Monthly newsletter Edition 11 Sir Robert reports:- Page 1
Labour Members of the North West Regional Assembly have at last lost interest in free speech. They have banned me from speaking in the Assembly on the spurious grounds that I was not sitting in the right place! The Labour Leadership - without consultation, debate or a vote - unilaterally removed my rights of participation, classified me merely as an observer and sought to banish me to the back of the Chamber. This despite the protests of Conservative Members, who wished me to sit with them, and despite earlier commitments that all MEPs - elected under Labour's Regional System - would be allowed, encouraged even, to play a part in the Regional Assembly's affairs. There was no point in remaining so I walked out. The likes of Lancashire's Cllr. Frank McKenna, self-nominated "Leader" of the NWRA, supported by Cheshire's Cllr. Derek Bateman, Chairman of the Assembly, have never forgiven me for exposing their Government's deceit and double-dealing in moving the high-tech Daresbury Project from the North West to the South of England. Labour hates any criticism, despises its opponents and is determined to have its way, at whatever cost to the hard-pressed Taxpayer. But Labour representatives have now shown their true colours and Conservatives will be unrelenting in exposing their undemocratic and wasteful organisation for what it is - a Socialist sham.
The Presidency of the EU changed on January 1st and Sweden is now in the chair. Accordingly, the Swedish Transport & Posts Minister attended my Committee last week and I pressed him forcefully on a number of issues. Firstly, that he should push urgently for the reform of air traffic management before the whole system breaks down. Secondly, to direct his attention to air transport safety - of passenger and aircraft - with particular emphasis on current health concerns. Thirdly, that he should not let postal service liberalisation be put on the back burner, as the need for more competition and better customer service remains paramount.
Great success last Wednesday, when I led the charge against ridiculous but damaging proposals from anti-nuclear MEPs, which resulted in their almost complete defeat. The Report, produced by a French Green, would have prevented or severely restricted the movement of nuclear material anywhere in the EU, required a lengthy public debate before each of the few that were allowed and threatened the security and safety of our nuclear deterrent. By dint of careful compromises and wrecking amendments, and ably assisted by other Tory MEPs, I managed to assemble a majority and eventually won the day. So the tendentious attack on the probity, professionalism and very livelihoods of those working in the North West nuclear industry has been rejected.