Vote UKIP


1:00 am - April 1st 2010

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contribution by Tim Worstall

You’ll have seen that loudmouthed rude man on TV recently: that Nigel Farage. Yes, he’s one of us, one of UKIP, the UK Independence Party.

The rudeness, well, when the country’s been sold downriver you’re likely to get that little irate, being loudmouthed in defence of liberty is no crime.

As to why you should vote for us: a vote for anyone else is wasted. You might as well rip up the ballot paper and use it to clean dog poop off the pavement: we’re the only people who think your vote should continue to matter.

The Great Unmentionable of British politics is that Westminster may have been the Mother of Parliaments but she’s now less than a regional quango. All the big decisions are taken in Brussels, by people not only we can’t vote for, we can’t vote against them.

Remember when VAT went down 15%? Why didn’t it go down further? Against EU rules that would be. Why is the rubbish collected once every other week now? EU rules that is. Can’t buy a normal light bulb? EU rules…

80% of our laws on these sorts of things are now made in Brussels by the European Union and all that the British Government, those MPs you’re going to be electing in a month or two, can do about it is shout “Yes Sir!”.

It’s actually illegal for them to say no. Which is how we get a law about jams and marmalades which defines carrots as fruit. No, really ’tis true.

We’re not against Europe mind: nothing wrong with the Continent, the people, cultures, food or the weather. We’re against only the political system of the European Union. We came second in the EuroParliament elections last year, beating Labour into third place.

We got elected an Earl, a union shop steward, a farmer, a retired policeman, a history teacher and, yes, that loudmouth in the suit on the telly. We’ve views on just about everything but the only important one, the one that unites us, is “who rules Britain?”.

Who should be making our laws? Should it be the people we elect? Should the law, what we may and may not do without being thrown in pokey, be made by us and for us? We say yes it should. So we should leave the European Union and do as we wish, not as we’re told.

And this is why we’re the only party worthy of your vote. We’re the only people who want to make sure it’s worth a damn. Everyone else is quite happy continuing to take orders from Brussels. We’ll cooperate with “Europe”, of course. Trade freely, work together when we need or want to. But we’re the only people who want elections to decide who actually rules us.

Is it us deciding for ourselves? Or them telling us what to do?

Yes, quite, we’re adults and we’re British, so we’ll decide for ourselves thanks very much: vote UKIP.

————–
Tim Worstall is a writer and former UKIP press officer. He blogs at timworstall.com

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Reader comments


I will not be voting UKIP. As I was walking through Earls Court t’other day, I saw a sign saying “4000 people settle here every week”

“How nice,” I thought “it must be a pleasant place to live…”

then I saw underneath that headline “say no to mass immigration” and a big ol’ VOTE UKIP under that. I loathe the racism that infects UKIP like a cancer.

Nigel Farage’s nasty little outburst against Belgium was terribly unBritish for someone so “patriotic” too.

And you have Godfrey Bloom – a man who denies climate change while celebrating state murder (the sinking of Greenpeace’ boat the Rainbow Warrior).

I spose the only thing UKIP has going for them is that they’ll split the Right-wing vote, which is always nice to see.

Full marks for the effort though, I don’t imagine any LC readers will be converted!

Dear Mr Worstall,

I have been very impressed by UKIP. Anything is better than NuLieBore. I need to know two things before I can vote for UKIP. Will they stop CAP money being used for the spaghetti harvest, and what is their policy towards San Serriffe?

UKIP is just a watered down version of the BNP. No thank you!

I go away for a month and this is what we end up with!

Nice try though Tim 😉

The question UKIP need to answer really is that, aside from blind and arrogant nationalism, what exactly is the problem with the EU (of which we have our say) advising that (if it is indeed true) rubbish collections need to be every other week?

Of course I’d ask where the wording of the EU law is that member states shall collect non-recyclable and non-reusable waste no more than once every fortnight, I suspect it doesn’t exist in that form, and more in a form of how much recycling should be achieved, which the UK as an autonomous member state has decided on it’s own to try and encourage citizens to recycle more through less frequent pick ups. Happy to be proven wrong if you can provide a quote that even remotely talks about frequency of pick-ups.

The reality is that the EU as a body is, though not in every case (though what democracy is 100% perfect?), coming up with guideline laws that need to be adopted for the benefit of the EU as a “state”. I haven’t heard a convincing argument as to why this shouldn’t necessarily take place. Rephrasing it slightly, I’ve never heard an argument as to exactly why the UK government is in a better or worse position to make laws that have a global or international significance than the EU, the only thing for certain is that the UK government is in a more biased position.

Yet, the UK has proven time and again that it is more than happy to *exceed* the expectations of the EU when they do provide these guidances, even to the detriment of the ECHR…but the sweetest irony is that when the UK does that UKIP will be one of the first (along with their bigger brother Tories) to condemn the EU in complete obliviousness to the fact the UK was absolutely free to tailor it’s own law enough to break human right’s laws!

Oh damn I just realised: it’s April 1st.

Arf!

@6 Sadly Tim Worstall is an April Fools Joke that has gone on throughout the year! Not funny, and never was. Why is this here Sunny?

What a utter crock of garbage Mr Worstall. Let’s stroll through your points and take them apart, shall we?

On EU Legislation:

There is a perfectly good reason for having a minimum level of VAT across a common market. To stop race-to-the-bottom conditions which give an unfair advantage to one country over the other, and puts pressure on the country with the higher rate to lower their sales tax at the expense of public services. Comparisons to the US system don’t work here given that Europe (including us) are far more reliant on tax and spend policies, for better or worse.

Nothing more to say about the bins other than you’re out and out lying here. As I recall there was a directive over encouraging green waste disposal / recycling, but it didn’t call for halving of collections or anything like that. Speak to your local councillor about that.

The Lightbulbs issue was from the EU, but if you look at hansard, there was so much support in our Parliament that it would have happened regardless.

In terms of volume, it’s actually *over* 80% of our laws actually, and I’m glad. The vast majority are incredibly minor regulations and checks for market harmonisation; domestic implementation would burden Parliament considerably and stop it from debating actual policy-driven legislation.

In any case, if we wanted to trade with the continent as openly as we do now after withdrawing, we’d have to pass an omnibus bill every few months to keep us in line with the regulations; ask any member of the EFTA.

I don’t know about you but I think its better we’re inside the Union contributing to the laws (not your MEPs mind, who are obstructionist, provocative, and let’s be quite honest, embarrassingly xenophobic) than outside swallowing everything in order to trade effectively.

Now onto your candidates.

– Your (now ex) leader is a bigoted moron who insults foreign leaders for daring to hold views different to his, then proudly refuses to apologize.

– Your leader in the Lords claimed over £100,000 in expenses doing precious little besides inviting an inflammatory Dutch speaker to give a tedious presentation that misquotes Islamic quotes and does nothing to deal with militant Islam but gin up hatred

– A number of your MEPs (well, ex, given that you knife them as the stories break) have been charged with abuse of expenses that makes Westminster look like small change.

– You boast about having earls, teachers etc running for election. Good grief. That certainly makes a change from the candidates *every other party in Britain* fields.

They might be united in wanting Britain to make its laws but, with respect, they are either blindingly stupid or disingenuous liars.

Our duly democratically elected Parliament delegating legislative capability to the EU Commission over legislation in closely prescribed and veto-able areas of chiefly regulatory law is about as undemocratic and as big a threat to our sovereignty as having professional Civil Servants draw up our legislation instead of MPs.

Please grow up and find a better conduit for your stupidity, xenophobia and rampant populism. I do not want our membership of an organisation that has made us richer, safer and more prosperous threatened by small minded fools who do not understand how modern global trade works for us.

No, you do not have my vote.

Tim, you appear inadvertantly to have included “buying a light bulb” in a list of “all the big decisions”. I am sure you will want to correct this at the earliest opportunity, as it makes you look a little bit silly.

@8 You’ve said everything I would’ve said about UKIP and their mad hatter’s tea party of a movement, but in many more words! All I think they deserve is the flipping of the bird, so to speak.

[citation required]

Man, I hate working late…

This is a quality April Fool’s piece.

More seriously, both at Tim and Justicia, the 80% of laws from the EU figure is simply rubbish – see Nosemonkey’s demolition of this last year. 10-20% is the most likely estimate.

Happy April Fools’ Day, all!

Had me fooled for a moment then. It’s a bit too realistic to be an April fool, though – you should have given us more hints. UKIP are quite as mad, bad and dishonest as this piece makes them look. They make up all their so-called arguments, just as in this piece. And ‘watered down BNP’ as someone put it is a kind way of putting it. They are fascists, motivated by racism.

I thought April Fool’s jokes were meant to be funny – this is just sad. Tim used to have far better arguments, and ones that sounded far more (superficially) convincing.

As John B @13’s already pointed to my post on the 80% of laws claim, allow me to quickly point to a follow-up:

There’s two possible reasons why eurosceptic campaigners would repeat the 80% claim (and the many other false claims like it):

1) They genuinely believe that it’s true – in which case they haven’t done their research (because if they had they’d realise it was false), and if they haven’t done their research on this, what else haven’t they done their research on? They can’t be trusted.

2) They know that it’s false, but repeat it anyway to gain support. In which case they’re liars and can’t be trusted.

So, Tim – which is it? Are you a liar or have you just not done your research?

Mr S Pill @ 1:

A. I will not be voting UKIP. As I was walking through Earls Court t’other day, I saw a sign saying “4000 people settle here every week”

B. “How nice,” I thought “it must be a pleasant place to live…”

You seem to be implying a causal connection between the two. Can you extrapolate on your thought processes?

I support EU withdrawal but UKIP are an embarrassment.

For someone who is an ardent supporter of the free-market, Tim W seems to have little notion about why it is necessary to standardize the conditions of trade within the EU. @8 is quite right, if we withdraw we will always be playing catch-up,,
Happy April fools day to all UKIP supporters.

20. Mike Killingworth

Well, it’s a better April Fool than the Beeb’s pathetic attempt to convince us that Shakespeare was French…

Tim love the UK so much, he lives in Portugal!

Heh,

to everybody saying “oh, it’s an April fool!”

Well, if it is, the only April Fool component is that the piece is running on LC.

These are, after all, pretty much Tim’s views!!!

“Why is the rubbish collected once every other week now? EU rules that is”

My rubbish is still collected every week. What do these, er, EU rules say then?

“My rubbish is still collected every week. What do these, er, EU rules say then?”

They say your children must be distributed according to EU regulations, kept in a giant pile of children somewhere near Luxembourg, in order to standardise child prices and ensure internal market homogeneity.

See, the EU is evil.

being loudmouthed in defence of liberty is no crime

No – you don’t get to play the “liberty” card. Your leader, Lord Pearson (that’s your current leader not the embarrassing old one) is on record as describing Geert Wilders as “quite simply, one of the greatest men on the planet”.

Given that Geert Wilders is an out and out fascist, who policies include banning books and dictating what language people may or may not speak in, this puts UKIP’s liberal credentials squarely in the dustbin.

Well done Sunny, well done.

This was done as part of Hagley Road’s series on why vote for various parties. Sunny has posted it here for the date value of course.

Please note that the original was limited to 500 words. So nuance wasn’t really an option. It’s an election piece just as much as Respect arguing for “equality, justice and peace” was.

Re rubbish collections the nuance is that EU laws do say that we must recycle much more. The argument used to pass the law wasn’t about the environment strangely, it was a Single Market one. That some countries do not have lots of holes which can be filled with rubbish and that if those that do, do, then this is unfair competition. Given that we excavate larger holes each year for the minerals than we have rubbish to fill them the only reason for us to be forced to recycle more is that one, that it would be unfair competition if we didn’t.

The effect of these rules, that we must recycle more, has been that UK Govt has been suggesting to councils that picking up rubbish in alternate weeks, recyclables and non-r, is the best way to force up said recycling rate.

80% of laws….note please that I’ve a caveat in there: “these sorts of things”. And 100% of our laws on light bulbs are made in Brussels, 100% of environmental laws and 100% of VAT laws….so I’m underestimating, not over.

“Tim love the UK so much, he lives in Portugal!”

Thank you Paul, this is well known. I would refer you to this:

“We’re not against Europe mind: nothing wrong with the Continent, the people, cultures, food or the weather. We’re against only the political system of the European Union.”

And this is just nonsense:

“Tim W seems to have little notion about why it is necessary to standardize the conditions of trade within the EU.”

Competition in standards is just as much a part of trade as competition on the grounds of colour, packaging, price, quality or anything else.

27. Matt Munro

@ 23 well you’re very lucky then, in the south west we’ve had fortnightly collections for a couple of years now. Plus “recycling collections” (a lot of which apparently ends up in landfill anyway) every week. Something which once took one lorry now takes three, and we’re sending most of it to china by boat. But apparently its good for the environment……………

The “EU rule” is the landfill tax, which will be imposed despite the fact that in the UK we have dozens of old mines which would keep us in landfill for decades

“Tim love the UK so much, he lives in Portugal!”

