UKIP must show they are not BNP in pinstripe suits

16 March

David Coburn

Abu Hamza  al-Masri was charged on the 9th of January this year with 11 counts of terrorism, including inciting a holy war, setting up a terrorism camp and taking hostages.

Humza Yousaf is Scotland’s first Asian Minister. A champion of international aid, staunchily for equality and against terrorism.

The fact that UKIP MEP David Coburn can’t tell the difference between the two men tells you everything you need to know about him.

David Coburn’s tweet that his nickname for Humza was Abu Hamza caused serial outrage online this weekend and a great deal of anger and upset for Mr Yousaf and his family, but UKIP’s complete failure to caste him aside and shut the story down will linger the length of the general election, because they just don’t get it.

Take Roger Helmer, UKIP MEP for the East Midlands. His response was to say that Mr Coburn’s words were “light-hearted.” As if there was anything funny about terrorism. The official UKIP line was that comments were made “in the spirit of jest.”

Laugh? I nearly cried. Why? Because  140,000 Scots voted for this guy. Well sort of. They voted for UKIP. A party whose popularity has soared inline with people’s mistrust of politics after the expenses scandal.

A party’s whose anti-immigration, anti-european platform gives  bampots and zoomers like David Coburn a platform to be elected members of Parliament.

Now I sadly accept that there are 140,000 Scots who believe that we should pull up the ramp, close our borders and pull out of Europe. I don’t agree but it’s a legitimate point of view. What I don’t accept is that those same 140,000 Scots think David Coburn’s spoke for them when he tweeted his vile and deeply offensive, racist nonsense.

Whether it’s said in a smoke filled back room, a private joke amongst friends or live on our nations airwaves – it’s still racism and there’s no excuse for it.

Saying “sorry I don’t mean to cause offence” isn’t an apology, it’s a cop out. A complete failure to understand why anyone would be offended when alikened to a world renowned terrorist.

This weekend UKIP suspended one of its Welsh candidates because of “financial irregularities” – she goes but the racist gets to stay.

Nigel Farage with his pint and fag banter  is now a legitimate political leader. He’s on record repeatedly stating that UKIP are not a racist party. Now’s he has a chance to prove it. Prove UKIP aren’t just a BNP for pin stripes suits and sack David Coburn. 

Budget Day 

It’s budget day on Wednesday. How time flies. Once again, we’ll see the Chancellor of the Exchequer outside the door of number 11 showing off his triceps by dangling his red box before a wall of cameras before heading to Parliament to delight with his box of treats.

Every pre-election budget is full of sweeties. This one will be no different. Shiny wrappers of election giveaways used to try and deflect from 5 years of austerity with 5 more promised if the Tories get back into Downing Street.

It might be at the petrol pump, the beer bump. It could be tax cuts or a savings boost, but the one thing it wont be is the one thing Britain really needs. A proper pay rise.

400,000 people in Scotland alone earn less than the Living way. Over 2/3s of them are women. People paid poverty pay. A wage yes, but not enough to live on. A gap filled by debt, foodbanks and the good will of others.

Labour’s will deliver an £8 National Minimum Wage by 2020 and we’re also committed to pushing the Living wage.

For those folk on public sector contracts, we’ll make it the law that companies only get taxpayers money if they pay the living wage. We’ll use the buying power of Government to lift people out of poverty. We’d have done it already had the SNP not voted it down.

And for all those people who work in the private sector, we’ll give company bosses a national insurance break for a year if they lift your pay to the living wage.

So whatever sweets lie in George Osbourne’s box of tricks this week, know this, it’s only Labour that will put food on the table of those on low pay.

GERS

GERS. Not the football team but the Government’s annual bank statement. It stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland. What comes in and what goes out.

It was a central feature of last week’s Parliament week and it will be a major feature of the General Election campaign because it revealed the damage that would be done to Scotland if we scrapped the Barnett formula and went down the route of only spending taxes that we raise in Scotland, or full fiscal autonomy as the SNP like to call it.

We Scots pay £400 a year more in taxes than our friends elsewhere in the UK, you’ll hear that time and time again from the SNP. But they forget to tell you that we also get £1200 more back in public spending because of the Barnett formula. Scrap the Barnett formula and we’ll be £4billion worse off as country and that’s on top of tory cuts. It’s austerity max and it’s championed by the SNP.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.