They're at it again. LabourList have for the first time in a while gone down the
old sensationalist routethat it was founded on and needs to be careful not to recreate the hysterical tone of its previous editor. TB can barely be bothered to humour Labour's latest attempts to smear Dan Hannan. Others have done so in a far more erudite fashion than a sleepy bear can muster:
Powell was cited by him in a list of influences which included Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek – all of whom were ideologically opposed to immigration restrictions. The fact is that Hannan and his ideological fan base (such as it is) are more liberal on immigration policy than the official Labour Party position…
Working Class Tory:
Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda has now got involved with the Daniel Hannan "controversy" by making a statement which I don't think could possibly state the opposite of the truth with more precision:
"Last week Daniel Hannan attacked the NHS. Now he's talking up Enoch Powell as a key influence for Cameron's Conservatives."
Why don't you read the damn interview you moron? It quite clearly says "Who are your political influences? I've seen you reference Ron Paul, I believe you have referenced Hayek and Freidman on your blog."
Alex Massie of The Spectator:
If a politician expresses admiration for Winston Churchill do you immediately think that he's a great fan of, among other considerations, casual indifference to the Bengal famine, the use of chemical weapons in Iraq or the pulverisation and total destruction of German cities? Of course you don't. But when a politician says he admires Enoch Powell it's as if he'd decided to fill the Tiber with blood by scurrying around the country and slaughtering the children of every immigrant in the land.
And, just to be clear, if Hannan had bigged-up Powell's views on immigration while he was talking to Reason* the chances are that he'd have been challenged on them. That's because Reason's a libertarian magazine that, you know, is pretty relaxed about the free movement of people and generally disapproves of border supremacists and absolutists.
Anyway, whatever you think of Hannan's views, isn't it unpatriotic - if we must travel down this dreary road - to suggest that he be bullied into silence?
Please, people, let this Summer of Stupidity end soon.
So there we have it, Labour have failed again. Perhaps this would be the perfect time to quote Enoch: "A politician complaining about the media is like a fisherman complaining about the sea." Something Dan has no doubt thought in the last twelve hours.
What did come as a surprise however is the reaction of a particular tory to this pathetic attempt at a smear by Labour.
The World of JRis the blog of one the UK's few card carrying Conservative student union sabbatical officers.
Andy "JR" Hartleyis a sabb at Manchester Met University and is a member of the Conservatives. He also claims to be a conservative. He posted
OK, now Hannan has had it!
I ask David Cameron to please get rid of this idiot.
This isn't the first time JR has shown
less-than-open-mindedviews to other party members and is taking an increasingly authoritarian/NewLabourish stance against Hannan on his blog.
It would be a terrible shame if this former poster boy for all those tories who want to get involved in student politics and take the fight to the NUS has gone native, but it is looking increasingly like that.
Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt there.