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Why Dan Hannan never went native…

The indefatigable Madsen Pirie has written an interesting article about Dan Hannan, describing how his background influences helped him avoid that oh so typical fate of many an idealistic soul: going native when joining an institution which generally opposes your underpinning views, in this case getting co-opted by the European Parliament.

16 comments to Why Dan Hannan never went native…

  • JadedLibertarian

    This is the guy who said because the vote was “close” (52% on the largest turnout in history isn’t close BTW) we should be going for a soft (aka Brexit in name only) Brexit.

    He bloody well has gone native.

  • Thailover

    Even when he was making some of his most famous speeches in the UN, he was a supporter of Obama.

  • “He bloody well has gone native.” You beat me to the exact same words 🙂

  • Mr Ed

    Dr Pirie has often struck me as seeing himself on the inside of the tent pissing out, but enjoying splashing the more evil denizens of the political tent as the ‘rebel’ within, without realising that he is ignored by the evil political class, and isn’t even despised by them. This piece does nothing to change my ill-informed speculation.

    As for Mr Hannan, the phrase ‘All hat and no cattle‘ springs to mind. I try to expunge the impression that his position is driven by contrariness rather than vital principle, and he seems to let me down now and then.

  • without realising that he is ignored by the evil political class

    Not really, Madsen is actually listened to by more people within the Westminster bubble than you think because he is so bloody charming 😆

  • The Fyrdman

    I always had the impression that Dan dealt in realities rather than fantasy, so set his target lower than “hard Brexit”. I can’t recall any of his videos or speeches where he advocates much beyond a lighter touch Norway option.

    In terms of Obama, I think he withdrew his support in hindsight. People make mistakes.

    A lot of the anti-Hannan stuff I see coming from Brexiteers these days seems like a parody of left wing purists accusing each other of being splitters and Trots. Dan is one of the best defenders of free speech and liberty that we have within actual politics rather than just writers of various forms. I would take a gov with Hannah leading it over any of the current lot of serious options by a long, long margin.

  • JadedLibertarian

    The problem with a soft exit from the EU is this: our politicians are in love with the idea of a massive, all powerful regulatory state and are trying to build post-brexit Britain into one. However the EU is the archetypal all powerful, regulatory state, so any imitation May/Hammond/Robbins can build will be a poor, bastardised version at best.

    Now is the time to jump in with both feet. We can make Britain a success if we take exiting the EU as a cue to abandon the values of the EU as well. Otherwise this will be a disaster.

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for Hannan. We, miraculously, achieved a practicable breach in the city walls of authoritarian statism. Victory was ours for the taking, but for the traitors who called for total surrender at the moment of triumph. And then you have Mr. Reasonable Hannan pointing to the traitors and saying “maybe they have a point, let’s hang back guys”. Ministrations like his have robbed us of much needed momentum.

  • bobby b

    “Dan is one of the best defenders of free speech and liberty that we have within actual politics rather than just writers of various forms.”

    Amen. The man would have been right at home with the authors of our Federalist Papers. He’s one of the few who can drag me out to our east coast so I can hear him speak.

    With a bare 52-48 majority and a seemingly ever-changing sentiment since then, perhaps Hannan is simply practicing the art of the possible. To an ignorant outside observer, hard Brexit looks to be the enemy of Brexit at all.

  • terence patrick hewett

    As an engineer I am always suspicious of people who say that it can’t be done or it is too difficult: it is usually laziness or stupidity or enervation or old fashioned corruption. Solving difficult problems is why we went into the sciences in the first place and regard this attitude with contempt.

    It is their smallness of vision, their narrowness of intellect, the simple lack of courage and curiosity that is shameful.

  • The Fyrdman

    I absolutely sympathise with the desire for the deepest break possible with the EU, but Dan had a vision that would have had a wide enough appeal to be achieved. We are currently on course for something much worse. I would take a good compromise, which would form a clean basis for further change, than screwing around for years failing to satisfy both sides before just falling into whatever it is we are heading for now.

    Society is not to be engineered, and I am always suspicious of those who think it should be. You create your vision of a beautiful perfect design without accounting for the severe imperfection of your tools and materials. It takes authoritarian bastards to try, and fail, to knock the tools into shape.

