The devalued Dan Hannan

26th March, 2009 9:36 am

UPDATE: Sunder has responded to your comments at length.

By Sunder KatwalaDaniel Hannan

Dan Hannan, polemical Telegraph journalist turned polemical MEP, journalist and blogger is the hero of the hour for the right-wing blogosphere for his rant against Gordon Brown.

I note three interesting things about this:

1 – Many people got many things wrong about this crisis. I have yet to find anybody who was quite so extravagantly wrong as Dan Hannan. Let us not forget Hannan’s paean of praise to the prosperous, deregulated Eurosceptic utopia that was Iceland: a model for Britain and us all.

Hannan loves Iceland dearly, having spent his stag night there to celebrate the fact that it had stayed out of the EU. (His best man, Tory PPC Mark Reckless, had been desperately keen to go to Greenland, as the only territory which has seceded: obsessive just doesn’t cover it).

But I suspect the Hannan YouTube clip might be playing slightly less well in Rejkyavik now despite Hannan’s 2004 Spectator piece ‘Blue Eyed Shiekhs’.

“In the ten years that I have been travelling to Iceland, I have watched an economic miracle unfold there. Today, Icelanders are absolutely rolling in it. A people two generations away from subsistence farming have become international tycoons.

Look at the City of London, for heaven’s sake, which Brussels is doing its best to asphyxiate with its financial regulations.

Icelanders understand that there is a connection between living in an independent state and living independently from the state. They have no more desire to submit to international than to national regulation. That attitude has made them the happiest, freest and wealthiest people on earth.”

So Dan Hannan surely ought to be the most devalued commentator or politician in Britain, Europe and beyond.

(Michael Lewis has a really interesting piece of reportage on the psychology of the Icelandic boom and crash in Vanity Fair).

2 – The truly impressive YouTube numbers have been driven by this going viral through being made the lead by Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh and the US right-wing blogs (whose help Hannan generously acknowledges). Since the US right have not had much to cheer them up since Sarah Palin, we ought not to begrudge them this entertainment.

3 – If the right will take Hannan’s popularity as further evidence that it has the blogosphere cracked, does it matter that all of their energy is on the anti-ProgCon right?

Hannan is perhaps the most strident Eurosceptic, wants no regulation, as little state as possible voice in the Tory party. (Though note that Hannan is very confident that David Cameron is privately much more Eurosceptic than anybody has realised, and campaigned for him to be leader on that basis. And Hannan won his vocal campaign against betraying the pledge to leave the EPP: after a heated internal argument, Cameron has divorced the parties of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy in Europe).

So Hannan’s new found online fame will not help David Cameron persuade his party not to bang on about Europe. It is leading to questions about why Cameron does not himself turn into Mr Angry and just let rip too.

Are there shades here of the Bennite insurgency within the Labour party? At the risk of starting another Trot-off with Mr Luke Akehurst, isn’t Dan Hannan something of a Tory Trot?

This article was first posted on the Fabian Blog, nextleft.org.

Latest

  • Featured News Corbyn to plotters: Challenge me and I’ll run again

    Corbyn to plotters: Challenge me and I’ll run again

    Jeremy Corbyn has said he would stand again if Labour MPs triggered a new leadership contest. Corbyn refused to dwell on the attempt to force a vote of no confidence on his leadership after a speech on immigration this morning, but accepted that some of his parliamentary colleagues “probably want someone else”. Asked whether he would stand again if MPs were successful in forcing a leadership election, he replied: “Yes, I’m here. Thank you.” His comments were met with raucous applause from […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe We must remain firmly internationalist in the face of Brexit

    We must remain firmly internationalist in the face of Brexit

    The EU Referendum has produced a ‘Leave’ vote in most of my constituency and of the country. Politics are based on the principle of consent and we have to accept that the popular will is for Britain to leave the European Union. As an elected representative and on behalf of the Labour Party, I respect the result and must commit to its outcome. I am proud of the way Labour fought the referendum campaign. United as a party, I believe […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured The shadow Cabinet is crucial to the future of Corbyn’s leadership

    The shadow Cabinet is crucial to the future of Corbyn’s leadership

    Amid the wreckage of the EU referendum campaign, Labour figures from the shadow Cabinet to the grassroots are now looking at Monday’s meeting of MPs as the crunch moment for the future of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. A discussion of the no-confidence motion at Monday evening’s meeting is likely to prompt a secret ballot on the leader and this could be held as soon as Tuesday. Both sides of the parliamentary party are uncertain, however, of the impact of a non-binding […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe We need a left response to Brexit – and Labour can shape the debate

    We need a left response to Brexit – and Labour can shape the debate

    Yesterday was the most momentous of many of our political lifetimes. It certainly was for me. The referendum result has laid bare the deep divisions which fracture the country, but the reality – as anyone who’s knocked more than a few doors over recent years knows – is that the discontent, the disconnect and the fractures have all been there for really quite some time. What I can’t deny is that their exposure, in such a stark form and with such consequence, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Moderates and Corbynites in battle to define defeat

    Moderates and Corbynites in battle to define defeat

    How did it come to this? Firstly, Britain embraced the seismic shift of leaving the EU. And then, with the prime minister forced out and the Tories in crisis, Labour embarking on its own bout of bloodletting. But it had been coming. Hostilities were merely postponed in the expectation that a slim vote for Remain would prompt a fresh debate about the Labour leadership. Instead, the shock of Brexit, after weeks of grumbling about the vigour of Jeremy Corbyn’s EU […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit