All-lunatic-fringe-UKIP wants to ban benefit claimants from driving

Thu, 22/01/2015 - 12:50 -- nick

UKIP has done it again.

One of its serving councillors, Lynton Yates from Leicester county council, has issued a leaflet in support of his campaign to become MP for Charnwood, and it includes a policy which will shock unemployed people and other benefit claimants.

According to The Guardian, Yates railed against the idea that claimants should be allowed to drive, preferring to erode their rights while misunderstanding what benefits are and who gets them.

“We could likely remove six million cars from the road if benefit claimants were not driving,” the leaflet reads. “Why do they have the privilege to spend the taxpayer’s hard-earned money on a car, when those in work are struggling to keep their own car on the road? These people could really catch a bus!”

Another foolish politician pretending that all benefit claimants are undeserving when the majority of them are working and getting tax credits, and not referencing the biggest group of claimants of all, pensioners.

UKIP central command has again moved to distance itself from this, saying it isn't official policy, but the party has increasingly become a joke more than a threat as the forthcoming election sees it scrutinised properly for the first time and the scales fall from voters' eyes.

The ridiculousness of it is pointed up by Al Murray, the comedy Pub Landlord, who announced last week that he will stand as a candidate at the 2015 general election in Kent's South Thanet seat.

He will be up against both the current Tory MP, Laura Sandys, and UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has targeted the area because it has been described as “an economically stagnant coastal seat, where there are lots of older, white and angry voters”.

The Pub Landlord bases his comedy on a mixture of little Britain jingoism, hard right politics and pure stupidity, so it is no surprise that he wants to stand next to Farage, their patron saint.

Murray includes one simple pledge on benefits and worklessness, saying that "unemployment causes crime; I propose to lock up the unemployed".

This idea of the jobless as criminals isn't far from some of the more lunatic fringes of UKIP - and this is a party made up almost entirely of looney fringes - which have called for unemployed people to be banned from voting, just like prisoners are, as well as driving.

Last year blogger Johnny Void revealed how UKIP had deleted a page on its benefits policies from its website, and that this had called claimants "a parasitic underclass of scroungers."

UKIP almost make the Tories look like Benthamites, and the only reason we don't know even more damaging information is because they refuse to provide it, or hide it when it is exposed as the frothing unthinking nonsense it is.

Murray's problem as a comedian is the fact that he is trying to satirise a party that is in itself a kind of satire of little Britain Tory values taken to ridiculous extremes.

The fear is that it wouldn't be obvious to some of the people likely to vote UKIP that his campaign was even a joke, as full as it is of thoughtless patriotism and ideas of out-of-touch Westminster elites.

UKIP voters don't necessarily know any of the party's policies, as this radio phone-in shows, and appear to respond to its general noises and the old-fashioned pint-and-fag blokiness of Farage.

There is a big problem with this: if UKIP wins a few more seats at the election to add to the two it currently has it could form part of a coalition government, and then these noises will be hardened up into terrible actions without anyone knowing what they are or having really voted for them.

Lynton Yates's no-driving policy fits perfectly into the feeble UKIP 'thought' canon, but we all have the responsibility to spread the word so the electorate knows exactly what the party represents.