Open letter to Roger Helmer MEP

Dear Roger,

Many thanks for your comment in reply to my recent blog post: ‘And so the Tory deception continues‘.  Your comment read:

I worked alongside Chris Heaton-Harris for ten years when we were both in the European parliament, from 1999 to 2009, so I know him extremely well. We represented the same region: the East Midlands. I can vouch for his eurosceptic credentials. You would look a long way to find a sounder man. I am delighted by his new initiative, and shall do anything I can to support it, as will a number of my colleagues.

The problem with these initiatives, of which there have been similar in the past, is that they achieve precisely nothing.  Returning to the main point, what your comment does not do is account for Chris Heaton-Harris’ failure to use his position to effect any reversal of the process of EU integration.  Given what you say and given the aims of this latest grouping, it seems incredible that Chris has failed to make any waves about the plans for an integrated maritime policy – if you will pardon the pun.

Surely the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy, which advocates an integrated approach to the management and governance of the oceans, seas and coasts, and fosters interaction between all sea-related policies in the EU, represents another surrender of British sovereignty and further travel along the path to ever closer Union. Yet on this subject Chris Heaton-Harris is conspicuous by his silence.

While you speak of Chris Heaton-Harris from your knowledge of him, the rest of us can only form an opinion of him – and indeed all Conservative MPs – based upon what we see.  The fact is what we are seeing is a failure of Conservative MPs to arrest the transfer of powers to the EU, let alone repatriate powers from Brussels/Strasbourg.  You yourself pointed out that the coalition government is transferring new powers to the EU faster than the previous Labour administration did, on the pages of the content partner of the Guardian on 20th June.

This all fits within the bigger picture, where a large proportion of the Conservative Parliamentary Party has professed to be Eurosceptic, yet they have done nothing to influence or bring pressure to bear on David Cameron or the government to honour the Conservative pledge to renegotiate powers from the EU. The failure to make a stand against the Integrated Maritime Policy fits a consistent pattern of behaviour, and like it or not Chris Heaton-Harris embodies that behaviour and his supposedly Eurosceptic credentials are without substance.

The conclusion that I and many other people have drawn, and many more people are drawing with each passing week, is that the Conservative Party cannot and must not be trusted on the EU.  Further, that supposedly Eurosceptic members of the Parliamentary Party put their own interests before the nation’s interests by preferring to keep their heads down on the subject lest any intervention harms their career prospects.

Yours ever,

AM

p.s. It seems there are also some in Parliament who do not share your assessment Roger, as explained in Patrick O’Flynn’s column in the Express written the morning after your comment below.

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26 Responses to “Open letter to Roger Helmer MEP”


  1. 1 Roger Helmer MEP 26/08/2011 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am not prepared to ride shotgun over every decision and vote of colleagues in Westminster. I can only tell you what I know of the man, and I have to say also that I know him and Andrea Leadsom well, and George Eustace by reputation, and I am absolutely convinced that they are both sincere and serious in their new initiative to roll back EU integration, and in that objective they will have my full support. Too often those in the eurosceptic movement seem keener on rivalries within the movement, and on criticising natural allies, than in taking forward the broad agenda, and taking the battle to Brussels.

  2. 2 David Phipps 26/08/2011 at 4:00 pm

    Roger, Forgive my intruding into your conversation with Autonomous Mind, but as I posted at my place:

    http://witteringwitney.blogspot.com/2011/08/surely-ten-not-so-eurosceptic-tory-mps.html

    a eurosceptic does not countenance any loss of power, yet Heaton-Harris, Leadsom and Eustice have either voted for, or conveniently absented themselves on votes for further EU integration.

    As for repatriation of powers, this is a smokescreen to cover an event which will never happen. I know it, you know it and Cameron knows it – so can we stop the pretence? Whilst Cameron is leader of your party, this country will remain a member of the EU and the people will never be granted a referendum.

    If so called eurosceptics in the (misnamed) Conservative Party were true eurosceptics they would vote against the party whip and one of them would instigate a leadership vote. That won’t happen either because they are all ‘career’ politicians and don’t really give a damn for their constituents.

