As push begins to come to shove in the Brexit negotiations, some out there on the Tory right are beginning to wilt under the strain of it all. As voters begin to realise they’ve been had, those who promised this would be a walk in the park are rapidly running out of others to blame - probably because they are the ones to blame in the first place.
So it was that another tactic in the race to produce even more creative variants on the “Look Over There” theme was developed by one of those who has earned himself a well-deserved reputation for talking well, but lying badly. That means a return of old Zelo Street favourite Dan, Dan The Oratory Man, who has decided that anyone concerned about the Irish border problem is threatening him with violence.
Hannan really does think that, and he first pitched this strange idea last week, when the idea of a longer transition period was pitched. He wasn’t having any of that. “The transition is, by any definition, the worst status of all: worse than EEA, worse than no deal, worse than remaining. It means accepting all the obligations of membership with no vote and no veto. Extending it should be seen as a threat, not a concession”. It’s a threat!
Those rotten garlic crunching foreigners are making a concession? No, they’re threatening him! Then came the People’s Vote march yesterday. He wasn’t having that either. “A gentle reminder that 17.4 million is a bigger number than 550,000”. That’s right, get creative over the number attending the march. See your credibility sink a bit further.
Then he lost it completely, telling the Murdoch Sun that Leave voters should boycott a second referendum. “Has he thought this through? Brexiteer Daniel Hannan urges Leave voters to boycott a second EU Referendum” observed one Tweeter. Ah, but then Dan does not so much think things through as just blurt things out.
And then the moment came, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed his concern at the prospects of a hard border returning to the island of Ireland. The Bad Old Days would be back. Except for Dan: “Who is threatening violence here? Not Brexiteers. I had thought we were past the days when politicians would use the prospect of force to get their way. Very disappointing to hear it from someone in Varadkar’s position”.
It was the nasty Irish man’s fault! He threatened poor Dan! Er, no he didn’t: Hannan is just trying to deflect from his own inability to understand that his supposedly principled stance on Brexit is highly likely to see the UK economy disappear down the shitter.
So on he droned. “The Irish border row has become like a play by Samuel Beckett (who watched Ireland’s frontier come into existence as a schoolboy). Varadkar, May and Juncker all say that, even with no deal, THERE WILL BE NO BORDER. ‘Let’s go.’ ‘We can’t.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘We’re waiting for Leo.’” Except that’s not what they all said, is it?
Dan’s fibbing again, as well as ignoring that Varadkar is only echoing what the head of the PSNI has already said: hard border equals strong possibility of hard border troubles. So does he have a solution to offer us? “Almost all MPs, Labour and Conservative, Leave and Remain, have made clear that they won’t accept the legislative annexation of Northern Ireland. So I hope both main parties will support @SteveBakerHW’s amendment, which simply confirms that position in law”. Steve Baker? What planet is he on?
Baker, a former recipient of the YBF “Golden Dolphin”, is one of the Tory Party’s hard right wreckers. The kind who, like Hannan, thinks we should become little more than another state of their beloved USA. After all, that would get rid of the pesky NHS, of which Dan disapproves so strongly. We could have crap farming standards instead.
Small wonder that James O’Brien has responded “Being concerned about potential violence is the same as threatening violence now? Once you move into full-throated denial of observable reality, I suppose the most despicable of intellectual contortions become easy”, and former Irish Ambassador to the EU Bobby McDonagh has added “For Hannan to say that Leo Varadkar is ‘threatening’ violence is, as he knows, a disgraceful lie. The Taoiseach referred to the risk of violence, echoing the Chief Constable of NI. Hannan knows the meaning and potential effect of words and should be deeply ashamed”.
What Daniel Hannan’s latest meltdown shows is that he, like so many on the Tory right, are rapidly running out of road as reality intervenes on their libertarian charade. There is stuff all use “taking back control” only to become subjugated to the will of whoever is in the White House. Which is right now occupied by an out-of-control psychopath.
He wants to express his view, fine. But every time he exaggerates, misquotes, and peddles downright lies, it just erodes his credibility further. I’ll just leave that one there.
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