Daily Debrief April 7th

The Dutch strike a blow for freedom and democracy!

Yesterday the Dutch voted in a referendum nominally about the EU/Ukraine trade deal, but widely seen in Holland and in Brussels as a verdict on the European Project as a whole.  They voted NO by a substantial margin – around 61 to 38 (rounding errors?).  This was comparable to the Dutch vote against the EU Constitution in 2005 – though that Constitution came back re-branded as the Lisbon Treaty.

This is a particular embarrassment for Dutch PM Mark Rutte, as Holland currently holds the rotating EU Presidency.  He is expected to recognise the result of this referendum, although it has only advisory status, but it is not yet quite clear what he will do.

Joram van Klaveren, a Dutch MP from the VoorNederland party (“For the Netherlands”), which is associated with our ADDE/IDDE alliance, said “We now need to dismantle the EU”.  Geert Wilders, the firebrand populist, said (perhaps optimistically) “This is the beginning of the end of the EU”.  Nigel Farage had earlier said “Let’s celebrate the outbreak of democracy in this country, and hope that it spreads like a rash across Europe”.

The name of our parliamentary group, EFDD, includes the phrase “Direct Democracy” (very dear to our Italian Five Star colleagues), and this result shows direct democracy in action.  It was driven by a grass-roots campaign group called GeenPeil, making very effective use of social media, and by-passing the establishment.  It dramatises the divide between the politicians and the people on the EU question.

The Guardian has egg on its face: As the polls opened yesterday, the Guardian confidently predicted that the Dutch Referendum would fail to meet the 30% turnout threshold – although it’s not clear what they based this on.  In fact, the latest turnout figure I’ve seen is 32.2%, comfortably ahead of the threshold.

A dilemma for tactical voters: The combination of a referendum and a turnout threshold creates a dilemma for many voters.  Suppose a voter thinks that her side will probably lose.  Does she (A) Vote anyway, hoping her side might win? Or (B) go for a tactical abstention, hoping turnout fails to meet the threshold?  There may have been some tactical abstention by YES voters yesterday, which would have flattered the NO majority, but depressed turnout.  Nonetheless it was a decisive win for the forces of democracy.  And coming just eleven weeks before the UK Referendum, it must strengthen our Leave campaign.

Cameron to spend £9 million on pro-EU propaganda

Most of today’s papers headline the £9 million of taxpayers’ money that David Cameron proposes to spend on sending a pro-EU leaflet to 27 million homes.  The “i”: Taxpayers fund £9 million leaflet”; Metro: “£9 million of taxpayers’ cash on the EU”; Telegraph “Taxpayers to fund anti-Brexit leaflet”; Times: “Cameron to target 27 million homes with pro-EU post”.

The move has caused outrage amongst Leave campaigners.  Boris Johnson said it was “crazy to spend £9.3 million on scaring people”.  Nigel Farage said it confirmed his view that the Referendum would be “defined by the battle of the people against the political élite”. Robert Oxley of Vote Leave described the project as “trying to buy votes”.

Send it back: There are already calls on social media for recipients of this government leaflet to send it back by post to the Prime Minister at Ten Downing Street.  That is what I intend to do.

Cameron’s agony continues

The Guardian reports that “Cameron questions (regarding off-shore investments) are intensifying”. The Mirror majors on Panama.  In a very damaging story the FT reports that  “A move by David Cameron to water down the effect of EU transparency rules on trusts despite warnings it could create a loophole for tax dodgers has been defended by Downing Street”, under the headline “Cameron’s personal EU intervention on trusts created potential tax loopholes”.  Another day for the Prime Minister to choke on his Weetabix.

“Troops will pay in blood”

Not an EU issue, but a striking and sanguinary headline as the new paper New Day highlights concerns about women in front-line military roles.  The Express also covers the story, quoting an army officer saying that the proposal to put women in the front line is “a social experiment for which troops will pay in blood”.  That should cause some heated debate in feminist circles.

