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It comes to something when this site sings the praises of someone who thinks it appropriate publicly to criticise a Tory MEP. Not impressive. Surely we've learnt that public divisions benefit only our enemies?

(Cue: the blood curdling euro-sceps "the Euro-philes are our real enemies. Quislings etc. etc. etc." to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory)

This site is about debating issues in the party. This site criticised the party's stance on removing the votes from the membership in the leadership election. You don't want us to become the Labour party do you and have no policy debate whatsoever I hope

Gareth: I do not give my valuable time and money to get the likes of Weasly Beazley elected. I want Conservatives elected, not people who lie to get selected and go native the moment they get their snouts into the trough.

Hi Gareth.

If you lived in the East rather than the West Midlands, you would probably better understand the enormous frustration that party members feel that our very popular & hard-working MEP (ie Roger Helmer) should remain suspended from the Conservative whip, with no resolution in sight. His stance on the EPP is in line with David Cameron's position.

Your point would have more to it if certain Europhiles hadn't issued blood-curdling threats to the tune of "Ode to Joy" about the dangers of leaving the EPP, including direct attacks on the leadership.

And to be fair, Beazley & Co have been very critical of the decision to leave the EPP.

I make no apologies, Gareth. Roger Helmer is one of our finest MEPs. The fact that he is out of the group of Tory MEPs whilst others within it - like Caroline Jackson - publicly attack the leader's EPP policy is the real source of disunity.

Gareth, the Europhiles have criticised the party leadership (remember Edward McMillian Scott on Newsnight). I think that is worse than Roger daring to suggest Beazley might have hoodwinked his way into the European Parliament by not making it clear quite how pro European he is. If everyone is to be punished in the same way as Roger, then why hasn't he lost the whip for that letter in the Times?

I don't usually pay much attention to the European Parliament or the politicians in it, so tell me Tim, what exactly has Roger Helmer done which makes him so special? I don't want to sound rude, but he's never struck me as being that remarkable a politician.

VFTSW, He stands up for Britian in Europe. Something many British MEPs fail to do. Add that to the fact that he works tirelessly within the East Midlands (only on Saturday, he came to help us campaign in a by election in a labour heartland). I myself am proud that we have two superb MEPs in the East Midlands and can only sympathise with other regions who haven't been so lucky.

Does history relate whether Gareth was so concerned over public disunity during the last Parliament when the Bercows, Clarkes, Pattens, Helestines, Maudes, Portillos and Robert Jacksons of this world seized every opportunity to foment disunity and dissent?

We desperately need politicians who speak their mind, honestly without fear or favour. Roger is one of those and that is why I support him [and agree with him as well, of course!]

Gareth is spot on. I've lost count of the number of 'colleagues' who have attacked me on this site for being a 'One Nation Conservative'. At least I vote Tory unlike a couple of the well-known euro-obsessed users of this site - one even voted LibDem!!!

Why "of course"?

Justin - do you mean euro obsessed people like Bill Newton Dunn one of Roger's former colleagues until he defected to the Lib Dems.

The purpose of Tory Radio is to create a debate and focus on interesting people and issues. The EPP issue and the issue of Roger Helmer having the whip withdrawn is such an issue. Now I think it is perfectly legitimate to ask questions about how our MEPs will act if thhe party decides to pull out of the EPP and some MEPs dont wish to follow. Roger was disciplined for his actions which has come in for criticism from some quarters. Thats why I asked he to defend himself against charges of being a trouble maker.

The obvious question has to follow what action would if any, be taken against those MEPs who refuse to leave the EPP is and when the Conservative party decide to do such a thing.

Justin - I personally have nothing against one nation conservatism and trust you actually find interviews such as that with Roger Helmer as adding to the debate.

QUICK UPDATE - Ive been told the server which hosts Tory Radio is experiencing a few problems at present - so please be patient if you cant download the podcast at the moment. Perhaps its just been too popular!!!

