I’m starting to get a little sick of all the hate going round at the moment about UKIP.
Full disclaimer: I myself won’t be voting UKIP as I think they are a narrow-minded party lead by an egotistical and self-obsessed Mr Farage. This is not a message of support to UKIP, and I’ll try remain politically impartial as best I can.
My reasons for voting in a party other than UKIP are not – as I’m hearing all to commonly on social media – because all UKIP voters are apparently racists, homophobes, misogynists, xenophobic and other stereotypical categories. To me, it is completely ridiculous to assume these about the voter themselves – which unfortunately want social media is currently doing.
Yes, there are councillors and MEPs of UKIP who are a disgrace to the British political system and their party – but frankly – as do any party*.
*I’d be here for a very long time if I were to express my disgrace at various MP’s caught in the MP Expenses scandal from all three of the major parties. Similarly, how the leader of the Green Party was arrested during protest… or how Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland is even given a voice with their historic links to the IRA. I’ve not even mentioned the far worse BNP yet.
But to then describe the voter as a racist, or as a homophobe – is purely absurd. Because of our democracy in the UK, people have the right to vote in whatever beliefs they like – and if that’s something UKIP offers them – then in my opinion they should not be judged for doing so. For example, if a worker had reason to believe that his employment or workplace would benefit from leaving the EU, and found comfort in a UKIP manifesto pledge, does that make him a racist? Or a misogynist? To me, for the sake of argument, this is no different to if you worked in scientific research and had strong opinions on climate change policy; would one criticise them for voting in the Green Party?
There is a massive problem in the UK, particularly over social media, with stereotyping and judging people on their opinions. Lately, more and more posts I see on my Facebook news feed are not of support or encouragement to political parties or policies… but negativity, pessimism and gross objection. This annoys me. We shouldn’t be here to discriminate or resent political parties, we should encourage and support those who put out the policies we believe in. After all, for small political parties – any publicity can be seen as good publicity – getting the name out there.
I genuinely feel that in the upcoming May 22nd European Elections, UKIP are going to sweep up the votes, trumping the Tories and Labour to top spot – and I think the negativity put out on social media has only helped people support them more. After all, people are voting for them with completely reasonable and moral justifications – and you can’t call the voters bigots, loonies, fruitcakes, nazis, racists, extremist, fascist, xenophobic or scum for doing so.
TL;DR: Let people vote UKIP, they are allowed to. Don’t judge.