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Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan

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Daniel John Hannan is a British journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 and politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 who is currently a Member of the European Parliament
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

, representing South East England
South East England (European Parliament constituency)
South East England is a constituency of the European Parliament. It currently elects 10 Members of the European Parliament using the D'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.- Boundaries :...

 for the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 and the European Conservatives and Reformists
European Conservatives and Reformists
The European Conservatives and Reformists, abbreviated to ECR, is a conservative anti-federalist political group in the European Parliament. The group currently comprises 57 MEPs, making it the fourth-largest group in the European Parliament....

 (ECR) political group. He is also the Secretary-General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, abbreviated to AECR, is a centre-right anti-federalist European political party defending broader conservative and classical liberal principles. It consists of twelve parties in nine EU member states and Iceland...


Hannan was first elected to the European Parliament at the 1999 election. He was expelled from the European People's Party–European Democrats
European People's Party–European Democrats
The Group of the European People's Party , abbreviated to EPP Group, is a centre-right political group of the European Parliament...

 (EPP–ED) group in 2008, after which he sat with the Non-Inscrits
Non-Inscrits are Members of the European Parliament who do not sit in one of the recognized political groups....

. Hannan joined the ECR with his Conservative colleagues when it was formed in 2009 and became Secretary-General of its sister Europarty
European political party
A European political party, formally a political party at European level, informally a Europarty, is a type of political party organization operating transnationally in Europe and in the institutions of the European Union. They are regulated and funded by the European Union and are usually made up...

, the AECR. Hannan is a Eurosceptic
Euroscepticism is a general term used to describe criticism of the European Union , and opposition to the process of European integration, existing throughout the political spectrum. Traditionally, the main source of euroscepticism has been the notion that integration weakens the nation state...

 and a Unionist
British unionism
British unionism is a political ideology favouring the continued existence of the United Kingdom as a sovereign state, consisting of four constituent countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland....

, and he is strongly critical of European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

. He currently serves on the Committee on Legal Affairs
Committee on Legal Affairs
The Committee on Legal Affairs is a committee of the European Parliament.It is preparing many crucial decisions of the European Parliament. It met on 20 and 21 June 2005 and debated and voted on the Directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions.-External links:*...

 and the delegation to the ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Hannan is also a journalist, having written leaders and currently authoring a blog for The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

. He has also published several books arguing for democratic reform.


Hannan was born on his parents' farm near Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

, Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 (the centre of one of Peru's largest and most modern poultry businesses; the family owned a cotton farm in Santa Cruz, Bolivia). Hannan's father served
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in Italy during the Second World War with the North Irish Horse
North Irish Horse
The North Irish Horse is a yeomanry unit of the British Territorial Army raised in the northern counties of Ireland in the aftermath of the Second Boer War...

. Hannan has indicated that his father's Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic is a term used to describe people who are both Roman Catholic and Irish .Note: the term is not used to describe a variant of Catholicism. More particularly, it is not a separate creed or sect in the sense that "Anglo-Catholic", "Old Catholic", "Eastern Orthodox Catholic" might be...

 origins made him more sensitive to issues related to Northern Ireland and The Troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...


After spending his childhood in Peru, Hannan was educated at Marlborough College
Marlborough College
Marlborough College is a British co-educational independent school for day and boarding pupils, located in Marlborough, Wiltshire.Founded in 1843 for the education of the sons of Church of England clergy, the school now accepts both boys and girls of all beliefs. Currently there are just over 800...

 and by Oriel College, Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, where he studied Modern History. He speaks English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...


Early political career

Hannan was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association
Oxford University Conservative Association
The Oxford University Conservative Association, or OUCA is a student political organisation founded in 1924 whose members are drawn from the University of Oxford...

 (OUCA) in 1992. When standing in OUCA's committee elections for Michaelmas 1991, his strongly Eurosceptic views prompted accusations of "xenophobia" in the Oxford student paper Cherwell
Cherwell (newspaper)
Cherwell is an independent newspaper, largely published for students of Oxford University. First published in 1920, it has had an online edition since 1996. Named after the local river, Cherwell is published by OSPL , who also publish the sister publication ISIS along with the Etcetera Supplement...

