If ever there was a politician that talks the right talk, but doesn’t quite walk the right walk, it’s Daniel Hannan. His oratory is splendid, his views on liberty and freedom are exemplary and he writes some strongly-worded pieces that are extremely critical of the European Union and our membership terms.
And to prove his “right talking” credentials, he is extremely sympathetic to the Ukip leanings of his Tory constituents. Witness, for example, this leaflet recently circulated in Dorking (although the content may well have had wider distribution in other constituency “In Touch” magazines, given he is the #1 MEP Candidate for the Conservatives in the South East), in which he says:
“We would urge anyone by all means to use the European Election to protest by voting UKIP. Let me just repeat that. We would urge anyone by all means to use the European Election to protest by voting UKIP”
Impressive stuff, a Tory MEP recommending his constituents vote for another party. Of course, Dan knows he is not personally threatened – as #1 on the list he is assured his place there and all the polls consistently give the South East Conservatives 3 seats, so he is helping to do Marta Andreasan (a defector from UKIP) and Richard Robinson out of a job.
However, what is really rich is that in the “In Touch” magazine, Daniel goes on to say this:
This is why the Conservative Party is the only party that will offer an ‘In-Out’ referendum on Britain’s membership to the EU
Now, come on Dan, you know that this “promise” is not worth the paper it is written on, for the following reasons:
- “Cast Iron Dave” has already let us down with one promised Referendum we haven’t had
- Cameron is also obfusticating the Referendum with this mythical “renegotiation” which Barroso, Reding, Merkel and others have all said is impossible. “Cast Iron Dave” will get a few crumbs that he will then dress up to the electorate as major concessions, just like he did the EU budget reduction, which was soon restored to the EU’s benefit.
- David Cameron is a thoroughly committed Europhile, who has said on more than one occasion that, no matter what reforms (or none) are accomplished, he will be campaigning to keep Britain within the EU.
- But it gets worse – he may be learning a few tricks from our European masters when it comes to referenda. In an interview with the Spanish El Pais newspaper when asked whether he would honour an “Out” vote by the British people in a referendum, he replied “I would not like it” (“No me gustaría”), although stopped short of saying “No”.
Daniel knows all this, so what’s his game? If he were an honourable man who sticks to his principles, when UKIP have routed the Tories into third place in the Euro elections, he should defect to UKIP.
However, I suspect he won’t. He’ll carry on as before, talking the talk, but never quite walking the walk. Prove me wrong Dan.