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Monday, 4 May 2015

May 7th - Why I will be voting UKIP!

So, here we are, at the last of this brief series of pre-election posts, with the one for which you have all been waiting - the positive one!

So why am I not only supporting the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), but also suggesting that it is the Party that disciples of Jesus throughout the UK should support?  Well, I know that one ought not to judge a book by its cover.  I know that no one man (or woman) makes a political party.  However, I have to say that one reason why I am supporting UKIP is Nigel Farage!  I have, like most people, watched a great deal on the political scene over recent weeks (and before!).  I have listened to the leaders of the various political parties being interviewed by a range of political commentators.  Only one has consistently answered the questions that have been asked.  I may not have agreed fully with every answer - but I admire basic honesty, and integrity.  I also like my potential statesmen to look like statesmen - not lads off to the pub for a drink!  Interestingly, the only one who has fulfilled those basic criteria is the one who is seen, most often, in a pub - Mr Farage.  I just get a 'good feeling' about the man - and I am teetotal!

However, it is policy that is the real nub of the argument.  So what are the UKIP policies that have persuaded me to support the Party?  Well, first and foremost, UKIP was the only Party, with any worthwhile representation in British politics, to oppose the redefinition of marriage.  Indeed Mr Farage is on record as having said that "... all the while we are signed up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ... we have the risk that our established church, and possibly other faith communities could ultimately, under discrimination laws, be forced to conduct services that they find anathema.  If we get rid of the ECHR, and it doesn't have the dominant place over our society, we'll look at it [the ACT] again."

UKIP also believes that the last government has shown contempt for families in which one parent (usually the mother) stays at home to care for the children.  As a Party, it is totally supportive of stay-at-home mothers.

Staying with the family, in general, Louise Bours, UKIP's Health spokesperson, has voiced concern over girls as young as 10 years of age being given a contraceptive implant through the NHS, and the generally casual attitude towards under-age sexual activity that appears to be condoned, if not encouraged, by the traditional parties.

Of course, there are specific areas in which UKIP has been badly misrepresented by the main-stream media, and the other political parties.  Perhaps the worst of these has been on the issue of immigration.  How often am I informed that "UKIP is a racist party"?  Yet nothing could be further from the truth!   In spite of what is parroted by the opposition, UKIP is NOT "anti-immigration"!  What it does support is CONTROLLED immigration - a totally different kettle of fish.  There are seven points in the Manifesto - and I would defy any right-thinking person to produce a reasonable objection to any one of them.  (Link to Manifesto at the end of this post!).

Then there is the issue of Foreign Aid.  "UKIP want to stop helping other people", is the usual cry.  Rubbish!   What UKIP would do is to direct foreign aid - no longer sending million of pounds sterling to countries that neither need, nor want, it - e.g. India, with its own space exploration programme; or to countries in which human rights are consistently breached.  Rather, they would target such aid to specific needs, such as the current earthquake and avalanche disaster in Nepal.

Not only will the defence of the realm be a major commitment on the part of UKIP, but they will also look after military veterans in a way that the other parties do not seem to think necessary!   UKIP is, as far as I know, the only Party to have specific sections in its Manifesto regarding Small Businesses, and Animal Rights!

However, the policy for which UKIP is best known - and that on which it was founded - is the ending of the UK's membership of the European Union.  Those who are of my vintage may recall that what we entered into (although, personally, I voted against!) in 1972 was a "European Economic Community".  The Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath, stated, quite categorically, that those who feared a loss of British sovereignty were wrong.   Towards the end of his own life, he admitted that he had misled the British public, and that he had known, all along, what would happen.  The EEC was to be a trading bloc - and a UK, independent of the current EU - with its unelected Commissioners 'calling the shots' would be able to enter into such an agreement again.  However, being free of the shackles of the EU would enable us to also enter trading agreement with other countries - not least the former Commonwealth countries who have been blocked by trading tariffs since those early days of the EEC!

I could go on, but permit me to make just one further point: Nigel Farage has said that Britain is a Judaeo-Christian country, and that we need to "start standing up for our values".  Allied to that statement is the assurance that UKIP would not permit the Islamic system of Sharia (Islamic law) to operate, as it currently does, in parallel with UK law.  They would ensure that "... all communities are aware of, and adhere to, the supremacy of British law."  UKIP is also the only Party that has issued a specifically "Christian Manifesto" - Valuing Our Christian Heritage!

Although, as charitable foundations, neither Christian Concern, nor The Christian Institute, are permitted to support any specific political party, I believe that each has gone as far as is legally, and ethically, possible in encouraging disciples of Jesus to support UKIP!

So, am I supporting UKIP because it is a Christian Party?  Sadly, it is not.  There are a number of issues that I continue to have with the Party, and even its policies.  However, compared to the alternatives, it is streets ahead and, of course, if thousands of the disciples of Jesus join the Party then, just as the more UKIP MPs are elected on Thursday, the greater the influence the Party will have on the ensuing government, the greater the influence those believers will have on the Party! 

On Thursday, please use your vote.  If you have a UKIP candidate on your ballot-paper, please vote in his/her favour.  If you haven't, my only advice would be to 'spoil your vote' by writing "None of the above" at the bottom, and drawing a large X across all of the candidates' names!  Oh, and do remember to take your own, black ink, pen.  The pencils that are provided make changing a vote much too easy!

Whatever you do, take confidence in this: the Lord already knows the full result, and He is still in control!  Hallelujah!

The full Manifesto.  https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ukipdev/pages/1103/attachments/original/1429295050/UKIPManifesto2015.pdf?1429295050

Manifesto summary.  http://www.ukip.org/manifesto2015

Christain Manifesto.  http://www.election2015.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/UKIPChristian_Manifesto-1.pdf

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