, prompting Hannan to threaten them with legal action. He also served as national vice-chairman of Conservative Students from 1992-3, and then chairman of Conservative Graduates from 1994. He had earlier established the Oxford Campaign for an Independent Britain, and on 12 September 1992 led a members' protest at a European financial summit held in Bath, which was widely televised and, he has since light-heartedly claimed, led to the withdrawal of the Pound Sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism
European Exchange Rate Mechanism
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism, ERM, was a system introduced by the European Community in March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System , to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of...

 a few days later.

Through the CIB he became involved with the Bruges Group
Bruges Group
The Bruges Group is a think tank based in the United Kingdom.The group is often associated with the Conservative Party, though it is independent of it and remains an all-party organisation...

, and after he graduated he became, in 1994, director of a Eurosceptic political think-tank, the European Research Group. In 1996 he was hired by the Daily Telegraph as a leader-writer, and has since contributed to The Spectator
The Spectator
The Spectator is a weekly British magazine first published on 6 July 1828. It is currently owned by David and Frederick Barclay, who also owns The Daily Telegraph. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture...

 and many other newspapers and magazines around the world. In 1997 he became an adviser and speechwriter to Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

, then Shadow Foreign Secretary, and in 1998 he was given a place on the Conservative candidates' list for the following year's European Parliament election. He later became a speechwriter for party leader William Hague
William Hague
William Jefferson Hague is the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001...

. In 1999 he stood down from his posts at the European Research Group and Conservative Graduates.

Member of the European Parliament

Hannan was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999, and was re-elected at the top of his party's list for the South East England constituency in 2004. In April 2008, Daniel Hannan was elected to the top position of the Conservative list for the 2009 European elections
European Parliament election, 2009 (United Kingdom)
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for which was held on Thursday 4 June 2009, coinciding with the 2009 local elections in England. Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after...

 in the constituency of South East England, and in June 2009 he was re-elected to the European Parliament.

A year after his first election, Hannan courted controversy when he appeared to be using the Conservative Party's central office as headquarters for a campaign to persuade Danish voters to block the introduction of the European Single Currency
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

; however, he was able to show that the campaign was actually being run from his Westminster flat.

In his first term, he served on the Committee on Fisheries
Committee on Fisheries
The Committee on Fisheries is a committee of the European Parliament. is the Chairman.-Members 2009 -:-Members 2004-2009:-External links:* *...

 and the Delegation for Relations with Afghanistan.

Opposition to the ICTY

Hannan has campaigned in the European Parliament for an end to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

, describing it as "a disgusting travesty," and has praised the work of John Laughland
John Laughland
John Laughland is a British eurosceptic conservative journalist, academic and author who writes on international affairs and political philosophy.-Career:...

, a supporter of Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

 who "chronicles, in pitiless detail, how the judges crashed through a series of legal norms and conventions in their increasingly frantic attempts to secure a conviction", though Hannan has taken what he claims to be "the more conventional view that Milosevic was a calculating Commie
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 who unleashed a series of calamities". Hannan claimed in 2007 a system where international law was used to regulate domestic matters would "create the opportunity for a dictatorship far worse than Milošević's", because the courts could try democratic leaders, even though they themselves had no democratic mandate.

Campaign against the Lisbon Treaty

Hannan opposed ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in the European Parliament, and was one of several MEPs who took part in a demonstration in the chamber after Parliament voted to endorse the Treaty. He has continued to speak against the Treaty, and in the manner of Cato the Elder
Cato the Elder
Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman statesman, commonly referred to as Censorius , Sapiens , Priscus , or Major, Cato the Elder, or Cato the Censor, to distinguish him from his great-grandson, Cato the Younger.He came of an ancient Plebeian family who all were noted for some...

's famous call, Carthago delenda est
Carthago delenda est
"Carthago delenda est" or the fuller "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" or "Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" are Latin political phrases which were popular in the Roman Republic during the latter years of the Punic Wars against Carthage...

, he ended every speech, whatever its subject, with a call for the Lisbon Treaty to be put to a referendum: "Pactio Olisipiensis censenda est".

