In the EU, policy area after policy area has done huge damage to employment, growth and prosperity. To hear the Lib-Dems (and other EU apologists) today telling us that "We need the EU for jobs" is simply breath-taking effrontery, writes UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.
« Pictured: EU Unemployment Commissioner, Hungarian economist Laszlo Andor: Great headline, Laszlo, but how are you going to do it?
•I have been astonished to hear the preposterous argument from the Lib-Dems – Clegg in his speech yesterday, Martin Harwood on Daily Politics yesterday, Bill Newton Dunn on BBC Radio Derby last evening – that "We need to be in the EU for jobs", and even (from Clegg) that "UKIP voted against EU programmes that create UK jobs". Just which ones were they, Nick?
The changes in British politics have been so profound that it makes no sense for coverage to be based on old patterns of electoral support, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage in The Independent.
•It’s official: we’re now a major party. How do I know? Well, because Ofcom has said so. After years of being mocked and derided by the Establishment, ignored by the commentariat – unless it was to overreact to some spurious remark made by a member on their Facebook page or a birthday card to their niece – we are now to get equal broadcast coverage ahead of the European elections.
You would have thought that this was a fairly obvious decision for the party which has come third (2004) and second (2009) in previous Euro elections and is being told by journalists who previously classed it in the “others” category that the campaign will be a failure if we don’t win.
UKIP MEP Derek Clark covers the most recent Strasbourg plenary session (Feb 24-27), focussing particularly on what went wrong during Wednesday's vote on the Tobacco Directive
•A short week for me, and others. Due to the Spring Conference in Torquay I am returning home on Wednesday [Feb 26].
Tuesday Votes on a report about countering violence against women, what for? Is violence of any sort, especially directed against women, not against the law in all countries? It is in the UK, what else do we need? But this was about FGM and that becomes a religious matter and, we think, best left to individual countries to sort out for themselves.
Plant breeding was also voted on with many amendments. Like others I have received emails about restrictions on seed varieties which have been around for ages, but the EU does not like them. Must be harmonised, you see.
Tobacco Directive curbs E-cigarettes, pouch tobacco and menthol cigarettes in a travesty of democracy
"If their aim was to curb tobacco consumption, this directive will achieve the very opposite," says UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP. Press Release
•Today in Strasbourg, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for a final version of the EU Tobacco Products Directive. Its new rules include:
• Picture warnings must cover 65% of the front and back of every packet of cigarettes, with additional warnings on the top of the pack
• A ban on "lipstick-style" packs aimed at women - all packs must have at least 20 cigarettes to leave room for health warnings
• Roll-your-own tobacco packs to have similar picture warnings
• A ban on promotional elements, such saying "this product is free of additives" or is less harmful than other brands
• A ban on flavoured cigarettes, such as menthol, fruit and vanilla
• A maximum nicotine-concentration level for e-cigarettes.
«This is the view of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a lobby group, on the imagined “scientific consensus” that most of the global warming since 1950 was manmade (Anthropogenic Global Warming) - click on image to enlarge.
Below, however, is what the published, peer-reviewed science actually shows.
By Roger Helmer MEP, UKIP Spokeman for Energy
• Over and over again, we hear that "97% of scientists endorse global warming theory". This number has been around for some time. It's almost as though there's a Green Propaganda Control Centre somewhere, with “97%” written into the Mission Statement, and every study designed to confirm it.
The most recent example is an article published in The Guardian on 6 January 2013 by the accident-prone John Abraham and the paid propagandist Dana Nuccitelli, which repeats the “97%” claim over and over again, as though mere repetition will somehow make it true.
"This episode shows that the UK are suckers for enforcing EU regulations to the letter while the French disregard them with impunity. The quicker we extract ourselves from this EU scam the better." - UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP
• British national Simon Butler, 51 (pictured below), fully qualified with International Ski Instruction Diploma 4, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding stamp that should be recognised by the French government, was last week lifted by French authorities and prevented from working as a ski instructor in France.
In his own words Mr Butler told UKIP that he was "released from the gendarmerie having been arrested with the rest of our instructors on Tuesday morning.
"Clegg will no doubt list all the hoary chestnuts of the Europhile camp. And Farage will shoot them down in flames, one-by-one." - UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.
•When I first heard that Nick Clegg had asked Nigel Farage for a debate on EU issues, I was (as they say) gob-smacked. Turkeys voting for Christmas. A Clegg death-wish. A boy sent to do a man’s job.
I’ve debated with Clegg myself. I’m sure his style would go down a treat in the Senior Common Room at his old college, or in the corridors of the Berlaymont building in Brussels where Clegg once served on the staff of Commissioner Leon Brittan. But to go up voluntarily against a sharp, street-smart operator like Farage — is that foolhardy? Or downright suicidal?
I’d have rushed out to place a bet on Nigel — except that I don’t think I’ll find any bookies willing to offer odds.
There were five “Discharge” votes. That is, authorising expenditure after the money has been spent. The budget was voted on last autumn but in such a way that it was impossible to know exactly what each amount was being spent on, writes UKIP MEP Derek Clark in his commentary on the employment committee meeting of 12-13.02.2014
• The Report on “Promoting inland waterway transport” was further debated and voted on. It was adopted by 34 to 3 votes. Some of our UKIP members have expressed concern about this, not least because the construction of HS2 will have an impact on the canals. Not sure there needs to be concern because this report is all about connecting the big rivers of Europe together. But wait and see. If you wonder if the rapporteur has sufficient knowledge of canal systems don’t worry. This is not really about the mechanics or geography of linking the waterways. It is about social provisions! They use much bigger barges over here so if some of them are taken out of service there will be less employment and therefore benefits will increase.
It is evident that the Government, its departments and the quangos are all playing a tasteless game of pass the parcel over responsibility for the crisis. The reality is that the EU, the EA and the Government must share the blame, because they all played a part, writes UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew MEP.
•The Environmental Agency (EA) took over the National Rivers Authority in 1996 and virtually stopped all dredging activity. River boards, dedicated river engineers and 240 local flood defence committees all came under EA control. The EA and its advisory body, Natural England put most of our rivers under the Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which forms part of the EU’s Habitat Directive. This is when the EA began to put the Great Crested Newt and other environmental priorities ahead of local people and their property.
The EU has left it to the member states to make their own plans for flood prevention. However, it generated major legislation, no fewer than six directives affecting flood control. None explicitly prevents the EA from undertaking flood prevention work, but this legislation seriously complicates matters and uses ambiguous language. It also encourages the EA’s environmental obsessions. All this additional bureaucracy prevents swift, practical action on flooding. The EU legislation also considerably adds to the EA’s costs.