  • JadedLibertarian

    You know, if the referendum was going to be used as a strength gauge rather than a tool for choosing a binary outcome, I would have liked to know in advance. Perhaps the ballot paper should have looked like this:

    30% leave = Hard remain
    45% leave = Soft remain
    55% leave = Soft brexit
    70% leave = Hard brexit

    No one talked about hard brexit or soft brexit till after the referendum. Those terms were concocted by the losers so that they could argue for a brexit that didn’t involve truly leaving the EU.

    A so called soft brexit would involve:
    Agreeing to all EU market regulations. No Henry Hoover’s over 900w etc.
    Agreeing to the EU external tariff structures. No trading with, say, Paraguay if the EU didn’t like it.
    Agreeing to EU free movement laws. You cannot stop Eastern Europeans coming to the UK and working, claiming benefits or committing crimes. Ditto when Turkey joins.
    Agreeing to the supremacy of European courts over the UK courts.
    Agreeing to implement any new laws the EU passed.

    All of these things have individually and collectively been argued for by supporters of a so called soft brexit. The EU has been keen to treat these items as a monolithic bloc, they won’t accept capitulation on some of them, they want capitulation on them all. Perhaps Dan Hannan believes we could wrangle a better deal that doesn’t involve total surrender, but the EU certainly isn’t keen.

    If my little list is a state of affairs you think is desirable, then the only honest choice was for you to vote “remain”. I won’t call Dan Hannan an enemy of liberty, but he’s sure giving ammunition to those who are. Like a lot of libertarians he’s fond of talking about ideas. Sometimes when one thinks out loud, one ends up taking bollicks. Furthermore he also keeps talking long after the real world is dissolving into rigid camps and it’s time to choose a side.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite correct JadedLibertarian.

    And that is one of the reasons I detest the word “Brexit” – it is meaningless (“Brexit means Brexit” is as meaningful as “xuioy means xuioy”), utterly meaningless and sounds STUPID (whish is why the BBC uses the term to mock independence – “would you like a Brexit with your chips” and all the rest of their sick advert).

    We voted to LEAVE the European Union – we voted for independence. We did not vote for “Brexit” – “soft”, “hard”, “scrambled” or whatever.

    And Perry and Madsen are correct – Dan Hannan is a fine man (even if he has to use this media word).

  • Victory was ours for the taking, but for the traitors who called for total surrender at the moment of triumph. (JadedLibertarian, July 1, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Not alas the whole truth.

    On the day before Gove fouled the leave Tory leadership campaign, we were looking at the vote going to the party, not just the parliamentary party, and the Boris-Gove-Leadsom slate likely to win, then a prompt issuing of Article 50 and an immediate justifiable election with a competent campaign (as against May’s absurd year-later greedy unprincipled-looking reversal and feeble campaign), leading to a probable Corbyn humiliation and perhaps dumping of him, etc. Doubtless we’d have had much to say about what came from that, but we’d have preferred it to May.

    Brexit’s elitist enemies have done what they can to kill as much as possible of the momentum the Brexit victory gave us, but it is mere accuracy to note that some of the course-changing power it offered was lost a week later by Gove not having the elementary self control to stick to the alternative-leadership narrative used in the Brexit campaign or else negotiate a new one with his campaign colleagues.

    There’s no point crying over spilt milk. I merely think it wise not to exaggerate the power of our enemies or forget that we can win (especially if we avoid gross mistakes).

  • terence patrick hewett

    @The Fyrdman

    You are confusing Engineering with Social Engineering; the point I was making is their utter lack of ambition; they are utterly reactive instead of taking the conflict to their opponent; the timidity: the inability to suprise is deeply pedestrian. They deserve to lose because they are 5th rate jobsworths.

  • The Fyrdman

    Don’t mistake a defence of Hannan for complete agreement. I want be a Singapore of the Atlantic, trading with all but bound to none.

    And I disagree that a desire for Hannan’s position, if that’s what someone wanted, should have required a vote for remain. A 51% for remain would have entailed no more debate on this issue and the endless slide into being the north west province of the European empire.

  • Mr Ed

    This piece by Mr Hannan at ConHome isn’t a sell-out, but it’s a bit of a giveaway. He appears to me to be slyly attacking Vote Leave for Mrs May’s deceit and delay.

    The package offered in Chequers is the result of a series of negotiating blunders on our side over the past two years. First, there was the premature triggering of Article 50 before proper contingency plans had been put in place – in defiance, by the way, of a commitment made by Vote Leave during the referendum, which had promised: “Taking back control is a careful change not a sudden stop – we will negotiate the terms of a new deal before we start any legal process to leave”