Roger Helmer reveals his strategy for withdrawal from EU

Readers may recall the recent exchange of views and comments on this blog between AM, readers and arch Tory ‘Eurosceptic’ Roger Helmer.  In his reply to reader comments Helmer told commenter ‘Jones’:

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

The exchange has started to raise questions about the nature of Euroscepticism among Conservative politicians, belonging as they do to a party that claims to be against further integration yet whose MPs and MEPs consistently vote in favour of measures that enable it.

So it was that a few days ago, back on Helmer’s own website, his comment about a strategy was raised by commenter ‘Dead Dog Bounce’, who asked Helmer about his strategy for withdrawing Britain from the EU.  The comment and Helmer’s response are shown below:

So there we have it.  Roger Helmer’s strategy for enabling Britain to exit the EU is…  a tribal faith that a government led by his Tory friends might be more likely to see sense on Europe than any other party.

At this point it is appropriate to give way to Dr Richard North of EU Referendum who reminds us of the Tory standpoint on this country’s involvement in Europe:

The Tories have a vision of a political Europe which has not changed in over seventy years when it was articulated to the War Cabinet on 20 July 1940 by Duff Cooper, the then information minister.

The bones of this was a “united Europe”, a Europe “united by goodwill and in friendship, not by force and in terrors, a Europe based upon some federal system … a Europe in which armaments will be pooled and trade barriers will be broken down, and in which each nation will be allowed to conduct its own affairs in its own way with the same kind of freedom as each state in the American Union possesses”.

And of course, sitting above the States in the American Union is a powerful federal government with a President at its head.  No matter.  Let’s focus on facts.  The Conservative Party was in government and signed the Single European Act in 1987.  The Conservatives were in government and signed the Treaty on European Union in Maastricht in 1992.  These were the treaties that made it possible for Labour to subsequently sign the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.

Having opposed the Lisbon Treaty the Conservatives soared in the opinion polls.  After David Cameron and William Hague had long said if the treaty was signed by Labour they ‘would not let matters rest there’ they reversed their position and their poll lead dropped, resulting in the dismal coagulation between the conservatives in name only and the Lib Dems.  Matters have not only been allowed to rest there, the Conservatives have accelerated the rate at which powers are being transferred to Brussels – a point made by Helmer himself.

Despite the absence of any strategy to achieve Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, Helmer nonetheless continues to state his position is that this country would be better off out of the EU.  His comments on that are indisputable.  However his support of faux Eurosceptics – the Europlastics – clearly contradicts his stated position.  It defies reason that Helmer can hold the view he professes while endorsing the position of people who by their voting record demonstrate continued support for the EU project and who only wish to see reform, not withdrawal.  It’s enough to make one wonder if Helmer’s lack of strategy is itself part of an altogether different strategy.

Against the backdrop of this reality the great man clings like a limpet to the trappings of Toryism, licensed to articulate some dissent now and again as long as he doesn’t go too far and stirs up anything like genuine opposition to Tory Europhilia.  This needs to be made clear to all genuine Eurosceptics who labour under the misapprehension that most Tories who claim to be Eurosceptic really are.  The evidence shows the overwhelming majority of Conservative ‘Eurosceptics’ are nothing of the sort.

20 Responses to “Roger Helmer reveals his strategy for withdrawal from EU”


  1. 1 Edward 06/09/2011 at 9:18 am

    It is the same type of babbling nonsense you get from Myrtle and any ‘sceptic’ [red] Tory.
    Stuff the lot of them, anyone who hates the EU and votes for this lying riff-raff – is as blockheaded as the numpties who voted for Balls, in Morley/Outwood.
    Effin eejits – Helmer a case in point.

  2. 2 WitteringWitney 06/09/2011 at 9:27 am

    Couldn’t agree more AM – well said. Forgive my linking, but Helmer is also guilty of being two-faced in his condemnation of attacks on what he calls eurosceptics, as witnessed in this post of mine:

    http://witteringwitney.blogspot.com/2011/09/roger-helmer-2.html

  3. 3 graham wood 06/09/2011 at 9:52 am

    Dr Richard North has said it all in relation to the Tory Party in general and a typical representative in Roger Helmer. What more can be said?

    Clearly the strategy is to maintain a strategy of faux “euroscepticism” to deceive the gullible, and particularly the naive Tory party grass roots. The idea is to keep on making just enough noises to create the impression that there is a “movement” within the Party. Just enough not to risk a real rebellion but to give the media and political observers heart that there is “real” opposition to the EU there – with of course the threat that this could “break out” at any time into serious opposition to Cameron and the EU establishment. No chance!