The Empire strikes back

While on the subject of the Dutch referendum, the Telegraph runs a story that the European parliament is investigating an advertisement financed with European funds through the IDDE , the think-tank associated with the EFDD Group in the European parliament, with which the UKIP delegation is affiliated.  I suspect this is the pro-EU side clutching at straws.  The due diligence procedures we have in place to ensure that all such spending is totally legitimate is thorough to the point of heavy-handed.  Often that’s a frustration, but when questions like this are raised, it’s reassuring.

 Brexit and the NHS

“Immigration…is pushing GPs to saturation point”: The Telegraph headlines “Immigration and older population pushing GPs to saturation point”.

The NHS has become embroiled in the EU Referendum, with each side accusing the other of using a cherished but flawed institution as a “political football”.  The Remain side appears to be making two points:

  • In their view, Brexit will damage the economy, and this will put funding pressure on all public services, including the NHS.  But of course on our side we believe that in the medium term, Brexit will free up more public funds for worthy causes like health.
  • They also drop dark hints that Brexit will be a negative factor for foreign health service staff – or even require them to leave.  This is such arrant and evident nonsense that I don’t propose to dignify it with a rebuttal.

On our side, we believe that uncontrolled mass immigration, plus health tourism, are (as the Telegraph says) putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS – and on social infrastructure and social cohesion generally.  I think that on the whole the Leave side is getting the better of this argument.  The Telegraph also blames an older population.  But immigrants also age, just like the indigenous population.

Mosques downplay Islamist fanatic’s tour

Yesterday I reported that the UK’s largest Islamic sect, the Deobandi , appeared to have facilitated mosque visits by Masood Azhar, who reportedly preached an extreme version of Islam in schools, glorifying and sanctioning violence and urging youngsters to join terrorist groups.  Leaders of the sect responded by saying it was “guilt by association“, and compared it to British Foreign Secretaries meeting Sadaam Hussein and Gaddafi.    This is a bizarre excuse. It is one thing to meet formally with those who don’t share Western values: it is quite another to arrange for them to visit schools and poison young minds.

It is critically important that prominent Muslim organisations reject and eschew the fanatics.  If they fail to do so, it feeds suspicions that the extremists enjoy a degree of sympathy in the wider Muslim community.

Brussels Bomber had worked in the European parliament

The Evening Standard reports that one of the bombers who created the atrocity at Zaventum airport on March 22nd had previously worked in the European parliament in Brussels as a cleaner.  Admittedly it was six years ago when he had no criminal record, but it is nonetheless a chilling thought.

Frontex admits defeat

Yesterday I reported on the admissions by Frontex, the EU “border force” (if the term isn’t ironic) that nearly two million illegal migrants had reached the EU in the last year, and that authorities had no way of keeping track of them after arrival.  They also admitted that terrorists were using migration flows to cover their movements.  One other point that needs to be stressed: Frontex admitted that criminal gangs are able to smuggle weapons and drugs across EU borders. Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania have an unenviable reputation as entrepôts for weapons, drugs, money and people smuggling – and even trading in human organs.  So our phrase “Free movement for terrorists and Kalashnikovs” may be a glib slogan, but it has some substance.

Day two of the deportations: zero

On Day One they managed to send back just 202 migrants from the Greek Islands to Turkey.  But on Day Two, the count was zero. The problem, predictably, was inadequate resource to hear asylum claims – which is a precondition for deportation.  Of course nearly all migrants will seek to delay deportation – and may well be happy to try to snarl up the system.  Meantime protests from human rights groups and from local residents in Turkey continue.  This may well take longer than the EU hoped.  Indeed, one has to ask whether the rate of returns will ever exceed the number of new migrants arriving by one route or another.  Not that there would be any net reduction in numbers in the EU, since the bizarre deal involves a one-for-one swap.

Sign the Petition

There’s a Petition to parliament calling for a ban on President Obama speaking on Brexit on his visit to London.  So far it has 30k+ signatures.  We need to get to 100k.  Please sign:












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27 Responses to Daily Debrief April 7th

  1. Rowena Julian says:

    Hello Roger Helmer,

    I’ve been getting this daily briefing for just a short while now & it’s become an immediate favourite.

    I like what you address each day – its v much what I find relevant & without off topic extras.

    I like the level of depth you go into, enough fact & detail to substantiate your take satisfyingly, without reading a tome every morning.

    Above all the logic & power of your reading of current events which fits mine closely.

    Thank you

    (Rowena Julian rjrowenajulian@gmail.com)


  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    We stuck 4 family sigs on the petition. It was at 32k yesterday pm. The Trump golf course one got up much faster…I mean the ban trump from UK one. Anyway, prepare for nothing to happen. Consider it. And? I considered it…done. And thats all Rutte will do.

    It appears that a large number of Dutch polling stations were closed yesterday. Contempt abounds.

    I’ll send the Tory EU papergram back as well. Should have been on Govt website but probably can’t be because its less than fact I suspect.

    RT Crosstalk last night had a good piece on the “arrangement” for Ukraine. Thats where chicken eggs would wipe out egg producers across the whole of europe if not capped now, No adequate coverage of this story here in UK…little known event.

    Wilders saying it…again! Hope he is right this time.

    • I’m told by Dutch folk involved in the campaign that the government anticipated a low turnout and therefore only opened a sub-set of normal polling stations. It does sound a bit like a spoiling action. I believe that despite the low turnout there were queues at some polling stations.

      • catweazle666 says:

        “and therefore only opened a sub-set of normal polling stations.”

        Thus ensuring a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        And they still lost.

  3. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re Mosques downplay Islamist fanatic’s tour

    Within the last few years there has been evidence in the MSM (e.g. BBC) that already “the extremists enjoy a degree of sympathy in the wider Muslim community”. I can recall a public march by muslims in this country in support of extremist acts abroad. And I can recall reports of opinion surveys within the UK Muslim community that showed substantial support for violent acts abroad on the grounds that they were “justified”, irrespective of their illegality.

    I would like to think that these attitudes have changed in favour of “traditional British values”.

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Students…be Alert

    H/T Old Holborn

    • ian wragg says:

      Students managed to study abroad before we joined the EU and I’m sure they will continue if we leave.
      One thing is we won’t have to fund EU students who on the whole do not pay back the loan.

  5. Alan Wheatley says:

    Re Frontex admits defeat

    At a time when many migrants were loosing their lives crossing the Mediterranean in unseaworthy boats the BBC broadcast an interview with their Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner, about the possibility of terrorists getting into the EU posing as asylum seekers. His view was at that time this was unlikely because of the high possibility of drowning in the attempt: where blowing themselves up at a time and a place in support of their cause was something they would happily die for, downing was the wrong sort of death.

    Shortly afterwards the humanitarian imperative resulted in the chance of a successful crossing becoming high, and so it logically followed the terrorists would start to exploit this route.

    All that has happened was predicted and the consequences easily foreseen for those who were prepared to look at the reality rather than look the other way.

  6. RobtheFox says:

    Regarding the visit of Obama is your objection that the President of a foreign country should not express his views on a UK matter or that he may not be supporting yours?

  7. Shieldsman says:

    EU referendum: Government to spend £9m of taxpayers’ money on leaflets warning of ‘damage’ Brexit would cause Critics say it is an ‘outrageous’ way to spend taxpayers’ money
    Is it legal?
    When they say it is a decision by Government it is a misnomer, this is a personal effort by the PM and his Puppet Masters to keep the UK in the EU, by using our money to print PROPAGANDA.
    It is not a decision taken by all his Cabinet and definitely not one taken by Parliament.
    This is not Democracy, it is DICTATORSHIP.
    It appears that the leaflet gives no detail of future Treaties and our relationship with the EU. Nor of the Councils plans for change with majority voting within the current Lisbon Treaty. If Cameron does know then he wants to keep the Public in the dark.
    Our pathetic politicos know so little about the EU. Worth reading is Committee on Constitutional Affairs on improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty (2014/2249(INI). This was all revealed here on Breitbart a few weeks ago -Elmar Brok: ‘The idea that the EU will not advance any further is false’

    The facts are that the claim to have reformed the EU is a confidence trick being perpetrated on the British Public by David Cameron. The trip to Brussels changed nothing in our relationship with the EU or the working of the EU with the other 27 member States.

