Showing posts with label Roger Helmer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roger Helmer. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Roger Helmer is the new leader of the Ukip group in the European Parliament

From the Nottingham Post:
East Midlands Euro MP Roger Helmer has replaced party leader Nigel Farage as the head of UKIP MEPs. 
Mr Helmer was voted into the position on Tuesday evening by all 23 UKIP MEPs.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Roger Helmer: I was surprised by the vehemence with which some party spokesmen attacked the concept of voluntary repatriation

A headline in tomorrow's Observer runs:

Ukip shock over byelection candidate who backed voluntary repatriation


When you take into account Helmer's views on rape, the ability of girls under 16 to consent to sex and much else besides, it would be a shock if he didn't support voluntary repatriation.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Roger Helmer and clubbing baby seals

Having advertised this blog as a source of information on the career of Roger Helmer, I had better pass on a link kindly sent to me by a reader.

In 2006 the Lincolnshire blogger Fair Deal Phil reported that Helmer (still a Conservative MEP in those days) had written to a schoolgirl supporting the clubbing of baby seals.

You may dismiss this as a minor point, but seals can come surprisingly far inland. My mother and late stepfather saw them following their boat on the Witham above Boston. And the same reader tells me that they have been seen on the Trent only a couple of miles below the centre of Newark.

Who knows? Seals could emerge as a major issue in the by-election.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Newark by-election: Wish I could be like David Watts

Twitter is alive with the news that David Watts, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Broxtowe Borough Council, has been chosen as our candidate in the Newark by-election. Michael Crick suggests there were only two applicants.

Well, maybe it was a case of quality not quantity, and I wish David all the best in his efforts to take on Ukip's fruitcake emeritus Roger Helmer.

And his selection does give me an excuse to remind you that The Kinks' David Watts was a real person and came from Rutland.

Take it away boys...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Everything you need to know about Roger Helmer

Ukip has chosen Roger Helmer as its candidate in the Newark by-election.

The Roger Helmer label on this blog will tell you everything you need to know about the man and his politics.

Look out for his belief that there are two kinds of rape, his struggles finding an office in Market Harborough and his insistence that a lecturer on UFOs should succeed him in the European Parliament.
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bill Newton Dunn and Roger Helmer

From an article by John Hess on the BBC News website:
A studio debate for BBC's Sunday Politics between the MEPs of the East Midlands had been lively enough. 
Then it happened - the Liberal Democrat Bill Newton-Dunn lobbed in his accusation against UKIP's Roger Helmer. 
He accused the veteran former Conservative, now UKIP MEP, of "not bothering to turn up to vote" at the European Parliament. 
Mr Helmer was outraged and demanded an immediate on-air apology from Mr Newton-Dunn.
I fear Bill may have overstepped  the mark here. I have photographic evidence that Roger Helmer does turn up to the European Parliament...

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Roger Helmer's views on women are worse than Godfrey Bloom's

In the aftermath of Godfrey Bloom's implosion yesterday, UKIP sent Roger Helmer and his comedy moustache on to Channel 4 News and Newsnight to calm things down.

When Roger Helmer becomes your voice of reason you know you are in trouble.

And it is worth pointing out that Roger Helmer has said far worse things about women than Bloom ever has.

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.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Expert on aliens is no. 3 on Tory East Midlands Euro list

Remember Rupert Matthews? He's the Tory who teaches courses for the International Metaphysical University and believes "the evidence for UFOs and for the humanoid creatures linked to them is pretty compelling".

And its not just that he makes David Tredinnick look like a Nobel laureate: Matthews' eccentricity has a less appealing side.

Well, the news is that he will be no. 3 on the Conservative Party's list for the East Midlands at the next European elections.

You may also remember that Roger Helmer wanted to stand down as one of the region's MEPs halfway through this parliament, but said he would do so only if Conservative HQ would guarantee that Matthews (the highest placed unsuccessful Tory on the East Midlands list last time round) would replace him.

No such guarantee was forthcoming. Not only did Helmer fail to resign from the European parliament, he joined UKIP.

This incident shows what is wrong with the closed-list system for European elections that the last Labour government introduced. Parties and MEPs come to regard seats as their personal property.

The practice of stepping down halfway through a parliament to allow your successor time to bed in (of which the Liberal Democrats have been as fond as anyone) should be discouraged in particular.

As no. 3 on the Tory list, Rupert Matthews probably will not make it to the European parliament next time. He should concentrate on the inter-galactic elections of 2017.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Roger Helmer finds another new home

Regular readers will recall that when Roger Helmer left the Conservatives and joined UKIP he had to leave the Tory MEPs' office in Market Harborough.

He then set himself up at the new Harborough Innovation Centre, which was built with public money to  nurture new businesses.

Once word got around he was asked to leave it on the grounds that he is not a new businesses.

