Motherhood and Apple Pie


I noticed on Twitter recently that UKIP MEPs had been accused of “voting against equal pay for women”.  Of course we did no such thing.  We voted against Brussels’ interference in UK labour markets.

Equal pay is a highly emotive issue, especially with the feminist lobby, so let’s talk about something (very slightly) less emotive.  Like Motherhood and Apple Pie.  Let me say it up front: UKIP is in favour of Motherhood and Apple Pie.  Absolutely.  If it hadn’t been for my Mother (God rest her soul) I shouldn’t be here today.  And without apple pie, the world would be a sadder place, whether you like it with custard (Sauce Anglaise over here – I write in Strasbourg), or cream, or ice cream, or even Greek-style yoghurt.

But now imagine a European Directive on Motherhood and Apple Pie.  It might do a number of things, like regulating the size of the pie, and restricting the ingredients (less sugar, less salt, less fat).  Maybe it would endorse traditional Bramley apples and exclude other varieties (the EU is very good at outlawing rare varieties – or making them unaffordable and uncommercial).  (I dread to think what it might do to Motherhood).  Or providing EU funds at the tax-payers’ expense to promote Motherhood.  Or Apple Pie.  Or both.

So while we are passionately in favour of both Motherhood and Apple Pie, we would vote against any such directive, because we would say that it was unnecessary, and that rules on Apple Pie should be made at the national level (or better still, not made at all).  Nevertheless, we get the knee-jerk reaction that “UKIP voted against Motherhood and Apple Pie”.  No we didn’t.   We voted against Brussels’ regulation of Motherhood and Apple Pie.

So please bear this in mind when you read that UKIP voted against this, or that, or the other.  We’re not against clean beaches and pure drinking water and fresh air, but we’re against giving new powers to bureaucrats, and to the proliferation of EU rules.  It often happens as well that quite regardless of the EU vs. Member State issue, we find that their method of dealing with (say) Motherhood and Apple Pie is sub-optimal.  Or more often, counter-productive.  A classic example would be the EU’s Climate & Energy Package.  No matter what your view of climate issues, the fact is that the effect of the EU policy is to force up energy prices, to drive energy-intensive businesses out of Europe, taking their jobs and their investment with them, and to leave households and pensioners in fuel poverty.  It also arguably increases the very emissions it seeks to curb, through the process known as “carbon leakage”.

So no, guys.  We didn’t vote against equal pay for women, and in principle we’re in favour of equal pay for equal work.  I would add that having spent over thirty years running businesses (I had a proper job before politics) I think any employer who deliberately undervalues and underpays a section of the workforce will damage his own business.  What we voted against was Brussels’ heavy-handed involvement in UK labour market regulation.  We have too much of that already.

In conclusion, I had hoped that Cameron’s shopping list for his much-trailed EU renegotiation would at least include the reinstatement of the opt-out on the Social Chapter, plus the Working Time Directive (see the damage it’s doing in the health service) which John Major thought was included in the Maastricht opt-out.  (The way Brussels managed to exclude the WTD from the opt-out is an extraordinary lesson in EU subterfuge).  But sadly Cameron’s vague, ambiguous and unambitious list of demands had nothing to say about it.

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8 Responses to Motherhood and Apple Pie

  1. Flyinthesky says:

    What I’m comming to realise is, sadly in general terms, the electorate is only receptive to emotives, they no longer do detail or common sense.
    From a personal perspecive, as a man, I don’t care what the proportions are, I want to be best represented.
    Unfortunately a lot of people are being swayed by Camerons ambiguous and indeed vacuous list of demands, there will be no meaningful outcome for any of us. The only outcome maybe be to the benefit of vested corporate interest.
    I enjoyed your presentation on the euro but that’s the tenuous glue that holds the whole entity and powerbase together, wrong though it may be they will fight tooth and nail to continue it.
    Look out for implied concessions and victories in negotiation, not only are the government working on it they’ll be ably and enthusiastically supported by the collective itself, the eu.

    • Mike Stallard says:

      I am 75. At the age of 50, I assumed that there was absolutely no difference, really, between men and women. Both were, of course equal and both the same.
      Recently I attended my daughter’s first birthing. I watched the way that men and women (parents, grandparents, nurses, doctors, midwives, even cleaners) behaved in entirely different ways. Recently my wife has had a successful operation in hospital. Male nurses were in no way the same as female ones. Male doctors were in no way the same as female ones.
      I am NOT saying that one was worse. I AM saying that their approach was completely different.
      I know this is not what the party line suggests. I am just looking for the unvarnished truth. And I am not at all sure what conclusions to draw either. I am, frankly, undecided.

  2. willing says:

    Like all your responses Roger…very good! Trust you (or someone) has made a similar response on twitter? The whole thing smells like more of the desperate lengths UKIP’s political opponents will go to s they quietly panic at the storm they face!

    Saw you on Question Time with that awful champagne socialist and hypocrite, Abbott. I admire your calm responses to her Roger…I would have been significantly more robust with her, particularly when she starts jabbing her thumb at you, and pulling stupid faces (even more stupid than normal!)

  3. Mike Stallard says:

    It is becoming more and more obvious that the EU is like a cancer eating away silently inside our country. Nobody notices. Nobody discusses it. Everyone is in denial.
    Only old people remember what we were once like before the disease took hold.

    There is a way out though. It isn’t dramatic. It is quite possible. It is to start with joining Norway in EFTA. Then negotiating with the rest of the world through the organisations which we already belong to and also with the EU for greater and greater freedom. Cutting out the massive toxic growth before it kills us is going to be delicate. But it might just save our lives.

    Dramatic? Look at Greece! Or Spain! Or Italy!

    • Flyinthesky says:

      It is becomming more and more………. but only to people who are disposed to look for it.
      Young people have been programmed by the education system that the eu is good any sort of national pride is bad, it causes wars and has to be avoided, indeed condemned.
      As the decades go by and one generation replaces another the abominable situation we find ourselves in becomes more and more nomalised, with the ongoing programming that the government knows best about everything leading them able to morph all our services from services to dictatorial authorities.
      My contention is that if this situation is not addressed and resolved in the next ten years it’s never going to be, after ten years or so there will be nothing left to salvage nor the will to address it. it will be game set and match.
      The illusion of democracy will prevail where every four or five years we get to elect the next set of, dictated to, dictators. As the incumbent generation will know no better it will be accepted as democracy.
      The problem is it’s not just us , the phenomenon has gone global and I think the driving force is to slice and dice the world to facillitate vested global corporate interests.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        Oh for an edit function, an afterthought, The biggest problem we face is getting people to realise how much influence the eu has over all our lives, often cited as 9th or 10th as an issue in polls. What is deliberately concealed from them is the effect the eu has on all the issues they deem more important. Until there is a consensus on wanting to leave there will be no referendum and if there was we’d lose it.
        We need a lot more Roger Helmers.

  4. DICK R says:

    The sad part is, a whole generation has reached middle age under the EU yoke ,they know no better!!

  5. Reblogged this on Paul J Chapman and commented:
    UKIP MEPs are often accused of voting against seemingly positive EU directives – the truth is that they vote against the power grab by the EU – as Roger Helmer explains in this article.

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