La Treizième Étoile: 08/07/12 - 15/07/12 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
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Eurozone crisis? Well, fear no more! UKIP MEP Colman pledges to save the day

Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Even those casting a casual eye over the newspapers and news bulletins will appreciate that the Eurozone is going through the worst crisis in its history. And while our political leaders tiptoe towards something substantial and something resembling greater economic union, many preach they know the solutions.

But fear no more my friends; Europe (well the UK anyway) will soon be ‘saved’ by our region’s UKIP MEP Trevor Colman.

In his summer editorial for The Unit (an archly eurosceptic but ‘non-political’ website he has set up to occupy his and his parliamentary assistants’ time instead of being an MEP for his constituents) he muses:

Have you ever stopped to wonder why a collection of countries, including some of the richest in the world, have arrived at this Monty Python moment of apparent impotence where nothing can be done to check increasing unemployment, or stop businesses closing wholesale, or feed people left without food and shelter, who as a result are taking to the streets in increasing numbers? Six of the seventeen countries in the eurozone are going bust, shortly to be joined by France and Holland.

This, he writes, means that a referendum on Britain's EU membership now “becomes a distinct and imminent probability” due to the referendum lock introduced by the Conservatives in coalition government. He continues (my emphasis):

Realising this, all three major political parties (reluctantly) are rehearsing their well-tried recipes of obfuscation and deceit. The in/out question must not be mentioned and nothing approaching a significant return of power to Westminster considered. The Unit will be identifying these and many other manipulations of the truth and explaining what is really happening. We are hoping shortly to introduce a news programme specifically dealing with this disgraceful conduct by our so-called elected representatives.

Keep an eye on what we publish.

It might even save our country.

Bold words and I'd be interested to learn his master plans. But perhaps in its first episode, Mr Colman could start explaining what is really happening by explaining to us (his electorate) why he should be trusted to preach on the conduct of our “so-called elected representatives”?

After all, since being elected in 2009 he has to date contributed zero opinions, tabled zero amendments to any legislative dossier, drafted zero reports, submitted zero written declarations, has only spoken in the Chamber on 16 occasions and tabled just one parliamentary question (see Votewatch). [In the same time frame, one of our region’s most active MEPs Julie Girling has spoken in the Chamber 75 times, amended 46 reports, tabled six motions for resolutions, drafted three opinions and tabled 61 parliamentary questions]


Tory MEP admits Cameron was wrong to withdraw his MEPs from the EPP group

Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Senior Conservative MEP Giles Chichester has admitted that his party leader David Cameron was wrong to withdraw his MEPs from the EPP group in the European Parliament – the largest and most influential – in order to create a smaller and marginalised group on the sidelines called the European Conservative and Reformists (ECR).

During David Cameron’s campaign to become Conservative Party Leader he promised to take the Conservative MEPs out of the mainstream centre right EPP group in the European Parliament if elected. In 2009, Conservative MEPs left the EPP and set up the ECR, a fringe group in the European Parliament.

The admission comes in reaction to an event last week while MEPs met in Strasbourg for their monthly plenary session: the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso irked members of the ECR group when during one of the sessions he (exceptionally and rightly) laid into them for “taking delight" in the eurozone debt crisis.

Reacting in this month’s email newsletter published today, Mr Chichester writes:
"Coming back to the mood in Parliament, I believe that we did ourselves and the centre-right a disservice when we left the EPP. They are now free to indulge in knee-jerk Brit-bashing because we belong to a small, marginalised group and that makes us an easier target. We no longer have our moderating influence within the largest group in the Parliament."
But it’s not only the ECR’s loss according to Mr Chichester:
"They [EPP] are losers too because of the balance and political leadership skills we brought to the group have gone."
While that may be so when talking about a few of their MEPs, the fact remains that the UK has lost tremendous influence within the European Parliament through the group’s marginalisation since the Conservative delegation is the largest returned by UK electors at the last election alongside UKIP...


Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.