The Policies set out below, mostly in ‘broad brush’ form ( I accept some would need particular costing) are intended for consideration by the readers of UKIP Daily and hopefully also by the Leadership candidates ( who could perhaps set out their agreement or otherwise with either the detailed policy or the approach? ).
In my view this raft of policies would be distinctive, difficult to pigeon hole as ‘left’ or ‘right’. They represent a more ‘radical’ approach, which could have considerable appeal to the majority of the population who are struggling to get by on the average wage and below. ( Not everyone seems to be aware that for the average wage to be approximately £25,000 that means that a whole lot of people are surviving on much much less. UKIP must be their champion! )
If these Policies appeal particularly strongly to traditional Labour voters in the North who have been abandoned by the bien pensant metropolitan virtue signallers who have captured the Labour Party well, all to the good. Ditto the 17,000,000 plus who voted LEAVE and whom no Party other than UKIP represents.
The hope is that the Policies would also appeal to fair minded persons of all parties and none.
1] Proportional Representation
The country badly needs, and UKIP needs to campaign tirelessly for, a fair voting system which would at last give us a Parliament we could be proud of as representing, broadly, the range of views in the country at large, whether those views and MPs be Greens, Labour, Scottish Unionist, or UKIP.
The Referendum demonstrated with painful clarity just how disconnected from the electorate our élitist, mostly never-worked-in-a-real-job Parliament now is, being elected under the ‘Rotten Borough’ ( I suggest repeated use of this phrase ) system of safe seats : over three quarters of MPs are Bremainians, compared to less than 50% of the electorate.
Another, extremely malign, example of the distortion of the current system : over half of the Scottish electorate voted for Unionist parties in 2015 – yet these voters have only two or three MPs at Westminster. Under FPTP the SNP is virtually the sole representative of the Scottish people in Parliament, and this has malign effects on public policy with the tail wagging the dog .
UKIP needs to push hard now for Proportional Representation as its principal aim, ( albeit co-equal with a hard Brexit which puts us on a footing vis à vis the EU analogous to that which Canada has vis à vis the U.S.A. – Co-operation in many areas, very friendly relations, mutually beneficial trade policies, but zero suggestion of ‘freedom of movement’.)
UKIP needs to ‘bang on’ about PR for as long as it takes and as persistently and forcefully as it takes to obtain progress on the issue. PR is needed above all in the Commons but also in local government elections where FPTP has created fiefdoms impossible for new thinking to penetrate. We need to make common cause with Greens and LibDems on the issue, not to mention those in the Labour Party who also favour voting reform ( and Labour may soon need PR themselves a lot more than has been the case ).
Demonstrations, protests in Parliament, petitions, and why not legal action in, of all places, the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that the UK cannot really describe itself as a democracy when its Parliament is so hugely unrepresentative of its people. (I believe the UK should amicably part company with the ECHR but until this has happened we should make as much use as possible of its mechanisms and at least seek to bring an action in that forum.)
2] Criminal Justice Policy
I publish separately a much more detailed, nuanced, policy document ( based on my 30 years’ experience in the system, including years as a Clerk to the Justices / Resident Magistrate in UK Overseas Territories / Senior Legal Officer for the United Nations ) but the gist of it is that we need reforms to both:
Procedure: such as very substantially increasing the powers of Magistrates’ Courts and abolishing the Crown Prosecution Service – thus returning prosecution decisions to the Police, now more under lay influence with the election of PCCs
Sentencing: toughening with genuine minimum mandatory terms of 3 years for persistent burglars / car thieves / violent offenders, and with minimum mandatory sentences of 30 years – yes, actually to be served – for murderers
It is important to note that what is advocated in this area is not ( on careful examination ) able to be dismissed as extremist ‘hang-em-and-flog-em’ type policies for which UKIP is caricatured, but instead is both capable of being defended morally and intellectually in discussion and debate, yet also retains an appeal of comparative simplicity ( and toughening ) of which the general public would approve.
