Posts Tagged ‘Roger Helmer’

It is time for the UK to stop being the sulking teenager of Europe

18/04/2016, 09:47:44 PM

by Ranjit Sidhu

If we are really honest, the United Kingdom has never fully bought into the EU. Like the sulking teenager on a family holiday, we have been sitting there, slightly away from the others, looking in the opposite direction and when asked our opinion mumbled something unintelligible or shouted back You all do what you want, just leave me alone” (see any EU treaty since inception).

This position has led to the EU institutions being shaped by others so as to appear completely foreign to the eyes of the UK general public.

This refusal to get fully involved has also lead to the UK pursuing policies on Europe that have evolved into reasons for leaving.

It is often forgotten that the expansion of the EU to encompass the Eastern European states such as Bulgaria, Romania and Poland was a policy pushed hard by the Eurosceptics.

It was a policy that John Major used to provide some semblance of unity for his Government in making Europe wider rather than deeper”, i.e. enlarging the Union to prevent the great fear of the Eurosceptics in the 1990s: a Franco/German/Benelux political union.

That it was a Eurosceptic policy that has led inevitably to budget flows from the rich Western European countries to the development of the poorer Eastern European countries and the inevitable flow of workers in the opposite direction is ironic, but also instructive; if we do not fully get involved in the decision-making at the heart of the European project our policies will come back to haunt us.

Another forgotten detail of European history is that when Margaret Thatcher made her famous No, No, No” speech in Parliament, it was in part against the suggestion of the then European Commission president, Jacques Delores, of making the European Parliament more central to the decision-making process in Europe.


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Tuesday News Review

24/05/2011, 06:42:02 AM

The World’s Commander in Chief

It comes as the President of the United States arrives in London for a three-day state visit. He and his wife Michelle will stay at Buckingham Palace as guests of the Queen. This afternoon the Prime Minister and his wife Samantha will host a barbecue in the Downing Street garden for the President and First Lady. In a joint newspaper article today the two leaders point to the close relationship between the two countries, and say it is vital not just for Britain and America, but also the rest of the world. The two men say: “When the United States and Britain stand together, our people and people around the world can become more secure and more prosperous. “And that is the key to our relationship. Yes, it is founded on a deep emotional connection, by sentiment and ties of people and culture. But the reason it thrives, the reason why this is such a natural partnership, is because it advances our common interests and shared values.  “It is a perfect alignment of what we both need and what we both believe. And the reason it remains strong is because it delivers time and again. Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship – for us and for the world. Mr Obama last night addressed an adoring audience in Dublin. He had earlier visited Moneygall, a small village in County Offaly, the home of one of the President’s ancestors who emigrated to America in 1850. – Daily Telegraph

Hurried along by the Icelandic ash cloud, President Obama arrived early in the UK, where he will meet with David Cameron to rechristen the special relationship between Britain and the U.S. as the ‘essential relationship’. With the Grimsvotn volcano eruption threatening UK airspace Mr Obama cut short his visit to Ireland by a night and touched down at 10.15pm yesterday at Stansted Airport on Air Force One for his first state visit. But despite the hasty change to their planned schedule, the couple were still given the formal welcome expected of a state visit. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were originally due to meet the Obamas tomorrow, but instead the couple were greeted by the Lord in Waiting Viscount Brookeborough, who met them on behalf of the Queen. And instead of a traditional red carpet they left the plane on special red-carpeted stairs because of windy conditions at the airport. Among the party was also Alison MacMillan, deputy director of protocol from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who greeted the president on behalf of the foreign secretary. An RAF Ceremonial Squadron was on hand, saluting as the couple walked the red carpet to their motorcade. Also present was US ambassador to the UK Louis Susman and his wife Margaret, Chief Constable of Essex Police Jim Barker-McCardle, and Nick Barton, managing director of London Stansted Airport. – Daily Mail

I thought Hannan was bad enough

A Tory MEP has claimed some rape victims are partly to blame for their assault. Former party spokesman Roger Helmer made the comments in defence of Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s claim last week that the crime had less serious forms. Contrasting date-rape to “classic stranger rape” on his blog, Mr Helmer said a woman who “voluntarily undresses and gets into bed … surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing expectations”. “Most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence. Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable.” Labour frontbencher ­Caroline Flint branded the comments “outrageous”. – Daily Mirror

Writing on his blog, Roger Helmer weighed in behind the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, who last week suggested some forms of rape were more serious than others. Helmer’s comments were criticised by a party spokesman and by Tory MP Louise Bagshawe, who said his remarks were “appalling”. Helmer described a “classic stranger rape” scenario, where a “masked individual emerges from the bushes, hits his victim over the head with a blunt instrument, drags her into the undergrowth and rapes her, and then leaves her unconscious, careless whether she lives or dies”. He then described “date rape” as being when a woman “voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naively expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says ‘Stop!’ The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on. In both cases an offence has been committed, and the perpetrators deserve to be convicted and punished. But whereas in the first case, I’d again be quite happy to hang the guy, I think that most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence in the second case. Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable.” – the Guardian

Just go for it lads

A controversial new industry earmarked for the edge of Liverpool is backed by MPs today – despite being linked to polluted tap water and fears of gas explosions in the USA. The Government is urged to give the go-ahead to “shale” gas drilling, with a prediction it could be worth £28bn and cut Britain’s dependence on imported gas. The recommendation comes just months after a company revealed huge untapped reserves are trapped in rocks beneath Wirral, North Cheshire and North Wales. IGas said it hoped to exploit a string of licence areas around Liverpool, including exploration blocks beneath John Lennon Airport, Widnes and Warrington. – Liverpool Daily Post

There should be no moratorium on prospecting for shale gas in the UK despite concerns about its negative environmental impacts, a report from an influential group of MPs has advised. The UK could have “considerable” shale gas resources, particularly offshore, said the energy and climate change select committee, and should exploit these to reduce reliance on energy imports. But the MPs acknowledged that exploiting shale gas could be environmentally damaging and could spell severe problems for the renewables industry, which is facing a lobbying onslaught from gas industry representatives seeking to position their fuel as “green” because it produces less carbon than coal. Tim Yeo, the Tory MP and former minister who chairs the committee, said: “Shale gas could encourage more countries to switch from coal to gas, which in some cases could halve power station emissions. But if it has a downward effect on gas prices it could divert much needed investment away from lower carbon technologies like solar, wind, wave or tidal power.” – the Guardian

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