As I watched the recording of Donald J Trump’s speech to Congress, I shook my head in wonder at the range and benefits of measures across the breadth of government that his administration has already implemented or is implementing.
I noted the frequency of applause and standing ovations, most Republicans standing and applauding for the majority of measures, compared to the boot faces of the sitting Democrats with the odd exception like Bernie Sanders on some jobs measures: brave man but he did look around his colleagues nervously! But, Trump appealed to the Democrats to support many measures, implemented through laws rather than Presidential orders, the technique that Obama excessively used. He got all Democrats to stand though when he introduced some young citizens in the gallery who had overcome life’s difficulties of poverty and health to succeed in education, and military heroes too – they had no choice but still wore their boot-faces.
In his speech, I could see the genesis of a radical UKIP manifesto, the radicalism that Nigel Farage encouraged us to adopt in his address to Spring Conference, with the odd exception such as Obamacare and world leadership, although principles can be extrapolated for the UK. So, using a transcript of his speech (watch it here, read it here) here is my interpretation and translation of Trump’s speech into a radical UKIP Manifesto:
Leaving aside Trump’s introductory remarks reviewing USA history and values against the recent developments, he outlined his basic principle which must be ours:
- We must put our own citizens first and Make Britain Great Again.
Trade and Jobs
Trump he started improving Trade and Jobs before he was even inaugurated, with big American businesses keeping and returning jobs to the USA: Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart. Britain has world class companies as well and with Brexit, British and foreign companies are returning jobs and investment to the UK. Stock markets are rising, but competent commentators see it as a bubble –market value rises based on real-value not perceived-value are required. And so, for trade:
- Provide an environment in which business large and small can thrive.
- Create a deregulation task force inside every Government agency.
- Mandate that for every new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. (With the plethora of EU-inherited regulations we could probably make that 1 for 10).
- Massively reduce corporation taxes and taxes on the middle classes to encourage upward mobility.
- Avoid and withdraw from multi-lateral trade deals and only create new bilateral trade deals where Britain is not disadvantaged by them.
- Switch away from the current system of lower-skilled (or no-skilled) immigration, and adopt a merit-based system, to raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of pounds (on healthcare and benefits for many immigrants) and make communities safe again, which leads neatly onto law and order…
Law and Order
He outlined the present problems in the USA, massive crime problems in some cities and the high incidence amongst immigrants (witness a disproportionate percentage of jail population who are immigrants or of foreign-origin). His solutions should be ours too:
- Form a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime
- Coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle criminal cartels
- Stop drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and expand treatment for those who have become so addicted, rather than criminalizing them)
- Enforce immigration laws, vetting procedures and border security.
- Instead of a wall to Mexico, we need a strong air/sea border protection force along the south coast – 3 ships for the whole country and little monitoring of small aircraft traffic is no defence.
- Remove gang members, drug dealers and criminals who threaten our communities and prey on our citizens, who are not citizens.
- Protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism.
- Depoliticise the legal system and ensure that senior judges who are appointed base their judgments on the law and constitution, not their political views.
- Support victims of crime and law enforcement officials suffering in the line of duty.
President Trump talked of the way in which his country had spent trillions of dollars on foreign aid and wars: we have done the same, while our infrastructure has crumbled or stagnated around us, slowly throttling trade and the social life of the country. And so, for Britain:
- A £200 Billion public and private (but not PFI!) investment in infrastructure, primarily transport.
- For railways: divert the HS2 funding to more railways specifically for freight, to free the existing railway routes for more passenger traffic, and especially rail routes across and around London to access Eurotunnel and the southern ports.
- For roads, an innovative programme of solving bottlenecks and addressing the massive lack of capacity on trunk routes in the heart of the country, and providing resilience when major accidents occur.
- For air, solving the national hub dilemma of London’s airports by building a new “London International” airport coupled with rail and road links to it that do not depend on bottlenecks for access (e.g. M25)
America starts from a different position to us, them with core provision in private health insurance and us with the NHS – their Obamacare is in crisis (Also interesting is this claim on it’s initial funding, essentially by one-time government theft). While the clinical aims of both systems may be the same, the methods of funding are different and the publically-funded NHS is a political sacred cow. However, it too is an “imploding disaster” for different reasons – the way that funding does NOT take account of increasing population, and how we do not effectively price health provision to the non-entitled people. Leaving the EU, controlling immigration and clamping down on international health provision, will solve many problems but bottlenecks must also be eradicated, the biggest one being bed-blocking for which an increase in care home provision is essential. I won’t attempt to define any manifesto bullets here, I’ll leave that to (hopefully) a team of UKIP healthcare experts to define.
One common factor is the price of drugs. The whole world is paying the price for pharmacy cartels and some of those cartels are British-based, so:
- Britain must work with the USA to bring down the price of prescription drugs.
- We must reduce the burdensome approval process for new drugs too, to provide openings for smaller innovative drug providers, possibly coupled with measures to seek patient contribution for expensive drugs from those who can afford it.
Again, we need the same measures as the USA:
- Fund school choice, especially providing upward mobility for disadvantaged youth through both academic and vocational schooling for older children, to break cycles of poverty.
Defence and Foreign Relations
The press has already heralded Trump’s planned £54 billion investment in extra defence spending, which matches our entire annual defence budget, and pledged support to service personnel. However, if we want to be a global trading nation, if we want to be a partner with the USA in leading the world:
- We should increase defence spending to 2.5% to 3% (USA currently spends 3.3%) from the current £54 billion by £13 to £26 billion: we currently spend £24 billion net on Foreign Aid and the net EU subscriptions.
- We must work with the USA and allies to eradicate ISIS and international terrorists.
- We must strongly support NATO, not the EU “Army”.
- We must support our servicemen and women and their families, especially if killed or injured, and remove the threat of prosecution for doing their duty.
- Create conditions in crisis countries that allow citizens to return safely to their countries rather than accept them on our own shores.
I will stay off the closing rhetoric, but the video demonstrates the support he has from ordinary Republican Congressmen with remarks like “awesome speech”.
Make Britain Great Again, is what I say!