UKIP never showed much of a propensity for joined up thinking. I well remember the much vaunted policy paper launches which were embarrassing, with content being so controlled (and redacted) from above, and with the suggestion of unseen hands in the background that I eventually came to agree with Roger Knapman - architect of the 2004 Euro election success - that UKIP should have remained a one issue party.
I note an article on their party website complaining that a recently announced cut in wind energy subsidies is not enough - (complaining about wind energy is the party's stock in trade). But I also note that in UKIP's aged and out of date environment and energy policy, the party calls for 50% of Britain's power to come from nuclear generation. I have no problem with that per se, in fact I contributed to that paper, but does the party not realise the extent to which nuclear energy is subsidised in the UK?
Subsidies for nuclear energy are largely disguised, a matter recently brought up with ministers by backbenchers in the Commons. For example: limitation of liabilities, underwriting of insurance costs, subsidising waste disposal, and most importantly providing institutional support for the concept of nuclear energy. Other areas of concern have been identified.
UKIP states in the article I refer to above that "The whole wind farm industry is a con and is not viable without subsidies. It is wrong that the taxpayer should be paying to keep afloat private businesses, often based abroad,..."
British energy, which operates nuclear plants, came close to bankruptcy in 2004, and was saved by, guess what, a government subsidy of £3billion. France's EDF now owns 80% of British Energy.
Do you see what I mean about lack of joined up thinking?
But as regards UKIP's position, we have to ask if it is indeed lack of joined up thinking, or is it those aforementioned unseen hands in the background that are responsible for the lack of consistency, at least in this policy area? I personally suspect the latter.