It needs saying again and again. This is someone who is very happy to take advantage of the greatest of advantage of the EU, freedom of movement, while campaigning vocally to have it taken away from me and my family. He said he didn’t have time for nuance. Well nor do I. Tim Worstall – you and the party you represent are a bunch of thoroughgoing shits.

29. Matt Munro

“freedom of movement” existed long before the EU. In fact you still need a passport to travel across europe now, so what’s the difference ?

The EU is very good at giving us “rights” that we already had

“This is someone who is very happy to take advantage of the greatest of advantage of the EU, freedom of movement, while campaigning vocally to have it taken away from me and my family.”

Err, when did I say I wa against freedom of movement? EEA members have freedom of movement, EFTA members have freedom of movement.

I’ve lived and worked in Russia and I’ve lived and worked in the US. Neither country has, at least to my knowledge, any political union with the UK.

So perhaps political union isn’t the only way to achieve freedom of movement?

… but if this was on ConsHome no one would notice the joke.

That says a lot, eh?

Tim @30 – well of course political union isn’t the only way to achieve freedom of movement. After all, the EU has freedom of movement, but isn’t politically unified.

And seriously – answer the question. Your 80% of laws claim – are you lying or ignorant? Where’s your evidence? (Note: evidence, not assertion.) It’s utter, utter bullshit – you’re an intelligent chap, surely you can see that?

Matt @29 – the reason you still need a passport in the EU if you’re British (or Irish, thanks to Britain being dicks), or in Britain if you’re from another EU country is because the UK has opted out of the Schengen Agreement, which allows for passport-free travel.

when did I say I wa against freedom of movement

Here:

http://www.ukip.org/media/policies/UKIPimmigrationSummary.pdf

No?

The only positive things about UKIP are their comedy value, and the hope that if enough of the Daily Mail reading classes vote for them they might deny the Tories a majority at the next election.

I remember reading an article about Nigel Farage years ago when he first entered the European Parliament – he came across like Screaming Lord Sutch, but without the sense of irony.

35. Matt Munro

@ 32 So why did French and Irish passport control need to see it as well then ?
(2 trips undertaken in past year )? Yet more left wing mythology about “little Britain”
It’s easier to get into the UK if you are a non EU citizen

36. Matt Munro

@ 31 I think it started as a joke and ended up as a debate – although if you look at some of the wing nuts who have been allowed to capiagn on here (e.g respect) I’m still not convinced it is a joke

Matt @35 – are you British? If so, in France because Britain is not part of the Schengen Agreement (as previously stated). In Ireland, because despite the Common Travel Zone between the UK and Ireland, you naturally still need some kind of proof of identity to demonstrate that you have the right to move about within that zone. (This is to keep the anti-immigration crowd happy.)

Also, please note: “Passport-free travel” does not mean “identity document-free travel”.

As for “It’s easier to get into the UK if you are a non EU citizen” – I call rabid bullshit. Any evidence for that whatsoever?

In any case, if we wanted to trade with the continent as openly as we do now after withdrawing, we’d have to pass an omnibus bill every few months to keep us in line with the regulations; ask any member of the EFTA.

Why? Why wouldn’t companies trading with the EU just comply with the EU regulations?

39. Matt Munro

“As for “It’s easier to get into the UK if you are a non EU citizen” – I call rabid bullshit. Any evidence for that whatsoever?”

Yep – returning from a holiday in Antigua – UK passports checked, everyone else just waved through, despite several obviously being economic migrants

ukliberty @38 – EFTA countries don’t just have to comply with EU regulations, they also have to comply with (some) EU laws. Because of the way the EU works (i.e. due to the EU not being a state), the majority of EU law has to be enacted by national governments.

As for why it may be considered necessary to compel private enterprises to follow agreed rules, regulations, laws and standards, rather than just trust them to do it themselves, might I refer you to the recent global recession?

41. Matt Munro

Also, please note: “Passport-free travel” does not mean “identity document-free travel”.

So what has actually changed ? If you still need ID, a passport is the most obvious thing to use, so why pretend the EU has increased “rights” when it clearly hasn’t ?

Matt – I said evidence, not anecdote. We can all play that game: When I was returning to the UK with my non-EU-citizen wife (while she was still my girlfriend), I was waved through in 10 minutes while it took her over two hours.

nosemonkey at 32 – if you see Justicia’s post above, there is a claim that it is more than 80%…all those piffling statutory instruments and things that happen without people noticing

Matt @41 – are you being deliberately dense? The freedom of movement thing is not just about not waving a piece of paper at borders, it’s about the right to live and work thorughout the EU without government interference.

This is a vital part of the common market – and an essential part of any free trade system, because labour is, after all, the most essential part of any economic system. Restrictions on the movement/availability (and therefore cost) of labour therefore restrict the freedom of trade and the competitiveness of the economy.

I honestly can’t see how anyone on the economic right who claims to be in favour of free trade can have any problem with the free movement of people. Unless they’re a racist, of course.

Nosemonkey,

As for why it may be considered necessary to compel private enterprises to follow agreed rules, regulations, laws and standards, rather than just trust them to do it themselves, might I refer you to the recent global recession?

If the UK (as an example) didn’t enact any EU rules, a company wishing to trade with companies in the EU would still be obliged to comply with EU rules, surely?

@38 ukliberty

The answer is that companies would indeed just comply with the EU regs, and of course, many more would simply invest inside the EU rather than in the UK, or move from the UK to countries within the EU.

Whatever the negative aspects of the EU (and even pro-Europeans like myself admit there are many), being outside it isn’t a realistic option. The UK isn’t Norway.

Sadly there is a long history of knee-jerk, “little Englander” europhobia in this country – both on right and left. It has many causes, some of them even rational and some almost understandable, but most the result of a medely of conservatism with a small “c”, uncritical acceptance of what they read in the media, chauvinism, and the fact that the EU and it’s supporters have failed to promote the positive aspects of the EU.

The prospect of the UK in “splendid isolation” is a fantasy, but happily not one that UKIP are likely to realise.

