I suspect many supporters, like me, have no idea what ‘libertarian’ means. Internet searches bring up various interpretations, varying from those who want to shrink unnecessary government interference to those who want unfettered power ceded to those already too powerful. As such a libertarian party is a hard sell on the doorstep.
However, pragmatism is much easier. If I’m asked ‘what would you do about such and such a problem?’ then the way to deal with it is not to reach for generalities but to answer the question. Or if you’re not into ‘isms’ then ‘stuff that works’ is even better. UKIP is the party of stuff that works.
People ask questions when you knock and their door. They need answers.
“What would you do about the cuts to county budgets which are leading to the closure of libraries and children’s centres, are driving our roads into third-world ruin and are collapsing social care? What about social housing?”
Do what Surrey did, call the Treasury’s bluff and tell them to cough up more support or we’ll have a local referendum about raising local taxes to pay for essential services. Cut Council waste, amalgamate the ridiculous duplication of offices and personnel which Heath bodged. Release brownfield land owned by public bodies for housing, build council-owned properties for rent and sack the housing associations. Put the needs of our residents first. Make every penny spent on and by individual councillors visible to our taxpayers. Sell off unused land and buildings.
“What will you do about the coming crash in energy provision, the price of electricity, the exploitation of the poor, the old and the sick for the benefit of rich landowners with turbines on their land or who are invested heavily in offshore boondoggles? What about the loss of jobs to other countries which are using cheap coal energy to undercut UK businesses?”
Fund our nuclear industry to build prototype SMRs. Frack. Tax the wind farms and use the money to reimburse those in need. Cancel large nuclear generation projects like Hinkley C – why the hell should we subsidise the research being done by our competitors who sold us this European Pressurised Reactor shambles as a ready-to-build project? Tax solar.
“What about the deficit and debt?”
Cancel HS2. Reduce overseas aid by 10 billion, easing the pain by opening a bank account into which those who wish to pay more can signal their commitment to the welfare of deserving causes overseas. Seek the assistance of trustworthy partners like the Salvation Army to spend the voluntary donations. Implement the 2015 manifesto tax plan.
“What about immigration?”
Allow only those with assets or work to enter. Issue work permits for guest workers where required with a time limit on how long they can stay. End the importing of marriage partners as a business proposition. Police false marriage schemes. Incentivise work for welfare recipients to ease labour shortages.
“What about animal cruelty?”
Encourage local referenda about fox hunting. Allow selective badger culls but fund inoculation research to make its use eventually unnecessary. Forbid non-stun slaughter, research anoxia stunning to meet at least some of the religious objections. Allow import of religiously-slaughtered meat but tax it heavily to fund alternatives and to pay for basic research into non-animal meat and more ‘meat-like’ vegetarian food.
“What about over-development?”
The Tory party are committed to huge over-development in the next ten to fifteen years and they are very keen on this. For example, Norfolk and Suffolk are slated to take a housing increase of around 250,000 –
that’s enough to house the current population of Suffolk. They’ve even set up Local Enterprise Partnerships which get loads of money from central government with only a minimum of local democratic oversight.
When UKIP asked the Conservative Leader of the council to report on what was going on, he refused. If people don’t vote for UKIP then this will only get worse. Give us more influence and we’ll bring the LEPs under democratic control.
“Why can’t our children and grandchildren afford homes in our town/village?”
In the ten years from 2007 to 2017, the UK population ballooned by nearly five million people. That means there’s more competition for houses so prices go up. London’s Labour boroughs are seeking to shunt their homeless families away from the city and out to cheaper areas. Anywhere within an hour and a half’s travel from London is about to
come under immense pressure and there’s nothing we can do. Once again it’s our children who are paying the price for mass immigration encouraged by Labour and Conservative governments. UKIP will control immigration and give local communities more say over major housing developments.
There probably isn’t an over-arching philosophy that would match that lot, but you could call it pragmatism if you’re into labels. Or, as Guy Clarke sang, ‘stuff that works’. In a sentence, I’d say that we want to put our own people first. Maybe there is a word: patriotic.
Gerard has picked up on the ‘Zulu, there’s nobody else’ meme. Let me give him another one.
“Not Left.” Point left. “Not Right.” Point right. “Straightforward.” Point straight at the audience. “That’s the way forward. It’s you.”
Stuff that works.
Oh, yes, one last thing. Apply massive emergency funding to Reaction Engines Ltd for their air-breathing/rocket hybrid engine. The country that commands space will be safe for a century.