UKIP members’ hopes of putting clear blue water between their party’s policies and those of the Conservatives were dealt a blow last week when Nigel Farage told the BBC Question Time audience he “never has” criticised people with disabilities.
His comment encouraged the good folk at Political Scrapbook to look in their copies of old UKIP manifestos – and what did they find in a policy document which was mysteriously deleted from the UKIP website last year?
Over to the Scrapbook: “The party claimed that 75% of incapacity benefit claimants ‘are fit and healthy’, dubbing them ‘a parasitic underclass of scroungers’ and handing them a £1,300 cut in state aid:
“The welfare state has also created a brazen culture of benefit “scrounging”, whereby individuals who are perfectly capable of working refuse to do so, and go on benefits instead. They frequently justify this by feigning illness.
“This gives rise to a parasitic underclass of “scroungers”, which represents both an unreasonable tax burden on the working population
What is that if not an attack?
Now, it might seem perfectly legitimate for UKIP assembled to rise up and complain that this is no longer party policy, which might be fair enough, but for the Right’s apparent inability to stick to its promises.
Remember when David Cameron promised “no top-down reorganisations of the NHS”? Remember when he promised not to raise the rate of VAT? Remember any number of other promises, up to and including the promise to make offshore tax evasion a criminal offence? All broken.
Remember the many claims that UKIP is not racist? That its members are not homophobic? That it is the party of the people? How many examples do you need, before you believe the opposite has been proved?
It seems right-wing parties like UKIP (and UKIP is a right-wing party, no matter what its advocates may try to dupe you into believing) are adept at saying whatever gets them into a position of power and then doing the exact opposite.
There is no reason to believe this case is any different.
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