Chris Snowdon has a resumé of the main UK parties manifestos with respect to lifestyle. Here’s UKIP’s entry:
UKIP explicitly opposes minimum pricing and will “reverse plain packaging legislation for tobacco.” They will also amend the smoking ban “to give pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms provided they are properly ventilated and physically separated from non-smoking areas”.
As a bonus, they plan to save half a billion pounds a year by “Clamping down on so-called ‘fake charities,’ or state-funded political activism.” Excellent and very relevant since the nanny state enterprise is led by state-funded ‘charities’.
These sensible policies are slightly offset by a promise to “update licensing laws” by limiting the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2.
As they intend to hold an EU referendum, the awful e-cigarette regulations in the Tobacco Products Directive won’t apply if the public votes to leave (this also applies to the Tories if Cameron keeps his promise).
No mention of food or soft drinks, presumably because they plan to leave them alone.
Verdict: Liberal in the uncorrupted sense of the word.
UKIP has its own larger summary of the UKIP manifesto.
Simon Clark is doing a useful series of posts on marginal constituencies where smokers can vote for their political friends, or against their political enemies. The first entry is Nigel Farage:
#1 – Thanet South
Whatever you think of Ukip in general (and I have my reservations), party leader Nigel Farage has been a consistent and outspoken opponent of comprehensive smoking bans and other tobacco control policies. Ukip’s manifesto commitment to amending the smoking ban in pubs and repealing the plain packaging legislation bears Farage’s personal stamp so he deserves support for sticking to his convictions in a hostile environment. If elected Farage will be the first unapologetic smoker in the House of Commons since Ken Clarke, a sad reflection of our PC age. (One MP admitted to me that he smokes but never in his constituency for fear his constituents will see him.) If Farage falls short (comedian Al Murray is also standing in Thanet South) Ukip will lose its leader and smokers will be denied a potentially influential voice in parliament.
2010 Conservative majority: 7,617 (16.6%)
Estimated number of smokers in Thanet South: 14,068*
Principal opponent: Craig Mackinlay (Conservative)
Nigel Farage, friend or foe: Friend
Target rating: Too close to call
On comedian Al Murray:
It’s the moment voters have been waiting for: Al Murray’s Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP) has unveiled its ‘manifesto’ – on the back of a fag packet.
The Pub Landlord comedian is standing against Nigel Farage in South Thanet as a parody campaign.
This isn’t the first time UKIP have found themselves up against a party with similar name. How many people are going to tick FUKP instead of UKIP?