Helmer: one who directs a film, tv programme, etc

Definition above is from the ever-present (at least in this blog) OED. It looks, from the citation, like another of those neat coinages by Variety, most famously the 1935 headline:


The only match for that, despite desperate efforts by Murdoch’s Sun, has to be 1983 and the New York Post‘s:



Worth 30 cents of anyone’s money.

Anyway, to Newark, the by-election and Roger Helmer

Isabel Hardman, for The Spectator blog, reckons — rather ambiguously, I feel:

Roger Helmer is a gift to CCHQ, so the Tories need to do really well in Newark

Well, the Ukip constituency association in Newark has certainly considered Nigel Farage’s musings on the success of appointing an unknown local candidate in a pivotal by-election… and completely ignored it. They’ve picked Roger Helmer, who, as Seb says, is not known for his mollifying centre-ground views.

His selection as the party’s candidate for the Newark by-election is a gift for CCHQ, which now needs a teaspoon rather than a spade to dig out awkward comments the MEP has made. Perhaps it also suggests that Ukip have decided there’s not much hope of winning so why bother to field a good candidate who the party’s opponents would lay into.

The usual Hardman perspicacity, there.

Except …

Roger Helmer is no patsy I suspect he may, indeed, be the director — the “helmer”, indeed — of much of what occurs at Newark. He may not, ought not, should not win; but we shall hear much of him and his opinions. Not all of those opinions will do UKIP any great damage.

He was a Tory MEP from 1999 to just two years ago, re-selected and re-elected twice. Despite his usual excesses — statements on rape, homosexuality, what even the Daily Telegraph considered “bigotry“, scorn for traffic laws, and general far-Right noodlery — Helmer was quite at home, even fêted by some, in the Tory circles for most of that time. He left the Tories — the Tories didn’t leave him — for reasons “operational”, not “ideological”.

If Helmer is the snipee in the by-election campaign, any sniper’s shots may come dangerously close to the Tory foot.

Anyone is welcome to adopt, adapt and improve that thought for future use.


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Filed under Britain, Conservative Party policy., Elections, Isabel Hardman, reading, The Spectator, Tories., UKIP

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