Donald @43 (& Justica @8) – statutory instruments are the only things we *do* know the EU’s influence on, as the House of Commons Library did a detailed report into them. That determined that only 9% of SIs are EU-derived. I refer you to my detailed post on the matter.

ukliberty @45 – yes, companies wishing to trade with the EU from outside *who are not part of EFTA* can just follow EU regulations. But not companies who are part of EFTA who want to trade with the EU, due to the way the EFTA-EU relationship works (and we were specifically talking about EFTA). EFTA membership gives you most of the benefits of EU membership, but absolutely no say in EU rules and regulations which you are obliged to abide by. Oh, and you still have to pay into the EU budget – despite having no influence on where the money is spent.

48. Matt Munro

@ 44 But you’ve always been able to work abroad – my dad came here in the 1950s to work, my uncle has worked in France and I have collegues who’ve worked all over the world, for decades. “Freedom of movment” is not something that was magically granted by the EU, and you don’t need the EU to gurantee it – it has always existed.

49. Matt Munro

@ 45 – Exactly, you don’t need the EU to trade with Europe. I can remember when the EU was called the common market – the main aim was to create a free trade area with standardised, or no, tariffs, to encourage international trade. It was a very good idea. Fast forward 30 years and we have a socialist bureacracy trying to redistribute weralth, and tarrifs STILL aren’t standardised (e.g compare the price of fags here to Spain)

Matt – of course it wasn’t impossible to get a job abroad. But before you would have needed visas, etc., which made the process significantly more difficult and expensive, thus driving down the practicality, restricting the fluidity of the labour market, reducing the economy’s effectiveness, and hampering free trade as a result.

Having been through the fun (and expense) of sorting out the missus with a work visa for the UK, I can confirm that such things are sufficiently offputting as to act as an effective block on the free movement of labour in a sizeable majority of cases. (Yes, more anecdote.)

51. Matt Munro

I’m sorry but if you’re put off by having to complete a few forms then you don’t really want to migrate in the first place. Daily life in the UK is a buraocracy, but suddenly we’re supposed to belive that migrants have a huge problem applying for visas ?

@48 Matt Munro

Your post, whilst true in that people have always moved around, entirely misses the point, Either deliberately to obfuscate the issue, or unintentionally because you genuinely don’t see the difference.

The rights of EU citizens to live and work anywhere within the EU, and the situation before the EU existed, or for non-EU citizens coming here, are hardly the same.

I’m sorry but if you’re put off by having to complete a few forms then you don’t really want to migrate in the first place.

Complete a few forms and pay a very large amount of money.

Matt @49 – “compare the price of fags here to Spain” – yep, if tax levels were set at EU level then the common market would indeed be much more uniform and free. But the EU currently has no tax-raising powers, thanks to member state resistance to the idea.

(Please note – we’d also need to join the euro, as exchange rates can also affect free trade across the common market…)

Nosemonkey. I’ve finally bothered to go and look up that HoC report that you claim proves the 9% figure. Here’s a very interesting para that you tend not to note:

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/briefings/snia-02888.pdf

“The Library’s POLIS and now PIMS records give the following total number of SIs adopted and the number of S.I.s laid under the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) over the last nine parliamentary sessions.15 These give an idea of the number of Directives and Decisions (and some Regulations) as a percentage of all SIs but do not take account of all Regulations, as these are directly applicable and do not generally need further national implementation. This Note does not work out scientifically how this would affect the percentage of EU-based UK laws, but the number of Regulations can be two or three times the number of Directives (or sometimes more). The proportion of EU based laws could therefore be as much as 30-40% or more.”

So you’ve been cherry picking, haven’t you?

And when we move to areas (like those I’ve mentioned, environment and so on) which are sole EU competencies then of course, given that they are the sole competent law making body then the proportion will rise to 100%….as I indicate with “on these sorts of things”.

@49 Matt Munro

“you don’t need the EU to trade with Europe.” : No, of course you don’t, but there are competitive advantages to being within the EU, rather than outside it – hence one of the main reasons why the Swedes and other joined.

“we have a socialist bureacracy trying to redistribute weralth” ; If only! I doubt many agree that it’s socialist, or all that interested in redistributing wealth.

“e.g compare the price of fags here to Spain)” : Oh purleez..! Cigarettes are more expensive here because our government taxes them more heavily..sod all to do with the EU.

Tim – FFS, READ THIS POST. It covers regulations as well. Specificially noting that opinions about regulations vary, but that this (PDF) report from the British Chambers of Commerce, which states “In terms of the number of regulations, the EU this year accounted for only 20%”

Please note also my summing up before accusing me of trying to mislead:

No one agrees on how much legislation and regulation stems from the EU. The 9.1% figure stated by the House of Commons Library is too low, as it only covers Statutory Instruments, not ALL laws; the higher figures of 84%, 75% and even 50% claimed by the likes of Hannan, Farrage and Cameron are based on miscalculations, misunderstandings, or sources unknown, and often derive from parts of the EU other than just the UK – and so with no hard evidence to support them must be dismissed as either too high or inapplicable to the British situation.

What is the true figure? No one knows. So any claims that state hard and fast percentages should – if we’re being intellectually honest – be treated with equal suspicion.

I’ve done my research. You evidently haven’t. Therefore no one should pay any attention to anything you (or UKIP) claim about the influence of the EU, because you evidently don’t know what you’re talking about.

I could be wrong but is the only piece missing from Claude’s excellent series the one I wrote for the BNP?

No doubt that would attract the usual hordes of bigots…

Why is the rubbish collected once every other week now? EU rules that is.

Utter b[censored]!

61. Shatterface

Justicia: ‘There is a perfectly good reason for having a minimum level of VAT across a common market. To stop race-to-the-bottom conditions which give an unfair advantage to one country over the other, and puts pressure on the country with the higher rate to lower their sales tax at the expense of public services’

Leaving aside the other issues Tim raises, I can’t see a *left-wing* case for supporting a *lower* limit to VAT – the most regressive tax we have.

Shifting the funding of public services onto income tax would benefit the poorest as well as providing a boost to the economy.

62. Matt Munro

@ 52 No, I genuinely don’t see the difference, that’s because it’s basically an administrative difference – No one needed these hypothetical “rights” 20 years ago so why do they need them now ? The EU acts as though it’s doing us a favour by giving us rights that we don’t need. It’s like me saying to you “you now have the right to go to the pub”

@56 Kinda proves my point – We have to have 5% VAT on utility bills to harmonise with Europe and we must recycle more rubbish to harmonise with Europe, but we don’t have to harmonise tobbaco duty ? If harmonising only benefits government revenues at the expense of citizens, then I don’t want it.

Matt @62 – the point is that you *didn’t* have the right.

