Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that we in the UK are gearing up for a general election. A big one. For the first time we’ve had televised party leader debates, they might be heavily controlled but it’s still gripping stuff (and getting the viewers/listeners) Nick Clegg the Liberal Democrat leader seems to be coming across the best and if the polls are anything to go by they are gaining a lot of additional support.
I’m drowning in leaflets at the moment, everyone who is anyone seems to have decided to do an information dump through my letter box today – fine if you’re still making up your mind but not so fine for the environment! Today I received leaflets from UKIP, BNP, Christian People’s Alliance, Labour and Conservative. As they took the time to send me their nice leaflets I decided to give them a read (even though I’m already decided as to where my vote is going).
The first one I want to deal with is the UK Independence Party, or as I like to call them BNP-lite – I know that they aren’t a racist party but a lot of their key policies overlap with the BNP. UKIP are set to do quite well, they’re really going for the eurosceptic vote and targeting those feel let down by governments immigration policies but don’t feel strongly enough to vote BNP. Apparently it costs us £45million a day to be a member of the European Union, not only that but 80% of our laws are made by the EU commission – personally I’d query their figures. Yes we have a lot of little silly things from the EU commission, but I’d argue that the benefits of belonging to the EU far outweigh the negatives, free trade with members, we benefit in travel arrangements (no VISA requirements), free movement of labour and education. The Independent did an article talking about fifty reasons why EU membership is a good idea (and they they get geek points for the Monty Python reference). Amusingly at the bottom of the UKIP leaflet it says “only UKIP wants to leave the EU” – they might want to check that. The leaflet doesn’t talk about any of their other policies, apart from asking for referendums on all major issues.
Next up we have the BNP, who for some reason have gone with a picture of Churchill standing next to Adolf Hitler Junior, sorry Nick Griffin. I don’t think they’re intelligent enough to get that Churchill would have hated what they stand for, especially as one of their key policies is bringing home the troops, it’s the same thing that makes me laugh when people have anti-war protests under Nelson’s Column… might want to check your historical figures out ;-). The BENT… sorry BNP go with another picture of a large white family next to the header “We’re NOT second class citizens!” along with a few of their key policies – putting a stop to immigration (all those dirty foreigners coming over here, taking our jobs… yeah right, I’d like to see how they plan to fill the skills shortage particularly in the low-paid sector… [just for the record, I consider cleaning a skilled job those that do it well do it very well]). Apparently as well £18 billion is given to China and India by Lab-Lib-Con (nope, no idea either) to deal with ‘non-existent Climate Change’. Non-existent climate change? Even if you don’t agree with man-made climate change you can’t ignore that there has been (and continues to be) climate change, why are those poor penguins and polar bears running out of places to live if there isn’t climate change? I know it’s a bit like arguing with a table when it comes to the BNP but of all the things to argue. They also have two sound bites from “average joe public” who to be honest just sound like ill-informed prejudiced morons (one of them reads like it could be a punch line to a bad joke). Oddly their leaflet is the only one with a “please recycle” thing on it.
Finally, we have the Christian People’s Alliance which is I think more offensive than the BNP one. The key tagline for the CPA is “Christian’s have RIGHTS too, vote to defend them”, I think they actually mean “Christians have the right to discriminate.” Rather than use sound bites from average joe public, they’ve opted to use some reactionary headlines about Christians being oppressed (someone sacked for posting homophobic statements, a nurse suspended for refusing to take off her necklace… you know the stuff). They offer no actual policies in their leaflet, instead going for the ‘moral’. Sid Cordle, who is the candidate, can be found most Sunday’s at Speakers Corner “arguing vociferously that Britain is a Christian country and that its values should be respected.” What values could they possibly be? The ones where we treat others how we ourselves wish to be treated? The ones where we are kind, loving and supportive to those around us? Of all the leaflets they have to have the most hypocritical of the lot, there’s even a statement saying “I believe in freedom (yes it is in bold), including freedom of speech and freedom for people to do and say things I don’t agree with.” Okay… so how does that equate to your policy denying marriage equality? He believes in the freedom for me to do something he doesn’t agree with (get married), but at the same time he wants to deny me that freedom in the first place? I do wish Christians wouldn’t pick and choose their biblical messages.