Expulsion from the EPP-ED

Attempts by several MEPs to disrupt the work of the Parliament caused sufficient annoyance for a majority of Members to endorse a rule change giving the Speaker/President the discretion to limit the use of filibustering procedures where he "is convinced that these are manifestly intended to cause, and will result in, a prolonged and serious obstruction of the procedures of the House or the rights of other Members" (Rule 20, para 1). In the parliamentary session just before the new rule was to be presented by the President of the European Parliament
President of the European Parliament
The President of the European Parliament presides over the debates and activities of the European Parliament. He or she also represents the Parliament within the EU and internationally. The President's signature is required for enacting most EU laws and the EU budget.Presidents serve...

 Hans-Gert Pöttering
Hans-Gert Pöttering
Hans-Gert Pöttering is a German conservative politician , and was the President of the European Parliament from January 2007 to July 2009...

, Hannan criticised what he termed a deviation from the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

He continued speaking after his allocated time had ended by quoting Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

, but was interrupted mid-quote and had his microphone cut off by Luigi Cocilovo
Luigi Cocilovo
Luigi Cocilovo is an Italian Member of the European Parliament and a University researcher in Law. He was elected on the Olive Tree ticket and sits with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group....

, one of the 14 Vice-Presidents. He then responded by damning, without vocal amplification, what he claimed were Parliament’s deviations from its own rules;
Pöttering is a German national and a member of the same political group (EPP-ED) as Hannan. Hannan's remarks were attacked by other MEPs from the EPP-ED. The head of EPP-ED, Joseph Daul
Joseph Daul
Joseph Daul is a French politician and Member of the European Parliament for the East of France. He is a member of the Union for a Popular Movement , a member-party of the European People's Party...

, responded by initiating proceedings to expel Hannan immediately from their Group. Daniel Hannan left the EPP-ED on 19 February 2008. He sat, for the remainder of the five-year term as a Conservative without pan-European affiliation (Non-Inscrit
Non-Inscrits are Members of the European Parliament who do not sit in one of the recognized political groups....

). Following his 2009 re-election, he sits with the new eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists
European Conservatives and Reformists
The European Conservatives and Reformists, abbreviated to ECR, is a conservative anti-federalist political group in the European Parliament. The group currently comprises 57 MEPs, making it the fourth-largest group in the European Parliament....

 along with his Conservative Party colleagues.

YouTube hit

On 24 March 2009, after Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 had given a short speech to the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 in advance of the G20 London summit
2009 G-20 London summit
The 2009 G-20 London Summit is the second meeting of the G-20 heads of state in discussion of financial markets and the world economy, which was held in London on 2 April 2009 at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. It followed the first G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, which...

, Hannan followed up by delivering a 3-minute speech criticising in very strong terms the response by Gordon Brown to the global financial crisis. He finished the speech:
The final phrase, "the devalued Prime Minister of a devalued government", was a quote from a speech by Labour Party leader John Smith criticising then-Prime Minister John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

 in 1992.

A video clip of the speech went viral
Viral video
A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email...

 on YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 that evening, attracting more than 630,000 views in 24 hours. It became the 'most viewed today' YouTube video worldwide two consecutive days. Hannan was invited to appear on several shows on American cable news channels, including Fox News and MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

: he appeared on television program Hannity
Hannity is a television show on the Fox News network, a replacement to the long-running show Hannity & Colmes. It is hosted by conservative political pundit Sean Hannity....

 via video link at 9pm EST on the same day, and on the Glenn Beck Program
Glenn Beck Program
The Glenn Beck Program is an American talk radio show hosted by commentator Glenn Beck on Premiere Radio Networks. Since its inception as a nationally syndicated show in 2002, the program has become one of the highest rated radio programs...

 the following day. He also appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto
Your World with Neil Cavuto
Your World with Neil Cavuto , which debuted as the Cavuto Business Report on the network's launch in 1996, is an American business television program appearing on Fox News Channel.-About the program:...

, where he stated he would have voted for Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

 in the 2008 presidential election had he been an American citizen. The main British television channels, particularly the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 and ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

, gave the speech fairly limited coverage, for which they faced some criticism from Conservative MPs and "a handful of viewers"; Conservative MP Nigel Evans
Nigel Evans
Nigel Martin Evans is a British politician. Since 1992 he has been Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the Ribble Valley constituency. Since 2010 he has been First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, a deputy speaker.-Career:...

 stated that their lack of coverage rendered YouTube the 'ultimate in public service broadcasting'. As of July 2010, there have been 2.7 million views of the clip. Nearly all of the hits are from the UK and US.

