In the past few weeks before the election, the parties are pulling out all the stops – and UKIP are no different, having announced a pledge to remove period tax. Their 'Believing in Britain, Believing in Britain's Women' campaign also includes ensuring all pregnant women and mothers of all children under the age of 12 months have access to specialist mental health treatment, supporting maternity and paternity leave in the workplace, plus there's a whole section on education surrounding FGM in a bid to drastically prevent it.
In terms of period tax, Suzanne Evans (the UKIP Deputy Party Chairman) said: 'No other party can pledge to take this simple step, as under EU rules no item that has ever had VAT charged on it can have VAT removed completely. This shows not only how ridiculous EU legislation is, but how very wrong it is that we've given our tax sovereignty over to a bunch of faceless – and mostly male – EU Commissioners who simply don't understand real life, let alone real life for women.'
Ah, so it's sort of just another string to their 'No EU' bow then. Even so, one of the biggies for UKIP was the fact that they weren't going to provide paid maternity leave, so it's positive that this has changed. They're also focusing on pumping more money into Dementia and Alzheimer's, which result in a disproportionate amount of female deaths. 'It is a sad fact that the greatest killer of women in society is, according to the ONS, dementia and Alzheimer’s, so UKIPs commitment to £650million extra funding over the term of the next Government into dementia research will help women disproportionately,' said Diane James, the Home Affairs spokesperson. 'We will maintain current maternity and paternity rights, we will ensure that increased funds are available to carers, again something that will disproportionately help women. We will also abolish the hated tampon tax. These are just some of a large number of policies that will help women, at home, and in the workplace and will help the country at large.'.
It's a bold move, and a very different direction as UKIP have always had trouble with female voters; apart from Godfrey Bloom saying women were ‘sluts’, and major donor Demetri Marchessini, saying marital rape is OK, Nigel Farage recently showed how seemingly little he cared about women by responding to someone's question of how he'd up the female UKIP-voters (In Heywood and Middleton, only 21% of women are set to vote UKIP as opposed to 41% of men) he responded: 'What do you want me to do? Go sell flowers?' On top of that, their EU voting record details how they don't really care about equal pay, or violence against women – and while they've tackled the paid maternity leave issue, and their opposing stance on FGM has strengthened – Nigel Farage actually voted against tackling FGM at the European Parliament. And not one single MEP or MP from UKIP voted in favour of it. So is this just a load of hot air?
Interestingly, as this new women-friendly campaign hits, it's emerged that senior UKIP candidate and vice chairman for the party John Langley is actually a porn baron known as Johnny Rockard. Yep. He writes, stars in, promotes and manages Johnny Rockard Global Media. 'This is no big deal. It is just electioneering and it is the type of thing you expect in the run up to any election. I have never made a big deal out of what I do and I am not breaking any laws,' the veteran porn star, director, promoter and agent told the press. 'UKIP is a working-class party, which appeals to working-class people. Normal people go to the pub and enjoy a pint and then probably go home and enjoy adult entertainment. What people do in their private lives is really up to them. What people do in the privacy of their own homes is nothing to do with politics and I cannot see why there should be any problem with any of this.'
UKIP are supporting him of course, and we're left wondering what to make of all of it. One video depicts a man walking around a university campus asking women: 'Who wants to earn some money and have some fun?' before getting one of them to perform a sex act on him. Whatever your stance on porn, it's a fact that 88.2% of top rated porn scenes contain aggressive acts, and in 70% of occurrences, a man is perpetrator of the aggression; 94% of the time the act is directed towards a woman.
'Believing in Britain's women'? Not as much as they're making out.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.