3 ] Economic & Industrial Policy, fairness
An UKIP commitment to no~one receiving a salary / stipend from the public purse of more than £99,000 per annum, including expenses (perhaps with extremely rare exceptions). This should certainly apply to MPs, and as it would apply only after the next election could hardly be decried by them as they would be choosing, by becoming candidates, to potentially submitting themselves to this financial régime. ( It would be a useful debating point at election Hustings : ‘ Are you prepared to vote, if elected, for UKIP’s proposal for substantially reduced stipends and expenses for MPs? ‘ ) Some Labour MPs are currently calling for even fewer controls on their expenses claims than currently exist!
UKIP should campaign hard on the MPs, Government MInisters, BBC and other public sector Executives are already chomping at the trough of public money on stipends three and more times the national average wage : riches beyond the dreams of avarice for the majority of voters who struggle to get by on average wage or even well below ( even the proposed ‘Living Wage’ is well below £25,000 per annum ).
Freed from EU control UKIP should promise that in future the UK would establish an industrial policy suited to the UK, including Government procurement policy favouring UK firms wherever possible.
The UK used to lead the world in civil nuclear technology: how on earth have we ended up contracting this out to the French and the Chinese? For safety, sovereignty, financial saving and practicality reasons this needs to be reversed as soon as possible, and UKIP needs to make the declaration of principle in favour.
HS2 needs to be abolished, pure and simple. The alleged time saving benefits are nugatory. The alleged capacity improvements could be achieved by longer trains and platforms, and , depending on costings, altering bridges and tunnels to accommodate double decker trains.
In any event rapidly improving video conferencing (soon to incorporate holograms) will render much business travel unnecessary.
There needs to be a substantial new investment in training UK young persons as Nurses and Medics.. The current reliance on overseas recruitment is hugely short sighted, with many hidden costs to the public purse which are not considered by the Trusts recruiting abroad ( which recruiting also damages infrastructure in poorer countries – Lose / Lose all around ).
Large numbers of well qualified students ( 3 or 4 x A*s at A level in hard science subjects ) are rejected for medical training for simple lack of places: this needs to be reversed urgently.
UKIP needs to be bold and unapologetic: given the very substantial overcrowding from which the country is already suffering, thanks to our wonderful élite, we now need a complete ( or almost complete ) moratorium on all new immigration from any country for at least the five year duration of a Parliament. Yes this would include ‘family reunion’ and similar hard cases. It should be much better explained abroad how desperately overcrowded England already is : for example France has twice the surface area for similar population size – and this is reflected in the much greater affordability of housing in France. Other examples could be provided.)
NO work permits in any case should be issued unless the intending employer could prove that the proposed salary will be more than £50,000 per annum AND the employer has arranged and paid for in advance the housing for the intended recruit for the duration of her contract.
No tourist visas to foreign nationals should be issued save abroad in our Embassies / High Commissions or over secure Internet application well in advance of travel ( copying the US’s ESTA scheme – why not? It works. ) The cost of processing such applications should be charged to the Applicant for the visa.
The farce of Immigration Officers at Airports being under huge psychological and even physical pressure of enormous queues to just admit more or less everyone who presents themselves has to end. And it can be ended quite simply – but so far no Party is proposing it. Not even UKIP.
Foreigners’ tourist visas should be stamped clearly in their passports with the instruction ‘ Not to undertake any work, paid or unpaid. Take Note that overstaying is punishable with imprisonment’. The need of the country to re~establish some kind of control over the extraordinary numbers entering has to at last take priority over attempting to solve the problems of all the world’s poor by allowing uncontrolled immigration.
It is just not sufficient to continue to talk airily about ‘ An Australian Style Points System’ as this implies that we do actually need a certain amount of immigration.We actually don’t. And everybody knows it. Maybe Australia, with half the UK’s population and many times the surface area, and comparatively affordable housing, including social housing, does indeed need some immigration. But the UK does not. What the UK absolutely needs is to have a halt to new numbers coming in, at least for a declared period of time, to enable us to get a grip on the housing crisis amongst other social problems.
Part Two will be published later today, leading on from immigration to lay out policy for housing, education and culture