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Why has Daniel Hannan become an Internet sensation?
by Stefanie at 5:46 pm EDT, Mar 26, 2009

Excellent speech!

Andrew Sparrow at asks a question he can't quite answer.

But this does not fully answer the question. Why did this speech take off? Hannan himself admits to being "slightly perplexed" because he's been making similar speeches for years. Having listened to it a couple of times, and read the text, I don't think it's a great speech (and some of the arguments are relatively easy to dismantle, as Sunny Hundal and Sunder Katwala have demonstrated). But it's much clearer and more concise than the speeches normally delivered in Congress or at Westminster. And, at three minutes long, it's just the right length for YouTube.

MEPs in the European parliament are sometimes only allowed to speak for one minute. They don't get heckled, in the way that MPs do at Westminster, and they don't have to use any of the archaic language about "honourable friends" etc. This makes the place quite soulless. But it also makes it much better for YouTube. Hannan's the last person I would expect to applaud European parliamentary procedure, but he should; it's one factor, I think, that has helped to make him an internet star.

Hundal and Katwala have dismantled nothing, and Sparrow will never get why this speech took off the way it did (especially in the U.S.A.). Hannan's words (and to an equal, if not greater, degree, his attitude) resonate with many people here who want what's best for their country, now and for future generations, and who have been greatly disappointed by the Republican Party's failure to adhere to the principles of capitalism and conservatism. This is the type of speech that Republicans in Congress should've been directing toward George Bush for the past several years. Today, as a guest on The Sean Hannity Show, Hannan himself stated that even he preferred Obama as a candidate over a continuation of the Bush policies. I think many Americans thought the same way in 2008, and the Republicans can blame only themselves.

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