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UK Election watch: More manifestos made manifest.

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Over the past couple of days, the left-leaning Liberal Democrats and right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) have both unveiled their manifestos. And the two really couldn’t be more different.

The LibDems, as they are known, are probably the most environmentally minded of all the major parties. They used little green tabs throughout their manifesto to highlight environmentally-friendly choices their party would make if elected. Among the most ambitious are a £400 million plan to refurbish old shipyards to make offshore wind farms, and a goal of 40% of the UK’s electricity to come from non-carbon-emitting sources by 2020. That number would rise to 100% by 2050, according to the LibDems, an ambitious goal considering the party would reject any new nuclear power stations.

On the scientific front, the LibDems commit themselves to ‘ring fencing’ the science allocation. They also say that they will allow scientists to choose their own lines of research through the peer-review process, and the results of that will be made publicly available. Finally, they pledge to take steps to protect scientific advice.

To continue Daniel’s somewhat arbitrary assessment, I count nine uses of the word ‘science’ and nine of ‘research’ in the LibDem manifesto. That makes for .15 mentions per page—a larger ratio than either Labour or the Tories.

By contrast UKIP, the nation’s fourth-largest party, never mentions science once. It does however mention research twice in its slim, 16 page volume. That gives UKIP a ratio .125 mentions per page, just behind the LibDems but ahead of both Labour and the Conservatives.

On scientific-related matters UKIP stands out from the crowd on several other counts. It’s the only party that denies climate change is caused by humans, and it would withdraw all funding for the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change. It would also ban Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in schools and “protect the environment by controlling immigration”. UKIP also supports genetically modified foods and nuclear power, making it the perfect antithesis to the LibDems (though interestingly, I don’t see a mention of GM in the LibDem manifesto).

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Left, Liberal Democrat manifesto/Right, UKIP. Images: Wordle


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