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2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

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EU rebate sell out - Plenary speech - December 20 2005
When the Prime Minister came to Strasbourg in October, I told him that he had come to survey the shattered wreckage of his European dreams. It is bad enough that he has failed to deliver the ambitious reforms which he promised in June. But as a British Conservative, I am appalled at the way he has failed our country, and failed my East Midlands constituents.

Roger heads international relations conference in Washington - December 16 2005
Following on from an extremely successful year of policy development among ALEC's members and our new international contacts, ALEC was privileged to host Mr. Roger Helmer (Member of the European Parliament, UK), Dr. John K. Glenn (Director of Foreign Policy, German Marshall Fund of the United States) and Dr. Boguslaw Winid (Deputy Chief of Mission, Polish Embassy).

EPP Briefing - December 14 2005
You may have seen the recent press coverage concerning the Conservative MEPs’ relationship with the ultra-federalist European People’s Party. David Cameron has been attacked by several Euro-enthusiasts for promising to end this unhappy link.

Don't believe the label. Look in the box! - November 17 2005
We know we can't judge a book by its cover. We know that fine feathers don't make fine birds. So why is it that when we come to European laws, so many of us accept the objectives at face value, and never think about the actual proposal, and whether it will work?

Wind Turbines - November 16 2005
Everyone recognises that renewable energy and energy conservation are vital issues, both nationally and locally. However proposals for onshore wind farms, on rural inland sites, are ill-conceived.

Why Conservative MEPs should not sit with the EPP - November 10 2005
The EPP is not a centre-right party. It angrily rejects the terms right-wing, or centre-right, or conservative. It insists that it is a centre party. On employment and social issues it is often to the left of New Labour, and to the left of the Liberal Group in the European parliament.

Blair in Strasbourg - Plenary speech - October 26 2005
As the first British Conservative to speak today, I should like to welcome the Prime Minister to Strasbourg. It is good to see you, Sir. Like your predecessors, John Major and Margaret Thatcher, you came to power determined to set aside the legacy of British ambivalence towards the EU. Yet, like them, you soon came up against the hard knocks of reality.

Circuses and hunting are part of European culture - Plenary speech - October 12 2005
It is entirely appropriate that we should be debating the circus in this House, considering that the European parliament is the biggest travelling circus in the world -- although I fear that many of my constituents in the British East Midlands may wonder if we do not have bigger issues to address.

Twists and u-turns - Parliament Magazine - October 3 2005
Could there be an end in sight to the long running dispute between eurosceptic MEP Roger Helmer and his Conservative bosses? After months of political limbo after the Tory whip was withdrawn in May, Helmer should be told by the end of this week whether he will be allowed back into the fold.

“Partnership better than membership” for Turkey - Plenary speech - September 28 2005
For me, the key argument is one of democratic accountability. The accession of a new member state as large as Turkey would dilute the influence of all other member states, and would therefore further compromise the self-determination of the people I represent in the UK's East Midlands.

No more Council Tax hikes! - Leicester Mercury - September 12 2005
Prisoner number MX8993, 71-year-old Alfred Ridley of Towcester, a retired vicar, is languishing in Milton Keynes prison. His crime? Refusing to pay more than an inflation-rate increase on his council tax. Many pensioners will feel he deserves a medal, not a prison term.

The EU Constitution: What it means for Gainsborough - August 10 2005
People who think that Brussels is getting too big for its boots (and that seems to be most of us these days!) were delighted by the NO votes in the referendums in France and Holland. I was in the Press Bar in the Brussels parliament with some euro-sceptic colleagues when the first Dutch exit polls came through on the big screens, and I will never forget the roars of delight.

Book Review - The Role of Business in the Modern World, by David Henderson - August 10 2005
A few weeks ago in Pyongyang I met with North Korea's Deputy Trade Minister, Mr. Kim. Asked to explain the huge discrepancy between the economic performance of North and South Korea (per capita GDP in the North is around 5% of the South's figure), he blamed the collapse of the socialist markets of Eastern Europe, the US embargo, and natural disasters.

North Korea: Five Days in the Workers' Paradise - July 18 2005
North Korea has been making the news recently. On July 10th we heard that NK had agreed to return to the six-party talks on its nuclear programme, after a year's absence. And a few days later South Korea offered to supply two million kilowatts of power annually to NK if it gives up its nuclear ambitions.

Making a stand for transparency - July 6 2005
In July 2004, José Manual Barroso was nominated as the new EU Commission President. In August, he enjoyed a lavish holiday on a luxury yacht owned by Greek multi-millionaire ship-owner Spiros Latsis. In September, the Commission nodded through, under state-aid rules, a €10 million grant for a shipyard substantially owned by Latsis companies.

