The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Wall Street Journal CEO council annual meeting in Washington, November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Wall Street Journal CEO council annual meeting in Washington, November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed  

British MEP: ‘I’m not sure there has ever been a president who cares less about the US relations with her traditional friends’

British Member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan says he is “deeply disappointed” in President Obama.

“What happened to that inspiring, bipartisan fellow who made the speech about not slicing and dicing red and blue states?” the conservative politician, who despite being a member of the European Parliament is a Euro-skeptic, told The Daily Caller. “The debt is growing, the health care scheme is misguided, and I’m not sure there has ever been a president who cares less about the U.S.’s relations with her traditional friends, or the patrimony she was privileged to inherit from her Founders.”

Hannan, a popular figure among American conservatives, is out with a new book, ”Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.”

“As we export our ideals, we can forget that they are ours,” he said, explaining the title of his book. “It’s rather like our style of dress: we no longer think of a suit and tie as an Anglo-American costume, because it has become global. Yet you don’t have to go back very far to find a time when constitutional liberty survived only in the English-speaking world.”

“We take familiar things for granted: property rights, regular elections, free contract, the rule of law, equality between men and women, habeas corpus, personal liberty, jury trials,” he added. “It’s easy to slip into thinking that these attributes are the natural condition of an advanced society. In fact, they are peculiar products of Anglosphere culture, and were developed largely in the language we’re using now.”

Check out TheDC’s full interview with Hannan, about his book, President Obama and whether he wants London Mayor Boris Johnson to be his country’s next prime minister:

Why did you decide to write the book?

We take familiar things for granted: property rights, regular elections, free contract, the rule of law, equality between men and women, habeas corpus, personal liberty, jury trials. It’s easy to slip into thinking that these attributes are the natural condition of an advanced society. In fact, they are peculiar products of Anglosphere culture, and were developed largely in the language we’re using now.

As a boy, growing up in South America but attending an English boarding school, I was aware that there was something different about the Anglosphere. But it was only when I was elected to the European Parliament that I grasped how peculiar to English-speaking countries is a solid commitment to the rule of law. Elsewhere, it’s accepted that the letter of the rules shouldn’t stand in the way of political imperatives (the patently illegal Eurozone bailouts are only the most current example). I became more and more interested in where this difference came from. This book is my answer.

Explain your title — how did English-speaking peoples invent freedom and the modern world?

As we export our ideals, we can forget that they are ours. It’s rather like our style of dress: we no longer think of a suit and tie as an Anglo-American costume, because it has become global. Yet you don’t have to go back very far to find a time when constitutional liberty survived only in the English-speaking world. When Winston Churchill met Franklin D. Roosevelt on HMS Prince of Wales in August 1941, and spoke of the two powers having “the same ideals,” he wasn’t making a bland generalization about being the good guys. Almost the entire Eurasian landmass, from Brest and Lisbon to Seoul and Vladivostok, was under authoritarian government. Freedom, the rule of law, and democracy were, to a single approximation, confined to the Anglosphere.

Three times in the past century, countries that elevate the individual over the state have fought global conflicts against countries that do the opposite. The list of nations that were on the right side in both World Wars and the Cold War is short, but it includes the main English-speaking democracies.