Monday, August 12, 2013

Roger Helmer, underage girls and consent

Thanks to Scott Collins on Twitter for posting a link to a Hope Not Hate item about Roger Helmer (a UKIP MEP for the East Midlands) and his interview about underage sex and consent on with Stephen Nolan.

The page that hosts the interview gives a choice quote:
"Suppose a 15-year-old girl is at a club with a pop star, and he says 'how about it, dear'? and she says 'yes please, I was hoping you'd ask'. In most people's book, that constitutes consent. Legally, she cannot consent, but in real terms, she can."
but you really have to listen to the whole thing.

This is not the first time that Helmer has given us the benefit of his views on sexual crime. Back in 2011, when he was still a Conservative MEP, he announced that there are two kinds of rape:
While in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.
The problem, I suspect, is that Helmer is not very bright and inordinately fond of the sound of his own voice. The result is that he has convinced himself that his bizarre and distasteful views are what most voters believe too.

You would think it is impossible to be thrown out of UKIP for your views - when I challenged Nigel Farage on Twitter over Helmer's views on rape, he replied that members were free to believe what they wanted - but Helmer seems determined to test that belief to destruction.

Meanwhile, my post "Don't blame the decade for sexual abuse" from last year turns out to provide a good reply to Helmer.


Blogger said...

You believe that at midnight on the eve of the day 16 years after a person was born they are suddenly, physically and mentally changed?

Intersting, do you think this is a magical, religious, biological change?

I think it is a legal generality/convenience. It lets courts decide on the grey areas.

But, hey, you can pretend it is real/physical/mental transformation if it suits your prejudice.

Jonathan Calder said...

It is perhaps worth pointing out that Paul was Ukip's candidate in Hove at the 2010 general election.

Blogger said...

Why would it be 'worth poining' that out? Which bit of what I wrote do you think it is relevant to?

I think you are simply demonstrating and trying to encourgate that prejudice of yours I pointed out...

Horatio Street said...

Much as I dislike UKIP, Roger Helmer is correct.
The interviewer is trying to say the legal position is the only one that exists.
Roger Helmet is saying the real world is different.

As an example, at 23, I entered into a relationship with a woman of 36.
She told me she started having sex at 12.
The way she did it, she told me, was to lead boys on.
She knew exactly what she was doing.
This was a 36 year old woman, looking back and saying she was the one in control.

Red Ukip said...

Legal age of consent is different accross Europe. n Italy it's 14. In Turkey it's 18 for example. So if we draw no disticntion bwtween legal consent and actual consent as the interviewer is, then we are drawn to the conclusion that a 17 year old in Turkey is mentally incapable of engaging in willing sex but a 14 year old in Italy is. Ridiculous. Manufactured outrage is being directed at Helmer, purely because he is in Ukip. Everyone knows perfectly well there is a difference betweeen legal consent and actual consent.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... so a UKIP candidate points out a potential grey area example of something black and white and HNH are on it like a flash. Mention Rotherham... and the silence is deafening

Anonymous said...

FWIW, my first real girlfriend at the age of 17 had been highly promiscuous since at least 12 if not before. She was a highly sexual person and had no discernible issues with her early start and again, like the example quoted, was a very assertive character and never ever felt abused by her experiences.
Horses for courses in the real world. The law is of course a necessary base line which must be adhered to.

Rob said...

At what point is it suddenly acceptable for 12 year old children to be sexually active? What kind of person honestly believes that a 12 year old child is in control of the situation? Do all UKIP mps believe that if an underage girl tries to lead on a man, it is not the absolute responsibility of the man to say no? This man's views are abhorrent. Unfortunately, so are the views of most of the commenters.

Rob said...

Paul. If you had a daughter who was sexually active at say, 13 years old, would you be a proud father? Would you trust a schoolgirl to make the right decisions when even 20somethings make massive errors? Most neurological studies nowadays assert that the brain is maturing right into the 20s. If anything consent should be raised. It's actually there to protect children from older people who would take advantage of the natural trusting nature of many young people. Would you begrudge them that protection?

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly sound argument Rob, and scientifically sound I'm sure but anyone would realise that by the age of 16 there are burgeoning pressures from within on the individual to take a bite of the apple/cherry. With full respect to the law, I think there is more than enough nannying in legislation and not enough flexibility for the individual. I agree, most circumstances would dictate total legal abstention but some not as per my own indirect experiences.
Having said all that, as a retired male now, I can honestly state that it took me a very long time to achieve that happy state of maturity that only time & experience can bring. We are all different. Would you suggest everyone has to wait for their thirties or forties before they have sexual relations?
Psychological maturity is, as you infer, a gradual process. Fortunately perhaps, women tend to be earlier than men.
As far as reproducing is concerned, I would vehemently adhere to enforcing abstention for anyone under 18 let alone 16.
Sexual experience and parenthood are two very separate issues, with an unwanted connection sometimes.

Blogger said...

Rob you should listen to the audio before commenting - then you would look less of a moron.

First thing Roger says is that sex with a minor is illegal and shoud be prosecuted.

Moronic Irish dude on the recording pretends that 'consent' means only one thing. What a fuckwit.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's the fault of the man, and of course he should go to jail. All I said was that the girl was capable of consenting (in the day-to-day, not the legal sense). And in the scenario you mention, she did exactly that. Thank you. You make my point. Roger Helmer MEP.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is your ridiculous 'Lynch Mob' emotive outpouring which is abhorrent. You should learn to read and listen and understand rather than having a 'rant with no cause'. The law has ever been different to real time perception and has ever had a different meaning for the same words.

As others have stated, this is merely yet another attack on a UKIP MEP, merely because he is a UKIP MEP.

The panic sets in and the responses get more extreme the closer we come to an election -from both right and left in the anachronistic world of the mainstream media......

Anonymous said...


Part of the problem today is the black & white terms that the interviewer sticks to, knowing this is an emotive issue and that he can effectively give the impression that sex with a 3 year old is morally & legally the same thing as sex with a girl aged 15 years and 364 days.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the difference between the two, and to refuse to see it is not helpful to society in the least.