Decisions, decisions

With one vote only for the European Elections in 2019. Oh, what do?

Do I spoil my ballot paper with a rude comment, fall for the blandishments of The Brexit Party, or not put a cross anywhere?

I did decide to vote, and essentially I voted for the excellent Daniel Hannan. I do hope he gets in, though that’s not certain in these uncertain times.

Theresa May hits back at negative EU briefings

Excuse me, what was Theresa May supposed to say at the dissolution of Parliament – everything is fine and dandy with the relationships with the EU. After learning that the exit bill from the EU is €100 billion, and that the European Court of Justice is required to be the arbiter of EU citizen’s rights when residing in the UK.

She is entitled to object, and in strong terms. I’m not of the opinion, held by many commentators – left and right, that it’s demeaning of the Prime Minister to respond as she did – READ HERE.

I couldn’t put it better than the incomparable Daniel Hannan,

My, that Daniel Hannan MEP does get around a lot

Let me tell you here and now that I’ve met and listened to Daniel Hannan MEP. I have to say it was with huge dollop of respect and no little awe.

Among his many qualities it’s his erudition that impresses. He supports his arguments with illuminating historical precedents and reference to principle. His arguments are made more persuasive because of the depth of research and knowledge. You don’t necessarily have to agree with his arguments, though it’s a huge courtesy to the listener to be so well informed.

Funny that not only was Daniel on the BBC’s This Week programme – giving his Take of the Week. He also has an article in this month’s The New Criterion – ‘America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life’ – about “The European Parliament’s gargantuan edifices are the perfect symbols of the larger Euro-racket”.

Listening to Daniel HannanHis argument on This Week, which he discussed with Michael Portillo, Diane Abbott, and Andrew Neil, was that we should consider it better to have MP’s having jobs outside parliament than being full time politicians. One interesting point made by Daniel – see the episode HERE – was to do away with all the quango’s regulating MP’s. Simply expressed as ‘replacing the culture of compliance with a culture of conscience’, where the final arbiter is the ballot box.

I’ll say it again. I can happily listen to Daniel Hannan all day. Informed debate is so much more instructive, illuminating, enjoyable, and responsible than the loudly delivered tribal party lines.

Daniel Hannan sets out ideas on UK-wide devolution

Comments from MEP Daniel Hannan, in – UK-wide devolution will change everything – here are some brief thoughts on why – in the Daily Telegraph prove to me that there’s plenty of lively ideas about constitutional change without having to wait for a long winded constitutional commission.

Ten things you should know about the EU budget

In my mail this morning were leaflets from two of my MEP’s, Nirj Deva, and that ultra-splendid chap, Daniel Hannan. Daniel is raising a petition to cut UK contributions to the EU budget, and has produced this leaflet showing 10 things we should all know about the EU budget. Email daniel.hannan@europarl.europe.eu with your name and address and constituency to support his most excellent campaign.

 Hatip: Tim Montgomerie’s twitterpic, better than my scanned image

Steadiness under fire

Continuing with my theory that being a good political communicator is a rare skill. I picked up from Eric Pickles being underestimated, in Daniel Hannan’s blog about an Eric Pickles interview, a link to a video clip. I watched and agreed with Daniel, a rare skill to exhibit such steadiness under fire.

Here’s what Daniel says about the short video clip of an Eric Pickles interview with the Economist,

“He can’t be enjoying the line of questioning, but he remains calm, courteous and convincing. He repeats, in simple language, why we need to cut the deficit: “we’re in a tight place”, he says, and if cuts are deferred, they will be more painful when they come, especially for poorer people. You feel that it would take a great deal to faze this man – which, given the mess Labour has created, is a reassuring thing to feel.”

Three of the best

My choice for this weekend’s best three articles, blogs, or video’s are:

Divorcing Europe, a radio discussion this evening

Alerted by Iain Dale’s blog, I’ll be listening to BBC Radio 4’s Analysis: Divorcing Europe programme at 8.30 pm this evening.

It’s good to see they include MEP Daniel Hannan in the line up. It’s only a 30 minute programme, so a pretty short overview of the key arguments. Its’ taken many years, but this subject is at last getting a decent airing. Listen to Daniel Hannan’s views HERE, or dip into the TaxPayer’s Alliance website The Great EU Debate. Methinks this is a nice-to-have debate, but nothing will happen on this front for years, and years, if ever. I’ll provide a brief summary later.

Enoch Powell, a political hero

Enoch PowellWhy does Daniel Hannan get such flak for saying among his political heroes is Enoch Powell? He’s one of my heroes too. That doesn’t make me a racist, nor does it make Daniel Hannan a racist. It’s the simple bigoted sloganeering by the left.

No, I didn’t listen to his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, nor did I agree with it’s message, nor am I linking to it.

Back in the mid 1960’s my brother and I journeyed from our home in Shropshire to listen to a speech by Enoch Powell on the economy, in Birmingham’s wonderful classical Town Hall. Enoch’s speeches were works of art, logical in structure, powerful in there message, and passionate in there delivery. I’m not sure about the rest of the audience, but for us it was an uplifting experience to listen to a political speech that mattered. How we marvelled at his brilliance on our train journey home. 

Later on I lived in Wolverhampton when Enoch Powell was one of it’s MP’s. He was my MP. I’m proud to have met him, canvassed with him, and understood his appeal to voters, whether they were a dustman or duke. Did I agree with him on everything. Hell no, he resigned from the Conservative party just prior to the  1974 election, leaving the local party in the lurch.

While I understood his reasons for doing so, he was against our joining the EEC. I never truly understood the reason, for at heart he was a conservative. Though a flawed a one. Perhaps all great men are flawed in one way or another. Possibly nature’s way of balancing things out.

I’ve struggled to read Simon Heffer’s biography of Enoch Powell. I think it lacked the excitement, lucidity, and logicality of a Powellite speech. Also, perhaps it’s the peering into the reasons for his character flaws. However, I’d love to read a book of his speeches. To read his little rhetorical flourishes that were pointers to great political insights to come. Oh, just to conjour up an image of the great man in my mind all over again.

Dan Hannan, my best answer to UKIP

My best answer to a UKIP voter I met yesterday, while out canvassing yesterday, was, “for effectiveness in Europe there’s no better home for your vote than Dan Hannan and the others on the Conservative list. Please remember it was Dan Hannan who recently monstered Gordon Brown.”

Hope it had some traction with him. The wonderful thing about the secrecy of the ballot box is that I’ll never know. Dan Hannan’s strong performance on the BBC’s Question Time last night was surely be helpful to the cause of keeping down the UKIP vote share.