I agree with the main point of UKIP - out of the EU. Whether this means EEA / EFTA or a bilateral agreement like Switzerland, I don't care but we don't need the code law, the statism or the 'social democracy'.
On the rest of it? I'll pick two of their 17 areas:
- Boost the military budget by 40% so our armed forces are properly equipped
- Demand one clear achievable mission for Afghanistan or seek a negotiated exit
- Keep Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent strong
- Look after our service heroes with better pay and conditions
- Expand the Army by 25% and double the TA
- Provide more RAF helicopters and aircraft
- Expand the Royal Navy to its 2001 strength, guaranteeing the future of Plymouth, Portsmouth and Rosyth ports
Just look at it. Firstly - a budget increase of 40%? Yes, throwing money at a government department has proved such a success with New Labour, hasn't it? Also, we can't afford it. According to their figures, the net EU contribution is £16.4 billion. The 2009 / 10 MOD budget is a bit over £35bn. So that one commitment is taking 86% of our government revenue savings? Never mind that this will all get siphoned off into crap we don't actually need (Typhoon tranche 3), stuff we need but a buying stupidly expensively because we insist it is built in the UK to support BAE shareholders (Apache, FRES) and general waste.
Afghan? Nice thought but "one clear achievable mission" is an oxymoron.
Independent deterrent? Without wishing to pander to those who insist that the Yanks have a veto on launch of Trident (errm, yes, it's designed to work if the entire Western World has been left a smoking ruin? And, no, we don't have the US, in fact - any, PAL system on the warheads.)
TACOS - are fine, thanks - nearly everybody would want more pay but a recent Arrse thread basically pointed out that as the recruitment pipelines are overflowing, pay is clearly 'acceptable'. Yes, some bits of the system are broken (accommodation, particularly) but that is due to a combination of silly bureaucracy and worse contract writing - not something that can be trivially fixed by throwing money at it.
Expand, expand, expand. Well, apart from the fact they clearly don't realise that Faslane is now the one Scottish military port and they can't mean the shipyards or they would have mentioned Barrow and the Clyde - you can't just do this. You need to recreate the military pyramid (with the AcSM on top, of course) and you can only shove in at the bottom. My training took 5 years from joining up through to my first operational post - and I wasn't doing anything difficult like flying fast jets. Also, doubling the size of the TA? Come off it - we can't recruit up to strength (in most areas) as it is (and, given the lesser time you can devote to training as a reservist, it takes even longer to produce a useful soldier.)
Culture & Restoring Britishness
- End support for multiculturalism and promote one shared British culture for all
- Be fair to England by introducing an ‘English Parliament’, ending the discriminatory Barnett Formula and making St George’s Day a national holiday in England
- Ban the burka and veiled niqab in public buildings and certain private buildings
- Require UK schools to teach Britain’s contribution to the world and celebrate cultures, languages and traditions from around the British Isles
- Scrap political correctness in public affairs
Oh dear, "one shared British culture"? Whose culture would that be then? The Outer Hebridies, where running a ferry on the Lord's Day causes public concern? Victorian puritanism (and prurience) or Georgian between-the-wars hedonism? Chav bling and vomiting in gutters all around (and, frankly - that's what passes for 'British' these days - Ned if you want to be parochial).
England stuff - oh God. Not more politicians? Yes, we need to solve the imbalance of powers and the funding issues and I have no problem with St George's Day being a holiday. (Actually, is having a day off to celebrate the death of a Palestinian or Turkish soldier part of the multiculturalism the previous bullet isn't supporting?)
Banning things. Isn't British. If you want to import French ideas, what about their health service funding?
Schools - great. So Londoners need to be taught Gaelic and weegies Kernewek? That's what they are saying!
The problem is not "political correctness" which, at its basis is just good manners, but excess. And there is no commitment to the incarceration of all "Diversity Officers", which would be a damn good start.