Cameron administration

Hannan wrote in March 2011 criticizing anti-austerity protesters
2011 United Kingdom anti-austerity protests
The 2011 United Kingdom anti-austerity protests were a series of anti-austerity protests that took place in the United Kingdom in early 2011...

, stating that that they "have decided to indulge their penchant for empty, futile, self-righteous indignation." He remarked, "After “No Cuts!” the marchers’ favourite slogan was “Fairness!” Alright, then... How about being fair to our children, whom we have freighted with a debt unprecedented in peacetime?"

Electoral reform

Hannan argues in his writings and in the media (for example, during an appearance on Question Time
Question Time (TV series)
Question Time is a topical debate BBC television programme in the United Kingdom, based on Any Questions?. The show typically features politicians from at least the three major political parties as well as other public figures who answer questions put to them by the audience...

 on BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television on 28 May 2009) for ballot initiative
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

s (whereby electors can directly enact legislation as happens in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

), a power of recall
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

 (whereby a sitting Member of Parliament can be forced to submit to re-election if enough of his local electorate support this), fixed term parliaments, local and national referendums, open primaries
Open primary
An open primary is a primary election that does not require voters to be affiliated with a political party in order to vote for partisan candidates. In a traditional open primary, voters may select one party's ballot and vote for that party's nomination. As in a closed primary, the highest voted...

 and the abolition of party lists.

Afghan and Iraq wars

Hannan supports the British efforts in the Afghanistan war
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 after the September 11th attacks, pointing out that "more British subjects died in the Twin Towers than in any terrorist atrocity in our history – more than at Lockerbie or Omagh" (see Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport...

 and Omagh bombing
Omagh bombing
The Omagh bombing was a car bomb attack carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army , a splinter group of former Provisional Irish Republican Army members opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, on Saturday 15 August 1998, in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Twenty-nine people died as a...

). He also supports a timetable for set military withdrawal from the country. He wrote in June 2010, "there comes a point when our presence is doing more harm than good, serving to destabilise Pakistan rather than to stabilise Afghanistan. We are reaching that point now."

He opposed the Invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 undertaken by the Premiership of Tony Blair
Premiership of Tony Blair
The Premiership of Tony Blair began on 2 May 1997 and ended on 27 June 2007. While serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Blair concurrently served as the First Lord of the Treasury, the Minister for the Civil Service, the Leader of the Labour Party , and a Member of Parliament for the...



Hannan is opposed to "victimless crimes" and is in favour of drug decriminalisation. "I’d start with cannabis, and if that worked I wouldn’t in principle be against decriminalising heroin.”

Commentary about the United States

Hannan describes himself as an Atlanticist with inherently positive views of the United States as well as other English-speaking nations
Anglosphere is a neologism which refers to those nations with English as the most common language. The term can be used more specifically to refer to those nations which share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, through being former British colonies...

. He endorsed then-Democratic candidate
Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008
Barack Obama, then junior United States Senator from Illinois, announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007. On August 27, 2008, he was declared nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2008 presidential election...

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 for President on 18 October 2008. He stated that a McCain presidency would mean an "imperial overstretch", particularly arguing that the U.S. should have been preparing to leave Iraq immediately. He labeled Obama's opponents as symbolic of "big federal budgets, protectionism, crony capitalism and, for that matter, the socialisation of failing banks."

On 14 June 2010, Hannan took back his endorsement, which he called his "single most unpopular post" in his blogging career. He argued, "Any American reader who wants to know where Obamification will lead should spend a week with me in the European Parliament. I’m working in your future and, believe me, you won’t like it." He also accused the Obama administration of straining the special relationship
Special relationship
The Special Relationship is a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill...

 between the U.S. and the U.K., particularly over the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...


Comments on Iceland

Hannan has been a regular visitor to Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 for 15 years. His best man organised his stag night there to celebrate its refusal to join the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and has declared Icelanders to be the sturdiest and most self-reliant people he knows. Hannan's critics have pointed to his extravagant praise for Iceland's economic miracle prior to the 2008 crash, in which he advocated that other countries should emulate the Icelandic model of minimal national and international regulation as their model. In an October 2004 piece for The Spectator
The Spectator
The Spectator is a weekly British magazine first published on 6 July 1828. It is currently owned by David and Frederick Barclay, who also owns The Daily Telegraph. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture...

, entitled Blue-Eyed Sheikhs, Hannan wrote "For 70 years the Althing
The Alþingi, anglicised variously as Althing or Althingi, is the national parliament of Iceland. The Althingi is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world still extant...

 has been dominated by the splendidly named Independence Party
Independence Party (Iceland)
The Independence Party is a centre-right political party in Iceland. Liberal conservative and Eurosceptic, it is the second-largest party in the Althing, with sixteen seats. The chairman of the party is Bjarni Benediktsson and vice chairman is Ólöf Nordal....

, which has pursued the kind of Thatcherite
Thatcherism describes the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of the British Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who was leader of her party from 1975 to 1990...

 agenda that is off limits to EU members ... Icelanders 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. Long may they remain so". He also said "In the ten years that I have been travelling to Iceland, I have watched an economic miracle unfold there" and that "Today, Icelanders are absolutely rolling in it".

Hannan has responded to Iceland’s crisis by writing that the country "would be mad to join the EU"; if they'd adopted the euro, their currency would have been unable to fall to cushion the blow. He continues to praise "the enterprise of your people. You understand that independence is the natural condition of a free-standing citizenry." Iceland formally applied to join the EU in July 2009 after a narrow vote in the Icelandic parliament. On his blog Hannan reacted to the news of the Icelandic EU application by claiming again that Iceland would never join the EU and pointing out that so far it had only "voted to start discussing terms, not to accept them". After all the issue would at the end be decided by the people in a referendum and they would never accept membership.

In July 2010, Hannan wrote while on a visit in Iceland, "Reading the British press, you might have the impression that Iceland has collapsed... as in Mad Max
Mad Max
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller and revised by Miller and Byron Kennedy over the original script by James McCausland. The film stars Mel Gibson, who was unknown at the time. Its narrative based around the traditional western genre, Mad Max tells a story...

." He wrote that, in contrast, "[l]ife there is better than in most EU states" and "[a]fter two decades of phenomenal growth, there has been a correction, and Icelanders are now living like Danes". Thus, he concluded that Iceland's status proved that other European nations did not have to bail out their banking systems to avoid economic chaos. In December the same year Hannan wrote on his blog that "[b]eing outside the euro, Iceland has been able to devalue, and is now exporting its way back to growth." Referring to a recent article in The Economist he wrote: "No less a Euro-integrationist organ than The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

 has now come round to the view that Iceland was spared Ireland’s fate for two reasons: it refused to bail out its banks, and it was outside the euro."

NHS criticism

In April 2009, he criticised supporters of the National Health Service
National Health Service (England)
The National Health Service or NHS is the publicly funded healthcare system in England. It is both the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. It is able to function in the way that it does because it is primarily funded through the general taxation system, similar to how...

, saying that those who claimed it was the greatest British invention were clearly forgetting about parliamentary democracy, penicillin, the discovery of DNA, the abolition of slavery, or common law. He also argued that the NHS has left Britain with low survival rates for cancers, strokes, high chances of becoming iller in hospital, and constant waiting lists. David Cameron, who had said that his priorities were "three letters: NHS", distanced himself from Hannan's remarks, saying that Hannan has "some rather eccentric points of view".

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Hannan said of the media storm around his comments:
"On a visit to the US, I was asked by an interviewer whether I would recommend a British-style health-care model, paid for out of general taxation. I replied that all three parties were devoted to the NHS, and that it had public support (although I added that this was at least partly the result of the inaccurate belief that free health care for the poor is a unique attribute of the British system). But I didn't want to dissemble: I have for years argued that Britain would be better off with a Singapore-style system of personal health-care accounts. So I cautioned against nationalisation, citing international league tables on survival rates and waiting times."

Also making the wider point that: "we seem to have lost the notion that a backbencher speaks for himself. I like David Cameron, and want him to be Prime Minister, not least so that Britain stops racking up debt. But the idea that I therefore agree with him on every issue is, when you think about it, silly."

