02 Oct 2016

The Guardian Admires Daniel Hannan

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danielhannan
Daniel Hannan

Britain’s Guardian, the voice of Labour, has a very good, very long article by Sam Knight, paying tribute to Daniel Hannan as the key figure responsible for the recent referendum victory taking Britain out of the EU.

Hannan was part of a particular generation of young Conservatives deeply marked by these events. He was in his first term at Oxford, studying history at Oriel, when Thatcher resigned on 23 November 1990. Twenty-three days later, John Major approved an early draft of Maastricht. The sense of a mighty mistake being made has never left Hannan. By the end of term, he had founded the Campaign for an Independent Britain, or CIB, at the Queen’s Lane cafe on Oxford High Street.

“I remember swearing what the old adventure stories would call a terrible oath to do something,” he told me. …

At Oxford, Hannan’s screeds on Maastricht quoted Aristotle, Shakespeare and William Pitt the Younger. But he also had an eye for a stunt. Conservative ministers visiting the CIB were ambushed and photographed with anti-EU T-shirts, while Hannan’s speeches – as his writings are now – were littered with arch, aphoristic observations. Lord Salisbury was able to run the British empire with 52 civil servants. King’s College, Cambridge, has produced more Nobel prize winners than France. The world’s oldest parliaments all hail from small islands. Goldman Sachs wants you to vote remain. “A Hannan soundbite does stick with you,” said Littlewood. “He does make you think.” …

[W]orking to another order of events, separated Hannan and the other Maastricht diehards – even from fellow Tories who might otherwise agree with them. “The view at the centre was these were the people who had kept the Conservative party out of power for years,” said Gove. “Whatever they are most passionately in favour of must perforce be at best eccentric, at worst electoral disaster.”

One new MP in 2005 remembered being lobbied to support the move out of the EPP and asking an older colleague for advice. “He said, ‘You just cannot. It looks good. But you cannot give an inch to these guys because they will never, ever accept it. They will take and take and take until they have won.’” Several Conservative MPs I spoke to for this article compared Hannan and his set to “entryists” and “Trots” for their ideological purity, their quest to reassert what they regard as Britain’s lost place in the world. “They are grammar-school imperialists,” one MP told me. “A hundred years ago Hannan and his ilk would have been able to vent their rather bizarre beliefs bullying people in a nether-province of India.”

Hannan says such insults have never bothered him. “It passes by as the idle wind that I respect not,” he said. He simply regards himself as a different kind of a politician. “I think public life for me has a slightly didactic role, OK,” he said. “You should be trying to shift the centre ground of public opinion.” …

In November 2009, though, the Conservatives abandoned their own manifesto promise to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. Hannan called Cameron’s office to resign from his duties in Brussels – he was the party’s legal affairs spokesman in Europe. A senior aide picked up the phone. “I said … I just think you’ve made the most terrible mistake,” Hannan recalled. But he promised to step down without publicity. The adviser thanked him, and asked Hannan what he planned to do next. “I’m going to devote myself full time to securing and then winning a referendum on leaving the EU,” Hannan replied. The aide laughed down the line. “Good luck with that.”

Hannan put the phone down. He was in his office in Brussels. The Macauley poem, Horatius at the Bridge, entered his mind: “Who will stand on either hand / And keep the bridge with me?

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Frank A. Dobbs.

Hannan is a brilliant conservative who knows what he is talking about, as this video of Hannan in action in the EU Parliament demonstrates.

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Bunny

Doesn’t Hannon seem suspiciously like a covert xenophobic nativist/nationalist to you?
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/cultured-hicks/comment-page-1/



JDZ

Actually, I’m opposed to African & Asian Islamic immigration myself. And I and am not admirer of the EU and was in favor of Brexit. I am merely in favor of letting in assimilable Hispanic cheap labor, and hostile to vulgar populist stupidity.



Seattle Sam

Why is the subject of immigration always framed as “close the gates” versus “let them in”. Obviously there are some kinds of immigrants that are on balance hugely profitable to allow and others that have huge real or potential costs. There are undoubtedly some Syrians that we would welcome. But to say “let’s let 50,000 Syrian immigrants in” is to be indiscriminately stupid.

But that same attitude gets applied in other areas just as stupidly. In Seattle they want to adopt a law that would force landlords to rent on a first come first serve basis. In other words you would be prohibited from choosing among applicants the prospect that seemed most likely to pay his rent or to be a quiet tenant.



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