    Nobody who has followed the saga wihch Dr North outlines will be deceived, nor by the potty idea that the EU can be reformed from within – or indeed that the Party will change course, because from Cameron’s point of view the EU is a done deal – Lisbon has been and gone. The pass has been sold. He says in effect – “We are in the EU, working with our “partners”, its “good for Britain” – get over it.” He simply is not open to persuasion, for there is no real threat likely to arise from the parliamentary party.

    Meanwhile Roger’s comment about it being a “Tory Government which is likely to see sense on Europe” is hypocritical and fatuous nonsense.
    The party has not “seen sense” for the past 35 odd years and is not likely to change now to precipitate a major row about “Europe”.
    IMO there is no such thing as Tory “euroscepticism” – only, as with a house that is on fire and well ablaze, the urgent need to get out.

  4. 4 A K Haart 06/09/2011 at 10:17 am

    Mr Helmer is being disingenuous. As you say AM, there is no such thing as Tory euroscepticism – their record is what it is – essentially europhile.

  5. 5 John Payne 06/09/2011 at 10:33 am

    So many people, quite ineffectively allocate blame by talking past and present performance of the Conservative Party. What a waste of time, as there will always be someone avoiding criticism by pushing the Conservative Party Line, and the debate goes on.

    I say talk about the future by taking all political party claims they do not want to lose British Sovereignty to Europe.

    Therefore for to all those who claim we must retain our sovereignty I ask the following question.

    If our final objective is to retain our Sovereignty, why do we claim it is an advantage to maintain membership of the EU, which its final objective is to take away Sovereignty?

    That question goes out to all politicians. Honest people will see our membership is totally incompatible with our objectives.

    Please remember, all those who argue it is in the interest of this Country to retain EU membership are therefore indirectly admitting to voting public they are planning to eventually abandon our Sovereignty to the European Union, otherwise they would not have agreed the Lisbon Treaty.

  6. 6 Uncle Badger 06/09/2011 at 11:41 am

    So that’s Helmer’s idea of ‘strategy’ is it, the lack of which he castigated us for?

    How much is this idiot paid?

  7. 7 PaulH from Barcelona 06/09/2011 at 12:07 pm

    I used to do a bit of strategy consulting and one of the biggest issues I came across is that everyone has a different understanding of exactly what the word ‘strategy’ means.

    I found the simplest and most effective definition to be ‘WHAT you want and HOW you’re going to get it’, which can be applied at any level.

    Mr Helmer’s response appears to have neither.

  8. 8 Lynne 06/09/2011 at 1:28 pm

    Excellent work again, AM. Unfortunately, Helmer blindly refuses to acknowledge that he’s a symptom of the Europlastic disease, not the cure.

  9. 9 peter geany 06/09/2011 at 2:21 pm

    AM. As always a good post. I am however going to defend Roger to a degree, and criticised some commentators. I have followed this debate and it has reinforced my conviction ( I have moved from it can be fixed from within, but was convinced some time ago) that the only way now with Europe is completely out, and it needs to happen tomorrow, not next week or next month or even next year. We should be the first and perhaps we could then help some of the lesser countries (not with money) to rebuild their shattered economies.

    I met Roger at a spectator Debate on climate change a few years ago. To have worked tirelessly on that subject completely in the face of the attitude of the leadership takes some doing. To hold his (Tory) seat in the face of his attitude to Europe takes some doing. That work does not deserve the accolade of “idiot” that I admit is all too easy to level at all our Politians. That the leadership has not ousted him is good news. I have posted on Myrtles blog in the Fairygraph that his and Carswell’s time has come for action, or to shut-up. So I am with you on that and we should criticise these individuals for voting in the way they do and hold them to account. They are after all Politians.

    I am and admirer of AM WW and R North along with others for the brilliance of the commentary and clarity with which you all dissect issues. However occasionally I think perhaps out of frustration you dismiss ideas, and Rogers’s idea of trying to reform the Tories from within is one, rather than offering as you often do a clear solution. He has made a choice and we should respect that even if we think he will fail, or that it doesn’t fit with how we as individuals would like to see matters moving. Now I don’t know who’s toes Roger has stepped on, but perhaps if the energy is directed at the enemy (and with all due respect to the above mentioned Bloggers Roger is not the enemy) with a little more concentration then it may have better effect.

