Friday, 23 April 2010

UKIP revisited

Following on from my comments yesterday about Lord Pearson's phone-in on radio four, I will mention another point that he made as it was a wonderful. He was astounded that the televised leaders' debate from last week did not mention that very important subject of Europe. Martha Kearney told him that the debate last week concerned domestic affairs and only this week would the subject be international affairs. Lord Pearson had already said that he thought it absurd that the leaders had not spoken about Europe. It would have been absurd if they had spoken about it. Which makes Lord Pearson's comments absurd and I would expect any political leader to know this sort of thing.

On a question about disability benefits, a female caller was concerned that a UKIP candidate had talked about cutting disability benefits and she felt this was really frightening for people who can't work. Lord Pearson admitted that he was not a professional politician (he is a member of the House of Lords so what sort of advert is that?) and did not have answers for details of policy, but he was not aware of anything in his manifesto that would reduce support for disabilities. You would guess that Lord Pearson's knowledge of policy would be greater than the average candidate. Let's hope that candidate is rebuked for this misinformation. What is certain is that Lord Pearson is not aware of the detail of the leaders' debate.

Lord Pearson assures us that UKIP supports people with disabilities and the questioner was wrong. The questioner was not reassured and confidently replied that his lack of specific information was not appreciated. I would support the questioner. There may a lot more than one UKIP candidate talking about cutting benefits because they think that it sounds like they are talking tough and it will win votes. However the leader did not confirm this position. What he did confirm was that he did not have a firm knowledge of policy. In his interview on the Campaign Show Lord Pearson did mention that he had read his manifesto (that's good) but couldn't remember the detail (that's bad). They aren't huge documents. Perhaps he may take another look at the manifesto before his next interview.

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