“Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas — only I don’t exactly know what they are!”
So there I sat at the table after Saturday morning services at the little Irish synagogue, talking with the one raging conservative in the room. (Actually there are a number of raging conservatives in Dublin. But very few know it yet. My acquaintance is one of the few self-acknowledged ones). “So what do you think about Daniel Hannan?” says I. “Nope, never heard of him” says my friend, reaching for another gefilte fish ball.
Now, this is a well-read fellow who reads The Irish Independent and can reel off any number of American right-leaning politicians. He is head over heels for Chris Christie. But he has never heard of Dan Hannan?
It’s no surprise. Dan Hannan gets very little play in his home media – or in Irish media — and yes, the Irish do follow other British politicians. But not this one.) Meanwhile, he is renowned in the US. Why does CPAC give Hannan a soapbox to stand on, but he is barely heard from on the eastern side of the Atlantic?
1. I think in general MEPs tend to get a lot less coverage – a reflection of the unhappy truth that the Parliament is Brussels is a high school debate club with a gargantuan expense account. Which is why I think UKIP gets as many votes as it does for European elections. Since voters feel the EP is less consequential, they feel more free to vote for less popular parties.
2. Hannan also represents an unpopular line of thinking – against Big Government, against (European) Union, and incredibly – I mean incredibly – pro-American. And it’s hard to get his ideas play in a culture (here in Ireland and I would reckon in the UK as well) that for the most part still treats political discussion as ill-mannered. And as for the media? Here in Dublin the only British radio station I can being in is BBC Radio 4. (Well, OK that and a Liverpool sports station) Like they’re going to give Hannan a chance to even heavy-breathe on their mikes.
So, sorry, Smitty — please don’t take Dan Hannan away. We need him here. (While we’re on the topic, tell Rupert to send us a Fox News Channel too…)