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16 December 2016

Here are Daniel Hannan’s three stupidest observations of the week

It was a busy week. 

By Jonn Elledge

Since Daniel Hannan, a formerly obscure MEP, has emerged as the anointed intellectual of the Brexit elite, The Staggers is charting his ascendancy…

You know, in all my years on this planet, nothing else I have ever done has been greeted by so many offers of assistance – by such an outpouring of spontaneous public support – as this column. In the last three weeks, I’ve had complete strangers contact me, offering to do some research; I’ve had emails from people in the European Parliament, promising me inside info. Someone took the time to point me towards a bot that was keeping track of Hannan’s deleted tweets. And look what my colleagues got me for Christmas:

It’s like Band Aid, only instead of all coming together to help the victims of a famine, we’re doing it to troll an annoying MEP. It’s heart-warming.

But all this support does present me with a structural problem. When Daniel Hannan can no longer blink without three different people tweeting me about it, it becomes increasingly difficult to decide what to write about in any given column. A normal politician may struggle to say more than one mind-bogglingly bone-headed thing a week. Daniel Hannan is not a normal politician.

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This week, then, I’m switching it up a bit. Here, as a sort of end-of-term school report, are my three favourite Hannan-isms of the week.

“Daniel still struggles with basic arithmetic, and has yet to grasp even the easiest of logical concepts.”

Here is a tweet that Daniel sent that seems, strangely, to have vanished.

Where do we even start with this one? Firstly, why do Remainers have to pick? This wasn’t our lie. Why are we the ones who have to work to make conjure your fiction into existence?

Secondly, Dan, I don’t want to worry you but it was £350m every week, actually. Get chugging.

Thirdly, literally every analysis I have seen says that a Hard Brexit will cost more than a soft one. A hard Brexit, after all, will cripple Britain’s trade, at least in the short term, and very probably for much longer. That, all the laws of conventional economics suggest, will make us poorer. The idea more money will be available only in the event of a Hard Brexit is a nonsense.

Fourthly – hang on, didn’t you want a soft, liberal Brexit last week? Make your bloody mind up.

Lastly, we’re calling the Leave campaign liars because they lied. This is not some minor technicality.

Or, as Richard Osman more succinctly put it:

Christ, I need a Lemsip after all that lot. Anyway.

“Daniel’s creative writing has really come on this year, though some of his imagery is perhaps a little florid.”

Presented without comment, an extract from page 2 of Hannan’s latest literary sneezing fit, What Next: How to get the best from Brexit:

“As Britain woke to the news on an appropriately sunny Friday morning, even Leave voters felt a sense of numbness, almost of shellshock. Shall I tell you what that numbness was? It was the mildly vertiginous sense of being back in control again. It was the shock of a convalescent who, after weeks of being bed-ridden, throws open the door and strides into a sunlit garden The shock of a paroled prisoner who, accustomed to being told when to rise, eat and exercise, suddenly has to make his own decisions.

“For as long as almost anyone could remember, British voters had been accustomed to having circumscribed choices placed before them by their political elites. On 23 June 2016, they rejected all the options, and instructed their leaders to come up with a different menu.”

At risk of accusations of laziness, I’m not even going to bother to analyse that. I mean, just look at it. Look at the state of it.

And this is the man seen as the intellectual heavyweight of the Brexit lobby. Bloody hell.

“Daniel’s history is frankly atrocious and he is likely to struggle come exam time.”

On Saturday, Hannan tweeted perhaps his most vexing observation yet. After extensive mockery it mysteriously vanished without explanation (odd how these glitches so frequently attach to politicians’ more embarrassing tweets), but someone (to be specific, Charlotte Riley) luckily had the foresight to save it for posterity:

That is Daniel Hannan – the first chapter of whose latest book is called “Independence Day”; the last “Power to the People” – looking adoringly at a memorial to Colombia’s independence from the Spanish empire. The British, you see, have long favoured the independence of other nations.

Here is a map showing all the countries whose independence Britain has long-favoured, and the exact date at which it decided, after a little pressure, that it favoured it.

Map courtesy of Llewelyn2000/Wikimedia Commons.

Now remember to leave out some sherry and a copy of the Magna Carta on Christmas Eve, or Daniel Hannan won’t bring you your Brexit presents.

Happy Christmas, everyone.