Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Why are UKIP getting support?

Interesting article in The Independent today, that has a few choice quotes from generally-not-racist-but-kind-of-xenophobic people that supposedly should be voting Labour, but seem like they'll be supporting UKIP. So why are they?

Let's take a look at some quotes...

“The country is full up with everybody coming in,” says Mr Harmer.

Is it really full up? There are two ways to look at it, the first is in terms of actual area available for people to live in the UK. It's clear that we live in a tiny percentage of the space in this country and that far more space is used for farming, etc (Daily Mail link warning).

Better use of space we already use, along with a change in our views on how much currently non-urbanised space could become space to build and expand into, means we are far from full up.

But this brings us perhaps on to the real reason people feel that the country is "full up", and that is that there appears to not be enough stuff to go around. Housing, schools, A&E waiting time, jobs. You name it we ain't got enough of it. Right now we are facing a schools shortage that will ripple from current primary schools through secondary schools over the next decade thanks to a baby boom driven by higher birth rates at a time of recession, a clear and present sign of just how on the edge our politicians have left the building of infrastructure in this country.

In this case we are only as full up as we're prepared to limit ourselves. Politicians for years seem to have been doing a great job at making sure we're limited, to the point where even without immigration we're running out of services and stretching those that exist to the limit.

His wife, Margaret, will also vote Ukip. She’s upset because she doesn’t get a full pension because she took time off work to look after her children – while immigrants can claim benefits.

“It’s not right,” she adds.

Nor is it actually true. The hypocrisy here is that Margaret seems to believe she is entitled to more than she has put in, but is upset at people that are entitled for things (because they put money in) are potentially taking some of that entitlement on in benefits. (and I say potentially because EU migrants claim less benefits than us Brits do)

Does the blame for successive parties not catering for looking after women that, for either financial necessity or belief that it's the best option for their kids, stay at home in the early years of their children's lives really lay at the feet of migrants rather than the politicians?

Or take Sarah Everitt. Her complaint is the 14 foreign children in her daughter’s class – some of whom have difficulty with English.

“The teachers spend more time with these children than the rest,”

We're freezing council tax, we're tightening the money we spend on teaching staff, and yet we can seemingly also complain about how there aren't enough teachers to go around? If the children weren't "foreign" and had trouble with their english, but were instead just less bright than Sarah's kid and needed the extra support from the teacher...would this be the same conversation?

Of course it wouldn't, there'd be questions about whether or not the school has the teaching assistants it needs to free the teacher up for their proper duties educating the whole class, and whether the funds are there to allow it.

“And they get housing straight away unlike the rest of us.”

Except, again, they don't. The few that may get it ahead of others are deemed by the local authority to be in more need. Why is there a waiting list at all for social housing anyway? Because politicians have failed to ensure that enough houses are being built to house even our population even without migrants coming in!

There is a trend here, isn't there?

Years and years of neglect by the country's leaders when it comes to investing in our country. We sit in the midst of a housing shortage that is pushing rents to unsustainable levels and house prices and their mortgages higher than when the bubble burst. We don't have enough school places for those that UKIP or BNP supporters may call "indigenous" in the coming years because we are not flexible or prepared enough to deal with a baby boom. We don't have the money to pay for future pensions because of a previous baby boom that is skewing the balance of paying in vs paying out.

So why are UKIP getting support? Because the Tories and Labour have made their bed over the decades, they've let migrants become a scapegoat for their own failings in taking care for this country. Migrants are an insignificant cost to the country, if they're even a cost to us at all and yet we reserve so many lines of newspaper columns, news analysis and talk show time for them when the people who have stalled the country are being given a free pass.

And the tragic comedy in all of this is that UKIP have policies that quite frankly are only going to further dent our progress in managing our future. a flat rate of tax that reduces the tax bill for those earning the most money, pulling out of the best trade deals we've got in preference for a non-existent and probably never-will-exist trade union of countries that could quite frankly get a better deal if they just dealt with the EU (as they probably already do), and continuing the privatisation of our services.

Our unhealthy obsession, and excuse making, towards migration has to stop. While I'm not claiming you need to embrace migration, we do need to prioritise what is a problem in this country...and whether it's population rise by British birth rates rising (and death rates dropping as we cure and heal more diseases), or by migration, our problem is the state and/or the private sector, if you prefer, not doing what it needs to do to ensure we have everything we need.