Before, you had to go cap in hand to the government of the country where you wanted to work and ask them for permission – even if you’d already been offered a job there. And, in most cases, you’d have to pay this government whether that permission was granted or not.

Now you can move to whatever EU country you like, apply for a job, and be considered for it purely on merit – without any government interference or financial penalties.

64. Matt Munro

No you didn’t – you got a “working visa” and the company that you worked for took care of the admin. What you are talking about is the “right” to get a low paid job, in other words be part of a pool of cheap labour. And if you really belive that “merit” ever came into bar keeping and toilet cleaning then you are spectacularly naive.

Tim wrote, “Please note that the original was limited to 500 words. So nuance wasn’t really an option.”

Its still a poor effort. Is that your best argument for UKIP? Its not very convincing unless you’ve already decided that “wogs begin at Calais”.

@Shatterface:

Its not really about left/right justifications, the fact is all member states use it so it has to be at a level amount. If there’s a consensus to get rid of it then it can go, but it would otherwise affect the common market too adversely.

@Matt Munroe:

Cigarettes, alcohol, etc all are exceptions from the general rules on account of the right of member states to control consumption of certain products with duties.

@64 *sigh* The general “you”, not just the specific. Surely you can see that if a company has to pay or fill out additional paperwork for a particular candidate based on their nationality, this is a disincentive to employ them, and so that candidate is at a disadvantage?

And what I’m talking about with individuals is their ability to move to another country and be able to find work *without* this additonal hurdle restricting them. Because even ignoring the disincentive to an employer of taking on someone who will cost them extra money and hassle, many, many employers – not just for low-paid positions – require potential employees to already have work permits so that they can avoid the expense and hassle of sorting them out with one.

And in any case, I’m not talking about the right to get a low-paid job – I’m talking about the right to get *any* job. The right to not be kept unemployed or at a competitive disadvantage in the labour market compared to other job-seekers due to state-imposed restrictions. The right to leave an area with limited employment opportunities and move to one with plenty. The right to put food on the table. The right to be a useful part of society. The right to be a taxpayer.

As for your point about toilet cleaning, of course merit’s rarely an issue here. So what? Why should an unskilled worker have their employment opportunities restricted based on their nationality – which is what any work permit requirement is effectively doing? If they get the job over a native, so what? They’ll still be paying taxes and contributing to the economy. Why would you want to restrict someone’s ability to pay taxes?

And finally, to put it in the corporate perspective, this is about the right for companies to employ the best people they can without government interference and arbitrary taxation. It’s all about the freedom of the market.

Well done Sunny, well done.

I can’t take credit for this excellent joke I’m afraid – it was Don Paskini’s brainchild.

69. Matt Munro

@67 Leaving aside the fact that what’s “good for the economy/business”, is usually only beneficial to a very small number of people (capitalists and the middle class generally), we obviously disagree fundamentally about the concept of the nation state. I simply don’t accept that someone who isn’t born here should have the “right” to work, or do anything else here, without the states’ permission, otherwise you may as well not have a state at all. What you are making is a first – a left wing argument againt statism.

Why is it that lefties don’t mind the government micro-managing the daily lives of people that already live here, but seem to belive it’s somehow restrictive for the same government to show a passing interest in who wants to come here, by your argument any rapists, pedos, murderers also have the “right” to come here ?

70. Matt Munro

Sunny – It’s gone 12:00, you are the fool, methinks

Sunny – It’s gone 12:00, you are the fool, methinks

I’m so stung and hurt by that MM. Thanks for your concern

This is an excellent thread. I’ve never seen such a thorough ripping apart of Eurosceptic prejudice and wilful misunderstanding in many a long day.

Well done Tim W!

(Particular plaudits to Nosemonkey).

73. Matt Munro

BenM – If you like Europe so much then fuck off and live there !

Just as a random question: if not UKIP who else are left-wingers opposed to a technocratic European Union and seeking withdrawal meant to vote for? As I suspect many of these will see this move as a potential boost to traditional British manufacturing (by which I mean skilled manufacture, not factories or mining), I am not sure they will be swayed by the Greens, whose emphasis on new technologies does not seem to sell well in traditional manufacturing areas.

UKIP’s other policies are off-putting (to the point I could not vote for them) but if you are unlike me in two key respects (a. socialist and b. more concerned about Europe) is there actually a national alternative?

@69 Where on earth did you get the impression that I was left-wing? My arguments are economically pretty much entirely right-wing. And my loose pro-EU stance is actually pretty much libertarian.

But still, at least we get to the heart of it at last with this:

“I simply don’t accept that someone who isn’t born here should have the “right” to work, or do anything else here, without the states’ permission”

By my reckoning, that view makes you a fascist.

If you like Europe so much then fuck off and live there !

Shorter UKIP Manifesto, right there.

@ Watchman – if you’re a lefty eurosceptic, you could always try No2EU, assuming they’re still going.

Left-wing euroscepticism has pretty much died out in the UK these days, though – mostly due to the success of right-wing eurosceptics at swinging the popular press behind them – so I doubt you’ll find many constituencies with No2EU candidates.

Which is sort of a shame, because left-wing arguments against the EU are generally far, far more convincing. If UKIP picked up some of those then they’d probably do a lot better…

78. Luis Enrique

I could be persuaded to be anti-European not by any “left” or “right” arguments, not by appeal to principles of sovereignty and self-determination, but simply by reference to the dysfunctional corrupt and inept shower that European government is. It needn’t be this way, but it is, and while it is that the “anti-European” argument that I find most persuasive.

[my position on the is firmly on the fence through lack of knowledge, if anybody gives a monkeys. Talking of which (must have been on my subconscious there, it’s a pleasure to see Nosemonkey demonstrating the power of knowledge of the matter in hand]

@73 Matt Munro

“BenM – If you like Europe so much then fuck off and live there !”

Apart from the geographically obvious point that we already live in Europe, this kind of gives the lie to the whole Eurosceptic mind set. Rather than be actively engaged in the formation and running of the European project, let’s sit on the sidelines carping on about what a crap idea it is.

In the meantime we’ll rely on the Empire, oops.. Commonwealth, errmm special relationship…or why not just go the whole hog and become airstrip one?!

From the days of splendid isolation, to Churchill’s concept that a United Europe was a great idea as long as it stopped at the Channel, many in Europe have been dismayed at British reluctance to put themselves at the centre of Europe.

Too much to expect knee jerk Europhobes to see that the EU could have been a lot different if we’d taken an active role rather than pick up our ball and run off home in a huff because those ungrateful continentals wouldn’t let us dictate everything!

