Thursday, 26 March 2009

Hannan' on the Internet (or not) ?

The two hundred second lambasting of Prime Minister Gordon Brown by Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan on Tuesday is threatening to enter blogsphere folklore. Apparently, nearly 700,000 people worldwide have downloaded the speech - I have.

Hannan has been eulogised by the Tory blogsphere and some have been so brave as to back him to be the NEXT Conservative leader. There have also been calls for Hannan to be found a seat in time for the next General Election and even for him to be offered a Cabinet post.

Time for a little perspective...

One of the major differences between the European Parliament and the House of Commons is or are the protocols and procedures to which members have to abide. Hannan was able to make the speech he did in the way he did without interruption or heckling because he was making it in the European Parliament. He simply would not have been able to do the same thing at Westminster - he would either have been stopped by the Speaker or faced howls of derision from the Labour benches.

While it was a carefully-crafted and effective address and has pleased the troops, it has also of course laid open a future Prime Minister Cameron to receive the same or similar from Labour or Lib Dem MEPs in future.

Hannan then did an interview on Fox News with Glenn Beck, who, along with the odious Sean Hannity, has become the standard-bearer of the meanspirited, vindictive, vengeful voice of American conservatism. The likes of Beck and Hannity despise Obama and use every second of their programmes to criticise, snipe and moan. When Beck says Britain has been "under socialism" for the past ten years, then I know he's not worth listening to.

By doing the FoxNews interview, Hannan made himself look spectacularly foolish and it was a crass error of judgement. Britain has not been "socialist" since 1997 by any stretch and to be seen to align himself with cretins like Beck, Hannan is reminding us all of the mean-spirited unpleasant brand of 1980s Toryism which, to his credit, Cameron has done so much to decontaminate.

Now, there's another aspect of the Hannan speech which has got the Tory blogsphere in a fuss and that's the fact that it's not been shown on the BBC.

I'll talk about that next...

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