Saturday, 3 May 2014

Natalie Bennett must debate Nigel Farage

UKIP are a party whose rapid influx in electoral success can be attributed to its effective anti-establishment and populist rhetoric, which portrays itself as standing for public opinion in the face of mass disillusionment and economic malaise amid the perpetual economic crisis.

There is no evidence to suggest, however, that a majority of public opinion would favour large budget cuts to the National Health Service and state pension, as Nigel Farage has said he does. I do not believe that the UK public would be receptive to the wholesale privatisation of the NHS and public services, the abolition of the minimum wage and the right to paid holiday and maternity leave, or an increase in income tax for poor and middle income households and a cut for the richest through the introduction of a flat-tax system. All of these proposals are UKIP policies.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems are committedly destroying the social and economic democracy and justice remaining in the UK in government. UKIP would destroy it even more rapidly and radically. The Labour Party have failed and abandoned it.

The Green Party led by Natalie Bennett, conversely, would provide adequate investment in public services and reverse their privatisation, restore a progressive tax system to deal with inequality, protect human and economic rights and the environment, combat the international climate change crisis, be welcoming to the positive contributions of immigrants and ensure a humane rather than institutionally racist treatment of refugees, and introduce a guaranteed basic income as a universal economic safety net while providing support for disabled and vulnerable people unconditionally. I am not claiming that the Greens are a perfect organisation; I contend with a dogmatic opposition to the genetic modification of crops, and dislike the treatment of council workers by Greens in Brighton as much as anyone. But I believe that the Green Party manifesto overwhelmingly stands, as the party's election tagline says, for the Common Good, unlike the faux populist pro-elite vested interests agenda of UKIP.

Natalie Bennett would have nothing to lose from public challenging Nigel Farage to a televised debate to reveal UKIP's right-wing extremism and hypocrisy. And it would be of benefit to the social good in the UK generally.

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