Luis @78 – the corruption claims when it comes to the EU are usually due to the perennial “the EU budget hasn’t been signed off because it’s so corrupt” uproar from the anti-EU brigade. Other than that, there’s actually very little evidence of the EU bureaucracy being any more corrupt than anywhere else (though it would be nice if EU lobbying was a bit more transparent, and if Private Eye favourite OLAF wasn’t quite so useless).

But as with most eurosceptic bandwaggons, the budget sign-off meme is based on a combination of ignorance and deliberate misrepresentation. Jon Worth has explored it in detail – short version: a) it’s primarily the fault of the governments of the member states, as that’s mostly who’s responsible for spending EU money, rather than the EU itself, and b) there’s no equivalent budgetary sign-off in the UK, and if there was, the UK would almost certainly fail every year as well.

Nosemonkey,

That was kind of my point. UKIP seem to be little Englanders with a smattering of classical liberals and libertarians strongly opposed to the external, non-Democratic mode of government. Legitimate point of view, certainly, but not really offering enough.

To cross-thread slightly, they should learn from the SNP and Plaid Cymru, who manage to attract support from across the political spectrum around a widely-appealing (if not mass-appealing) political message. To be fair, Tim’s post above is trying to make a general argument of this type and the focus on UKIP as a right-wing party was introduced by commentators, but Tim could have anticipated that even with the limited space (it was far from his best ever piece of argument).

82. Luis Enrique

NM,

well, it looks like my fence sitting on the basis of ignorance has been nicely justified by my ignorance.

I’m sure I’ve heard other tales of patronage and feather-bedding than just the budget sign-off thing, but of course I’m in no position to compare EU corruption to, say, UK corruption. Thanks for JW link.

83. Luis Enrique

hmm, having read it, I wouldn’t say Jon Worth “explored it in detail”, for example he didn’t explore the question of whether it happens to be the case that the accounts haven’t been signed off because of egregious misbehaviour or just because they are too complicated and we probably couldn’t do much better.

Luis – don’t worry about ignorance. When it comes to the EU, *everyone* is ignorant – because it’s far too complex to understand. I just wish more people had the honesty to admit it when they don’t know what they’re talking about…

Noisemonkey,

Is not the argument that the budget is too complex to sign off a classical argument that the current structure of the EU is itself too complex? Large scale need not be complex, and complexity of organisation rarely leads to efficiency (and where it does, this normally happens through competition; evolution favouring only complex organisms which were relatively good at certain aspects for example). You may be able to defend against corruption to some extent, but whether money is stolen, wasted, lost or merely unaccounted for it is still not an argument for retaining the current system.

@Luis – oh, and on the feather-bedding, you’re probably thinking of either former UKIP MEPs Ashley Mote and Tom Wise, or former Conservative MEP Den Dover, all of whom got into trouble for various financial misdemenours. Politicians can be dodgy no matter where they are – but a few dodgy elected representatives doesn’t mean that the entire system is corrupt…

On the EU budget sign-off issue, a bit more detail can be found here – a bit simplistic in places, but gets the basics right.

Watchman @85 – Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t think the EU is perfect, and agree that it’s too big and complex. I even agree with eurosceptics who argue that certain competences should be returned to the member states (I’m a big fan of the subsidiarity principle and the concept of a multi-tier Europe). Hell, I’ve been accused of being eurosceptic myself on numerous occasions. (But then again, I’ve also been accused of being a mouthpiece for the Commission and part of the superstate conspiracy…)

Short version: I think – and have long argued – that the EU needs fundamental reform. I just want those reforms to be based on something approaching objective analysis of the available evidence, rather than wilful deception or blind ideological prejudice.

@85 Watchman

The trouble is the EU is damned if does, and damned if it doesn’t..! The current system is largely a product of what the member states have decreed the EU should be. Even in areas where it makes sense to do things at a European level, the ultras on the Eurosceptic right and left will continue to bang on about the dangers of supra-nationalism and loss of sovereignty.

Nosemonkey is right, if most national governments were held to the same standards as the EU they would come out looking pretty poor. None of the Europhobes want to listen if it’s pointed out that the Brussels bureaucracy isn’t half as bloated as most national government departments!

@Galen10 – indeed. European Commission total staff numbers (including translators, etc.)? c.30,000.

Total EU budget (for £2007)? €120.7 billion

That’s a total staff size less than that of Birmingham City Council, and an EU-wide budget several tens of millions less than that for the UK Department of Work and Pensions.

It’s actually fairly remarkable how efficiently the EU works…

Can I point out here that ‘some national governments would also fail accounting’ is hardly an argument for anything – just because national government (also too complex perhaps) can’t get things right, that doesn’t make it OK for supranational government to do the same.

And as Birmingham is the largest authority in Britain, and DWP is responsible for benefits, I don’t think the EU budget is small. Especially as they do not deliver services, unlike the aforementioned budget holding agencies. Also, you give absolute figures, not the somewhat more relevant fact that unlike Birmingham City Council staff numbers (especially now) and the DWP budget the EU figures have not declined…

I am not anti-Europe, but given a straight choice between the current system and nothing, nothing is preferable, because I can audit nothing (very quickly). But that choice is the UKIP illusion if you like, as there are other things that can be done. I would personally like to see the European Parliament take charge of the commission, not work alongside it – it would be democratic, and allow democratic change to work.

You seem to be arguing that the system is imperfect, but bearable. UKIP argue it is unbearable, because imperfect. Me, I wonder why we don’t try for perfection?

Sorry – just to clarify for anyone as pedantic as me, the inverted commas in the previous post indicate a paraphrase of a position, not a direct quote. Sorry, should have indicated this.

92. Charlieman

@5 Lee Griffin: “Yet, the UK has proven time and again that it is more than happy to *exceed* the expectations of the EU when they do provide these guidances, even to the detriment of the ECHR…”

I’d put it slightly differently. Most (all?) EU “law” is pretty wooly and nations are free to implement it according to local conditions. There are some “laws” that are unconditional: eg those relating to human rights (which are not EU anyway) and VAT. For others, a nation can choose how to implement the “law” as long as it fits the general aims. Unfortunately, the UK has a tradition of interpreting and implementing EU “law” in a draconian fashion.

Example 1: When running an abattoir, animal pain/distress needs to be reduced and a responsible professional person needs to supervise animal handling. In the UK, this has been implemented by the requirement that a veterinarian is present when animals are killed for food, leading to greater animal distress because they are transported further for slaughter when small abattoirs become uneconomical. Do you need to study for five years to determine whether an abattoir is making efforts to reduce animal stress? Most other EU countries disagree.

