Daniel Hannan looks as though he is training to be a 'spin doctor' once he gives up politics with his latest post. Writing about the fact that once the Tories broke their promises of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty it was obvious they would not wish to pick a fight with the European Union - coupled with the fact the Tories had made no secret of this - Hannan states:
"There has been no sleight-of-hand about any of this...."
There may have been no 'sleight of hand' about the fact the Tories had not made any secret of their wish to avoid a fight with the EU, but there sure was 'slight of hand' about how they handled the question of a referendum.
I know we are all aware of Cameron's infamous pledge (broken) in the Sun, from which I quote:
"Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations. No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum."
Do note there is no qualification on whether the Lisbon Treaty had been ratified or not.
Prior to the European elections held in 2009 Cameron also said this in a speech on 26th May entitled 'Fixing Broken Politics':
"A progressive reform agenda demands that we redistribute power from the EU to Britain and from judges to the people. We will therefore hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, pass a law requiring a referendum to approve any further transfers of power to the EU, negotiate the return of powers, and require far more detailed scrutiny in Parliament of EU legislation, regulation and spending."
Do note, once again, there is no qualification on whether the Lisbon Treaty had been ratified or not. It is also notable that Mark Mardel, then BBC Editor on the EU, wrote afterwards on his blog:
“....Whether he meant it or not, it is now on the record: in government the Conservatives will hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, no 'ifs', no 'buts'."
It seems Daniel Hannan can, like any other politician, be economical with the English language and the interpretation of same. This is surprising as what the people of Britain are crying out for is politicians that speak the truth and when Hannan made this speech the country 'sat up' and applauded. If Hannan really believed in honesty in politics he would make a similar speech to Cameron about, for example, broken promises, dishonesty and the emasculation of democracy caused by Britain's membership of the EU.
Whilst bearing in mind that Hannan is a Tory and therefore one cannot attach too much to what he writes or says, it does seem that continuing in the vein he adopts at the moment - and to paraphrase the last words of the aforementioned speech - he, like Douglas Carswell, will be seen as a devalued politician of a devalued party.