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Speeches & Articles - Archive

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Click on the headline to see the text in full.

Animal Welfare: Your input could make a difference - Boston Standard - December 9 2002
As MEP for the East Midlands I have received many letters from constituents on the issue of animal welfare and I have been working closely with animal welfare groups such as the International League for the Protection of Horses and Naturewatch, especially on the issue of transportation of live animals for slaughter.

The CBI wakes up and smells the coffee - Lincolnshire Echo - November 28 2002
I've just come back from the Confederation of British Industry's annual Conference in Manchester, and I've seen the wind of change sweeping through the organisation. I was there with half a dozen Conservative MEP colleagues, and apart from a flying visit by one Labour MEP, we were the only European parliamentarians who bothered to come.

New Labour in Westminster, Old Labour in Brussels - Lincolnshire Echo - November 14 2002
The parliament is considering a Directive on temporary agency workers, which would give them all the same benefits as full-time employees. All very well, you might think. Except that it will knock the bottom out of the agency worker business.

An Evening with Tony Benn - Brussels, Theatre du Residence Palace - November 12 2002
A bare stage, a wooden screen, a plain chair with a side table. An old man sits on the chair, bright-eyed, leaning forward like the figurehead on some ancient brigantine. He gazes into the auditorium like the Ancient Mariner scanning the horizon for his albatross. Tony Benn, aged seventy-seven, is in his natural element, working an audience.

We all love the RSPCA - don't we? - Lincolnshire Echo - October 23 2002
The RSPCA was founded in the 1820s, and has an exceptional reputation for pioneering work on the protection of animals. All over the UK its inspectors rescue abused dogs from dingy back yards and starving horses from run-down stables, while members of the public bring it injured and abandoned animals, and birds with broken wings.

Britain: An Atlantic economy, not a European economy - Lincolnshire Echo - October 16 2002
In the debate about the euro, a key question is whether our economy has "converged" with euro-land. People often talk loosely about convergence without being at all clear what they mean.

Labour all at sea on health - October 2 2002
Poor old Tony Blair had a hard time at Blackpool last week over several issues. One of the toughest was union opposition to private funding in the health service. The unions ganged up on the Labour leadership and demanded an end to commercial involvement in health delivery.

Degrading Democracy - September 24 2002
I recently heard the BBC introduce an item about "The CBI's opposition to increased local democracy". Of course they didn't mean increased local democracy at all, they meant the regionalisation agenda.

Refugee status: time for a new look? - September 17 2002
Immigration and asylum policy is one of the most difficult areas for a politician to address. Any reference to the subject is guaranteed to have the Islington tendency screaming "Racist" at the top of its lungs, and serious debate is drowned out in the process. Yet anyone who has been out canvassing on the doorstep knows that immigration matters to the average voter, who is frustrated at the inability of politicians to address it rationally.

Targets good, action better - September 17 2002
There's something about Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace that gives us all a cosy glow. Perhaps it's because of all those heart-warming stunts they put on, usually including death-defying journeys in inflatable boats, or banners hung from improbably high buildings. At least we trust them more than those sinister global corporations who try to fill our world with dangerous chemicals and Frankenstein foods.

Welcome to the People's Republic of Europe - September 16 2002
Unknown to the public, almost unnoticed by the media, a couple of hundred national and European parliamentarians and government representatives are getting together in Brussels. Under the chairmanship of French octogenarian Valery Giscard D'Estaing, they are working on a seminal task: writing a constitution for the EU.

Whatever happened to community singing? - September 13 2002
We used to have in Britain a fine tradition of community singing, from the secular, in music halls and pubs, to the sacred, in Church. One of the effects of modern media, and especially of television, is that we now expect our music to be made by someone else and delivered to our sitting rooms, and we rarely think to join in.

Busting the EU myths - September 12 2002
Those who espouse the cause of European integration have a range of suspect propositions which they repeat again and again. Perhaps they are working on Goebbels's dictum, that if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough, the people will start to believe it. Indeed some of their myths are in danger of creeping into the public subconscious -- and into the Today programme -- as "self-evident truths".

Save our Haggis - and our bangers! - Lincolnshire Echo - August 29 2002
I've always been rather fond of haggis. Maybe it's because I was born on January 25th - the birthday of Scotland's famous bard, Robert Burns. During the dozen years I spent in Asia, I always looked forward to the Saint Andrew's Ball, the great expatriate Scots celebration, and haggis was always on the menu, specially flown in from Glasgow, and usually washed down with a liberal drop of whisky.

