With a dismissal of context, we risk missing the real reasons for opposing Hannan
August 27, 2009 2 Comments
Dan Hannan has tripped over the line in the sand again with his favourable comments on Enoch Powell, again on American television. All the bigger left blogs have spoken about how they feel and they can roughly be divided into Sunny (Hundal, who notes that even the mere implication of Powell’s name is deserved of condemnation) and Sunder (Katwala, who notes that Hannan was in no way alluding to Powell’s immigration views, but rather his euroscepticism, which is in tune with Hannan’s overall project).
Both make good points, with Sunny the notion that mention of Powell can conjour up images of NF banners “Enoch was right” has real weight, but Sunder points out that in 2007 Hannan specifically pointed out in an article written in the Daily Telegraph that Powell was right on the idea of an independent Britain andn specifically erroneous on the subject of immigration.
It is enough to criticise Hannan on the things we can be sure of (all of which can be found in various places on this blog). Firstly there was the issue with Hannan encouraging British ex-pats in Spain to vote for a party with traditionally Francoist roots, then Hannan pledged support for Kaminski when his antisemitic past was revealed, and what’s more is Kaminski soon after pledged his own support for the Lisbon Treaty, which Hannan is vehemently against. Then there is the issue with Hannan pouring scorn on the NHS in the US where healthcare reform is being debated, Hannan using some rather dubious arguments such as Singapore does healthcare better, and that the NHS does not provide, despite this being an out and out obfuscation of truth.
Hannan has plenty to be criticised about, now that he is back from his holiday, but with this latest incident, headlines by the Mirror such as NHS-hating Tory Daniel Hannan at centre of racist storm do run the risk of moving the goalposts and losing the real point of Hannan’s wrongdoings. Certainly this will be an embarrassment for the Tories – already struggling to downplay all the attention Hannan is getting – but will calling Hannan racist put into proper context how deeply wrong this MEP really is?