    We must all know by now that our political masters are people with very little brain. They are however PhD’s when it comes to survival. They are going to hold the line until they are completely overrun. I have sent to my MP copies of the letters I wrote to him before the General Election that pointed out the looming financial crisis, the energy crisis and a number of other matters. Even though I was invited to his house and have met him subsequently Europe was off limits for discussion. I claim no clairvoyance over knowing all that was going to happen in the world, it’s all out there if you have an open mind. My own view is we concentrate on the obvious divisions between the Tories and LibDim’s then it may precipitate the final collapse of our completely ineffective government. It would also prompt a contest for the Tory leadership. That perhaps is the only way the Tories will survive.

    No doubt if everyone thinks I’m wrong I’ll have that pointed out, but I’m a big boy and can take it.

  10. 10 bob 06/09/2011 at 2:28 pm

    Can you form an armed malitia, terrorist group or rebel alliance if not the uk government will not take you seriously.

  11. 11 Dead Dog Bounce 06/09/2011 at 2:31 pm

    It’s a sign of the weakness (Dr North might says “moral and intellectual bankruptcy”) of the political classes that simply taking their criticisms of opponents and applying that logic to the speaker usually results in enormous discomfort. Notice how Cameron and Johnson are exposed over comparisons between Bullingdon and the riots, to take one trivial example.

    For a Tory to criticise based on strategy on Europe is truly risible. It seems to me that Helmer lacks self-awareness to realise when he’s in a mine-field. I think that those that interact with him should go “above and beyond” in the effort to remain civil, and avoid pointed pressure on his logical inconsistencies. Otherwise, he may cease interacting, and we may lose a valuable source of ammunition in the struggle against the Tory EuroPlastics.

    I’m very glad you picked up on this. I thought the exchange had passed un-noticed.

  12. 12 Uncle Badger 06/09/2011 at 4:05 pm

    Peter Geany – I called Helmer an idiot because, in quite a forceful manner, he accused commentators here of lacking a strategy yet, when pressed, clearly had none of his own.. Perhaps ‘hypocrite’ would have been more apt, but I’m still happy with my first choice.

  13. 13 TomTom 06/09/2011 at 4:33 pm

    The Conservatives think of the EU like they do the Union with Scotland, as part of the constitutional furniture. They think they can buddy up with France on Defence as a counterweight to Franco-German influence. It is the same pathetic logic that brought two unnecessary world wars. Britain stumbles it fails to lead or to look after its national interests.

    Legal Theory requires a Rupture to effect new constitutional arrangements – it is the legal basis of revolution as in Libya today. Britain has effected a coup to create a fresh start but is terrified of any break in its own arrangements – keep a-hold of Nurse
    For fear of finding something worse. something worse – the Conservative approach.

    It was the Tories who scuttled off to Canada when the Americans broke with England; one country was dynamic and the other placid and staid.

    It is not the Conservative Party that will bring change. In its most radical incarnation under Thatcher it signed up for every major piece of constitutional legislation simply haggling over the entrance fee

  14. 14 Sam Duncan 06/09/2011 at 4:54 pm

    “The Conservative Party was in government and signed the Single European Act in 1987. The Conservatives were in government and signed the Treaty on European Union in Maastricht in 1992.”

    And, as I’ve said elsewhere, what happened between those two events? The only Prime Minister of the last 50 years to realise and oppose what’s happening, to the extent of blocking the more objectionable parts of the SEA, was removed by her own party, in favour of someone more compliant who would nod them through (after a bit of theatre for the plebs) in Maastricht.

    That was the point when the scales fell from my eyes: for all its rhetoric and the overwhelming opposition of its deluded rank-and-file, the core of the Conservative Party is utterly, doggedly, pro-EU. It undoubtedly sees Helmer as one of its useful idiots.

  15. 15 TomTom 07/09/2011 at 10:28 am

    German Constitutional Court waives through National Bankruptcy Vote on 29 September provided Budget Select Committee is kept in the loop in future. German Bloggers reference Art 20 (4) of the German Constitution, viz.

    Article 20 [Basic institutional principles; defense of the constitutional order]

    (1) The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and social federal state.

    (2) All state authority is derived from the people. It shall be exercised by the people through elections and other votes and through specific legislative, executive, and judicial bodies.

    (3) The legislature shall be bound by the constitutional order, the executive and the judiciary by law and justice.

    (4) All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish this constitutional order, if no other remedy is available.

  16. 17 maureen gannon 10/09/2011 at 2:14 pm

    Below id the definition of Strategy, I would suggest that politicos utter the first definition but in politik speak it translates to the second definition

    A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result:

    A strategy for getting ahead in the world.

  17. 18 peter geany 11/09/2011 at 5:44 pm

    AM I give up. I have given up completely on the conservative party and tell my conservative MP this at least once a month. He just will not engage in sensible discussion. Roger when I met him agreed with everything I said. Perhaps it really is time that they are all dispensed with without exception.


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