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Daniel Kawczynski MP: UKIP’s thin offer

DK portraitDaniel Kawczynski is MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham.

With the profound impact the media can have on elections, political parties have become particularly adept at tailoring and conveying their messages and ideologies to fit into a political strategy.  Indeed, these considerations are important and right to make; they can make or break the fate of a political party.

As necessary as it may be, political parties that only focus on the messages and policies that superficially gain traction and grab headlines on the eve of an election are selling voters short. An effective party requires a manifesto which does not just scratch the surface of local and national concerns, with an eye towards just one or two issues – it must contain substance with a depth that addresses the challenges of the nation at every level. Parties need good strategy to spur on the economic recovery locally and nationally through sound fiscal policy, deal with those deviant groups beyond our borders that wish to do us harm, reform education, and promote energy to name just a few

It is interesting therefore that UKIP has received so much attention from the media in the last few months, especially as its noticeably thin manifesto leaves much to be desired for any discerning voter. Politicos and news correspondents regularly remind us that UKIP policies principally focus on the Party’s desire for Britain to exit the European Union and to further limit the number of those coming to our shores; beyond this, UKIP is conspicuously quiet on other important issues.

This silence from a party that now wants to call itself “mainstream” in UK politics is both deafening and troubling. If UKIP cannot articulate its policies in key areas during a campaign, it begs to ask the question whether they could come to grips with other problems they might face other than immigration and the EU? One must also consider if they are the party best poised to achieve their enumerated two main objectives? Currently, UKIP claims the Conservative party is failing voters on the EU and immigration – in fact, it is quite the opposite. The EU and immigration are two incredibly important issues, and I am pleased that the Conservatives in Government have created policies that acknowledge this. Whilst UKIP’s agenda includes an “In-Out” referendum, the Prime Minister has promised that if a Conservative Government is elected in 2015, we will hold a referendum to decide Britain’s fate in the EU. On Immigration, net migration to the UK has decreased by the tens of thousands under the Conservative-led Government, and continues to fall.

The Conservative Party’s attentive and diligent work in both of these areas has, in effect, negated UKIP’s main agenda, leaving significant holes in what they would do for education, the economy, transport, environmental affairs, and domestic security. The Conservative Party will continue to have, and regularly update a comprehensive manifesto to offer voters, addressing a number of areas, including Britain’s status in the EU, and immigration. As one of the three mainstream parties nationally, we will continue to fight for this agenda, as well as the wishes and needs of our constituents – with the strength of our representation, we have the ability to carry on this fight and deliver on our promises now, and in the future. 

The majority of pollsters agree that UKIP is on the rise; its ascent however is an ominous one. As Britain has steadily marched back towards national prosperity, much of the debate in Westminster and around the country has focussed on if a consistent or flexible plan is best to get Britain back on track. Whether it is consistent or flexible, though, having a holistic approach to creating a brighter future is better than having nothing at all.


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