    Looking at what the leaflet says, it must have been written for the feeble minded like the Ladies in Cameron’s Cabinet, Liz Truss and Nicki Morgan suggesting young people will not be able to travel to Europe without a visa or study there along with all their other nonsense, if we BREXIT.

    • ian wragg says:

      Cameron is a shyster and his daily actions reinforce this. Send the leaflet back without a stamp in a sealed envelope. if nothing else it will clog up Parliaments mail room.

  8. Martin Reed says:

    Couldn’t possibly be that a number of Dutch polling stations failed to open because the EUnutters knew they were losing and decided to try to get turnout down below the required 30%? I can’t believe the EU would be that unprincipled …… er.

  9. Shieldsman says:

    Michael Fallon has been doing the media rounds this morning to defend the Government’s decision to publish a pro-EU leaflet costing £9million, calling it “restrained” and denying that it makes any “wild claims” about staying in.

    Environment Secretary Liz Truss said: ‘This referendum will be a huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes and it is crucial that the public have clear and accessible information.

    It’s the outrageous claims to the disaster that would befall us if we leave that Fallon does not mention e.g.
    CLAIM: The UK has secured a special status in the EU. The UK has kept the pound, will not join the euro and has kept control of its borders.

    RESPONSE: French president Francois Hollande has dismissed the idea the UK’s status is special. Cabinet minister Chris Grayling has warned that, as the rest of the EU moves towards full political union, Britain will be left voiceless, isolated and subject to ever more harmful meddling by a ‘giant federation of eurozone’ states.
    Cameron’s deal added the following clause, marginalizing the UK in future Treaty negotiations
    “(UK) will not create obstacles to but facilitate such further deepening (economic and monetary union) while this process will, conversely, respect the rights and competences of non participating member states”

    We should not be in the EU when the political class at Westminster cannot read and do not know the rules of the Treaties we are signed up to. Incidentally it was the bullion dealer Gordon Brown who signed the Lisbon Treaty, he did not give us a referendum.
    The Irish were given a referendum, turned it down and were told to vote again. Just shows what little respect the dumb politicians show for electorate.

    • The government claims that its booklet contains “information”. In fact it contains a set of highly contentious arguments for one side only. If they wanted to do this, they should at least have done a double mailing of a Yes booklet and a No booklet.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Don’t send it back to Downing Street, if you send it here the cost of postage comes out of Conservative funds…….
        Joanna George, FREEPOST RSBB-XRZT-ZTXE, The Conservative Party Foundation, 30 Millbank, LONDON SW1P 4DP.

      • RobtheFox says:

        They moved from that address over two years ago, the freepost address will be obsolete and I believe that currently there isn’t one for them.

      • catweazle666 says:

        Thank you Jane!

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Will post you one of my pitchforks later Jane.

  10. catweazle666 says:

    Send it back: There are already calls on social media for recipients of this government leaflet to send it back by post to the Prime Minister at Ten Downing Street. That is what I intend to do.


  11. Martin Reed says:

    ‘Your vote means NOTHING’ Brussels insists land grab plot WILL go ahead despite Dutch ‘no’


    I quite like that – your vote means nothing sums up democracy EU style rather nicely. Presumably as our Dave is a pretty typical example of the EUphile breed this could well be a foretaste of what he’ll say if we don’t give the right (i.e. wrong) answer to the referendum in June.

  12. Jane Davies says:

    Here is the petition about Cameron using taxpayers millions on the propaganda leaflet, over 100,000 have already signed in protest at his theft of our money for this. Can this man stoop any lower and be more arrogant?


  13. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    Send it back?

    If we did a co-ordinated “send back” using recorded delivery (OK it will cost us), just think of the work involved by No10 staff in signing for 100K letters?

  14. John S Churchill Jnr says:

    Can’t support ‘banning’ Obama’s free speech! We need to do something more subtle like being ready to ‘invade’ the US Embassy if he does mention Brexit and get the media publicity from it as an immediate counter-measure. Others may have better ideas having a similar effect?

    • Alan Wheatley says:

      I suggests he debates the issue with Nigel Farage.
      If Obama declines a debate then he is just another person with a viewpoint.

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