I just had a truly weird experience. I was invited to the Video centre in the parliament to make a short recorded statement for a new video installation in the parliament’s visitor centre. Each MEP is being invited to record a piece.
But when I got to Floor Minus One in the new JAN Building (hopeless confusion between JAN 1 Q100 and JAN -1 Q100), it was like the Marie Celeste, or a Kafka novel. Long deserted corridors, locked doors on either side, and not a single soul in evidence. To all appearances, vast sums of tax-payers’ money spent to little purpose.
Eventually, I found three guys walking down a corridor, and it turned out they had come to meet me, so we finally found the studio, and I was recorded against a plain green background (to allow them to put in the EU flag afterwards, I guess!). After eleven years in politics, I wasn’t expecting new experiences, but for the first time I was able to use a tele-prompt. I had prepared a few words for my 45-second statement, and one of the guys typed it into their system — I don’t know what he made of it. If I’d been advised in advance, I could have e-mailed it and saved him the trouble.
They should let me have the clip by the weekend, and I’ll put it up on the blog. Meantime, here’s the text:
I’m Roger Helmer, and I’m a British Conservative MEP representing the East Midlands Region.
I decided to stand for the European parliament in 1999 because I was profoundly unhappy at the way the EU was going.
I support trade and cooperation in Europe, but I am opposed to the creation of supra-national political structures which are undemocratic, unresponsive and unaccountable, and which treat the views of citizens with contempt. In repeated referendums, the EU has ignored the verdict of the people.
I believe that the EU is making us poorer, and less democratic, and less free. We need a looser and more flexible Europe based on trade and cooperation.