Justin - I regard myself as a One Nation Conservative and was glad to hear Roger Helmer using his ToryRadio interview to welcome David Cameron's commitment to a more compassionate politics.

I seem to remember reading (it may have been on Roger's site) that Christopher Beazley ignored the Whip to vote in FAVOUR of the European Constitution.

The EPP deal was part of the manifesto but, given the recent EPP attempts to resurrect the constitution, divorce is reasonable and desirable.

Roger Helmer is one of the few Tory MEPs who want Britain to be an independent country. He admits that since he lost the Tory whip he has been able to speak his mind in the EU Parliament which many Conservative MEPs must envy.

I will not vote Conservative in the Euro election until our two Conservative europhile MEPs Caroline Jackson and Giles Chichester (South West) have been deselected, but I doubt Cameron will support this.

Very good interview Jonathan Sheppard. Well done!

"Gareth is spot on. I've lost count of the number of 'colleagues' who have attacked me on this site for being a 'One Nation Conservative'. At least I vote Tory unlike a couple of the well-known euro-obsessed users of this site - one even voted LibDem!!!"

I don't quite follow your point Justin. Gareth's point was about deceitful ardent Europhiles being criticised, not One Nation Conservatives being attacked - it is perfectly possible to be Eurosceptic and a One Nation Conservative (Sir Malcolm Rifkind springs to mind). Unless, of course, you were deliberately muddying the water in order to get a cheap personal shot in?

"It comes to something when this site sings the praises of someone who thinks it appropriate publicly to criticise a Tory MEP. Not impressive. Surely we've learnt that public divisions benefit only our enemies?"

I think the issue here is the implication that Mr Beazley hid his pro-European beliefs to get elected. If he had been open and honest about being pro-EU I expect Roger Helmer wouldn't have been bothered.

Good to here it from the horse's mouth that Cameron did pledge 'immediate' withdrawal from the EPP during the leadership election.

Jonathan. Please be as naive as you are. Every time any website is enhanced with eurosceptic material, it mysteriously gets a day or two of inaccessibility. It's not paranoia. All active eurosceptics get hit -even Roger Helmer and even Conservative home.

No wonder Cameron has shied away from his EPP promise. He knows that media can be as easily manipulated to destroy him IDS-style as make him Blair-style. The price is simple - be a good euro-boy and you'll get the media. Go sceptic and you'll be decimated. He'll never quit the EPP. That's why Helmer, Hannan and Heaton Harris must all resign the whip and form a new Independent Conservative group in the EP.

My personal view is that this commitment by DC is a tricky one to deliver. He is coming under pressure from the likes of Merkel and one cant underestimate that.

As for being naive I like to think its all those people trying to download the podcast which caused the problem. I think I may have to go out busking at night to pay for that extra bandwidth!!

Margaret - Giles Chichester is not a Europhile.

Andrew - I appreciate your comments though to be honest I've never really cared about this whole Roger Helmer business in the first place, whether that’s a good thing - it’s probably not – but I've never got that worked up about this before, and probably won't now.

I've lost count of the number of 'colleagues' who have attacked me on this site for being a 'One Nation Conservative

Aren't you the guy who turned up on this site a couple of months ago accusing social conservatives of being "nazis"?

If so, you got off lightly.

The support for Roger in the East Midlands is very clear. As the Regional Director I hear this every day. I fully believe that the Leadership are trying to resolve how we leave the EPP and when. I am prepared to be patient while this happens. I do not pretend it is easy. Meanwhile I am clear that Roger has done all that the Group have asked him to do to allow the whip to be restored. That is what we are asking Timothy Kirkhope to deal with or tell us why he can't.

Margaret - Giles Chichester is not a Europhile.

Nonsense. I personally had an argument with him on the merits of the EU just before the EU elections, and a friend of mine caught him lying. When he (friend) produced the pink book, Chichester backed away knowing he'd been caught out.

