LETTER: UKIP fails to set out its policies

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I am responding to Hugo Miller’s considered letter in the County Times.

I am most grateful for his positive comments about my approach, though less so for his comments about my views on UKIP policy.

The point I was trying to get across was that Roger Arthur had moved from the Conservative Party, in which position he was elected as a Horsham district councillor, to UKIP, without giving his ward members the opportunity to vote for his change of allegiance.

He then went on to announce his candidacy as UKIP’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Horsham in an interview with the WSCT. No where in that interview was there a summary of UKIP policies or what he was asking the people of Horsham to vote for if they supported his candidature.

The only response to my questioning of this position came, not from Mr Arthur, but his acolytes. Some saying I could have picked up a leaflet on UKIP policy or looked online!

It is more usual when trying to sell something, particularly a concept, for the vendor to at least give an inkling of what is on offer so that potential purchasers / voters may judge the offer on its merits without having to search obscure not well laid out websites.

I am thankfully not alone in my views on the lack of detailed UKIP policy and the danger inherent in some of its attitudes. There have been many Leaders, Comment columns and articles in the national press asking for detailed policy and questioning the basis of that which can be found. The Independent has led the way on this. A selection of their columns can be found at:-

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dont-be-fooled-by-ukips-charm-it-is-xenophobic-and-creates-fear-8612768.html?origin=internalSearch

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/europe-needs-to-change--but-with-britain-at-its-heart-8641147.html?origin=internalSearch

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/can-ukip-handle-the-trials-of-local-government-8605956.html?origin=internalSearch

Having reviewed the UKIP list of policies I can find, there is a lack of detail and failure to say how such policies would be funded (other than the tired rhetoric of the money UKIP allege would be saved by pulling out of Europe and reducing overseas aid). There is a total failure to say how the UK would replace the 50 per cent of its trade that would be adversely affected if it left the EU and subject to increased tariffs, or how we would compete as a relatively small off shore island nation in an increasingly globalised economy where economic and political influence is increased by size and strategic association.

How would the UK as a nation that, through its historic Dominion was once in control of over half the countries of the world and maintains significant influence in world events though the Commonwealth, NATO and the UN, be able to maintain that influence if it left the EU with the inevitable adverse impact on trade, revenue and policy that would result?

Would the UK be able to justify its membership of the UN Security Council? If we lost that, we would lose even our current modest influence on world events which would become further dominated by the USA and its increasingly inconsistent policies of “do as I say not as I do” on such issues as trade, counter terrorism, weapons and what constitutes just wars!

It is one area where I agree with Mr Farage that, unlike under Tony Blair’s tenure and his infatuation with George Bush junior’s jingoistic USA, the UK should not be the US lap dog. We should be a good friend, sage and ally to the USA. But the only way we can ensure that is by close association with and through the only other globally relevant entity to the UK, by being full and active members of the EU.

Finally, Mr Miller denies my charge of UKIP bigotry on key issues. Yet aren’t the views of his senior party representatives such as Stuart Wheeler and Godfrey Bloom with their rather interesting perspectives on women and race extremely bigoted. So by definition, unless subject of reproach by the UKIP leader Nigel Farage, rather than his usual eloquent if jocular defence of their somewhat eccentric positions (as witnessed most recently in a response to a question when he was a panellist on BBC Radio 4 Any Questions on the 30th of August), aren’t other members of UKIP guilty of bigotry by association?

L.N. PRICE

Smithbarn, Horsham