Strolling through Market Harborough this afternoon I noted that he is now to be found above a coffee shop in Manor Court.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Roger Helmer had to leave the Harborough Innovation Centre

Amid a heap of bluster, the UKIP Roger Helmer MEP admits in the Leicester Mercury that he has indeed been obliged to move his office out of the Harborough Innovation Centre because he had no right to be there in the first place:
"I have to admit I'm not a start-up tech company and a senior person from Oxford Innovations, which manages the centre, came to see me, apologised, but said I would have to leave."
Helmer's attempt to blame my old colleague Simon Galton neglects the fact that Harborough District Council is run by the Conservatives.

The Mercury found that, characteristically:
Coun Michael Rook, the Tory leader of the council, was unavailable for comment.
Still, well done to him for enforcing the rules.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Roger Helmer leaves the Harborough Innovation Centre

When East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer left the Conservatives and joined UKIP he obviously needed a new office in the constituency. So he set himself up at the new Harborough Innovation Centre, which was built with public money.

This caused controversy at the time, with some asking how he fitted centre's role of being "a hub for businesses to launch, innovate and grow".

Now a reader has alerted me to a report in the Leicester Mercury revealing that Helmer is one of four tenants who have recently left the centre. But quite why he has left, the paper does not say.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Runners and riders in the Corby by-election

The Northamptonshire Telegraph keeps us up to date as the ballot paper for the forthcoming Corby by-election takes shape.

Labour has chosen Andy Sawford, son of the former MP for neighbouring Kettering Phil Sawford. And the Liberal Democrats have chosen Jill Hope, who has previously fought Harborough and Milton Keynes North.

UKIP has chosen Margot Parker and the paper reports that George Galloway has said he is keen for Respect to field a candidate too.

The Conservatives are meeting to choose and candidate between the lines and, reading between the lines, they may not be an entirely happy ship. Two prominent local Tories - David Sims and Peter Bedford - who originally let it be known they were interested in standing have failed to make the shortlist.

As to the yesterday's silly season story, as put about by Tory bloggers who wanted more hits:
Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss had been rumoured to be one of those being considered for the shortlist, but his name was ruled out yesterday after it was revealed he had missed the deadline for consideration.
And quite why Strauss would want to rush to stand in a contest he would almost certainly lose was never explained.

Finally, back to UKIP... I think I have discovered the shameful secret that Roger Helmer was so anxious to hide this morning.

The Telegraph says the party has opened campaign headquarters "in the former Baguettaway shop in Everest Lane".

Nasty foreign things, baguettes.

In which I miss a scoop by seconds

Who should be at the counter when I went to get a coffee at the station this morning but Roger Helmer, sometime Conservative and now UKIP MEP for the East Midlands?

Not only that. As I walked in he was saying something like: "...I hope there's not a Guardian journalist here, ha ha" to an acolyte.

It happens that I have written for the Guardian quite often. And I got the feeling that, had I walked in a few seconds earlier, I would have overheard some indiscretion or UKIP secret that would have made, if not an article for the paper, then at least a posting for this blog.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Roger Helmer's new office causes controversy

When Roger Helmer defected to UKIP he was obliged to stop using the East Midland Conservative MEPs' office in Market Harborough.

He has now found himself new premises in the town. (To be accurate, they are outside the town at present, but the town will soon expand to reach them.)

But the nature of those premises have caused some eyebrows to rise. Because Helmer has resurfaced at the town's new Innovation Centre, which the Tory-run Harborough District Council bills as " a hub for businesses to launch, innovate and grow".

So much so that my old friend Simon Galton has said:
"It is ... questionable whether Mr Helmer qualifies to be in the building. What jobs is he creating and where is the innovation?"
As another old friend points out in the comments on the article, Mr Helmer's is not a name one associates with innovation.

In fact his unpleasant views on rape and gay marriage win him envious glances from passing dinosaurs.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Roger Helmer is a hypocrite the new UKIP MEP for the East Midlands, who has just defected from the Conservative Party, cheerfully admits on the front page of his own website:
I have always argued that a parliamentarian who finds himself no longer able to support the Party should stand aside in favour of another Conservative, and I have roundly criticised former colleagues who failed to do so, like Bill Newton Dunn and Edward McMillan Scott.
There follows a piece of casuistry intended to show that his case is different, but I do not follow the logic of it.

At the root of all this nonsense lies the dreadful list system under which European elections are fought in this country. Chris Rennard, writing on PoliticsHome, has some sensible suggestions for improving it and diluting the power it gives party bosses in particular.

Roger Helmer of all people, given his run in with the Tory chair Baroness Warsi, should support this.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Roger Helmer joins UKIP and lets me and Rupert Matthews down

As you will appreciate, the news that Roger Helmer, one of the Conservative MEPs for the East Midlands, has joined UKIP is a bitter blow to me. It means there is now no chance of Rupert Matthews taking his place in Brussels.

