Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge

Alex Hern goes over Daniel Hannan’s performance on Question Time.

Daniel Hannan was on Question Time last night, playing his normal game of saying completely unreasonable things in a very reasonable-sounding way.

On public sector pensions, for instance, Hannan argued:

“There is now a gap both in pay and in pensions, that even now most people working the ‘real’ economy would kill for, and you cannot keep taxing the productive bit of the economy to sustain the unproductive bit.

Somehow, he managed to make this claim in the same ramble that he criticised the lost revenue that the strike would cause. We’ve heard from Francis Maude that it could cost £500 million of damage to the economy.

Try to reconcile those two claims. The “unproductive” bit of the economy generates half a billion pounds of revenue per day. That’s over and above their salaries, which of course aren’t paid on the 30th because they’re on strike.

Trying to justify why the government should strip the public sector of their contracted pensions, Hannan said:

“Lets just remember why we’re in this mess.

(Because the banks went bust?)

“Out of every 4 pounds that the government is spending, one of them is being borrowed. The state is already spending more than half of our total GDP.

(Because the public sector had to save the private sector from major structural failure)

“We just can’t afford to carry on with this.

(True, we need to claw back some of the £70 billion we lose to tax evasion each year, or the £25 billion we’re spending on Trident, or the £3.6 billion we’re subsidising civil nuclear by each year)

“So it’s not really a question of – in a sort of playground way of “who started it,

(The banks?)

this is unfair”, and so on – we simply don’t have the option of not making savings.

(We do, because growth cut the 2010-11 deficit as fast as cuts)

“And if you don’t believe me, look at what’s happening in Europe, on our doorstep with those countries which haven’t lived within their means, and look at the chaos it’s installed.”

(Of course, all of those countries are also members of the euro, which renders their financial situation markedly different from our own. A better comparison might be the USA, which grew three times as much as us in the last year)

Sometimes, however, it seems like Hannan will use any excuse to attack his personal bugbears.

As the panel turned to the bizarre letter written by a burglar to his victim, Hannan brought out this belter:

“I don’t think governments have the power to stop this, governments generally do things badly, we’ve just had a demonstration of that on energy policy and, you know, they’re bad at building aeroplanes, they’re bad at running schools, they’re bad at instilling morality.”

What goes through his head? “We’re talking about Victim Support? Let’s attack government performance in heavy industry!” Besides which, he should probably research Frank Whittle, the inventor of the turbo-jet engine, the Concorde, the first and only supersonic passenger plane, or the entire history of NASA.

See also:

Hannan accused of “dishonourable” behaviour as Tory MEPs lurch rightShamik Das, November 23rd 2010

Exposé of Daniel Hannan’s “Ten reasons to leave the EU”Shamik Das, December 22nd 2009

Is Daniel Hannan insane?Duncan Weldon, December 9th 2009

New Tory EU split as Grieve outflanks Hannan as scepticWill Straw, December 4th 2009

Daniel Hannan praises Enoch PowellShamik Das, August 27th 2009

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21 Responses to “Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge”

  1. Svenrufus

    Also loved the criticism of the TU’s starting ballots in September for N30 strikes for being too premature – ignoring fact of need for proper periods in balloting brought in by Tory anti TU legislation.

  2. Tom Burke

    @leftfootfwd Dissect Daniel Hannan's, of the Torygraph, outrageous ramblings on #QuestionTime : http://t.co/uzI5n9Ri by @AlexHern #bbcqt

  3. Nicholas Buzzrad

    RT @leftfootfwd: .@DanHannanMEP: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge: http://t.co/9KcsPyYI by @AlexHern #bbcqt #NewsClub

  4. Political Planet

    Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge: Alex Hern goes over Daniel Hannan’s performance on… http://t.co/56ligCBR

  5. Kasch Wilder

    .@DanHannanMEP: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge: http://t.co/k6RjKcko by @AlexHern #bbcqt

  6. Jules

    “The “unproductive” bit of the economy generates half a billion pounds of revenue per day”

    No, they don’t generate anything. They just cripple the private sector even more than normal when they’re on strike.

  7. Ahmad Noor

    @DanHannanMEP: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge: http://t.co/TwxrU1pe by @AlexHern #bbcqt”

  8. Edward Mundy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge http://t.co/RDV9M3CB

  9. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge http://t.co/UdKBsoXE

  10. Laurie

    How do teachers cripple the private sector? Go home troll.

  11. Laurie Morgan

    .@DanHannanMEP: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge: http://t.co/k6RjKcko by @AlexHern #bbcqt

  12. Lebanese politicians hurl glasses and chairs at each other on live TV | Left Foot Forward

    […] like me, you get a little too heated watching Question Time, you may empathise with these two politicians who let their tempers get the […]

  13. Jamie

    For those who saw Question Time last night> Daniel Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge http://t.co/MQCHErHr #bbcqt

  14. Alfred Wallace

    For those who saw Question Time last night> Daniel Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge http://t.co/MQCHErHr #bbcqt

  15. jmyers

    This will be an unpopular post on this forum. If you don’t like it and cannot handle others opinions you are free not to read it.

    The 500million figure includes damages like parents being forced to stay at home instead of working because their kids cannot go to school. Not that the public sector generates that much wealth each day.

    Fact- the bank bailouts are only a small portion of government debt. Before disagreeing show a reputable reference showing the contrary.

    Governments generally do not run things as efficiently as the private sector is Daniel Hannans point, not that they do not produce anything at all.

  16. Anonymous

    If governments do not run things efficiently, how come the most prosperous nations are almost always those that have the biggest public sectors – Germany, Sweden, Japan, Denmark, Finland to name but a few.

    And then let’s look at those places with very small public sectors, oh and less red tape, health and safety laws and all the other “burdens holding business back” – like Mexico, Kenya, Thailand, India, China – yes real models to aspire to. I bet they are just swamped with all the top talent fleeing Germany to get away from high taxes, red tape and all the other things the Tories are deluded about.

    No wonder Britain is in the mess it is with New labour and then Tory delusions!

  17. Newsbot9

    Yea, gotta increase energy prices further and further and get those lights off! Poor people need to understand that there’s no RIGHT for them to have utilities, and they need to learn to live without.

    Oh look, a Tory. That’s all there is to it, and all that is relevant from this piece, as this left-winger’s take away.

  18. A. V. Cheshire

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge http://t.co/zSBJtXim

  19. jmyers

    Agree on the fact both Labour and Conservatives have not done this country justice 🙂

    Those countries also have a large private sector which finances the public sector. The bigger the private sector, the more money can be spent on the public sector.

    You comparison is not honest. Its a minamax you are trying to compare the worst of the deregulated countries with the best of the regulated and socialised ones.
    I could make the argument that Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong are so great (low taxes and regulation) and that Govenments with high regulation and taxes such as Greece and Italy are bad.

    To be honest you would have to compare the best deregulated with the best deregulated and vice versa.

    Lets also not mention North Korea (one of the largest public sectors by percentage), and the former soviet union which collapsed.

  20. Dr. Matt Lodder

    ★ " Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge http://t.co/KeyFN1IO "

  21. Dan “I don’t meet lobbyists” Hannan has questions to answer | Left Foot Forward

    […] Hannan: Tough on knowledge, tough on the causes of knowledge 25 Nov […]

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