    The number of MPs in the HoC for whom I have any respect can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    As a final thought, the reason there is rivalry within the eurosceptic movement is that very few of the so-called eurosceptics are eurosceptic. On the subject of career politicians, witness Eustice and Campbell-Bannerman – both former members of Ukip who have jumped ship for one reason and one reason only, namely their careers!

  3. 3 Jeremy Poynton 26/08/2011 at 4:12 pm

    But it is not going to happen, is it Roger, as the EU brooks no opposition and will break its own laws if it has to – as we have seen from the bailouts. Clearly. none of the major party has the balls to stand up for democracy. It took me forty years of voting to vote Tory (in desperation to get Labour out again) and about 12 months to realise I wouldn’t vote Tory again. Or Labour. Or LibDem.
    Who exactly DO you represent?

  4. 4 Bellevue 26/08/2011 at 4:33 pm

    There is absolutely NOTHING that David Cameron or any other Tory could say now that would make me believe they have any intention of rolling back the power of the EU.
    We have become cynical as a result of being lied to – repeatedly. Look at the voting records for the 70 mps who are supposedly going to ‘do something’ about the EU!
    WE JUST DONT BELIEVE YOU ANY MORE.
    I am a life long Tory voter. But never again. I will vote UKIP and if that lets Labour back in, I cant see that it will make much difference. LibLabCon – its all the same. So, Roger, go and tell all your colleagues that.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 26/08/2011 at 4:34 pm

    And thank you for your reply, Roger. You are correct that many in the Eurosceptic movement seem keener on rivalries within the movement, and on criticising natural allies, than in taking forward the broad agenda, and taking the battle to Brussels.

    Sadly it is also a fact that many in the eurosceptic movement seem keener on forming groups and issuing publications, than in using their positions as elected representatives to fight tooth and nail against the export of power to the EU. Such people can only be described as allies in name only. At what point do the cosy chats with convivial company over a bottle or two give way to determined action

    There is no excuse for any politician who claims Eurosceptic views for staying silent in the face of legislative activity that erodes this country’s self determination. Talk is cheap and sadly action is in very short supply. I for one do not see that changing.

  6. 6 John Payne 26/08/2011 at 4:36 pm

    My question to Roger Helmer is:

    What does he think the Conservative Euro sceptics are actually going to DO?

    For a long time now I have made the point there is no point in blaming individuals like David Cameron because it is the whips, controlled by the Political parties, that are determined to integrate this Country with Europe. Blaming a politician just takes the focus off the Party policy-making elites. It is about time those MP’s who claim to be Euro sceptic disobey their party whips, as it would help to prove their views are genuine. That should apply to all parties

    A politician’s allegiance must apply only to their constituents.

  7. 7 Patrick Harris 26/08/2011 at 4:44 pm

    Why has no MEP, from any country, of any political hue, not taken lawful action against the EU Commision for not only turning a blind eye to member countries breaches of EU law but for the EU Commission themselves breaking EU law?
    When are they going to file charges??

  8. 8 Andy 26/08/2011 at 4:52 pm

    My tuppeny hapeny’s worth is this, Roger Hemler MEP if I may AM?

    firstly; congratulations for at least engaging,too many in what we call the ‘bubble’ are loathe to look outside it and see what the vast majority of the electorate are feeling and voicing via blogs like this.

    secondly; if you have read AM’s blog take the time to read some of the others in his recommendend reading list at the side, may I suggest you disseminate the reading list to others of your ilk also.

    thirdly; take note of the depth and passion of feeling out here in the blogosphere of Britain , the quality of research and writing, not just by the bloggers but also some of the comments, is second to none, puts the cut n paste on message political spin MSM to shame and reflects the real feelings of abondonement and contempt that we the electorate feel is heaped upon us.

    fourthly; do something about it, for if you do not and as AM says “Talk is cheap and sadly action is in very short supply” you and your ilk will wake one day to find a tsunami coming your way. sadly we have been ignored for too long, treatd with contempt and derision, and we are fast approaching a crossroads.

    a man with nothing to lose is to be feared, but when the many with little to lose have even that taken from them, then be afraid be very afraid….

