STRAIGHT TALKING July 2017
Roger Helmer’s electronic newsletter from Strasbourg
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The last Goodbye
As many of you will know already, I have decided to retire. I signed the papers on May 31st, and I will finally cease to be an MEP on July 31st. It has been a privilege to serve the people of the East Midlands as one of their MEPs for eighteen years, since 1999. I was proud to be voted top of the East Midlands list four times (1999; 2004/09/14), in a political career spanning not just two centuries but two millennia.
At this time I should like to thank friends and colleagues across the region, and in the parliament (and indeed throughout the world), for their help, encouragement and support over the years – and a special thank-you to the many staffers who have worked with me. It would be invidious to name some individuals and omit others, but I am very proud of the achievements of former staffers who have gone on to great success.
I had contemplated retirement as early as 2011, but stayed on when the Tory Party obstinately refused to confirm the next candidate, Rupert Matthews, in the place to which he had been elected by party members in the region, and which he had earned during the course of the campaign. So my career was extended for another five plus years, and I became Energy Spokesman for UKIP (a rôle I expect to retain until Party Conference in October).
(In parentheses: Rupert Matthews has finally made it into the European parliament, replacing former MEP Andrew Lewer, who won a Northampton seat in the General Election. I was delighted to see Rupert in the parliament in Strasbourg this week. Although a Tory, he’s very sound on the EU issue).
A story in the Guardian, repeated in the Metro, sought to conflate my retirement with a parliament investigation into two of my UK staffers, and lurid claims of “stealing £100,000” circulated on social media. So you may like to know that I signed the resignation papers a couple of weeks before that story ran, and also that one of the two cases has been cleared. I still await news on the second case, but I expect that to be cleared too.
My long-time friend and colleague Jonathan Bullock, with whom I campaigned on a euro-list as long ago as 2004, will replace me in the parliament. I am confident that he will do a fine job on behalf of the region, riding shotgun on the Brexit process as it emerges in the parliament agenda.
Meantime people are asking how I plan to spend my retirement. I intend to see a lot of opera and ballet, and maybe a few stage plays. To go on long walks. To do the Telegraph crossword every day. And generally to enjoy a well-earned retirement (after 52 years in gainful employment) in the company of a very lovely retired dentist. What more could I ask?
My valedictory speech
On July 5th, I made what I expect to be my last ever speech in the European parliament, and I left a farewell message for the house. Find it here. I hope you’ll consider it two minutes well-spent. In passing, I should apologise for my rather casual appearance in the video clip. This was because Lufthansa had lost my luggage on the Birmingham/Frankfurt flight on Monday, and didn’t deliver it to Strasbourg until the late evening of Wednesday.
Quoting Enoch Powell
It’s frowned on to quote Enoch (though I frequently do). He famously said that “All political careers end in failure”. But I certainly don’t feel that. My key objective across nearly twenty years was to re-establish the independence of our country, and I feel that all my efforts have been vindicated by last year’s referendum outcome. Certainly the referendum would not have been won without UKIP (and incidentally would never have happened without UKIP – the referendum itself was a misjudged attempt by Cameron to see off the UKIP threat).
We have made less progress on my other issue, climate change. But I am encouraged by some recent trends, and especially by Donald Trump’s decision to take the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. I’m also looking forward to the final demise of the Hockey Stick Graph: see below.
The Hockey Stick
The Icon of the global warming movement was Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph, which sought to eliminate the Mediæval Warm Period, and to indicate a sudden rise in recent temperatures. He has often been challenged on it, and Montford’s book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” discusses Mann’s repeated refusals to make available his source data.
So far as I can work out, Mann has brought a court action against one of his opponents, but the court has ordered Mann to provide his source data. Reportedly Mann has refused, and may now be in contempt of court. This could well prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the Hockey Stick Illusion.
“The European parliament is ridiculous”
But don’t take my word for it. These are the words of none other than Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. And just to be sure we had understood correctly, he added “Very ridiculous”. Catch the heated exchange between Juncker and parliament President Antonio Tajani here.
Yes Minister on Climate Change
This is (A) about the funniest video clip I’ve seen in years, and (B) all you need to know about the climate scam. Do watch it.
Also have a look at the UKIP MEP web-site www.ukipmeps.org