Enoch Powell

It was reported in August 2009 that Hannan had praised the anti-immigrant Conservative politician Enoch Powell
Enoch Powell
John Enoch Powell, MBE was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party MP and Minister of Health . He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech in opposition to mass immigration from...

 as "somebody who understood the importance of national democracy, who understood why you need to live in an independent country and what that meant, as well as being a free marketeer and a small-government Conservative."

However, he is also on record as saying "For what it’s worth, I think Enoch Powell was wrong on immigration. The civil unrest that he forecast, and that many feared in 1968, didn’t materialise. Britain assimilated a large population with an ease that few countries have matched. Being an immigrant myself, I have particular cause to be grateful for Britain’s understated cosmopolitanism."

The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 associate editor Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein OBE is a British journalist and former politician. He is the Executive Editor of The Times, where he's also Chief Leader Writer and a weekly political columnist.-Background:...

 said that "many immigrant families would find Dan's endorsement of Powell threatening and unpleasant, even though I am sure that was not his intent."

Writing in on The Telegraph website, Mr Hannan said: "I’m surprised that no one has picked up on the thing that I most admire about Enoch Powell, namely his tendency to ignore conventional wisdom and think things through from first principles. Like Rowan Williams
Rowan Williams
Rowan Douglas Williams FRSL, FBA, FLSW is an Anglican bishop, poet and theologian. He is the 104th and current Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury and Primate of All England, offices he has held since early 2003.Williams was previously Bishop of Monmouth and...

, he always did his hearers the courtesy of addressing them as intelligent adults. Both men regularly got into trouble in consequence, either because they were genuinely misunderstood or because their detractors affected to misunderstand them. Neither responded by dumbing down. That, in politics, takes a special kind of integrity."


Hannan has been a leader writer for the Daily Telegraph since 1996. He has also written for various other newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

, the German daily Die Welt
Die Welt
Die Welt is a German national daily newspaper published by the Axel Springer AG company.It was founded in Hamburg in 1946 by the British occupying forces, aiming to provide a "quality newspaper" modelled on The Times...

, the Swiss weekly Weltwoche, The Sunday Telegraph, The Catholic Herald
The Catholic Herald
The Catholic Herald is a London-based Roman Catholic newspaper, published in broadsheet format and retailing at £1.50 ....

, Freedom Today
The Freedom Association
The Freedom Association is a pressure group in the United Kingdom that describes itself as non-partisan, centre-right and libertarian, which has links to the Conservative Party. TFA was founded in 1975 as the National Association for Freedom and gained public prominence through its anti-trade...

, the Brussels Journal and The Spectator
The Spectator
The Spectator is a weekly British magazine first published on 6 July 1828. It is currently owned by David and Frederick Barclay, who also owns The Daily Telegraph. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture...


He is the author of Time for a Fresh Start in Europe (1993) A Guide to the Amsterdam Treaty (1997), The Euro: Bad for Business (1998), The Challenge of the East (1999), What if Britain Votes No? (2002), The Case for EFTA (2004), and The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America (2010) and contributed to Treason at Maastricht (1994), by Rodney Atkinson
Rodney Atkinson
Rodney Eric Bainbridge Atkinson is a British Eurosceptic conservative academic, political and economic commentator, journalist and author...

 and Norris McWhirter
Norris McWhirter
Norris Dewar McWhirter, CBE was a writer, political activist, co-founder of the Freedom Association, and a television presenter. He and his twin brother, Ross, were known internationally for the Guinness Book of Records, a book they wrote and annually updated together between 1955 and 1975...


He was the co-founder of Direct Democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

 and co-author, along with 27 Conservative MPs elected in 2005, of Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party, which proposes the wholesale devolution of power and the direct election of decision-makers. These ideas were developed further in a series of six pamphlets, The Localist Papers, serialised in The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

 in 2007. In 2008, he published the book The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain together with Douglas Carswell
Douglas Carswell
John Douglas Wilson Carswell is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament for Clacton, having been first elected as MP for Harwich in 2005....


Awards and prizes

In 2009 he was awarded the Bastiat Prize
Bastiat Prize
The Bastiat Prize is a journalism award given annually by the International Policy Network. The Bastiat Prize recognizes journalists whose published works "explain, promote and defend the principles of the free society." The award comes with US$15,000....

 for Online Journalism for his Telegraph blog.

External links