Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Who voted for this idiot?

Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands constituency

As reported in the Guardian, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands constituency, Roger Helmer has launched a £9000 anti-climate change poster campaign.

A political poster campaign is nothing new but this one is launched at a time when there are no elections and no votes to gain. So why has he done it? It seems the only reason is because in coincides with the UN climate talks in Cancun Mexico. But that still does not explain why. None of the people he represents as an MEP can influence those talks which he is attending.

So what about the funding for the posters? The £9000 cost is coming a European Conservative group known as the ECR which gets it's funds entirely from the EU Parliament. And of course that is funded by its member states paid by taxes form us!

My title of this post is being somewhat disingenuous to voters. Many may not have really voted for idiot at all as we often don't know much about our candidates and vote in reality for their parties. But the views expressed by Helmer do not represent either the Conservative Party, the ECR, or Conservative MEPs as a group. As the Guardian reports; "This does not represent the view of the Conservative Party."

Helmer's £9000 poster. Someone on CIF has suggested that the Green text be replaced by 'Roger Helmer'. I think I agree.

So what we have is one maverick MEP, (and I don't mean that in any romantic way), who is spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to buy advertising space to promote his own unsound beliefs and theories.

Now don't get me wrong. I understand that any country's commitment or legalisation to do any thing about climate change is going to get political. I have no problem with politicians thrashing out policy whether domestic or international and a poster campaign is a valid way for any political group to publicise it's views and policies. I have no problem with that as long as their response is based on need determined by sound science. But that is not the case here, Helmer is speaking for no one other than himself when he talks about climate change. Every taxpayer in the EU regardless of their views on climate change should be appalled that our money is being spent on a personal campaign like this, it is a misappropriation of funds.

I think the most interesting question the Guardian reports asks is;  'in what capacity has Helmer travelled to CancĂșn?' He is clearly not representing his party and holds no environmental position in the EU parliament. Unless he has personally funded his whole expedition and claims no parliamentary expenses, then that will be another misappropriation of funds. Add that to the fact that he has left the country during this time, even if it is simply a coincidence and he is on holiday, it is still a dereliction of his parliamentary duties.

Why my outrage? If all of the above isn't enough to be going on with, I am one of his constituents. Roger Helmer, MEP, is my representative in the European Parliament! I wonder is it possible for me as one of his constituents to issue an FOI request to determine exactly what he was doing in Cancun Mexico at this time and how much if any were his expenses?

I feel a strongly worded letter to my MEP coming on.


  1. I don't think FOI will work outside the UK but youve got to write to him and ask him . IMHO Cancun is all a bit of a circus Im sorry to say. Ive contributed to his SW check it out see if you can get a quote to add . Why is it that a man who attends the Heartland conferences on denial feels he can also attend the Conference of the Parties at governmental level too? Sad fact is tho these politicians simply have no shame.

  2. "There are holes in the sky where the CO2 gets out." Check out Roger Helmer's laws of physics , I think he comes from a parallell universe:

  3. Thanks for your comments Mr Mcstone.

    It seems we have a lot in common thinking.
    Regarding FOIs, I'm not outside the UK, as I said I'm one of his constituents so even if FOIs are not useful, I could still write to him as my MEP and expect a reply.

    I feel Helmer may be a Monckton in the making, perhaps even more troublesome as he has actually been elected. He has some very barmy and clearly extreme right wing views if other reports about him can be believed.

    I'd agree with you on Cancun, but it seems that, against all expectation, they did reach some kind of agreement. I'm not into the politics as much as the science aspect, but I do believe it is important. I'm certainly not a greenie and I'm as worried as any denier that any measures that are brought in to curb emissions will be costly and put us back into the stone age - isn't that what is supposed to happen? Seriously I do worry, all policy needs to be based on the science and needs to be cost effective and effective, not just a compromise to appease the voters.

  4. Actually, I read the fact that he's elected as another instance of policy cart going in front of scientific horse.
    Apropos the geographical extent of FOI , Helmer's institution (the Euro Parliament) is outside the UK, thats what I meant.