Sunday, 13 June 2010

Hannan 'Spins' For His Party

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.

4 comments:

banned said...

That is very disappointing coming from Daniel Hannan.

Daniel Hannan said...

I know you don't like Conservatives but, in the interests of balance, you might recall that I resigned from the European front bench when David Cameron dropped that commitment.

Since that lamentable decision, the Conservative leadership has not pretended to be Euro-sceptic, and fought the 2010 general election on a broadly pro-EU ticket. Obviously, I disagree: I believe Britain would be wealthier and freer outside the EU. But I can't in conscience complain that I've been deceived.

Witterings From Witney said...

Banned, agreed.

Daniel, you misunderstand - It is not that I do not like Conservatives, it is that I do not like what the Conservative Party has become! Up until 2004 I was a life-long Conservative.

"Since that lamentable decision, the Conservative leadership has not pretended to be Euro-sceptic" Forgive me, but it has! It makes 'sceptic noises but 'caves-in' - witness the new 'see-budget' proposals from the EU. Parliament will see them first Hoban says, ditto Osborne. On Marr the best Hague can say is the govt will be 'tenchant' on the question of QMV voting on this. Trenchant? Trenchant?
What the blazes does 'tenchant'?

What we need is plain speaking, ie what will the govt do?

I am a disciple of The Plan and Direct Democracy but all we get from you and Douglas is words, words, words. And to call the campaign 'benign' beggars belief, really! 'Benign' = gentle, kind, mild? Our democracy is wrecked as you well know and what is needed is leadership and action.

James Higham said...

I am a disciple of The Plan and Direct Democracy but all we get from you and Douglas is words, words, words.

Precisely and a great many of us are sick to death of it.