John Mann has entered the argument in to how to counter UKIP with an article on the Labour List web site about how to stop former Labour voters defecting to vote for UKIP.
Interestingly his solution seems to be to rip up all the hard one freedoms for people to move about across Europe, to put a stop to money being moved across borders to allow investment in new concerns to create jobs, to pull up the drawbridge and exclude everyone else as if they are the problem. In short his recipe for countering UKIP is to adopt their policies.
What he doesn’t mention is the reason for the lack of social housing is that Labour forgot to build any when they were in government; the reason why companies can move their profits abroad is not because of the free movement of capital but Labour didn’t think to put in place the appropriate rules when they had the chance; that blocking the free movement of Labour won’t help bring jobs into the UK, rather it would move them abroad and mean more people here would be out of work.
Again, John Mann has shown that for all his army of assistants helping him, he still can’t manage to put together a sensible policy. Europe is far too important for anyone to try to score cheap political points by pandering to the extremes.
What is needed is a policy of engagement with the EU, to reform it to make it better, to encourage the movement to bring appropriate decision-making back from Brussels, not to Westminster where it will be swallowed up by another unaccountable remote bureaucracy, but to county, district and even local councils. We need to make the EU institutions more democratic so we can all feel that it responds to the needs to the people of Europe. What won’t work is trying to turn the clock back and retreating from being an active part of Europe. Finally you won’t beat UKIP by adopting their policies, all that will happen is that you will be drawn further and further to the extreme.
Bassetlaw & Sherwood