Today the news broke that Roger Helmer is to resign as an MEP, effective 31st December 2011, citing amongst his reasons:
"As with any major decision, this is driven by a number of factors. Some might say that it is high time I stood aside for a younger man. For myself, I think that twelve-and-a-half years banging my head against the same brick wall in Brussels is perhaps long enough. And I should certainly like to see more of my three fine grandsons.
But it would be disingenuous to deny that my decision is dictated in part by my increasing disillusion with the attitudes of the Conservative Party. I am finding it ever more difficult to defend the policies of the Coalition, not only on my key issues of Europe, and of climate and energy, but on a range of other matters besides.
I will have more to say about this in coming days."
Reporting his resignation, the BBC carries this quote:
"You reach a point, in all honesty, where you cannot sit here and say I am a Tory MEP but I disagree with nine-tenths of what the party are saying.......The only honest thing to do is to say you quit."
Like Autonomous Mind, although not in as great a detail nor extent, I too have been critical of Roger Helmer for his continued membership of the Conservative Party. There are those who, like The Boiling Frog, take a more cynical view and one to which I tend to lean myself. There are also those who immediately put fingers to keyboard with the statement that it is inevitable, in their view, Helmer will join Ukip, even though the man has stated that he hopes to remain a member of his present party.
Helmer's statement to the BBC does rather show up the hypocritical behaviour of his colleagues in Westminster, who professing to have views similar to him, regularly troop through the voting lobbies at Westminster supporting their party in any matter EU! It also does place Daniel Hannan in an awkward position, does it not?
As a final thought, how many people towards the end of their lives recant and admit their sins to a higher authority (there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents)? As a magnanimous gesture, is that not how Helmer's resignation should be accepted?