  9. 9 Cynic 26/08/2011 at 6:45 pm

    Fraser Nelson has a better take on the Heaton Harris and co “rebellion”.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7184258/070-licensed-to-rebel.thtml

    “But I’m told today that this rebellion isn’t quite as fierce as it may seem. One Tory backbencher tells me the Tory whips have actually encouraged this group to call for renegotiation of the UK terms of EU membership. The whips are doing this, I’m told, to stave off a greater threat: support for an in-or-out referendum”

  10. 10 Cynic 26/08/2011 at 6:57 pm

    When it came to voting for the recent £9 billion EU bailout, those touted as “euro-sceptics” in last week’s press voted as follows :

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/07/stolen-from-our-pockets.html

    Yes :Anna Soubry,Matthew Hancock,Andrea Leadsom,Chris Heaton Harris,
    Tracey Crouch,Priti Patel,Dominic Raab

    Didn’t vote : Claire Perry, Kwasi Kwarteng, George Eustice.

  11. 11 jones 26/08/2011 at 7:25 pm

    Roger,

    I have a question for you (I suspect you’ve now tested the water here and found it not to your liking and so won’t reply but I can hope).

    Do the holders of the views you see here have a point?. That’s all I’m asking. A yes or a no will suffice.

    Do you understand why I ask so basic a thing?

  12. 12 jones 26/08/2011 at 7:35 pm

    Oh, and thank you for at least trying to appear as if you are being responsive to the views and interests of those you are supposed to represent (remember, even those who did not vote for you are your ‘clients; too).

  13. 13 Nothing worse than a fraudulent euro sceptic 26/08/2011 at 7:44 pm

    Some euro sceptic, George Eustice MP is. An ex UKIP candidate that is now not in favour of a referendum on the EU but can turn out and vote for an EU bailout.

    Total bollocks!

  14. 14 Brian H 26/08/2011 at 8:55 pm

    Getting MPs and MEPs to tell the truth is like asking ostriches to fly. Just not equipped.

  15. 15 Bellevue 26/08/2011 at 10:13 pm

    So, Roger Helman MEP (very important person……) are you going to reply to the 14 comments here????
    Are you hell.
    Your party talks about transparency, localism, listening to the people… etc.
    So what do you have to say to these comments?
    Thought not, you cowardly shit.
    And you wonder why we hate you, and are disengaged from the “political process”.
    A time of reckoning is coming…….

  16. 16 Autonomous Mind 26/08/2011 at 10:40 pm

    Bellevue, unlike many people Roger Helmer has at least come on here and engaged. As I would not allow anyone to abuse you, please do not abuse him.

  17. 17 right_writes 27/08/2011 at 6:32 am

    Whilst I realise AM that you regard Nigel Farage with disdain, do you not think that UKIP as a party is more right than the CONservative party?

    We members have just democratically voted down a proposal which could have led to our aquiesence to yet further EU integration (PEP’s), despite Nigel’s argument that we need the money that was offered to influence our cause in the EP and subsequently on the politburo…

    We will not have any truck with it or its institutions even if it leads to us losing all of our MEP’s rather than just the drain climbers like Campbell-Bannerman, even if it does upset “his Nigelness”.

  18. 18 Autonomous Mind 27/08/2011 at 8:45 am

    Just about anyone is more right than the Conservatives today. The party is led by an unprincipled climber who has no political ideology and wears the cloak of conservatism much like a flag of convenience to hide his social democratic, big state instincts while wielding power in his own interest.

    As for UKIP, Farage and his dealings are a big part of why I have no interest in that party. The party is just a toy to him, and while he is undoubtedly charismatic and articulate the example you give is yet another in a long line of saying the right things then doffing his cap to the EU.

    While there are many people inside UKIP who are sound on EU matters and what this country needs to do to determine its own affairs, they continue to elect leaders who make the party dysfunctional. This is why I say it is a busted flush and won’t support it.

  19. 19 EU Hypocrisy 27/08/2011 at 9:18 am

    Patrick O’Flynn has a very good feature, in today’s Daily Express, on the fake EU rebellion by likes of Chris Heaton Harris and George Eustice.

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/267526/Renegotiating-our-EU-membership-is-a-pipe-dream%3A-We-should-leave/

    As the article shows, they are just unprincipled opportunists looking for a cabinet post.

  20. 20 Span Ows 27/08/2011 at 9:22 am

    Wonderful that Roger replied, may it continue and all the other good comments too (I suggest Andy’s 4 points are very apt). All the others can be summed up with the phrase “We need ACTION, not words. And soon!”