Margaret: I'd ask you not to repeat that charge against Mr Chichester. You may be right but I have no way of knowing. Without proof I'd rather this blog did not become a place for recollections of private conversations.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of our esteemed Editor, may I recollect a very recent personal conversation with Giles Chichester MEP?

I had a working breakfast with him two weeks ago on the occasion of his visit to Gibraltar. He was surprisingly clear on certain local hot-button issues, which is creditable considering how politically and geographically isolated we are despite being part of his constituency, and he was very keen to learn and understand. I certainly can't fault him for only a vague awareness via his mailbag of the demolition of the Rosia Tanks (please don't ask, it's not worth the electrons). That, after all, is what our briefing session was intended to achieve.

In that respect, he was impressive and on top of his game. However he made it quite clear that he did not support withdrawing from the EPP at all, and mentioned the familiar line of 'sitting with undesireables' as the only alternative. His Europhile credentials are undeniable, and he would be the first to trumpet them.

There has been a challenge issued on these pages before - there are plenty of people willing to stand up against out European enemies here in print but few defenders for them. Why not issue an invitation to him to write a guest article for the site?

I will approach him Geoff. I don't mind you telling us that Giles Chichester is opposed to/ has concerns about leaving the EPP. What I don't want the blog to become is a place where Conservative colleagues are accused of lying etc. Let's keep our conversations about substantial policy issues whenever we can.

For a year after I graduated from university I worked in the European Parliament as a research assistant to the Conservative MEPs. I can tell you that the two hardest working MEPs were by far Roger Helmer and Chris Heaton-Harris. Chris for example did some brilliant work with the former Commission accountant Martha Andreasen when she was sacked by Neil Kinnock.

I have also been to the East Midlands and campaigned with Chris and Roger and it was quite obvious that the voters very much appreciated the great work that they do.

I think the fact that Roger has twice been voted number one on the list of candidates speaks volumes.

Geoff quotes Giles Chichester as saying that leaving the EPP would involve "sitting with undesirables" (as though the corporatist federalists of the EPP were not "undesirable" enough!).

One of the main arguments of reactionary Conservative MEPs against leaving the EPP is "that we would have to sit with people like Jean Marie le Penn and Allessandra Mussolini". This is of course nonsense -- there is no question of sitting with extremists. But the irony is this: that Silvio Berlusconi, a key figure in the EPP, has himself entered into an electoral accommodation with -- you guessed it -- Allessandra Mussolini, in the current Italian election! Surely we should now be getting out of the EPP because THEY consort with undesirables?

Think about the EPP. Two of their national leaders might well be in jail, if they were not in office (Chirac, Berlusconi). The German CDU ran an overtly racist anti-immigration campaign. The Austrian EPP party was in coalition with Jorg Haider's Freedom Party. Berlusconi is in bed with Mussolini. We are already "sitting with undesirables", because the undesirables are in the EPP!

In any case, it is very amusing to hear leading members of the Europhile wing of the Conservative Party suddenly getting so fastidious about "sitting with undesirables". What can explain this outbreak of cant masquerading as high principle? "Sitting with undesirables" never stopped these people and their ilk parlaying with Gerry Adams; appeasing Milosevic in the early to mid-1990's; and siding with the Stop the War Coalition against the Bush Administration.

It seems that Timothy Kirkhope MEP is very upset about the comments made by Roger regarding Chris Beazley MEP in the ToryRadio interview. But there is one question Kirkhope needs to answer: Why is it apparently OK for Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP to criticise David Cameron on national television (Newsnight), but not OK for Roger to criticise Beazley on a specialist pod-cast web-site? Do we have a double standard here?

If you want to see European "corporalist federalism" in action and an all too cosy relationship between Christian and Social Democrats, read my article on the Brussels Journal Austrian Bank Scandal: When Socialists Play With Money. But when it comes to scandals like this, the Conservatives within the EPP are silent. So much for this much vaunted "influence" argument.

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