Expulsion makes rebel MEP Helmer a local hero - EU Reporter - June 23 2005
MEP Roger Helmer was warmly welcomed by prominent Conservatives at the Margaret Thatcher dinner held last week at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The MEP says he has lost count of the letters of support and has not received one critical communication.

Constitution - There is nothing to reflect about - June 23 2005
Speaking as a British Conservative, I should like to congratulate Prime Minister Blair on his recent robust defence of the British rebate in the House of Commons in Westminster. I urge him to stand firm on the rebate and to honour the clear commitments which he has made.

Speech on EPP expulsion motion - June 7 2005
Back in 1999, on my first day in this parliament, I decided that I was sitting in the wrong group, and I have campaigned unsuccessfully against British membership of the EPP ever since. The only reason that I did not resign years ago was a sense of Party loyalty and discipline.

President Barroso and the Motion of Censure - May 24 2005
In July 2004, Portuguese politician José Manuel Barroso was nominated as the new EU Commission president. In August 2004, he and his family enjoyed six days free hospitality on a luxury yacht owned by Greek shipping magnate and multi-billionaire Spiros Latsis. In September 2004, the Commission gave the nod (under EU state-aid rules), to a €10 million grant to the Lamda shipyard, in which Mr. Latsis has a substantial interest.

A new Tory policy for the EU: Renegotiate or Quit - May 11 2005
Key planks of Conservative thinking include liberty, representative democracy, limited government, enterprise and the market economy, family, nation and defence of the realm. Almost every one of these planks is challenged and degraded by the European project.

Europe: a fundamental re-think - May 11 2005
Key planks of Conservative thinking include liberty, representative democracy, limited government, enterprise and the market economy, family, nation and defence of the realm. Almost every one of these planks is challenged and degraded by the European project.

Lessons of the 2005 General Election - May 7 2005
This year's General Election is over. The Conservative Party has made some progress, but not enough. Blair's wings are clipped, but he is back in Downing Street with a working majority. Perhaps, with splendid poetic justice, we shall see Gordon Brown take over as Prime Minister just as the economic consequences of his tax and spend binge come back to haunt him.

Happy Saint George's Day - April 23 2005
Back in 1952 my father gave me an anthology of children's verse. One poem especially stuck in my mind. It is a reminder of quieter and more homely times, and it seems just the thing for Saint George's Day.

The issue that dare not speak its name - March 30 2005
By general consent, the Tory party in 2001 talked too much about Europe. But there is a risk that in 2005, we shall talk about it too little.

A Bad Constitution - Bad for Europe and Bad for America - March 3 2005
The recent gathering of world leaders to mark 60 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, stands as testimony to the liberty and democracy that was secured in 1945, as Europe once again debates its future direction.

Ten Czech points against the EU Consitution - March 3 2005
Perhaps in conscious imitation of US President Woodrow Wilson, whose "fourteen points" at Versailles led to the creation of the Czechoslovak state, President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic has produced "ten points" about the European Constitution.

In EU, Bush Fans Are Few but Vocal - Wall Street Journal - February 23 2005
With his handlebar mustache, shiny wingtips and handkerchief tucked into his suit-jacket pocket, Roger Helmer usually blends right in with his fellow members of the European Parliament. But one day in September, the British conservative let his real self show: He attended a session of Parliament dressed in a Bush-Cheney 2004 T-shirt.

When can we break an unjust law? - February 11 2005
The hunting bill, which comes into force this month, raises the age-old question about obedience to unjust laws. If a law is not really a law at all, it is argued, one has a right -- even a duty -- to break it. Martin Luther King articulated this view in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: "one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws".

The case for lower taxes - Lincolnshire Echo - January 25 2005
I'm amazed how often in politics you come across some simple idea that seems obvious. Yet it turns out to be wrong. Some examples -- "You can eliminate poverty and achieve equality by taxing rich people and giving the money to poor people".

Protesters duffed up in Strasbourg - January 19 2005
The dramatic events in Strasbourg following the vote on January 12th provide startling evidence of the suppression of democracy and freedom of expression in the European institutions. Predictably, the parliament voted in favour of a glowing report on the Constitution, by a majority of 500 to 137. But I was pleased to see that forty British MEPs -- a majority -- voted NO (including all Conservatives voting).

Why the EU isn't working - Lincolnshire Echo - January 4 2005
The EU's economic model is failing. On almost any measure the EU is significantly underperforming other advanced economies, especially those of North America and Asia. It matters, because it means that you and I and the British people are poorer than we should be. And it means that the closer we tie ourselves into the EU's failing economic model the worse things will get.