No transparency in the Brussels Kremlin - August 22 2002
A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with Bernard Connolly. Bernard was for several years the most senior Commission official working on plans for monetary union. Then in 1995 he published a book entitled "The Rotten Heart of Europe", subtitled "The dirty war for Europe's Money". It's an excellent book, which takes the lid off the in-fighting and skulduggery that have characterised the euro project.

The EU Commission's Jo Moore moment - Lincolnshire Echo - August 8 2002
Two men went for a trip in a hot air balloon, but the weather closed in, they lost sight of the ground and got totally lost. Then through a gap in the clouds they saw the top of a tall building, with a man standing on it. Getting out their megaphone, they shouted "WHERE ARE WE?". Cupping his hands to his mouth, the man on the tower shouted back "IN A BALLOON!".

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Euro - Boston Standard - August 5 2002
Next time you go to the cinema in Boston watch out for a controversial new advertisement being shown in the trailers. It is not an advert for the latest pair of jeans or a tasty new ice cream and it is not a warning to turn off your mobile during the film. No, this advert has been launched by the UK "No" campaign against the single currency and features a host of stars attacking the euro.

Big Brother Blunkett is watching you - Lincolnshire Echo - August 2 2002
Home Secretary David Blunkett seems to be a fundamentally decent sort of chap, but he is a man of deeply illiberal instincts. He wants police and security services to have access to your telephone accounts, so the government knows whom you called, and when.

The USA - friend or foe? - July 8 2002
At the last Strasbourg session of the European parliament, an Irish socialist MEP called De Rossa (honest -- that's his name) got up on a point of order and attacked the USA for opposing the "International Criminal Court" (ICC), and for refusing to renew the UN mandate for peace-keeping in Bosnia until it had assurances that its soldiers would not be subject to the court.

The Impotence of the EU superstate - Lincolnshire Echo - July 2 2002
It's amazing how often the EU is faced with problems that it seems totally unable to do anything about. A tragedy is unfolding in Zimbabwe, or as I still think of it, Southern Rhodesia. When Robert Mugabe became President in 1980, it was a relatively prosperous country, perfectly capable of feeding itself and of exporting tobacco and other crops.

We can't cope with millions - Rutland Times - July 1 2002
Britain's asylum system is in crisis. The cost to the Home Office of supporting the rising number of asylum seekers last year is officially estimated at 1,052 million by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND).

Losing our marbles - Boston Standard - June 24 2002
A few weeks ago I was invited to an exhibition in the European Parliament calling for the return of the Elgin marbles to Greece. This is a hotly debated issue, and different people take different views, so I was astonished that only one side of the debate was being presented.

EU Enlargement? Yes but... - Lincolnshire Echo - June 18 2002
Malta, the George Cross island in the Mediterranean that stood bravely against the might of Germany sixty years ago, is a beautiful place today. An idyllic location, just about level with Tunisia, it has sun and sand combined with amazing history, heritage and architecture.

The Second Siege of Malta - The European Journal - May 2002
Malta, the George Cross island in the Mediterranean that stood bravely against the might of Germany sixty years ago, is a beautiful place today. An idyllic location, just about level with Tunisia, it has sun and sand combined with amazing history, heritage and architecture.

Written Debate - May 2002
Roger Helmer has recently taken part in a written debate for The European Parliament Magazine. His opponent is Dr. Markus Warasin, Secretary General of the European General of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages.

Hard Times for the Euro - May 27 2002
It's really been a rotten couple of weeks for the Euro-luvvies. One bad news story after another. The problems that I have been predicting for years are coming home to roost, while the so-called "benefits" of euro membership are just not happening.

Bill goes to Fantasy Island - May 22 2002
Across Europe, the forces of racial and religious intolerance are on the march. Haider in Austria, Le Pen in France, Pim Fortuyn's followers in Holland, Sinn Fein in Ireland. Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Aznar scramble to cobble together a new EU immigration policy to appease right-wing voters.

The European Nanny State gone mad - May 2002
Over the past few months spent in Brussels and Strasbourg I have seen clear evidence of a European Nanny State gone mad. My Conservative colleagues and I have been faced with a torrent of proposals that just seem to get more and more ridiculous.

Iraq - Derby Evening Telegraph Article - 29 April 2002
There has been a lot of unrest within the Labour Party about Tony Blair's position on Iraq. More than 100 Labour MPs have sided with the Left-wing opposition to Britain joining a war between the US and Iraq and there are reports that at least two have said privately that they would resign the whip and sit as independents.

Small Businesses under attack from all sides - Boston Standard Article - 29 April 2002
There has been a lot of unrest within the Labour Party about Tony Blair's position on Iraq. More than 100 Labour MPs have sided with the Left-wing opposition to Britain joining a war between the US and Iraq and there are reports that at least two have said privately that they would resign the whip and sit as independents.