The deceit of MEP and occasional Tory Dan, Dan The Oratory Man has passed before my inspection on many previous occasions, and every time I think that Hannan’s trousers cannot possibly get any more alight than they are already. And on every occasion I am proved wrong as he goes and does it again, opening mouth and inserting boot while maintaining gainful employment for several fire extinguishers.
What am I bid for someone else's photo?
The latest examples of Dan’s deception, though, are not his inability to speak honestly on the subject of the EU - egregious though they are - but his use of photographs to illustrate his version of England as some kind of gentle, bucolic land, where he walks among the fields and flowers, persuading himself and a dwindling band of acolytes that this green and pleasant realm would be so much better were it outside the hated EU.
After Hannan tried to cover up his routine clumsiness earlier this week, when he claimed that Chilean wines were subject to a 32% tariff, then admitted there was no tariff as the EU had a free trade agreement with Chile, then instead claimed that all other New World wines were subject to a 32% tariff, when it was in fact €0.10, it emerged that his photos of England were not just not of the area he claimed, but were of other countries altogether.
Take his (now deleted) Tweet telling “And then, suddenly, the dandelions. Ah, the sweet sounds and sight of summer and the sun”. But the skyline in the background of his photo looked a little unfamiliar. That may have been because it was taken not by him in England, but by someone else, and in Germany. The image was used to accompany an article about a company opening “a facility in Munster that grows rubber from field-grown dandelions”. It’s a cooperative venture with tyre manufacturer Continental.
That much was bad enough, but there was more: another now-deleted Hannan Tweet told “15 miles up and down over Hampshire’s sloping fields, pausing for a pie @vinehannington. God, I love England in May”. And there was a photo to accompany the Tweet, which was indeed taken in May. The only problems were that it was not May this year, and it was not taken in England, but in Wales.
John Ball explained “The photo used by Daniel Hannan on 6 May 2016 is a copy of the photo in the ‘Images of Wales’ feature on my website … I took the photo myself eighteen years ago on 20 May 1998. The photo shows May blossom in a hedgerow near Godre’r Graig in the Swansea valley of South Wales, that’s over 150 miles from Hannington in Hampshire where Mr Hannan claims to have been … However, I am not subscribed to Twitter and I do not have time [to] contact Mr Hannan to point out his deception”.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to filch one photo and pass it off deceitfully may be regarded as a misfortune, but to repeat the deception looks like carelessness. Most folks caught out being so constantly deceitful - especially when they have been elected to a position of public trust - might stop and think before doing it again. Not Daniel Hannan.
Wondering how the Leave campaign managed to tell so many untruths? Look no further than this masterful exponent of burning trousers.