The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Hannan: A Marked Card

Posted by The Futility Monster on November 26, 2009 @ 09:08

Carlsberg don't write books on party discipline, but if they did...

Dan Hannan, that strange creature whom the Tories once loved – and are now keeping him at a necessary distance – has decided its time to make MPs work harder:

There is a case, though, for making an exception in 2010 and having the House of Commons sit through August, as my party is apparently considering. Why? because doing so would allow an incoming Conservative Government to implement The Plan in just one legislative session

My first impressions on this post were that it was just another shameless Christmas sales plug. After all, his co-author Douglas Carswell has been doing that too. It might even be a concerted effort by them. Well, we all have to make a living somehow.

Then my thoughts turned to the size of the ego of anyone who can make the above statement. Yes, let’s make MPs sit through the summer so they can implement your agenda – a man who won’t even be a British MP, and is on the fringes of influence in the Tory party.

But then that’s an easy criticism to make. After all, most politicians have vastly inflated egos. It’s almost part of the job description, to think you’re good enough to represent 70-80,000 constituents. And in Mr Hannan’s case, his European parliamentary constituencies are even larger.

Of course, the idea of cancelling MPs holidays and getting them to put in some extra shifts is hardly revolutionary. People seem to be calling for it all the time, and I have a sneaking feeling that at some point in the future MPs very long summer recesses are going to be either broken in two or redistributed across the calendar, resulting in longer recesses for half-terms and Easter.

So far, so dull.

But Hannan is insistent on trying to claim the credit for the various raft of unconnected ideas the Tory party have came up with over the past 12 months. From open primaries to fewer MPs. But is he right? And furthermore, is any of it actually going to happen?

We still don’t really know. We may get a better idea when the Tory manifesto emerges for the next election. Some of the ideas are good, and I hope the Lib Dems will join on board for the useful aspects of parliamentary reform, assuming Labour kick all of this into the long grass before the election.

Yet on the question of whether he is right to say the party are following his lead… I suspect he is deliberately over-playing his influence in an attempt to appear relevant to the party leadership. He’s gotta stay in the news somehow. After all, Hannan resigned from his responsibilities amongst his fellow Tory MEPs. His ascent up the greasy pole lasted all of two months.

In truth, the trappings of office probably didn’t suit him. He is used to speaking his mind. Used to telling us how wonderful his ideas and plans are. And now he will be able to do so.

Loose cannon alert.

It will be very interesting to watch a Prime Minister Cameron deal with the likes of Hannan and his renegade chum Douglas Carswell. After all, Cameron has never really had to deal with real internal opposition.

With that in mind, maybe we don’t really know Cameron after all…


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