Example 2: Food designation. UK victorian laws were introduced to prevent adulteration of food (eg mixing bread with wood dust). That is probably acceptable to 90% of libertarians, too. The EU should not concern itself about the quantities of non-cocoa in a chocolate bar or what defines chocolate, because food label laws already suffice. And when a manufacturer challenges the government whether a product is a cake or a biscuit (was that about VAT?), the law makers are wrong. As soon as government tries to define food as essentials or luxuries, law will become stupid.

(I love “protected designation of origin”. It’s an open patent and brand: create your product in the same way in the same region, and charge a premium for good product. And if Parma ham is too expensive, there is a cheaper Spanish equivalent. Definable and enforceable protection.)

Straight bananas and cucumbers, wonky tomatoes, Esther Rantzen carrots: nobody else in the EU gives a stuff.

Example 3: Weights and measures. You have to cringe when a government that allows beer to be sold in pints chooses that spuds have to be sold in kilos. Growing up in the metric era, I (largely) think of mechanical things in metric measures and food in imperial measures. If I am buying cheese, I ask for 4 ounces, rather than 100 or 150 grammes. I don’t give a stuff whether the scales measure in metric or imperial units, as long as they are accurate.

@17 Trofim:

Mr S Pill @ 1:

A. I will not be voting UKIP. As I was walking through Earls Court t’other day, I saw a sign saying “4000 people settle here every week”

B. “How nice,” I thought “it must be a pleasant place to live…”

You seem to be implying a causal connection between the two. Can you extrapolate on your thought processes?

Certainly. I’m looking for somewhere to live in London (as an economic migrant from Northern England). Also the word “settle” – to my mind – has positive connetations. I suppose UKIP should’ve used “invade” or “swarm” to be more true to their thoughts.

94. Charlieman

Mr S.Pill: “I suppose UKIP should’ve used “invade” or “swarm” to be more true to their thoughts.”

Whenever I read or hear the word Settle, I think of a Yorkshire town. Even as a verb, it is very passive. The word settle is comfortable by definition and usage.

And that is probably why UKIP used that particular word in their poster. UKIP is a wacky organisation (from what I understand) and has addressed infiltration from the far right (ditto). Their policies on immigration are inconsistent, but that applies to all parties.

But by this phrase adoption, can’t we assume that UKIP are to be “looked at”? If they ever use “swamp” or “invade”, that consideration is taken away.

@93

Ummm maybe if they hadn’t ruined the effect (and my day) by having “Say no to mass immigration” in huge capitals under the first phrase!

96. Charlieman

@94: Tell Tim W, not me!

97. Matt Munro

“I simply don’t accept that someone who isn’t born here should have the “right” to work, or do anything else here, without the states’ permission”

By my reckoning, that view makes you a fascist.

Ok then it makes the US, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden amongst others, fascist states. The UK is in the minority (in the world) at simply accepting anyone who turns up as a citizen. And you claim to be left wing ???

98. Matt Munro

@79″ Too much to expect knee jerk Europhobes to see that the EU could have been a lot different if we’d taken an active role rather than pick up our ball and run off home in a huff because those ungrateful continentals wouldn’t let us dictate everything!”

For your information both my parents are European (as in not from the UK) and I have lived and worked in Europe (unlike most of LC who’ve never been outside Islington, let alone the M25), so feeble jibes about empire are pointless.
Why can’t you just accept that not everyone buys into the EU as some wonderfull touchy feely happy European familiy that we all have to be part of, and its’ perfectly possible to be anti-EU without being remotely racist, let alone right wing.
I personally dislike the EU not because its dominated by Johhny Foreigner, or becuase it subisdises inefficiency on a gargantuan scale, but becaue it’s the epitome of wastefull, burocratic, pointless statism.

“Ok then it makes the US, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden amongst others, fascist states. The UK is in the minority (in the world) at simply accepting anyone who turns up as a citizen. And you claim to be left wing ???”

So much wrong here.

Mr nosemonkey explicitly said his economics are right wing and his views on migration libertarian!

Moreover “The UK is in the minority (in the world) at simply accepting anyone who turns up as a citizen.” isn’t true. If it wasn’t clear you are simply hugely ill-informed I would call you a liar.

100. Yurrzem!

@81 Watchman

You wrote, “To cross-thread slightly, they should learn from the SNP and Plaid Cymru, who manage to attract support from across the political spectrum around a widely-appealing (if not mass-appealing) political message”

I think Plaid and the SNP attract wise support because their appeal is based on Blame the English for Everything Bad. How could UKIP do the same? Blame the French?

It could work…

Twat Munro, at it again with this peach of bollocks: “unlike most of LC who’ve never been outside Islington, let alone the M25”, what a douche bag thing to say but typical of you.

*sigh*

Munro you dum biatch! 😀

@100 Yurrzem

“I think Plaid and the SNP attract wise support because their appeal is based on Blame the English for Everything Bad”

Nationalist movements Like Plaid and the SNP attract wide support for a whole host of reasons, and yes (shock horror!) anti-English sentiment might actually play some part in it – but it’s only one relatively unimportant facet. Those Celts you know..you just can’t stop them supporting “anyone but England” at any given sporting event, and don’t even get me started about Tebbit’s famous cricket test!

The reason nationalists in Scotland and Wales have made progress in the past few decades is that they are (increasingly) seen to represent the interests of the people of their respective countries better than the UK wide parties.

There is a strong argument to be made that the electoral collapse of the Scottish Tories from their 1950’s heyday is due to their being seen as “anti-Scottish”, or at least representing interests and policies wholly at variance with what the vast majority of scots believe in. More recently, the “New” (spits) Labour party has managed to alienate many traditional Scots supporters.

It’s not as if we don’t have experience of bad things happening which we didn’t vote for (Poll Tax anyone..?). If greater devolution or independence happen, it will a variety of motivations: economic, social and yes, even emotional.

To believe that nationalism simply represents Anglophobia writ large is as simplistic as it is patronising.

@98 Matt Munro

“its’ perfectly possible to be anti-EU without being remotely racist, let alone right wing.
I personally dislike the EU not because its dominated by Johhny Foreigner, or becuase it subisdises inefficiency on a gargantuan scale, but becaue it’s the epitome of wastefull, burocratic, pointless statism.”

It’s certainly possible to make a reasoned argument along those lines Matt.. the trouble is you don’t do it (as in your “If you like Europe so much then fuck off and live there !” gem from post 73 above).

