing little sign of threatening anyone other than themselves.
Quite so. And now I will start proseletysing; for all of those free market libertarians out there who believe that the EU is a bad thing: UKIP is the party that you should join. Sure, it is a relatively small and very young party, but that simply means that we can help to shape policy; that we will finally have a party to vote for—rather than constantly voting for the least unpalatable option (as I have done in every election)—and that we agree with because we made the policies.
UKIP's problem is a lack of leadership, sure. But that is partially because of the impending election; after the new leader is elected, whomever he may be, I believe that we will start to see a new surge in the party's profile. I know that UKIP are working on a number of research documents in different areas (and, naturally, I have offered to help out, especially in the area of alternative energy supply (a subject on which I have written a number of times)) and I think that we will start to see a great many new initiatives over the next couple of years.
UKIP's real problem, at present, is one of perception: there needs to be a great deal of work done on the marketing and PR side including, as I suggested in my previous post, a change of logo and possibly a change of name. UKIP needs to be seen as a proper alternative to the statist LibDems, authoritarian Labour and increasingly soft-left, cuddly Conservatives.
I am already excited to be able to play a role in this hoped-for transformation, and to being instrumental in bringing a proper alternative to the middle-of-the-road fucktards that are our three main no-choice, no-change, couldn't-fit-a-slip-of-paper-between-'em parties. All those of you who are of a similar mind to me: come, join, mould a party that you actively want to vote for.