Comment: Nick Clegg’s liberal elitism is why so many of us joined Ukip
By Janice Atkinson
Yesterday, Nick Clegg offered some choice insights into Ukip voters.
"I think Ukip appeals to a constituency which I totally understand," he said. "In a sense they are people who don't like a lot of what they see in the modern world, from what they see on the telly to how people behave to touchstone issues like immigration.
"In a sense what Ukip and Nigel Farage are projecting is a promise of going backwards… to a sepia-tinted world where there were none of these challenges. It obviously appeals to some people."
"I think they appeal – and appeal strongly – to people who want a better yesterday, and I want a better tomorrow. That's the difference."
Wow, old Cleggie must be feeling the electoral backlash as his party continues to trail Ukip. The sheer arrogance of the liberal elite lefties, living in their gilded cages, all believing that we need to be progressive and we don't want a better tomorrow is dangerous rhetoric in a time when most voters have a very low opinion of their elected representatives.
I really object to this man and his party, along with Miliband's version of Labour and Cameron's conservatism. All three of them try to dismiss Ukip supporters as racists, bigots, homophobes, anti-Europeans, anti-immigration little Englanders. Do we hark back to a golden age and hide in a sepia version of what we think the world was like?
We are not anti-European. We love Europe, but hate the EU and all that it stands for.
We are not racists. We want control of our borders, to welcome former Commonwealth citizens who share most of our values, the emerging economies who we can trade with, rather than cheap eastern European which has led to two million unemployed. Our spokesman on culture, media and sport is of West Indian heritage. We have Muslim and black members, but the London liberal elite don't mention that.
What of bigotry? It's an often misused term, usually meaning everyone else is wrong if they don't agree with us? Is that why we attract so many voters from Labour and the Lib Dems, not just the Conservatives?
We are not homophobes. Why did the Ukip London members elect a gay man as their chairman? A leading figure in Ukip Croydon is gay. The list goes on, but that is never mentioned by the London liberal elite. Some of us oppose gay marriage because we still have hate laws in this country where religious leaders, whatever their faith, can be arrested and charged with hate crime if they preach against gay marriage. And whatever the London liberal elite say about them being protected – they won't. I and others are against gay marriage for this reason, not for any faith reason. I have no faith.
Clegg says we live in a sepia-tinted world. I don't. I grew up in the 1970s when old Labour was running the country. I saw the rubbish being piled up, I saw the trade unions destroying our industry, I lived with the lights off. As a working class girl who went to grammar school I saw the demise of a school system that gave a leg up to girls like me. I saw the damage of high taxation, I heard my country dismissed by the world as a basket case and the poor man of Europe.
What part of progressiveness – or let's call it a better tomorrow – don't we understand Mr Clegg? Is it your ambition to tax pensioners out of their homes just because on paper they are worth more than £1 million? Those pensioners are asset rich but cash poor. And once these pensioners die you believe it is you right to plunder their children's inheritance. It's a tax on death and it's wrong.
Or maybe it's your belief, along with Labour and some Conservatives, that cannabis is harmless? The worst thing Labour did (backed by you) was to de-criminalise cannabis. It has given a message to my teenagers that there is no health, mental health or any other risk associated with taking cannabis.
We are not talking about you taking a snifter while at your elite university, we are talking about kids moving on to crack cocaine and heroin and leading to the loony Greens in Brighton recommending 'safe houses' where addicts can freely take drugs. As a mother, and as someone who is involved in politics, I object to this back-door, unilateral declaration of independence approach. Let's have a royal commission and decide once and for all the damage of drugs.
I think the London liberal elite have no faith in our police, because you want to hand our judicial system lock stock and barrel to the European Arrest Warrant and the European Court of Justice, not forgetting the European Court of Human Rights. Most voters object to this and so do Ukip. We have Magna Carta, habeas corpus and rights. They are our rights because we were born with them, not because of a new European system.
You want to give prisoners the right to vote, because you firmly believe that their human rights are being violated when they cannot vote. Europe agrees with you. The voters of Britain do not. Prisoners have abrogated their rights because they committed a crime and for a temporary time will have their rights removed. That is justice, not understood by the London liberal elite.
You believe that we benefit from high taxation. You call it progressive. We call it regressive. Give the people low taxation with a flat tax and you will see them spend it as they wish, not as you would impose upon us. The rich would not seek to avoid taxes by employing legions of expensive lawyers and tax accountants. They would just pay up because it would not be worth their while to avoid taxes. It is a cost neutral policy. Companies and entrepreneurs would be attracted to this country and home-grown talent would flourish.
You believe that the poor and elderly should buy into your green taxes wheeze to fund useless windfarms. You believe it's OK for them to be taxed off the road. You believe it's OK that we have the highest air passenger duty in the world, so a quick week in Spain costs more than the Germans or French pay.
I know which version of the past I want and that is why you are taking a nose dive in the polls.
Janice Atkinson was a 2010 Conservative parliamentary candidate for the seat of Batley and Spen before she left the party and joined Ukip. She hopes to join Nigel Farage in Brussels as an MEP in 2014. Follow her on Twitter.
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