  21. 21 Uncle Badger 27/08/2011 at 12:39 pm

    Sorry, Mr Helmer. Too little and far, far too late.

    You may choose to believe that the comments here represent the ravings of a few extreme malcontents, but – at least where I live and work – antipathy to the EU is rife.

    If you are not willing to represent that majority view then you have no business drawing a salary from our taxes, whatever your election result can be twisted to suggest. Representing us is what you are paid to do and if you will not do it you have become part of the problem, not of the solution.

    Stand up or, please, stand down.

  22. 22 Bellevue 27/08/2011 at 2:01 pm

    AM, I do apologise and feel suitably contrite. I posted at the end of a very long day, and was over the top.
    I do appreciate Roger Helmer at least attempting to engage, and my wrath was with all the others who dont.
    I am very sorry to have lowered the tone of your excellent blog. Thank you for bringing it to us.

  23. 23 jones 27/08/2011 at 2:20 pm

    Mr Helmer

    I have been looking in in an expectant hope of another response beyond what now really appears to be just an elegant closing of ranks on your part, (‘they’re fine chaps’ and the like….).

    The tone of the commentators here has been, to my ignorant and uneducated eye, really quite reasonable so why the reticence now when you seemed gregarious enough at the start?.

    Can you and ilk please not see that this is only serving to alienate what is already an extremely hostile set of emotions out here (and don’t do a Paxman and ask whether my use of the word ‘hostile’ is a ‘threat’…it isn’t..just an expression of disenchantment).

    Matters simply cannot continue as they are. You must surely see this. Millions are being completely disenfranchised in the current era whilst those same people are witnessing your kind enriching themselves in an obscene manner and from the public purse. Perhaps you see such enrichment as ‘compensation’?. Please do offer a view. I’m sure those who have been convicted of very minor thefts in the recent outbreak of ‘criminality’ would also be interested.

    None of what is here constitutes a ‘threat’ however hard the prevailing opinion-formers would like to weave it as such into the narrative.

    I and I strongly suspect many many others are gut-wrenchingly frightened by the evolution of things. I for one have young children that I see your kind’s (in a generic sense) actions resulting in a state of affairs where they will have to endure strife and even the occasional horror or two to correct when it still remains possible to alter course now. At the very least they will be living in a culture that will be, at best, fractured.

    Do you see what I (and we) are driving at?

    The EU is no longer functioning as advertised.

    I have learned one thing mind from your contribution and that is that the political classes DO scrutinize what are, in truth, minor outlets for unbiased information (unlike other prominent outlets one could name) so you cannot be unaware of feelings beyond your bubble. They are just relegated to the ignore tray it seems with all that may well follow on from that.

    Give the people a referendum…and not one along Irish lines.

    Apologies for any offense in that last bit AM. I’m just a leetle guy trying to do his bit.

  24. 24 maureen gannon 28/08/2011 at 1:31 pm

    Mr Helmer, I do not understand the mindset that when on our doorstep people such as you say one thing, then are surprised that when in power you do nothing to save the country and its people from becoming the subserviant people of the U.S.S.R sorry fruedian slip U.S.S.E we resent you and your like .
    We are constantly being told that we need europe as 40% of our trade is with them well when I went to school that means 60% is outside, and are you telling me the only reason that 40% is sold to Europe is because we are members Norway seems to manage very well please tell us why that 40 % would cease to exist.
    Since the Tories didn’t gain power but became the government they have continue to sell us off piecemeal the las instance of selling our train manufacturer’s order book to Germany , in my book that called rubbing your nose in it.
    I could go on about the forests and other things but do not wish to publish a book on here too long gets boring.
    May I sugest sir that if the tories wish to see daylight again as far as being a government is concerned they had better not just listen to the populace but start to hear them . GIVE US A REFERENDUM AS PROMISED. signing away our seas to that fraudalent body is signing away soveriegnty that we were promised was a reason for the people to have a say.


  1. 1 True Believers « Roger Helmer MEP Trackback on 29/08/2011 at 8:46 am
  2. 2 Roger Helmer abandons Europlastic Tories and joins UKIP « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 03/03/2012 at 9:01 am
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