It wasn’t that hard a decision really. I’m very swayed by the arguments of FA Hayek in “The road to Serfdom” and thus not in favour of centralised government, least of all one that has never had its expenditure pass audit. While there are many good Eurosceptic MEPs, such as Daniel Hannan, the reality is that they are part of the status quo and what the entire EC needs is a well applied boot to its backside. Voting UKIP achieves this.
Were there a referendum today (which, of course there is not) I would vote to leave. This is an argument to be covered in detail later, the short version is that my current assumption is that as we import more goods from Europe than we sell there it is in Europe’s interest to maintain us as a market. Slapping tariffs on our exports to them would be reciprocated. There are many other arguments, which I’ll no doubt make on later blogs.
If there were a general election today, (which of course there is not either), I do not know how I would vote, but for sure UKIP would be in contention. There is a malaise in UK politics that has created the “Westminster Bubble,” a coterie of career-politicians, senior civil servants and some media commentators (particularly the BBC) that have sold their principles for the maintenance of the status quo, specifically their continued employment. Voting UKIP undermines them, and their complete and continued reluctance to contemplate alternatives to our current system of government, which consumes almost 50% of our GDP. People forget that it is this, not the bank crash, that has led to the mountain of national debt that hangs over the future economic health of our children.
As it happens, I think that a UKIP vote will possibly damage the Conservative party least. If it comes in at the predicted level he will certainly have the mandate to go to the EC and say “Negotiate or we’re out.” I don’t actually think that the EC will be able to accommodate the restructuring necessary (remember the “principle of subsidiarity” that got John Major through the Maastricht treaty?) But at least it gives Cameron the opportunity.
I do think that much of the UKIP coverage in the media has been unfair, but that is unsurprising and I think Nigel Farrage has done well. Compared to the impact of the Social Democratic Party (formed late 1970s and now somewhere in the Liberal Democrats) he has achieved far more, and without the luxury of starting with seats in Westminster. While one could argue that the SDP ultimately gave us New Labour it was a storm in a teacup compared to UKIP actually challenging the entire political construct.
Out of interest I include a poll on how you voted. Feel free to click away