Roger Helmer dismisses criticism and covers for faux Tory Eurosceptics

We note that Roger Helmer has today chosen to use his own blog to write about the comments left here on AM by readers.  In a post titled ‘True Believers’, Helmer returns to his theme of factionalism and tries to liken the Eurosceptics to a small religious denomination.

But it is not his analogies that are of interest, it is the way he has presented the exchanges of recent days on this blog to the readers of his blog.  This is how Helmer introduces his reply to AM readers who left comments for him in the Open Letter thread:

Sadly, the Eurosceptic movement in Britain is rather similar.  Too many eurosceptics spend their time sniping at each other, rather than turning their guns on the real enemy, which in this case is Brussels.

I was alerted by my indomitable press officer Neelam Cartmell to a web-site called Autonomous Mind, which appears to be of the UKIP persuasion, and has a host of contributors eager to attack Conservative Eurosceptics who clearly (in their terms) are not Eurosceptics at all, but part of a great Tory plot to burnish sceptical credentials whilst pursuing an integrationist policy.  Autonomous Mind (AM), by the way, is said to “disdain Nigel Farage” — illustrating my point about factionalism and schism.

AM had published an “Open letter to Roger Helmer MEP”, which had attracted some angry comment.  But at least Mr. AM invited me to respond — so I did.  You may be amused by some of my replies.

Helmer’s comments necessitate a response.

If there are factions today one of them is the supposedly Eurosceptic element of the political class. This is the faction which has ventilated billions of gallons of hot air over the years, talking endlessly while achieving a sum total of zero when it comes to arresting the export of power from the UK to the EU, repatriating any power from the EU to the UK, or bringing about a binding referendum on membership of the EU so the British people can make a democratic decision about the way this country is governed.  Roger Helmer is a leading light in that inert faction.

Helmer and Co have not so much turned guns on the EU – or more crucially the UK government which has ignored the wishes of the people and is responsible for maintaining the EU as our government – as fired off water pistols from a safe distance.  There is little point taking aim at the EU when it is the British government that keeps us bound within that entity. The target should not be Brussels, it should be Westminster.

The issue is not about people being zealous ‘True Believers’.  It is about exposing and dismissing people who continue to spin tired myths about developing ‘influence’ to bring about change, while their inaction, impotence and Janus-like tacit support sees EU integration plans continue apace, and ever more power and control signed away by his Conservative party colleagues to Brussels.

Autonomous Mind is not of the ‘UKIP persuasion’. It is typical of the lazy thinking of self regarding politicians that anyone who offers criticism must by default be supportive of their political rivals.  For Helmer’s information Autonomous Mind is the blog of a former Conservative Councillor who resigned from the Party on a point of principle, duly  stepped down from the Council rather than remain as an independent so voters could choose a new representative, and has not voted for any candidate or political party since.  Helmer’s construction of a strawman that suggests AM is a UKIP blogger and therefore my disdain of Nigel Farage validates this notion of factionalism is therefore shown up as yet more nonsense.

The criticisms from this blog have been directed against members of all political parties.  Some Conservative supposed Eurosceptics have been criticised here because they speak in lofty terms of withdrawal from the EU or repatriating power from the EU, yet have actually voted in favour of legislation that furthers integration. Any right thinking person would see that as unprincipled and hypocritical. But for Helmer it is just part of some cunning strategy that has long promised much yet achieved precisely nothing. It is a strategy that can be accurately summed up as no steps forward, two steps back.

Part of the problem is that Helmer exhibits a Tory tribalism that makes him defend those who say one thing and do another because they wear the appropriately coloured rosette.  Which is why he is claiming this blog and a number of its readers believe there to be some great Tory plot to act sceptical while pursuing an integrationist agenda.  However all this blog has pointed out is that some Conservative supposed Eurosceptics are deceiving people and their pledges about the EU cannot be trusted. While Helmer seeks to comfort himself with his strawmen, this blog is focusing on reality – and even Helmer has conceded the reality that some of his supposedly Eurosceptic friends have voted in favour of Bills that further integration.

Interestingly Helmer has completely failed to address the core point about Tory duplicity, which brought him onto Autonomous Mind to leave a comment in the first place. It’s like the dirty little secret that must be kept within the family and he is doing his best to deflect attention from that and to focus on dismissing those making valid criticism. In covering for those people Helmer is helping to hold the line against the very people whose objectives he claims to share. He can’t have it both ways. He is putting party before people or principle. It’s nice therefore to have him out of the closet of self interest.

Finally it is worth noting Helmer’s ungracious grandstanding.  A number of people, frustrated and angry by the continuing march to ever closer union, have made serious points about the raft of broken promises, meaningless pledges and contradictory actions of those who profess to share their wishes for a wholly self governing Britain.  Yet Helmer enjoins his readers to be amused by his responses, which suggests rather than engaging in serious dialogue with people he was attempting to score points and look clever.  But considering the contempt politicians generally show for ordinary people this is perhaps not so surprising.  Disappointing, but not suprising.  A point that won’t be lost on people, I’m sure.

