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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Letter to Rushcliffe Conservatives

The Following article is a guest piece, from R UK


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. Evidence is emerging that Mr. Latsis's companies seem to have other EU connections as well, not least through the notorious Athens airport project .

Roger Helmer MEP (Cons East Midlands) decided to speak out in the EuroParliament to raise the doubts that he and many others had about the grant. You might think that opposing EU fraud would please other Conservatives. Well, you’d be wrong. For his pains, Roger Helmer was immediately kicked out of the Conservative delegation by its leader Timothy Kirkhope MEP, and Roger’s whip removed. This was despite the fact that opposing the fraud endemic in the EU is a Conservative Party manifesto commitment.

Roger Helmer has still not been reinstated, though thousands of Conservatives have sent him messages of support. Ken Clarke is the only Conservative to actually speak publicly against Roger Helmer. On BBC World At One, he referred to Roger as an ‘untypical’ Conservative and ‘so extreme that M.Howard had taken the whip away from him’ (not correct). Rushcliffe Conservatives, where do you stand? Are you in favour of EU fraud? Do you think it is ‘extreme’ to even ask questions about it? Ken Clarke seems to think it is.

The EU is riddled with corruption from the top to the bottom. Inside the EPP, Conservative MEP’s who want to speak out are effectively muzzled. Surely Rushcliffe Conservatives, you would be happier if Cameron went ahead and formed the new grouping in the EuroParliament. You should not allow your MP to pillory Cameron any longer for doing the right thing, or to belittle the courage of Roger Helmer fighting a long and lonely battle in Brussels. It’s time you did something, and proposed a motion of no confidence in your candidate. The Party awaits.

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