Daniel Hannan, Conservative Member of European Parliament
Daniel Hannan is a firebrand British Conservative whose membership in the European Parliament has given him a unique platform to preach the virtues of governmental restraint, the need for electoral reforms, and the perils of nationalized health care.
As Americans everywhere celebrate Independence Day, Hannan’s views provide a poignant reminder of the rights and liberties (ironically embedded in the English tradition) that America’s founding fathers fought for. Hannan’s stern but sensible warnings have attracted tremendous attention from Americans who are coming to grips with the dangers that may lie ahead if we follow Britain’s modern path.
Born in Peru to parents who experienced World War II up close, Hannan knows the British heritage of the rights he defends. (His father fought in Italy as part of a British Territorial Army unit assembled in Ireland.) Hannan is a clear, compelling communicator with an unwavering commitment to principle. He has much to say to Americans who will listen.
Hannan made YouTube fame when his three-minute speech dressing down British Prime Minister Gordon Brown went viral in 2009. Tea Partiers saw in his predictions a parallel between the European and American economic situations. The decidedly pro-American British politician continues to make waves on both sides of the Atlantic with his 2010 book,”The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America.” He is a Member of the European Parliament, the European Union’s only directly elected governmental body.
In a special Independence Day edition of “Leaders,” TheDC’s Ginni Thomas interviews Hannan about how he views the United States from across the pond. Hannan celebrates the Tea Party movement. He articulates the values that made Britain and America great. And he explains the dangers threatening our national inheritance: a reckless foreign policy that harms American allies and a welfare state that breeds dependence instead of independence.
What are your thoughts on the Tea Party movement in America?
“I think that the Tea Party movement are the sons of liberty of today. They have exactly done what the founders envisaged a free citizenry as doing, which is to say they’ve sprung to the defense of their ancient liberties when their own representatives have prejudiced them.”
On President Obama’s foreign policy
“There’s never been a worse time to be a traditional friend to the United States.”
What is the message of your new book, “The New Road to Serfdom”?
“Becoming more like Europe, becoming more like the rest of the world, becoming less like the plan that your founders envisaged will make you less prosperous, less free, less popular.”
Any special message to Americans on their Fourth of July?
“Your present rulers seem bent on Europeanizing the country.”
What are the biggest threats to western civilization today?
“I think that the real threats are internal, and there are things we are doing to ourselves that we don’t need to be doing.”
__ Is America at risk of losing its national sovereignty?
“The United States has been very jealous of its sovereignty until very recently.”__
Tips for fiscal policy decisions from Great Britain’s austerity program?
“You have to facilitate the growth of the private sector. You have to pursue serious deregulation. You have to move the rocks out of the way so that the grass can grow.”
Thoughts on the growing problem of radical Islam?
“I think it’s really important to focus on the problem which is some disaffected boys — they are generally boys — who have become so alienated from the societies where they’ve grown up that, in extreme cases, they are prepared to cross half the world in order to take up arms against us.”
Your favorite entertainment?
“You know what my absolutely favorite trashy TV show is? America’s Dumbest Criminals.”
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