Daniel Hannan has at last got some interest going in the topic of the EU Constitution…not in the MSM, of course which is preferring to ignore the whole thing, but on the blogs. Conservativehome in particular is buzzing. Hannan has pointed out that the tactics used by Hans Gert Poettering (Potty) to prevent any debate from occurring critical of the EU Constitution, reminds him of similar tactics used by Hitler in the 1930’s, although he held back from calling Potty himself a Nazi.
The EU had been looking for a way to silence Hannan and his associates in the EU parliament and to find a way to exclude them for a while, and they have seized on Hannan’s quite rightly pointing out these Nazi tendencies, as the ground they wish to fight over, by wrongly alleging that Dan called Potty a Nazi.
The Conservative Delegation is all a fluster, as the tensions are never very far from the surface with our chaps in Brussels. Dover the leader is no doubt sympathetic to Hannan’s views, but has to play things down the middle to try to hold his team together, and maintain relations with the EPP. He is making veiled threats to Dan that his recent reselection might be retrospectively cancelled…threats which no doubt have come down from on high, Hague and Cameron presumably.
The problem is in all honesty created by the leadership.
It all goes back to Cameron’s promise to exit the EPP during his campaign to win the leadership, which he made to outflank Liam Fox. This promise was totally believed by many of the key eurosceptics. Otherwise Fox would no doubt have won. The promise was given by Cameron with a date of implementation given as immediately he was elected. But as soon as Cameron won, Ken Clarke went live with a campaign to attack Cameron over the issue, and weaken his leadership before it had even begun.
Cameron (via Hague) pulled the implementation, and played it into the long grass, where it has stayed, although Cameron has confirmed the exit date of the withdrawal to be at the time of the next European elections, which are not until summer 2009.
If the EPP issue had been resolved before the debate on the Constitution, and the Conservatives had been part of a new anti-federalist gouping by now, the tensions in the EU parliament might not have been so bad. But you can understand why Cameron has played as he has. Hannan has remained scrupulously loyal to David Cameron throughout.
So what comes next? The history of confrontations between the EU and individual members of the EU Parliament such as Roger Helmer suggests that if Hannan is victimised and deselected as an MEP as hinted at by Dover, as well as evicted from the EPP, the leadership will create yet another martyr to the eurosceptic cause, which will bring into being a long-running campaign as with Reinstate Roger….. Reinstate Dan would be rolled out blogosphere-wide and beyond.
If Dan is deselected and not reinstated, he will become a greater hero to the eurosceptic cause, and he would provide a focus for yet more euroscepticism. The EU topic is dull to the most people and of little interest, but evictions and sackings create drama, which gets noticed. Equally he would no doubt be quickly selected as a candidate and arrive at Westminster as an MP with a following eurosceptic wind behind him.
Either way, the EU have helped him and his cause greatly by trying to make an example of him in the way they have.
It gets their unreasonableness and undemocratic tendencies out into the open, whereby they permit the majority in the Parliament to prevent a minority from even speaking. This is indeed reminiscent of Nazis or Soviets. Dan is quite right. Potty has played right into his hands by reacting, and is making the classic mistake of all powerful bullies, martyr-creation.
Full marks, Dan. Whatever they try and do to you, you’ve done an excellent job. The EU is assuming power over all of Europe ignoring the expressed democratic wishes of the Dutch and the French and ensuring no other nation is allowed to object. They want to achieve all this and maintain a media silence at the same time.
If it wasn’t for Dan Hannan’s successful goading of Potty, they might have managed it. Dan has prized them out of their silence, and as a result more people will get to hear that their country (ies) are being taken over by an organisation that thinks democracy means silencing all opposition, which is very much a Nazi tendency.