Update: There is a head of steam building up all right, but it is not among Tory Parliamentarians.  Rather it is among ordinary people who are fed up of the same old meaningless pledges and whose patience has been exhausted as more control over this country is shipped to Brussels.

We see EU Referendum reminding people for the umpteenth time of the constant and continuous deception to which we are subjected, then pointing out that if, after nearly forty years, the Conservative Party has not yet moved in a Eurosceptic direction, then it is a fair bet that it never will.  Witterings from Witney cites John Redwood’s increasingly passive stance on EU rule despite his claims to unrelenting Euroscepticism; while The Boiling Frog is tired after decades of the same old Tory mantra “in Europe, not ruled by it” while the reality sees the Tories entrenching EU governance over this country with undisguised enthusiasm.

The political class has taken too many for fools for too long and there would have to be a reckoning at some time.  Matters could now be coming to a head.

19 Responses to “Roger Helmer dismisses criticism and covers for faux Tory Eurosceptics”

  1. 1 TheBoilingFrog 29/08/2011 at 4:13 pm

    Excellent post again AM, you’ve articulated much better than I ever could, the deception of Tories like Mr Helmer.

    “He is putting party before people or principle. It’s nice therefore to have him out of the closet of self interest.”

    Spot on.

  2. 2 john in cheshire 29/08/2011 at 4:40 pm

    Mr Helmer, you are wrong. And the awful thing is, if you are so obviously wrong about this matter, serious as it is, what else are you wrong about. Until you recognise how wrong you are, quite honestly, you are of use to no one.

  3. 3 WitteringWitney 29/08/2011 at 4:52 pm

    AM, I have just posted this response on Helmer’s site:

    “WitteringWitney aka David Phipps.

    ” I certainly don’t “know that repatriation will never happen”: In which case I have to ask where you have been since 1999? Why would an entity which at its core believes in ‘ever closer union’, one which has usurped so many powers from nation states that it is virtually impossible to find one aspect of your life that is not affected by it, agree to relinquish those powers? Why would this same entity, who has provided itself with the right to act in areas where member states have not acted, decide to relinqish any power it already has?

    You must forgive those like me who believe that Conservative Eurosceptics are not Eurosceptics at all, but part of a great Tory plot to burnish sceptical credentials whilst pursuing an integrationist policy, because that is the impression that is given.

    You state that there is a head of steam building up in the parliamentary party, yet in a letter you wrote to Henry Bellingham, presumably some time in June this year, you said:

    “I have been waiting fifteen years for a government prepared to take a stand against European integration, and I am still waiting.” *

    so do enlighten us Mr. Helmer, what exactly has happened in just under three months to have made you change your mind? Maybe there are one or two whip marks on your back? No threats that candidate lists can easily be rewritten?

    As this government has been ceding yet more power to Brussels and the 2010 general election was fought on the basis that the Conservative Party was a eurosceptic party, I feel that your democratic legitimacy, one which you claim in response to Jeremy Poynton, could well be questioned.

    Perhaps you may wish to rebut my opinions, preferably in a sensible manner, as your post shows you have no real talent for humour.”


    I am not too sure if Helmer uses moderation as it has not appeared, nor has any notice that it is subject to moderation.

    Superb response by you to Helmer, by the way – well said indeed.

  4. 4 WitteringWitney 29/08/2011 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks for the link in your update, AM. I have come to the opinion that Redwood is another Helmer…….

  5. 5 TheBoilingFrog 29/08/2011 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the link AM, much appreciated.

    WfW I left a comment on Helmer’s site and it got through no problem or moderation it appears.

  6. 6 Trooper Thompson 29/08/2011 at 6:16 pm

    “There is little point taking aim at the EU when it is the British government that keeps us bound within that entity. The target should not be Brussels, it should be Westminster.”

    This is the key point, I believe.

  7. 7 Uncle Badger 29/08/2011 at 6:33 pm

    I note Helmer’s blog is draped with the union flag.

    So often a worrying sign, as Dr Johnson observed.

  8. 8 Jeremy Poynton 29/08/2011 at 7:50 pm

    Very well put. Thank you. Please read and digest, Mr. Helmer. Fair play to you for putting your head up over the parapet – but you must not complain if we then take aim and fire. What else can we do when we are to all intents and purposes completely powerless, and we see the EU intruding unasked into more and more of our lives? I don’t want the EU, I never voted for the EU, and as far as I am concerned, even tho’ I can do bugger all about it, it has no legitimate authority over me, and is a nascent tyranny. No bureaucracy that large has ever been anything else. Ever.

  9. 9 Sue 29/08/2011 at 8:17 pm

    I’m with Boiling Frog. I could never have written such an eloquent piece. You speak for us all AM.

    Truth is truth, facts are facts… and everything you have said is both those things.

    I hasten to add that I find it completely unfathomable to think the Redwoods, Hannans, Carswells and Helmers of the “Eurosceptic” persuasion actually believe their constant sceptic mantra.

    Why not just admit :

    a) they’re total Europhiles and have no scruples about lying and they’ve been told to do this to shut us up.

    b) the money is too good and they are not fit to be employed elsewhere and are to chicken to hand in their notice or

    c) they’re as thick as doo-doo and don’t understand what is going on as their lives are so entirely insular that they still believe they will make a difference.