The issue relating to this article is that UKIP is widely (and in my view rightly) seen as a vicious and slightly sinister organisation which tries to cloak it’s ugly bigoted soul in a cloak of “we’re the real Tories” respectability.

Like nosemonkey I’m not an unconditional supporter of the EU either, and am quite open to it being reformed. What I don’t accept is that there is a reasonable case for the UK withdrawing, because those advocating it (whether on the right or left) are invariably fringe party nutters whose policies would leave us politically and economically isolated, and in a state of economic helotry as we tried to survive in some autarchic “Little England” wonderland.

@103 Galen 10

Admittedly I’ve only a limited experience of Scottish nationalism from the bloke-in-pub types I’ve met and some rarther stuck-up in-laws in Edinburgh and Tillicoultry. The anti-English sentiment was very real, as well as a rather vacuous notion that Scotland deserved something back for its oil. These populist memes may not appeal to the political sophisticate but I don’t think I’m being patronising in my analysis. I may have been a little flippant, though.

@105 Yurrzem

I’m not denying that there isn’t an unattractive vein of anti-English sentiment in some aspects of Welsh or Scottish nationalism. For what it’s worth, as an expat Scot I do sometimes cringe at the worst excesses of the “support anyone but England” mindset, but it can work both ways. In the main however, I think most of it should be taken with a pinch of salt, and is fairly good humoured. It might have taken quite a few centuries, but at least the battles are now fought on the sports field and across the parliamentary floor.

As for the oil, it’s hardly vacuous to expect to benefit from it, as most of it is in what would become a “Scottish” sector of the N. Sea (altho’ significant amounts are in waht would be the “English” sector). As oil production decreases however, I’m not sure how big a motivation this is… after all if the old cries of “It’s our oil!” had been THAT persuasive, no doubt the Scots would have ditched the Union in the 70’s.

Independence, if and when it comes, will have been brought about by many different considerations. If it does happen, a big part of me thinks it would be pretty tragic… but I’d still have a Scottish passport! 😉

Can someone please explain to me what exactly is racist about capping mass immigration?

DH – nothing, inherently. (Although the very term “mass immigration” tends to imply a certain ideological bias that instantly arouses suspicion of motives.)

But when a concern about immigration is combined with other illiberal policies (e.g. banning burkhas, having “Spokesman on Immigration and Islamism” as a party position, as UKIP do), as well as professions of libertarian “let’s allow people to get on with their lives without interference from the state” attitudes that are in complete opposition to banning things and preventing people from moving around as they please, things do tend to look a little suspect.

And as I noted in the run-up to the last general election, “It’s not racist to impose limits on immigration. It is, however, incredibly likely to appeal to and stir up racist sentiment. And it certainly IS racist to put up anti-immigration posters in close proximity to immigrant businesses and places of worship.” That’s what the Tories were doing in 2005, and it’s what UKIP are doing in 2010.

Limiting immigration may in itself not be racist – but it does, deliberately, appeal to and feed off racist sentiment, casting it in the same thinly-disguised veil of “it’s ok – we can’t be racist, because…” language of the BNP’s favourite get-out.

109. Golden Gordon

For your information both my parents are European
A little hypocritical your stance on immigration Eh

Nosemonkey, thanks for the constructive reply, y’no I don’t think I’ve got a single answer off someone before as clear as yours (y’no, not so filled with close mindedness, bitterness and spitting-rage).

Although, my use of the term ‘Mass Immigration’ means an uncontrollable wave of migrants coming to our small island within the EU… I have been hounded before for displaying my contempt towards such a law – which is an EU law, not a British one. But don’t get me wrong, half my bloodline is immigrant stock. But even my grandparents know when immigration gets a little bit ridiculous.

“…it certainly IS racist to put up anti-immigration posters in close proximity to immigrant businesses and places of worship…”
I slightly disagree, I think you don’t have to be a racist to be concerned about the amount of people coming into this country. We’re overpopulated as it is, 1st generation British and/or immigrant stock. I just find it irritating when people call me racist for wanting to put a cap on immigration, because I know I’m not racist myself.

So basically, what I’m trying to say is, is there a scenario when we can swap the ill used term ‘racist’, to a more fitting ‘realist’?

@110 D.H.

“We’re overpopulated as it is, 1st generation British and/or immigrant stock. I just find it irritating when people call me racist for wanting to put a cap on immigration, because I know I’m not racist myself.”

I think the “we’re overpopulated as it is” statement is one lots of people have a problem with. Are we really? How many IS too many? A lot of the recent immigration was from E Europe and the Baltic States, and many of them have not or will not stay permanently.

DH – nothing (really) to do with the EU. As the Daily Mail – hardly a pro-EU rag – notes today:

“Officers told the migrants that, under EU rules, if they haven’t worked for the last three months they can removed from their host country…

“People from EU countries have a right to travel freely in the EU and can live in the UK for up to three months if they can support themselves.

“After that time, they can only stay in the country if they are working, they are registered students or they are self-supporting.”

DH – for reference, I did a round-up featuring the Mail, Telegraph, Express and Star – all anti-EU, all admitting that EU rules have *nothing* to do with long-term immigration.

114. Gary Appleton

Liberalism is the new racism. You can’t even state what you think anymore without someone throwing in some comment about bigotry or racism.

Of course the burkha should be banned! If you went into a bank with a balaclava on, how do you think that would go down? Yet burkha-clad people go wherever they want. With the real threat of terrorism, this is no time for such niceties.

The best thing of all about UKIP policy is the “three strikes and you’re out” policy on crime. Just what we need. They have clear plans to solve the real problems in the country – crime, pensions, tax, unemployment. I don’t have any problems with British politics. It’s a recession, get over it. The only thing that really bothers me is people sitting at home doing nothing while I go out to work to support them. It will only get worse under labour, conservative or lib dems. Get the British people off their bottoms and doing the work, and there won’t be any jobs for immigrants.

Ahoy there racist!

116. Charlieman

@114 Gary Appleton: “Yet burkha-clad people go wherever they want. With the real threat of terrorism, this is no time for such niceties.”

1. “Profiling” (the identification of potential suspects according to race, dress, religion) does not work. Real security means that potential suspects are identified by behaviour rather than profile. Recent terrorist crimes have been committed by black/white/Arab/Asian people, men and women, who have dressed in a variety of ways (see underpants bomber).

2. In the UK, no terrorist act has been conducted under “burkha cover”.


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