Everybody loves a good political debate in the letter page of the local paper, right? Everybody but UKIP, it seems.
In the recent European Parliament election, the party of right-wing anti-Europeanism won more votes than anyone else here in Powys. Dismayed, Yr Obdt Srvt wrote to the papers to ask whether those who had supported UKIP were aware of the facts surrounding their chosen representatives.
“Policies put forward by UKIP or by high-level members of UKIP include raising income tax to a flat rate of 31 per cent for everyone (a rise of 11 per cent for the poorest; a cut of 14 per cent for the richest), speeding up NHS privatisation (in all parts of the UK), and making it legal for a man to rape or assault his wife (UKIP voted against a law to ban this in the European Parliament),” I wrote.
The response, the following week, was predictable: “Is this likely? I cannot imagine a political party of any hue, anywhere, in favour of such abhorrence,” wrote a UKIP supporter of very long-standing, of the vote in support of marital rape.
“My guess is this assertion comes from the rumour mill in the fibs factory. It should be taken with a large pinch of salt and Mr Sivier should check his sources.”
So I published my source – the European Parliament’s official record, available on the Internet for anybody to look up.
This should be enough for some, but not for UKIP and its adherents!
“It is true that in 2006 UKIP voted in the European Parliament against a non-binding resolution – not a law – to ban marital rape. Context and interpretation are relevant. They did so simply because of their opposition to the EU and all its works.”
Well, now – this response puts UKIP in a bit of a quandary. Firstly, the writer had to twist my words to make his interpretation of the 2006 vote fit – the resolution was calling on member states, including the UK, to create their own law regarding the subject. My comment that UKIP voted, in the European Parliament, against a law to ban marital rape is correct because UKIP opposed the resolution.
Now it seems that opposition has come back to bite them because the Welsh Government is considering just such a law at the moment. According to Assembly Member Joyce Watson, the Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill places duties on the Welsh Ministers, Local Authorities and Local Health Boards to prepare and publish strategies aimed at ending domestic abuse, gender-based violence and sexual violence.
If UKIP and its supporters say they support this law, they will make hypocrites of themselves – publically – in the light of their opposition to such legislation in the European Parliament. If they oppose it, then they prove my point about their policies. Either way, UKIP is shown up as a gang of evil-hearted villains.
Oh, and if Mr Farage and his friends voted in support of marital rape “simply because of their opposition to the EU”, why did its members not simply avoid voting altogether – as that party has done in more than two-thirds of European Parliament votes since 2009?
UKIP has the worst voting record of any British party in the European Parliament; the fact that its members took the trouble to attend and vote on this resolution indicates that they actively opposed ending marital rape and the many other examples of violence against women that were included with it.
It seems these last points may not see the light of day in the local newspapers, as editors can tire of long-running debates.
How fortunate that we have the social media to save the day and bring this important information to the masses!
Feel free to disseminate this article as freely and as often as you like, to get the message across.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:
Alternatively, you can buy Vox Political books!
The second – Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here: