Roger Helmer replies to readers’ comments

After the previous post, an Open letter to Roger Helmer, Roger added a comment.  A number of readers then added their own questions and comments.  AM emailed Roger and invited him to have a right of reply, and Roger has emailed me with the following:

Delighted to receive so many constructive comments.

Bellvue: I recognise neither the name Roger Helman, nor the appellation “cowardly shit”, so I think you must be engaged in a different conversation.

Brian H: Unlike George Washington, I would not claim that I’d never told a lie.  But I would say that I have never knowingly dissembled about any political question: indeed if you had followed my career you would know that I am in constant trouble for too much straight talking.

David Phipps: I certainly don’t “know that repatriation will never happen”.  There is a head of steam building up in the parliamentary party.  It has been commented on by, amongst others, Tim Montgomerie, who has his ear to the ground.  We now have the European Union Act which prescribes a referendum in specific circumstances.  Those circumstances could arise with the proposed new arrangements for a euro-debt-union.  I don’t think Cameron can move at this stage without upsetting the Coalition — and therefore the fiscal recovery plan.  But he could do so before the next election.

Jeremy Poynton: “Exactly who do you represent?”.  (I think you mean “whom”).  I represent about 4.2 million people in the East Midlands, and I have been elected top of the list on three successive occasions — 99, 04, 09.  I think my democratic legitimacy probably exceeds that of most correspondents to AM.

Patrick Harris: I think your answer is that there is no realistic hope that the European Court of Justice would ever hand down a ruling opposed to European integration.  A court action would be a huge waste of time and money.  But of course if you think you have a case — there’s nothing to stop you bringing an action.

Jones:  Many of the commentators have a point.  But I’m not sure that they have a strategy.

Uncle Badger: “Antipathy to the EU is rife …. If you are not willing to represent that view….”.  What do you imagine I have been doing for the last twelve years?  I’ve been expressing my antipathy to the EU in blogs, Tweets, (@RogerHelmerMEP), web-sites; press releases, books, DVDs; on radio and TV; in the Conservative Party and in the European parliament!  You might check your facts before sounding off.  And you might note my earlier comments: too many Eurosceptics spend their time attacking each other, not attacking Brussels.

AM: Sorry to hear that you regard Nigel Farage with disdain.  I have a lot of time for him.  A good guy.

John Payne: Interested by your theory that EU integration is driven by the Whips.  Last time I checked, the Chief Whip was Patrick McLoughlin MP — he’s on my patch and I certainly don’t see him as a fifth column for Brussels.

Finally, why do some eurosceptics in Westminster occasionally appear to support some integrationist measures?  Is it better to seek to move the Conservative Party in a Eurosceptic direction over time (which implies some compromise with Party policy), or to make one grand kamikaze gesture which rules you out of the action ever after, even though it gains the applause of Autonomous Mind?

A couple of Roger’s replies highlight a self evident failure of the Tory Eurosceptics and a seeming disconnection from those who lack the democratic legitimacy he points to. Taking them in turn:

In his reply to David Phipps, Roger said: ‘We now have the European Union Act which prescribes a referendum in specific circumstances.

This is a very interesting comment given Roger has never once written the words ‘European Union Act’ on his website (as checked with a Google advanced search) or included any reference to it in his newsletter ‘Straight Talking’ (each edition available on his website searched manually). Roger has, however, on a couple of occasions referred to what the European Union Act supposedly does, which is to stop the transfer of powers to the EU through the use of a so called ‘referendum lock’. The Act has done nothing to prevent further powers being exported to Brussels, as we pointed out in the previous post Roger says power transfer is now faster. As for the referendum lock, this is what Roger said about it on the Guardian’s content partner website in November 2009, also carried on his website:

And in October 2010 he had this to say about the referendum lock in his ‘Straight Talking‘ newsletter:

Curious then that Roger now cites the European Union Act in the way he does. People can draw their own conclusions about why he has done this.

In his reply to Jones, Roger said: ‘Many of the commentators have a point.  But I’m not sure that they have a strategy,‘ before going to add later in his summary: ‘Is it better to seek to move the Conservative Party in a Eurosceptic direction over time (which implies some compromise with Party policy), or to make one grand kamikaze gesture which rules you out of the action ever after, even though it gains the applause of Autonomous Mind?

Gaining my applause is not the objective; my elected representatives observing my wishes is.  And it is worth noting the focus of people like Roger on some kind of ‘strategy’ has resulted in the opposite of my wishes (and those of a majority of people in opinion polls) being carried out – the Conservative led government exporting powers to Brussels faster than Labour did before it.

There is not merely an appearance of Eurosceptics supporting some integrationist measures, it is a reality, Chris Heaton-Harris among others is guilty of it, and it results in further integration. Have the Conservative Party’s decision makers been moved one inch towards a Eurosceptic position? Not at all. In fact, Fraser Nelson has pointed out Tory Whips encouraged MPs to create the very group Roger has confirmed his support for in his comments on this blog. The Whips have done this in order to head off calls for the In/Out referendum Roger also claims to support. Yet we are encouraged to rely on all-knowing Helmer and Heaton-Harris’ strategy. Some strategy.

At best Roger Helmer and Chris Heaton-Harris have been ‘had’ by the Party machine, at worst they are ‘licensed dissenters’ complicit in an effort to deny the British people the opportunity to determine for ourselves how this country is governed.  Meanwhile, for all Roger Helmer’s ‘straight talking’ and criticisms, and Chris Heaton-Harris’ strategic manoeuvering in the Commons, we are being subsumed ever deeper into the anti democratic European Union and being derided into the bargain by people like Roger for challenging their failure to achieve anything.

What Roger describes as a ‘kamikaze gesture’ is what ordinary people describe as taking a principled stand. But then, ordinary people don’t have to worry about political career prospects or keeping in with the Party powerbrokers to ensure the lavish rewards of a seat in the Commons or European Parliament remain available. None of it will matter when the people have finally had their fill of the political class’ posturing that masquerades as opposition, and take matters into their own hands. As Patrick O’Flynn pointed out in his Daily Express column, the storm clouds are gathering.

28 Responses to “Roger Helmer replies to readers’ comments”

  1. 1 David Phipps 28/08/2011 at 11:45 am

    Nice article AM and thanks for picking up in Roger’s reply to me that which I would have done.

    I note however he chose to make no response on any other point that I raised, especially the so-called 10 or voting against party – so I have to wonder if he has been ‘got at’ by whips re his selection for the next euro elections?

    Methinks that I must cross off the Eurosceptic list of MPs and MEPs the name of Helmer R.

  2. 2 Uncle Badger 28/08/2011 at 11:52 am

    I think AM has rather pre-empted any response I might make to Helmer’s reply to me.


    The facts you suggest I check, Mr Helmer are incontestable. Under your party Britain’s subservience to this monstrosity has grown. Your leader is the worst kind of Europhile (a quisling) and what you like to call a ‘kamikaze’ gesture, those of us tired of futile posturing and politicking would consider long overdue action.

    We are of being represented by ‘pragmatists’ who urge patience while daily the noose tightens. Clearly, the message is not getting through to politicians that the game is very nearly up.

  3. 3 TheBoilingFrog 28/08/2011 at 11:55 am

    Excellent stuff AM. I’ve long been reminded of the quote by Andrew Carnegie when watching the shenanigans of so-called Tory eurosceptics:

    “As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”

    And what Tories do – always – is integrate faster and further into the EU every time. Mr Helmer is another example of empty empty words, and as David comments above another Tory to cross off the Eurosceptic list.

  4. 4 Uncle Badger 28/08/2011 at 12:27 pm

    There is a ‘weary’ missing from the first line of the last par of my comment, above.

    Rather telling, actually.

  5. 5 Angry of Mayfair 28/08/2011 at 12:33 pm

    Here’s a quote from a Roger Helmer article in May 2005

    “Our Conservative EU policy was a two-headed monster. On the one hand, we promised renegotiation, and repatriation from Brussels of a range of key policies, plus the abrogation of all or part of the ECHR, which would be necessary to deliver on some of our domestic policies. On the other hand, Michael Howard declared that Britain would remain “a full and committed member of the EU”.

    These two policies are clearly incompatible. You cannot be “a full and committed member” while at the same time repudiating large chunks of the acquis communautaire. This ambiguity amounted to a pact designed to keep Ken Clarke quiet during the election, and it worked. But it is clearly unsustainable. It is simply not credible.”

    There is more to read in the article as well, but it is a little confusing

  6. 6 jones 28/08/2011 at 1:10 pm

    I thank Mr Helmer for at least deigning to give a response.

    It does occur to me, however, that he is critical of the commentators for not having a ‘strategy’…….Please forgive but isn’t that the job of those we vote in?.

    I suspect that the vast majority of those commentators are just working people who are desperate for an answer to their concerns.

    We don’t have the time to form committees and chair panels or working groups to create and enact those ‘strategies’ that we are apparently failing to formulate…. in his view. Are we being reproached for our blindness?

    Kamikaze or principled stance……..depends on ones point of view I suppose…The history books will decide.

  7. 7 Roger Helmer MEP 28/08/2011 at 3:53 pm

    You are right, AM, that I have revised my view of the European Union Act. My first take was that it had no teeth. Having looked at it more carefully, and discussed it with Westminster colleagues, I’ve decided that it perhaps does have a few (teeth). Not ideal, but better than nothing. I think it would be very difficult, for example, for the Coalition to approve an EU Treaty change allowing the creation of a euro debt union, without a referendum. David Lidington thinks there will be no referendum in this parliament. We’ll see.

    Of course I would like to see any referendum on the EU (which will get a NO vote, I have no doubt). That doesn’t conflict with my view that we also need an In/Out referendum.

    Finally, it is surely perverse to see support from the Whips’ office for a new eurosceptic grouping in Westminster as evidence that the Whips support European integration. It is also a perfect example of your determination to attack eurosceptic moves by others, rather than take them at face value.

  8. 8 Patrick Harris 28/08/2011 at 4:31 pm

    “The European Court of Justice would ever hand down a ruling…”
    Until charges are made and the evidence is made available how can you make such a comment, I can’t believe that you are saying that the EU Commission can be in breach of the law and get off scot free, as for telling me to file the charges myself, I thought that dogs were kept so that they do the barking.
    Your crass reply serves only to deepen the low regard in which I hold those that purport to represent the people.

  9. 9 Uncle Badger 28/08/2011 at 4:44 pm

    It is not perversity, Mr Helmer, it is cynicism, born of having been lied to, time and time again – most recently by your slippery leader.

    People do not trust the Tories, or their whips on this subject, any more than they trust Labour. And the less said about your partners in the coalition, the better!

  10. 10 Sod the Lot 28/08/2011 at 5:02 pm

    A 2009 blog post from Chris Heaton Harris giving a pretty weak and feeble view of what euro scepticism means

    So what do Euro-sceptics want?

    I want to see various areas of policy that are now decided at the EU level transferred back to the UK. A referendum, retrospective or otherwise, does not do this. Having a government that actually demands that powers be returned and is elected on this mandate just might – and if you are a true Euro-sceptic, then surely that is what you want to see: powers being returned from the EU; something for which there is no precedent and that would completely change the nature of our relationship with the EU.

    I would also like to see us act like our European partners in negotiations in Brussels. Nothing disappointed me more than watching British Ministers (Labour Ministers) and civil servants constantly capitulate to the demands of other EU countries, whilst their counterparts (especially from Spain and France) would stop at nothing to achieve a result for their Member States. As the second biggest financial contributor to this club, I also believe we should use our financial muscle – and certainly in these hard times, should be considering whether we, as a country, should be paying so much taxpayers’ money into an organisation that has not had its accounts signed off for 14 years.

    David Cameron MP stuck to his word about getting the Conservative MEPs to leave the EPP political grouping in the European Parliament to form a Conservative group and he is the only leader of a political party that could form a government in the UK who has stated that he wants to pull some powers back from the European Union.

    None of this can be achieved if people like you choose not to vote for the Conservative Party. What you get if you don’t vote for my Party will certainly not be a more sceptical government that will deliver what you seem want, withdrawal of the UK from EU; you’ll actually get what you have had since 1997; a government that wants deeper European integration.

    Obviously, it is up to you as to whom you vote for; but if you vote anything other than Conservative, you are voting to give more powers to Brussels.

    Yours sincerely,


  11. 11 Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs 28/08/2011 at 5:05 pm

    A great series of postings here AM, and a hat tip to Mr Helmer who refreshingly chooses to engage with concerned folk on a blog that are desperately trying to convey their frustrations with what appears to be the unrelenting behemoth that is quickly morphing into the european empire.

    I fear that however honourable and good intentioned Mr Helmer is with his euroscepticism, I suspect he is caught up in the inevitability of the machinations of politika: an unstoppable tanker brimming with such a magnitude of momentum that 70 souls simply cannot change the natural laws of human nature and turn the ship around in time.

    The pattern of history and mankind points initially to oppression then bloody revolution.

    Let’s hope that there are a few brave and principled men who would fight for liberty for the many.

  12. 12 Autonomous Mind 28/08/2011 at 6:14 pm

    Roger, if the moves were Eurosceptic then I would not be attacking them. This is just another talking shop that will go through the motions while doing precisely nothing. I want the UK out of the EU. You belong to and support a party that is determined to stop that happening.

    On the subject of the Whips encouraging this new group in order to head off calls for the In/Out referendum, that was the view of Fraser Nelson following comments made by a Tory MP. In no way did I suggest this was evidence that the Whips support European integration – a strawman I would have thought beneath you.

    The Conservatives are failing this country and you are attacking those who point this out and call for clear action to remove us from a fundamentally anti democratic and corrupt entity – the one that pays your wages.

    When are you, Heaton-Harris and the rest of your colleagues going to start putting fine words into action? We’ve had years of posturing, now we want to see movement. It’s about time you started working to the people’s timetable, not your own.

  13. 13 Trooper Thompson 28/08/2011 at 6:35 pm

    Kudos to Helmer for engaging with the hoi polloi, but for me the issue is encapsulated in the name ‘eurosceptic’.

    I am not a eurosceptic. This doesn’t come close to describing my opinion. I want this country’s sovereignty back. It’s not a matter of being sceptical, but of having a firm opinion of opposition.

    The tories are traitors to this country. The fact that some of them feel a little guilty about it, makes them, in a sense, worse than the arch euro federalists.

    As for strategy, no doubt we who want our country back should work on this. My first suggestion is to exhort all patriots to abandon the tory party and villify those who do not.

    Mr. Helmer, make your choice: party or country.

  14. 14 Bellevue 28/08/2011 at 8:16 pm

    A word, if I may, from the naughty step.
    I am losing hope. I feel as if we are all hitting out heads against a brick wall.
    We are all making our legitimate points, and all being terrribly polite – but my feeling is that we are all wasting our breath; but we might as well not bother. I feel that Mr Helmer and his ilk are not really listening. And I wonder why we bother.
    Do our switterings change anything? I think not.

  15. 15 Bellevue 28/08/2011 at 8:39 pm

    A cry for help. Richard North – on your blog, you talk about this; I have tried and tried to get onto the comments of your blog, but have not been able to.
    You refer to this exchange in your blog – and you put it so much better than we can. As does our dear AM.
    I just want to kill these people, but I lack the words. I wish you would come on here and give this Roger Helmer hell.

  16. 16 Martin Cole 28/08/2011 at 8:58 pm

    The EU is the dedicated enemy of Britain, the evidence grows by the day!

    Roger Helmer and Heaton-Harris became turncoats for this enemy some time ago, as had their Party.

  17. 17 Ian Gardner 28/08/2011 at 8:59 pm

    “I represent about 4.2 million people in the East Midlands, and I have been elected top of the list on three successive occasions — 99, 04, 09. I think my democratic legitimacy probably exceeds that of most correspondents to AM.”

    I understood that the EU elections were on the closed list basis. The East Midlands voted Conservative, and the Conservatives decided they would get Mr Helmer.

  18. 18 Trooper Thompson 29/08/2011 at 3:30 am

    @ Chris (Sod the lot)

    “None of this can be achieved if people like you choose not to vote for the Conservative Party. What you get if you don’t vote for my Party will certainly not be a more sceptical government that will deliver what you seem want, withdrawal of the UK from EU; you’ll actually get what you have had since 1997; a government that wants deeper European integration.

    Obviously, it is up to you as to whom you vote for; but if you vote anything other than Conservative, you are voting to give more powers to Brussels. ”

    Your party took us into the EEC and has signed a number of the killer treaties. It has done nothing to resist the EU. Why even mention 1997? Are you seriously suggesting that the Major government was less pro-EU than Blair’s? One word: Maastricht. There is not a gnat’s cock between Tory government and Labour government on the EU. Your party doesn’t deserve our votes.

  19. 19 Greg_L-W. 29/08/2011 at 4:08 am


    this is of course the chap who defended Tom Wise and his criminality, publicly attacking me for my temerity in exposing the fraud and embezzling by his drinking chum. Just as did UKIP leadership in ever more dishonest terms – Nigel Farage even lied on TV to protect Tom Wise and himself.

    Where does Patriotism enter into such self interest?

    Some may remember when drinking in a pub in Belgium, with a young girl from The NoTW, that Roger Helmer was filmed seeking ways to have his home relocated in mapping terms so that he could claim even more expenses.

    This may be the practice within the many globalist corporations for whom he worked prior to moving to politics!

    He even admits to 3 terms as an MEP when we have seen not one inch of movement to the exit, but a great deal of self enrichment by the likes of Roger Helmer seemingly with his chums Farage, Tom Wise, Daniel Hannan – all too willing to act as The Judas Goat.

    It is hard to differentiate between the levels of betrayal of the huge majority of our MPs and that of almost all of our MEPs and minded of howlittle they have achieved it is clearly a grossly overpaid job with absolutely no ethics and less integrity.

    Sad that so many lives have been given in defence of our liberty and a huge amount of faith has been placed in our MPs and MEPs who almost to a man seem to have betrayed these United Kingdoms.

    The great tragedy is the huge amount of lives this will cost in the wars of disassociation that are increasingly inevitable because of OUR-ENEMY-WITHIN


  20. 20 jameshigham 29/08/2011 at 10:52 am

    This is the sort of thing a blog does best. Well done, AM.

  21. 21 Dead Dog Bounce 29/08/2011 at 12:07 pm

    Mr Helmer,

    With regard to the Whips’ behaviour, I’m afraid the burden of proof is bourne by your side of the debate. The Whips were appointed by Mr Cameron, and Mr Cameron has a record of ambiguity and/or deceit with regard to Europe:
    1. Promising to change EU parliament group immediately when this wasn’t possible. Won him the leadership. The promise was either incompetent or deceitful.
    2. “Cast Iron promise” on the Lisbon referendum. His promise mislead sceptics in a manner either incompetent or deceitful.

    So the burden is on you to prove that this initiative isn’t merely a ruse to vent building pressure over Europe.

    “Trust us” doesn’t work any more.

  22. 22 Viv Evans 29/08/2011 at 12:08 pm

    This caught my eye especially:
    “The Whips have done this [allowing this ‘eurosceptic Group’ to go ahead] in order to head off calls for the In/Out referendum Roger also claims to support.” because of a reply by John Redwood to a comment on his blog here:

    where he says that there is no majority in the HoC for a referendum …

    I interpret this that the whips have been seeing to it that there will not be a majority for such a referendum, in spite of the coalition having a majority in the HoC.
    Great example of ‘democracy’ in action!

  23. 23 John Payne 29/08/2011 at 12:17 pm

    Roger I continue to admire your ability to communicate with the public at large regarding your Euro sceptic views, most politicians issue sound bites whilst walking away from any debate on their comments. Please therefore accept my respect to you in this matter.

    With regard to Tory Euro sceptics, the way things are muddling along gives the impression the Tory Party encourages opposition to Europe, as long as they keep the majority on their policy side. This can delay decisions until all opposition loses interest. You may disagree, but the evidence is clear, apart from a very few Tory MP’s, which offer no threat to the Party machine, the rest do nothing but talk.

    Your answer to my article in Autonomous Mind indicates you did not fully digest my point. I do not, as you claimed, have a theory that ‘ EU integration is driven by the Whips’. I am sure you are aware, but did not mention, the Whips follow Political Party policy, which all MP’s must follow like a heard of sheep, or suffer consequences.

    In my view party whips, of all political party’s, should be withdrawn from influencing voting decisions in Parliament as it offers far much too power to the un-elected Political Party machines. All MP’s should be allowed to vote on their conscience taking their constituents views into account. I have noticed in the past that when there has not been a full house the MP voting numbers appear to show collusion between the main parties to obtain the result required by the political parties. This system looks good to the public, but grossly undemocratic.

    This may be a big ask, but please remember wording in the Lisbon Treaty was designed and agreed by a Labour Government holding this tremendous power, whilst only receiving 33% of electorate votes or 22% of the population.

    How can we ever claim we have a democracy when everything is designed to suit the un-elected political establishments? The people MUST have a referendum on Europe!

  24. 24 Greg_L-W. 29/08/2011 at 3:08 pm


    John Payne’s comments are clearly correct – let us face one irrefutable fact – the membership of Britain in the EU has no legal legitimacy, no constitutional legitimacy, no moral legitimacy nor any gain for the British peoples or the future.
    Britain and the British peoples have been betrayed by corrupt self interested politicians and civil servants – OUR-ENEMY-WITHIN merely because they could!

    We were unlawfully duped into an unlawful membership of a malign centralised power grab.

    There are two ways for a political class to exploit this – either join in the evil scam and live on the bribes and rewards or oppose the scam in the certain and real knowledge that as a choir of castratti they can sing their protest in the controlled manner which ensures their bribes.

    There is absolutely no meaningful democracy either in Britain as Westminster acquiesced unlawfully and unconstitutionally to The ECA surrendering to direct rule by the centralised and very alien continental construct. The result being that some 80% of a law is imposed by the EU and Westminster may only enact law compliant with the EU’s wishes.

    Sadly there will always be another politician to fill the larded ranks of lobby fodder and accept the bribes – The future lies in our hands let us hope we are not forced to seize it.

    I wonder if NATO will be stepping up to bomb our betrayers whilst we reclaim our democracy, repatriate our liberty, reinstate our justice, replace our borders and re-establish our Sovereignty as these United Kingdoms.

    It seems we can slaughter and main to force some spurious concept of democracy on Sovereign Nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya yet lack the morality to ensure it for ourselves!

    Is there no depravity or betrayal to which politicians will not sink to keep their snouts in the trough?


  25. 25 maureen gannon 29/08/2011 at 3:33 pm

    Lies Lies and more lies.
    We are told Europe is vital to our well being as 40% of our trade is with them, now when I went to school that is 60% that is not with them, so what our politicos tell us is we are such a weak country with no backbone that that 40% is vital. Lies are they telling me that we are as weak livered as them and could not survive, does this 40% only get sold because we are so subservient to them.
    Look at the spirit that rose after the riots people out with their brooms cleaning up, if they thought the government cared for the populace and the country that spirit would be ignigted again , instead of selling us off bit by bit ,disecting us up into European Regions via their Localism Bill and destroying our identity this country would survive, as it always has .

  26. 26 Greg_L-W. 29/08/2011 at 5:27 pm


    the true looters are the very politicians who draw their huge bribes (the pretend it is a salary for work when they do none of consequence!), fiddle their expenses, defend their drinking chums when caught.

    Look at the serried ranks of bloated over paid Local Government parasites, QUANGO chiefs and Government advisers (brothers in law etc.) and meeeja consultants.

    These are the true looters OUR-ENEMY-WITHIN whilst yet more serried ranks of Judges, politicians, vicars, teachers, BBC staff, social service workers and the like who when convicted AND FOUND GUILTY of child abuse walk free!

    Is the abuse of children nothing more than a perk of Government employment?

    Even the likes of Roger Helmer might care to tell us all what actual achievements he has to his name as a Politician, in return for the many £Millions he has accepted as funding/bribes from the scam.


    PS.: How right you are Ms. Gannon though be minded that the figures include entrepot trade passing through EU container ports on route to our clients and trading partners around the world. Such as will still deal with us despite the treachery of our Politicians.

  27. 27 Brian H 30/08/2011 at 7:40 am

    A few vigourous wing flaps, but, alas, the ostrich is still not airborne.

  28. 28 Greg_L-W. 30/08/2011 at 5:36 pm


    indeed Brian H – however it can run considerably faster than many birds can fly and its kick is lethal.

    A fact the crano rectally retentive political parasites overlook at their peril!


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