Log in

Hannan's Willie Horton Moment - Mark Hanson [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mark Hanson

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Hannan's Willie Horton Moment [Aug. 26th, 2009|08:02 pm]
Mark Hanson

I can't work out what Daniel Hannan is up to. He's made a series of outbursts in recent months; starting with his rant at Gordon Brown in Brussels that became a YouTube favourite and lately he's been touring the right wing radio and TV circuit in the US having a go at the NHS.

We can have a discussion about whether his comments were played back to the UK accurately or whether we should be focusing more intently on the faults within the NHS. But anyone would keep their head down after the firestorm that was caused yet Hannan
has been back on the US circuit, being interviewed on reason.tv and deliberately mentioning his admiration for Enoch Powell!

What's his strategy. Is he just being carried along on the hubris of his moment in the sun or is he deliberately trying to smoke out the Notting Hill set that surround the leader's office?

I'm not sure but one thing stands out. He's dangled some red meat to his fan base in the UK Tory party with the mention of Powell. Tories normally do this by mentioning Thatcher but would never risk referencing Powell, such a controversial figure with his
'Rivers of Blood' speech about the dangers of immigration.

Hannan has been clever though in that he's made no mention to race or immigration in the text of what he's said so it's easy to defend in the media. What he's done is appeal to the emotional element of the brain. This is common in US politics, where Hannan is
making friends, and works by using certain words or imagery to imply something that activates the emotional side of the brain. It means to you can send signals, which if they were explicit, may cause an outrage, but by being subtle they make the desired impact. They're often referred to as dog-whistle issues.

A famous example was the Republicans' attack ad used against Democrat presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis, in 1988. The ad was about Dukakis' record at giving convicted felons early release. The example that kept being used was a black man called
Willie Horton, who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a young couple while on weekend release.

This is a shocking crime but it was the use of specific words with the regular flashing of Horton, a black man, using unusual and manacing facial expressions that prompted feverish discussions about what the Republicans were trying to imply.

I'm not for a moment suggesting that Daniel Hannan is racist or anti-foreigner but his use of Enoch Powell and all that he represents to elements of the Tory party was very clever.

[User Picture]From: longrun2
2009-08-31 01:43 pm (UTC)

Re: What?!?!?!

I said "remarks" not "opinion"
As I have said I actively oppose BNP and bullies, so to imply that I "would want to align themselves with that sort of company" is unjustifiably offensive.
I had formed an opinion of Enoch Powell a decade before the "Rivers of Blood" speech with which I disagreed at the time but that did did not suddenly become the only thing that he had ever said. Nye Bevan is most easily remembered for his "lower than vermin" speech but that does not wipe out the rest of his political career.
Your first paragraph is not answering my point but trying to pretend that you did not the make the error in your previous post that I pointed out. Also you might compare the number of black people murdered by his thugs with the number of whites he has had murdered. Also Mugabe did not empower the blacks - that had already been done before he came to power.
There hasn't been that much of an outcry despite it being the silly season because
"Enoch Powell is synonymous with anti-multiculturalism and anti-immigration in the minds of certainly a few" but only a relatively small minority. A lot of people even on the left have dismissed the rehashing of an old interview in California as an attempt by New Labour spinmasters to distract attention from current news. If a lot of people took your view that just mentioning his name verged on thought-crime then there would have been a lot more fuss which I should have noticed.
Powell did not, in fact, oppose multi-culturalism: if he had opposed multi-culturalism he would have suggested imposing "British culture" - whatever that is - on all immigrants. You might find, if you compared his immigration policies with those of the current Labour government, that his were not, except in respect of continental Europeans, noticeably extreme by current standards.
You may reserve your right to wonder anything you like but to suggest anywhere to anyone in any context that I am aligned with the BNP or bullies is totally unacceptable false and insulting.
To complain, after that, that you felt that my tone was sarcastic is mind-boggling. I felt that I was being admirably restrained. If it's rude to point out errors, tough! Failing to do so can never help anyone.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)