THE BLOG
03/09/2013 08:12 BST | Updated 03/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Happy 20th Birthday to Ukip - What Stand For and Why We Are Winning Hearts and Minds

Ukip celebrates its 20th birthday today. And what a happy birthday. Riding high in the polls, consistently outpolling the Lib Dems and capturing votes from the LibLabCon.

So, where are we 20 years on?

A membership of 30,500 and climbing. What other party can boast increasing membership and willing to give the exact figures week by week?

A strong leader in Nigel Farage who has held the party together through bumpy times and has flown the national Union flag with pride, while the Conservative and Labour parties gently dropped it as it was too akin to unpleasant nationalistic jingoism and sending out the wrong message. Instead, adopting roses, trees and birds.

A party that believes in strong defence. We are opposed to the dumping onto the scrap heap of military personnel with decades of dedicated service. And opposed to a fruitless war in Syria, where there will be no winners, only more displaced people and killing.

A party that still supports grammar schools. To give a helping hand to those bright working class kids consigned to rotten boroughs and rotten schools because they cannot afford to move to wealthier suburbs where the middle class kids go. Oh, if only for a bog-standard comprehensive for them.

A party that believes in defence of our borders. We want the brightest and best from around the world, regardless of religion or race. We do not want the poor from eastern European states whose own countries can't afford to support them. We do not blame those people for wanting a better life here but we have our own three million unemployed, one million of which are NEETs. We need to get our own people educated and into jobs before opening the doors to others.

We believe in protecting the greenbelt, not 50% of our new homes going to immigrants as minister Nick Boles admitted recently. Have the Tory party really lost the plot on this one?

We believe in the NHS. We want more local accountability with directly elected county boards. So local people decide on health priorities and not un-elected and unaccountable trusts deciding that sex change operations are more important than infertility treatment for couples who are desperate for a child. That happens in Kent at the moment and I have chosen these as examples, this is not UKIP opinion.

We believe in democracy and non-tokenistic, non-gender specific election of officials. No gender quotas for us. No A-list women, no patronisingly pushing of BMEs. Just democracy with elected, capable and able people, regardless of sex, religion, colour or race.

We believe that man-made climate change doesn't exist. We believe that climate change does exist and that is why we believe in policies to keep the lights on in Britain. We believe in nuclear power, off-shore wind and let's give fracking a chance so that our elderly may not have to pay one third of their income in fuel costs.

We believe that gay marriage is wrong yet believe in equal, civil partnerships. We still have hate crime laws in this country. I have no faith but I defend the right of the Imam, vicar, priest, Rabbi or any cleric to protect the tenets of their beliefs and not be arrested and tried for hate law because they decry gay marriage. And then the EU and ECHR will become involved and the first arrest will be imminent.

We believe in our sovereignty. We are the country that has habeas corpus, Magna Carta and our freedoms within the rules of Parliament and we are free because we were born with freedom, they are not handed to us by the EHCR. We do not believe that giving £53million a day to Europe is in Britain's interests, nor the 75% of laws that come out of the EU, emasculating the power of our directly elected officials in Westminster. We believe that our future lies in trading with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, not a narrowly defined, failed political and economic area.

We believe in the welfare state but back to Beveridge style. If you contribute, you benefit. It is not your automatic right as a lifestyle choice. If you went to university and got a media studies degree you probably won't get a job. That doesn't allow you to claim benefits while you pursue your career to be a film maker or marketing executive. Be realistic, do any job while you fulfil your dream.

That's just some of our policies and why people are backing UKIP. Happy birthday to us.