Apr 052015

It's a bit of a slow reaction to the leader's debate, and most of the debate was fairly predictable – the Tories want to cut public spending to pay off the deficit, Labour want to spend and hope the deficit will go away of it's own accord (and according to the historical record, Labour actually have a good track record of reducing the deficit!), and the Liberals want to fit themselves in the middle. The Greens made some interesting points, and the nationalist parties also had some interesting (if nationalistic) points to make.

But Farage (representing UKIP) was unbelievably simple-minded. Just about any problem could be dealt with by getting rid of the dirty foreigner.

Farage wants to cut the deficit by stopping sending money to those dirty foreigners. Their total saving on the foreign aid budget and the EU subscription would amount to £17 billion per year; even ignoring the fact the deficit is growing at about £100 billion a year, it will take approximately 88 years to pay off. Failure number 1.

Farage has a solution to the housing crisis – stop all the dirty foreigners coming in and taking over our houses. It seems like an obvious problem, but is not the whole story (see this article for an analysis of what may be wrong with the housing market).

On the question of the NHS, Farage has a solution to increase the NHS budget – stop treating all those dirty foreigners and let them die in the streets. Concentrating on figures for the moment, stopping treating foreigners may cut NHS costs by £2billion which sounds like a great deal, but it is a drop in the ocean compared with the overall NHS budget of £116 billion. What has not been mentioned is that the NHS is not very good at recovering costs from foreign health insurance schemes which is something worth looking at.

Personally I am quite willing to see the NHS spend 1.7% of it's budget on treating foreigners, because sick people need treatment. What kind of society would we be if we let those who don't qualify for treatment die in the streets? 

Farage and UKIP seem to have only one answer to all the problems the next government will face – blame foreigners. No problem is so simple that there is just one solution to it, and even if you believe that immigration is too high then you should at least agree with me that a party whose only answer is to blame foreigners is not worth considering.

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