This week has seen the latest idiotic news headline concerning UKIP and cyclists. The latest example of UKIP’s approach is from a Mr Lynton Yates (UKIP’s hopeful candidate at Charnwood in Leicestershire).
Mr Lynton has apparently said “Cycles should go back to the pavements yet give priority to pedestrians”. The rationale behind this is a move to ease traffic congestion.
Furthermore he states unemployed people should have their driving licences suspended and be required to use public transport instead.
My view on this?
I have always viewed UKIP as a potentially dangerous party and, very worryingly, UKIP is all set to do quite well in the forthcoming general election in May 2015. During the lifespan of the current Parliament they have picked up a couple of seats in by-elections and I dare say this trend will continue. Many people like what they say on popularist topics such as Europe and immigration.
They are an immature party, with few of their likely candidates having any political experience of their own. This is a recipe for all kinds of gaffs, dropped glangers and spats. They are not working in a coherent way, instead they appear to be making things up as they go along as this latest daft suggestion is clear evidence.
UKIP’s stance on European matters is not helpful, in my view, to a harmonious and peaceful Europe. They say they will reduce the foreign aid budget by £9Billion (which is relatively generous and generally has cross-party support) and I see this as being outrageous. They do not appear to be prepared to act for the greater good, to support other countries and communities who are less fortunate and instead concentrate on behaving selfishly. This selfishness is likely to be a vote winner for UKIP as they appear to act in the best interests of the UK by protecting our borders, wealth and assets.
And as for their stance on cyclists and the unemployed, I hope the electorate generally take note of this kind of rubbish and not get taken in by some form of patriotic propaganda. If anything, cyclists are part of the solution to traffic congestion along with a more serious commitment to improve the transport infra-structure in a cycle friendly way. People who are unemployed or drawing benefits may in difficult positions for complex reasons and offering support and assistance seem more appropriate instead of isolating people in society. While other political parties genuinely want the best for this country and the population (although their approaches naturally do differ), they are generally more trust-worthy, experienced and have a better track record of diplomacy. After all, diplomacy and a wise, thoughtful approach should be essential features of any Government. Not ideas which are on-the-hoof and badly thought through.
Related: Mum Juice blog post about this is definitely worth a read about going viral with this story – click here.