Dan Hannan: the master of lazy thinking

Yesterday, Hannan wrote a defence of the Tea Party. In it he suggests that the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was perpetrated by a group of ‘patriots’ who were eager to use the occasion of the Tea Act to engage in a little direct action. The truth is that the Tea Act made tea cheaper and it was this act which was about to put tea smugglers out of business.

The immediate catalyst was a tax break—not a tax increase—that effectively made imported tea more affordable for colonists. What irked the patriots was that they had no role in the decision.

Gastronerds says,

Turns out the Sons of Liberty were not protesting the tea tax, they were saving their lucrative tea smuggling operation. See some of the Sons, specifically John Hancock, was illegally importing tea from the Dutch East Indies Company, bypassing British Customs and selling the tea in the 13 original colonies. Sweet eh?

I thought Hannan was some kind of historian. What makes me laugh about Hannan’s blog is his mention of socialist, Tom Paine whom he describes as a “radical”. What he doesn’t mention about the CNN poll he quotes, is that more people think the Tea Party are extreme as compared to those who see either the Republicans or Democrats as extreme. Furthermore, the Boston Tea Party was seen as an embarrassment for many years until relatively recently when it was rehabilitated by the national myth-making machine.

The Tea Party stands for the opposite of all those things. Of course, if you depend wholly on British media reports, you might not realise this. Opponents of the Tea Party have systematically tried to portray it as a far-Right fronde. One Leftist website even encourages its supporters to attend Tea Party events and wave racist placards in front of the cameras. But Americans haven’t fallen for it: the most recent CNN poll shows that the Tea Party and the Democratic Party are seen as equally mainstream (or, if you prefer, equally extreme). Despite all the propaganda, voters view the Tea Party’s principal contention – that taxes are too high – as reasonable.

Another thing that Hannan skilfully avoids are the growing links between the Tea Party and the thugs of the English Defence League. Here, Atlas Shrugs declares,

The EDL is being smeared like the tea party activists in the States. The media is corrupt.

These are the people Mad Dan seeks to defend. I wonder what Hannan has to say about the EDL? Well, oddly enough, he’s rather quiet on that subject. Atlas Shrugs is closely linked to the Tea Party and is responsible for perpetuating lies like this one,

When I started posting about Obama’s religious Muslim background in January of 2007, every epithet was hurled at me from the left and mainstream circles. Islamophobe! Right wing nut! Racist? What race? He is really more Arab American than African American, but the racist charge was for his religion (Islam is a race?). I continued to post through 2007 and 2008 evidence of his Islamic religious birth, his extremist Muslim family and his Islamic schooling. Terrorists supported him. There were the phone banks in Gaza. Oodles of jihad money from a Hamas controlled refugee camp in Gaza. Mosques in the US were preaching for ObamaKhalid Al Mansoursponsored Obama for Harvard. *crickets chirped*

Like Atlas Shrugs, Hannan’s blog is fully of lazy thinking and dubious connections (just like his stablemate, Andrew Gilligan). Here he repeats his nonsensically puerile assertion that the BNP is “left wing”. He links back to one of his earlier blogs in which he moans and whines that “There is nothing Right wing about the BNP except in the BBC sense of baddie”. These aren’t the words of a grown man,  they are the words of a spotty-faced 16 year old boy with smelly feet.

Where to start? The BNP is statist, authoritarian and racist. It might just as well be called far Left as far Right, favouring as it does higher taxes, workers’ co-operatives, protectionism and the nationalisation of industry

For someone with a classical education, Hannan is a remarkably thick individual. How on earth did he manage to become an MEP in the first place? I have news for you, Dan, the BNP isn’t interested in the rights of worker’s-even if it says that it is. In fact, that is something that your party and the BNP have in common: a hatred for the working class.  He continues to live in denial,

I’m sure the Tea Party has its share of eccentrics and, perhaps, of racists: so do almost all large organisations, including the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties.

Oh, that’s big of you. But oddly enough none of the political parties that he’s mentioned have described the EDL as ‘patriots’. Though the Conservative Party has previous form when it comes to racism and xenophobia (go on, sue me). In fact, for all of Mad Dan’s bluster, he conveniently ignores the most glaring exponents of his party’s racism: Gerald Nabarro, Piers Merchant, Harvey Proctor, John Townend and the Wintertons to name a few.

Last week, Hannan used the deportation of Roma from France to have a dig at the EU (the people who pay him lots of money). He has no sympathy for the Roma, he just interested in making noise…and posting up videos of himself speaking in the Euro Parliament. Not only is Hannan a cheap dissembler; he’s vain as well.

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Filed under Government & politics, Tea party, United States

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