Wednesday, April 06, 2011
UKIP's Scottish election Manifesto is available here on pdf
As a policy wonk I approve of the fact that there are more actual policies in the 8 pages here than in the other 5 100+ manifestos together, My favourites:
- Retain the Scottish Parliament
- referenda (binding referenda on things the public choose - which solves the problem of the "independence" referendum without making it the only choice Scots get - the SNP would have to allow smoking and EU referenda as well as their own hobbyhorse)
- Resign from the EU while keeping free trade
- Recoup Scotland’s share of the £48 million a day paid to the EU
- Release Scottish businesses and our economy from Brussels red tape
- Require the direct election of all health, education and police boards in Scotland
- Require the direct election of all key officials in national and local government
- Restrict immigration so Scotland will be for the Scots and the British first
- Replace the Human Rights Act with a new British Bill of Rights
- no more wind-farms
- Repeal the Climate Change (Scotland) Act, (which requires the destruction of 58% of our electricity supply over the next 9 years)
- Abolish the Department of Climate Change.
- End all subsidies to monstrous, climate-irrelevant, cost-ineffective wind-farms. (that is about £1 billion a year)
- Support new nuclear power stations, particularly next to existing nuclear stations. (note "particularly" rather than "only". We could have up to 7 units on one site which would be 14 in Scotland - roughly 3 times our present power. However limiting it to those 2 sites give Ariva a monopoly over nuclear electricity here and would also mean greater than necessary hysteresis losses getting power to Peterhead. This shows they do understand how important this issue is while the very best of the feeble five, Labour and the Tories, are still dithering)
- Spare taxpayers the huge bill for needless carbon capture and storage.
- Spend no taxpayers’ money on the non-problem of man made climate change
-. Life will mean life. Six months will not mean six weeks.
- Introduce a ‘three-strikes-and-you’re-out’ rule for habitual offenders. There will be boot camps
to jolt young offenders out of a life of crime.
- Let pupils leave school early provided they are entering approved apprenticeships or training schemes.
- Scrap loans and restore full grants for all Scottish university students.
- Let universities select their own students on merit. We will abolish the absurd 50% attendance target. (full grants would be affordable without 50% in "Universities", not otherwise)
- Give parents the right to choose the school they want their children to attend.
- Scrap useless paperwork and enable teachers to do their jobs.
- Cut NHS bureaucracy and waste, but make no cuts in front-line treatment.
- Introduce Health Vouchers allowing patients to opt out of the NHS and use the vouchers towards the cost of private treatment.
- Scrap the smoking ban as a needless restriction on freedom, giving owners of pubs and other buildings the freedom to set aside rooms for smokers if they want. (that implies they would not have the right to end the ban in the main room - pity)
- Use the Scottish Parliament’s tax-varying power to cut taxes in Scotland, increasing our competitiveness within and beyond the United (Hooray - a 3p income tax cut would cost roughly £1 bn, matching the saving made in not subsidising windmills)
- Aim to make Scotland a low-tax, small-government nation. (hooray)
- Help Scotland’s small businesses by removing the extra taxes, levies and fuel and energy price increases imposed in the name of climate change.
- Abolish costly, useless Home Reports for property sellers in Scotland.
- Bring back control of Britain’s fishing waters to Britain, on environmental as well as economic grounds
- End Labour’s mass immigration, which let in three million in 13 years
- support airport links. It is a scandal that the Edinburgh main line passes the airport runway, but has no station.
I don't think there is anything there that an informed patriotic Scot could disagree with. There are very few of them that any of the other parties say they support support (they all claim to be against mass immigration, ditto they have all repeatedly promised to oppose the common fisheries policy, to make growing the economy the "number one priority", having "a bonfire of the quangos etc but well all know they are lying). To be fair the Tories have a similar policy on letting kids leave school to go on apprenticeships which they may possibly mean).
I personally regret that they haven't made a specific promise to oppose blowing £2.3 billion on a pointless bridge; that they made no promises on corporation tax, on allowing people to build inexpensive houses, after all we have so much more land available than in the south of England; that they aren't doing something to cut the 700% parasitism on government building projects; thereby allowing us to build the sort of tunnel system that has done so much for Norway; and OK that they don't want to turn the Saltire Prize into a spaceship prize - we all have our hobbyhorses :-)
But when you look at the fact that there is barely a paper between what all 5 of the "official" BBC approved parties promise (I recently asked a LudDim to name the most important difference and he said his lot wanted to consolidate all the police regions into 1 which would have absolutely no effect on the streets) offer and none of them are actually offering to do anything, what other choice is there?
I am told that 82% of Scots get most of their news from the BBC, an organisation that, even by its own admission, will maintain any lie and censor anything, up to and including genocide so it looks like the only party not committed to destroying 58% of Scotland's national income will be censored. Does anybody doubt that if UKIP got 4 times the supportive coverage the Greens do, for their 4 times greater vote at the last election, Scotland would have a genuine opposition and a healthy democracy.