  10. 10 DP111 29/08/2011 at 8:34 pm

    Let us assume that our politicians, including the so-called EU sceptics, are not self-serving, but convinced that membership of the EU is the best for the nation’s good, now and in the near future.

    If they are so convinced, then why don’t they tell us, instead of hiding behind false pledges of scepticism. What is the secret that is so important to our survival as a nation that we have to be in the EU, but yet cannot be told.

    The people are, by and large fair. If told honestly why we have to be in the EU, we will have a united UK, in or out of the EU.

  11. 11 Jeremy Poynton 29/08/2011 at 8:58 pm


    Thanks. He didn’t get that I was referring not just to him, but to the political classes as a whole. Who exactly do they represent? There is no-one there who represents me in any way at all other than constitutionally. If we are, as is always said, governed by consent, then can anyone tell me how I can withdraw that consent, I think I’ve had enough of it now, thanks.

  12. 12 WitteringWitney 29/08/2011 at 9:03 pm

    My pleasure JP. Good question and when you find the answer, let me know please? Post coming up tomorrow, over at my place, on 30 ‘ConHome listed’ Tory eurosceptics and how they have voted in HoC – you may well find it interesting…….?

  13. 13 Christopher Burrows (Paranoid - moi?) 29/08/2011 at 10:56 pm

    It is a fact that most of our “leaders” have, in Opposition or when trying to get our votes, been anti Common Market ( that was Harold Wilson) and its subsequent incarnations. Once in power, they turn 180 degrees whilst uttering the platitudes we all know too well. The Media, lead by the BBC allow them to continue with the litany of lies and deception. Accordingly, we are effectively neutered.
    One has to wonder who takes them on one side and reads them the real facts of life. To me it’s reminiscent of ‘The Odessa File” But that was fiction -wasn’t it?
    Excellent Blog by the way.

  14. 14 Brian H 30/08/2011 at 8:43 am

    Those inside the system would have voters believe that by gradualist pressures and urgings and invocations of stray bits of the Charter etc. the unelected Council will be induced to back off from its headlong rush to micromanage (and macromanage) as much of Europeans’ lives as possible, or even a bit more.

    This is shameless buffoonery. No bureaucracy is self-limiting, much less self-retrenching. They have to be beaten down with sticks and cudgels, every time. And Brussels is the Mother of All Bureaucracies. There is no equivalent or competitor on the planet, with the possible exception of the PROC.

  15. 15 DP111 30/08/2011 at 11:41 am

    In the final analysis, the only ones to blame is ourselves. Consider the word “sceptic”. It does not mean “anti” something, but merely not convinced or having doubts about some issue.

    Thus EU sceptic politicians can rightly claim that they never said they were anti-EU, but merely doubtful about the benefits of our membership. As sceptics, they can continue to be sceptical about our EU membership, with no change forever, as that is the only way to be sceptical. It is our own fault that we ascribed an “anti-EU” position to EU sceptics.

    Time to change. The EU sceptics are at best well meaning, or at worst, a deliberate ploy to channel anti-EU views to a safe cul-de-sac.

  16. 16 Lynne 30/08/2011 at 1:47 pm

    What one has come to expect from a party who refuses to acknowledge they lost a considerable lead in the pre GE polls and were forced into a coalition government after Cameron did a U-turn on an EU related referendum.

    They have been in denial ever since. Helmer is a prime example of the problem. Thanks for lifting the lid, AM.

  17. 17 harry 30/08/2011 at 3:00 pm

    This kind of clash in the blogospere is very good news indeed. People like Helmer have been granted iconic status without being deserving of it by dint of having involved himself in any proper activist euroscepticism.

    After the vote in the seventies, I took the time to ask people, should they not object, whether they voted Pro or Anti EEC. Do you know what I found? Two people only, out of about sixty or seventy asked, voted Pro EEC, and seven did not vote. It is a lesson that I have never forgotten.

    Stalin (Djugashvilli, the coffee house jew) said:

    “Those who vote in elections decide nothing. Those that count the votes decide everything.” Stalin.

    I will go to my grave convinced that the Referendum consucted by that pipe smoking twat Wilson was utterly fraudulent, as is the EU itself.

  18. 18 Vanessa 30/08/2011 at 6:17 pm

    We will have been in the EU for 40 years next year. How long does it take the conservative party to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 ?????? That is all we need to do to get this train moving in the right direction.
    Do they wonder why we have lost patience and are looking to alternative parties / options to take back our long lost democracy and sovereignty.

  19. 19 Greg_L-W. 30/08/2011 at 9:57 pm


    Vanessa it is clear our political betrayers, the looters of OUR society as they thieve and pontificate seem to forget that the blade of a guillotine travelled for little more than a second and in 1789 it was not politicians who righted the wrongs but the people in disgust and frustration at the larded self important, pampered, popinjays that were betraying them as politicians.

    No amount of goat stew will be wasted!

    There comes a time and there comes a leader so hang on to your knitting ;-)


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