At a stroke, I have been robbed of a rich seam of comic post reporting Matthews' adventures in the European Parliament - they might even had made him Commissioner for Outer Space. Now that prospect has been swept away from me.

Regular readers will recall (new ones should start here) that Helmer had intended to resign at the start of this year, assuming that Matthews would take his place as the highest unelected candidate on the Conservative list at the last European elections.

But Tory HQ obviously had doubt about the cut of Matthews' jib. I have reason to believe that these related more to do with his consorting with golliwogs and Etheridges than his enthusiasm for ghosts and UFOs. So they made it clear that there was no guarantee that Matthews would take Helmer's place if he resigned, and Helmer decided not to resign as a result.

Helmer was clearly furious about this. In today's Daily Mail he talks of the "deliberate obstinacy and recalcitrance" of the party's chairman Baroness Warsi:
"She has brought this on herself. I couldn’t make her do the right thing, but I can make her regret doing the wrong thing."
I have more time for Baroness Warsi than is fashionable in Liberal Democrat circles and it is easy to see that a male Conservative of Helmer's generation could have problems dealing with a party chairman who is a woman, from the working class, a Muslim and from a Pakistani background even before it got to having political differences.

My own view is that the situation shows how undesirable the list system is. If Helmer wants to resign the identity of his successor should be decided by the voters, not by the Conservative Party or Helmer himself.

Rupert Matthews, whether out of loyalty or prudence, has taken a very different line. Giles McNeill has the statement he issued today:
I am shocked and disappointed at Roger Helmer’s decision to betray his public promises to the people of the East Midlands and his private promises to his colleagues. 
Since Roger announced that he was standing down as the MEP, many people in the East Midlands have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in preparing for Roger’s retirement, my taking his place in Brussels and the unavoidable upheavals that this would have entailed. I myself was looking forward very much to representing the people of the East Midlands and the Conservative Party in the European Parliament. It is unfortunate that all this time and effort has been rendered useless by Roger’s actions. 
I wish to make it clear that I have no intention of following Roger to UKIP and that I will continue to serve the Conservative Party as loyally as I have in the 28 years since I joined the party. I will be working hard to ensure the return of Conservative candidates in the local elections in May and at the next European Election in 2014.
But for the time being, there will be more desk space at Three Crowns Yard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Michael Crick meets Rupert Matthews

Michael Crick had a report on Channel 4 News this evening about the continuing saga of Roger Helmer's resignation (or not) as one of the MEPs for the East Midlands and whether Rupert Matthews will replace him.

In his accompanying blog post he writes:
When I went to see Rupert Matthews at his home in Surrey today he refused to speak on camera. He doesn't want to upset his chances. 
Off-camera, he denied several times to my face that he was a teacher for the IMU, and had merely designed the course. Yet in the IMU's online video Matthews talks to camera of being "your tutor for the course". Matthews denies being a professor for the university, though they were calling him such up to the end of last week. 
And he denied that IMU gives out degrees, though their website quite clearly offer masters degrees. All very odd.
I agree with Crick's conclusion:
Conservative HQ says it will do what it can to help Matthews take over Helmer's seat. But they still want to question him. And I can't help feeling that question process will lead to Matthews being rejected, or persuaded to abandon his claim. That would be a pity in a way, for Rupert Matthews would be a lot more colourful than most MEPs.
And from a purely selfish point of view, if he does not become and MEP I shall be robbed of a stream of blog posts that write themselves.

If you want more background to this affair, read my earlier posts on Rupert Matthews.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MEP resignations show what's wrong with the list system

European Voice reports that the Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis is to resign as MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber. Apparently she wants to "take a break from politics" and believes it is time "for someone with fresh eyes to take over".

All of which makes it a little odd that Diana stood as president of the European Parliament earlier this week.

But there is a deeper issue here. Because Diana's resignation appears to form part of an increasing trend for MEPs to stand down between elections.

I suppose the thinking is that it will help resigning MEP's party in the next election if its list boasts more people with experience in Brussels.

But there is a danger that these resignations give the impression is in the gift of the resigning member or that member's party rather than the voters.

The fact that Diana is likely to be succeeded by her husband Stewart Arnold strengthens the impression that Euro seats are the member's personal property to give away, but the Roger Helmer and Rupert Matthews saga (Gollygate? UFOgate?) has made it clear - see the comments on this post - that the seat is in the gift of the retiring member's party.

One thing is for sure: the voters are not consulted.

All of which should remind us how bad the list system is. As someone said in a tweet to me today, we must make sure it is not used for elections to a reformed House of Lords.

With thanks to Lib Dem Voice.