Has Julie Girling laid an egg?

Julie Girling, Chief Whip of the Conservative MEP delegation

Julie Girling, Chief Whip of the Conservative MEP delegation

 

The Tory MEP delegation must be scared to death about UKIP’s prospects in the up-coming council elections.  They’ve rushed out a quick-and-dirty leaflet accusing us of virtually every crime except eating babies for breakfast.

They’ve been careful to put their Conservative logo on it.  And their ECR Group logo.  And crediting it to Julie Girling.  And putting on the correct imprint for electoral material: “Published & promoted by Conservatives in the European parliament etc etc”.

So that’s alright then, isn’t it?  Well no. There seems to be a problem.  It looks very much as though they’re funding it via the ECR Group with EU parliament money, and you can’t use those funds for electoral purposes.

Of course I suppose it’s just possible that they’re paying for it with a whip-round of their delegation.  Maybe each Conservative MEP has dipped into his/her back pocket and put €50 in the hat.  But I doubt it.  Why be so careful with the Group Logo if it’s not claimed on the Group funds?  They will have to speak for themselves, but it’s not looking good.

Then again, they may argue that it’s “information” and not electoral material.  And to be fair, the fatal words “election” and “candidate” and “vote” don’t appear on the leaflet.  But if you issue a flyer saying “Do you REALLY want a UKIP Councillor on your Council….?”, in the middle of a council election campaign, I think most people would agree that this is electoral material.  And if it’s not electoral material, why the imprint?

We also have a copy of an e-mail purporting to be from Julie Girling’s office, in which she says “My office will be posting printed copies to your local association office later this week for you to pass on to volunteers and canvassers”.  It’s probably the case that most MEPs one way and another occasionally use parliamentary facilities for party political purposes, but it’s not smart to announce it in that way.

Then we come to the substantive claims about UKIP’s voting record in the parliament.  Let’s take them head on.

“UKIP voted to continue discredited EU sugar quotas”.  The truth is that UKIP voted for a temporary extension of sugar quotas to protect jobs in UK agriculture and the UK refining industry which would otherwise have gone to the continent.

“Tory MEPs voted to end discards of fish …. UKIP did not”.   In fact UKIP has always campaigned and voted against the CFP and against discards.  However the CFP measure which the spurious Tory claim relates to, although it mentions discards, was primarily about extending the EU’s competence and authority to the sea-bed, as well as the sea, in territorial waters.  Naturally UKIP would not vote for an extension of EU powers.

“UKIP voted against human trafficking”.  (I quote verbatim).  And you have a problem with that, Julie?  In fact the leaflet cites several items under the Victims’ Rights Package (you mis-placed your apostrophe there, Julie, by the way) and the Human Trafficking Directive.  These measures take objectives which are in themselves laudable, but they give powers and competences to the EU which UKIP believes should remain with member-states.  UKIP always votes against more powers for the EU, and we make no apology for doing so.  We believe in Human Rights, but we don’t believe that Human Rights should be dictated and arbitrated by Brussels.  Surely the Tories of all people should recognise the damage which the European Court of Human Rights is doing to our country?

So.  We shall be challenging the Tories over their apparent breach of parliamentary rules on this leaflet.  We shall happily rebut the unjustified slurs contained in it.  And we will give the Conservative Party a nasty shock on May 2nd.

Footnote: It was of course Julie Girling who took and circulated that rather disobliging photograph of me catching a few Zeds in the Hemicycle recently.  But I don’t hold it against her.

 

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9 Responses to Has Julie Girling laid an egg?

  1. Interestingly, I do not believe in ‘human rights’ as all i have ever seen it made to mean is an endless round of socialista handouts for the cause de jour, never chosen by me, but paid for by me. I believe in natural law and morality based on it, but I do not expect to get my ‘human rights’ if I go outside of a nation of the Western civilisation such as the UK, as in say, Africa or the Islamic empire. I expect to find a dog-eat-dog or persecution form of ‘human rights’ there. So if people mean ‘civil rights’, based on my Western civilisation, then I will find some common ground with them, but if they mean ‘human rights=civil rights=what I say today that means’ then I can get quite shirty about it. And THAT is my right.

  2. Phil J says:

    I suppose Roger, as far as ‘electioneering/funding’ is concerned, it depends how many Judges ‘call me dave’ has in his pocket as to whether their actions are challenged ‘legally’ or not! ;)

  3. cosmic says:

    The Conservatives, especially under Cameron, haven’t understood UKIP or its support, and have been very inept in their handling of it. They have helped create a problem for themselves, which they are busily making worse with more of the same ineptitude.

    This is just the latest example.

    It would have been far better to ignore UKIP. Now it’s too late.

    • Mike_Smith_Gloucester says:

      “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you – then you have won”
      UKIP has been through the first three – now we will WIN!

  4. Don’t discount the postal vote scandal which is coming up in May. If you can get hold of enough forms, then you can vote several times by proxy or post. I am not at all sure how easy it is for people working in the Council to do this. But in the Eastleigh by-election, I believe there were no less than 10,000 postal votes cast and the LibDems got in on a 14,000 majority.
    Also, Nigel Farrage has actually accused an MEP of criminal behaviour over Cyprus in the hemicycle! He was right, of course, and actually got a clap. But I am sure this infuriates those of a more accommodating temper……

    • Mike_Smith_Gloucester says:

      Actually, I think the LibDem majority was less than 2,000. Approx 1/3 of the electorate vote by post now – and still the turnout is pathetically low.

  5. What stands out above anything, is that the EU tries to use every issue as a Trojan horse, smuggling in extensions to its powers and reach. Julie Girling, like so many of her type, appears willing to vote for anything in pursuit of short-term gain or popularity, with no apparent concern for the small print. God save us from Europhiles!

  6. Chris says:

    Let’s see whether Mrs. Girling will be smiling on the 2nd of May.
    And next year, when her job is up for renewal.

  7. Jane Davies says:

    I wish this blog had a thumbs up thingy…as I find myself “liking” so many comments!

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