After the delivery of the allegedly historic Article 50 letter to the European Union yesterday has come the continuing onslaught of press propaganda, telling us how wonderful everything will be outside the EU, how optimistic we must now be, how anyone who thinks otherwise is bitter and sullen, and in the process telling a whole host of the most blatant whoppers in order to keep the public as ignorant as before.
And no-one is better at being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed while spinning a raft of porkies than Dan, Dan The Oratory Man. Hannan has been given a platform by the Murdoch goons at the Sun to give anyone foolish enough to believe him a pep talk on how all those sour Remain supporters are wrong, and he is right. So just to put them all straight, let us examine some of the claims he makes, and why they are, shall we say, unreliable.
“Remoaners have convinced themselves that we're incapable of making choices without Eurocrats to order us around”. Ah, the reassuring sound of abuse. And there were no “Eurocrats” ordering us around beforehand. But do go on. “SHEESH, guys, cheer up!” At the thought of Hannan getting rumbled? I already did. “Theresa May’s moderate and statesmanlike tone as she announced the triggering of Article 50 could not have been more different from the hysterical pessimism of her critics”. More abuse.
“To be fair, most of the 48 per cent have accepted the result”. NO CITATION.
“Are we not capable of making our own choices without Eurocrats to order us around?” There are still no “Eurocrats” ordering us around.
“During the campaign, we were told that a Leave vote would cause an immediate crash”. NO CITATION (problem here is the word “Immediate” - not true).
And then the first provable lie: “Britain grew faster in the six months following the vote than in the six months before it, and ended 2016 as the world’s most successful major economy”. FIFTH most successful, behind the USA, China, Japan … and Germany. Yes, the same country that is in the EU, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees.
“Remainers used to tell us that the French would throw our immigration officers out of Calais … In fact, four months after the referendum, the camp there was finally closed”. FALSE EQUIVALENCE.
“They used to say that it would cause separatism in Scotland … In fact, opinion polls show that Scots are more pro-Union than before the Brexit vote”. Very little difference, in fact you can see pre-referendum and post referendum polls HERE and HERE. So debatable at best (plus we are yet to see data for after the Scottish Parliament vote this week).
“Yes, there will be some disruption, as there is in any worthwhile change … When you move from a dilapidated house to a comfortable one, the move itself is still stressful. But it’s worth it”. WE’RE NOT MOVING HOUSE - that’s another FALSE EQUIVALENCE.
“Even after we leave, we’ll still make mistakes. But they’ll be our mistakes”. Whoopee-do. If it all goes belly up, we’ll get a nice warm feeling because we’ll be on our own.
And finally the Hannan Pièce de Résistance: “We are an old, rich and serious country. We’ll manage”. With a honking great debt mountain largely down to his Tory pals inflicting several years of needless austerity on the UK, yes, really rich. Age and seriousness has sweet Jack to do with it. And “we’ll manage” is utterly unconvincing.
As so often, Hannan and his fellow happy-clappy let’s-all-smile-and-think-optimistic-thoughts disciples have nothing to say barring exaggeration, downright dishonesty, and pretending that provided we all smile and chant “La la la we can’t hear you” everything will turn out fine. The EU is portrayed as “Them”, rather than a club of sovereign nations. We are spun the usual tale of “going global” and “getting out into the world”.
We were going global, and had got out into the world, before this frankly pointless and delusional exercise began. The UK, before the banking crash - not caused here - and the arrival of the Tories’ austerity obsession, was a far happier place than it is today.
Moreover, the UK in the 1960s, which tried for so long to get into what was then the EEC, had good reason to do so: it was a country in decline, a land of residual delusion of grandeur and an Empire that had long gone, a laughing stock, an increasing irrelevance on the world stage, while the EEC was rebuilding and renewing itself after the war years.
That Daniel Hannan wants us to go back there tells you all you need to know about him.