I’ve always believed that if people vote, then that’s good enough as it’s extremely important to be able to cast your vote in a democracy, which many people don’t even have the opportunity to around the world, however reflecting on the results of this week, it makes me wonder if I’m right, however UKIP did win the European elections with a strong lead – and though I disagree with it, it’s happened.
There are many reasons people voted for the UK Independence Party – the fear of immigration, euroscepticism and the media declaring how bad Europe is bad for the independence of the UK’s policy making and politicians who have alienated people in Labour heartlands, however there seems to be so little facts about what UKIP stand for other than removal from the European Union and less immigration (apparently they don’t believe their should be no immigration (the BNP do) just less. There just seems to be too many conflicts with fact and policy and it seems if ignorance is bliss, then this party must be the heavens, as it seems their popularity is based on people having as little knowledge as possible about what they stand for, and even if they did stand for something reasonable, these are hidden by the blunders made by candidates who are racist, sexist and bigoted, we need to fight them with facts.
I have always taken the belief that immigration is good for our country. Immigration brings in 6 billion in taxes every year and 83 billion in students coming to the UK to study in our universities – this must be a good thing for our economy, and this may increase due to a lack of regulation and cap on the cost that students that are from other countries for tuition, and some fees can go up during the year they’re studying – in comparing that to UK students, we’re fortunate in that at least there’s a limit of nine thousand pounds a year for studying. Immigration also helps our public services, 40% of staff within the NHS are foreign trained and a lot of menial low skill jobs are taken up by immigrants coming into this country, low skill jobs that are necessary for our health and safety. Not to mention the businesses and highly skilled immigrants that have come to this country and added to our economy. Immigration also has for hundreds and thusands of years benefitted us, are we unhappy that the romans brought us roads? Are you mad the English language is Norse, French, German, Latin – Britain has been invaded so many times by force and it’s influences still seen so much today, it seems tragically ironic.
The laws of the UK are mainly created by the House of Commons, and according to research by the London School of Economics, 15.5% of laws are affected by European law, but like the romans mentioned in the last point, what has Europe done for us? Europe allows us free trade, businesses are able to trade across the whole of the union and a more practical level, thanks to the European union companies are not allowed to charge roaming charges on mobile phones and misleading advertising that says you can fly for 50p and miss out the whole bunch of charges people have to pay, are just some things the EU has done for us. In a more globalised world it is neccesary to trade as a union to gain and share resources than alone, we are better together, fighting alone is not going to help the UK in anyway – we are not the empire we once were and believing a commonwealth trade zone is still possible seems a little idealistic and as resources dwindle unions like the EU are going to become essential.
But the question of losing votes from working class backgrounds, why is it happening? Is it the New Labour big tent politics that have left the working classes disenfranchised and ignored as the party have moved their focus on to the middle class and the squeezed middle. The fear of immigration is also much higher than the rate of immigration, not helped by misinformation which has led people to believe that fifty percent of our country will be muslim by 2050, it won’t be, it will be about 10%. Scandals that impacted people’s view of politicians, cash for questions, expenses scandals, and money for peerages – there’s a need for something different from what we have in British Politics and so people voted for a conservative banker who doesn’t publish his expenses, and somehow UKIP seemed the best protest vote – when there were certainly better alternatives to be chosen, the Green Party in the North have more councillors than UKIP does, and a much better option.
Though I am a member of the Labour Party there is still much that needs to be done, great economic credibility is needed with our policy, we need to be clear what our pledges are when it comes to the next election and keep a simple message that is easy to get out on the doorstep, I don’t think pandering to the right is a good thing for our future and we need to find new and better ways to bring communities together, something which community organising can do. Showing immigrants aren’t to blame for lack of jobs but those who employ them and paying them lesser wages than their counterparts, that’s not good ethical capitalism and that’s more and more necessary in today’s Britain.