Daniel Hannan, a British member of the European Parliament (an MEP), is to Europe what Texas Congressman Ron Paul is to America - a politician to take heed of. He knows what's going on, unlike Gordon Brown, the inadequate who is British Prime Minister. When Brown visited the EU Parliament to preen himself and get some soundbites, Daniel, who used to write a brilliant column for a business paper we published, was there to ambush him. Watch the fun! ALAN FRANKLIN
TELEGRAPH Blogs� � � 25.3.09
My speech to Gordon Brown goes viral
Posted By: Daniel Hannan
The internet has changed politics - changed it�utterly and forever. Twenty-four hours ago, I made a three-minute speech in the European Parliament, aimed at Gordon Brown. I tipped off the BBC and some of the newspaper correspondents but, unsurprisingly, they ignored me: I am, after all, simply a backbench MEP.
When I woke up this morning, my phone was clogged with texts, my email inbox with messages. Overnight, the YouTube clip of my remarks had attracted over 36,000 hits. By today, it was the most watched video in Britain.
How did it happen, in the absence of any media coverage? The answer is that political reporters no longer get to decide what's news. The days when a minister gave briefings to a dozen lobby correspondents, and thereby dictated the next day's headlines, are over. Now, a thousand bloggers decide for themselves what is interesting. If enough of them are tickled then, bingo, you're news. (Huge thanks to all those who linked: Guido, Iain Dale, Tim Montgomerie, James Delingpole, Donal Blaney, Dizzy, Devil, James Forsyth, PoliticalBetting, Gerald Warner and the rest. And jumbo thanks to all the American bloggers: you chaps are way ahead of us in this regard.)
What caught their attention? To be honest, I'm slightly perplexed. I have been making similar speeches every week and posting them on YouTube for the past seven months. I made one just now: 60 seconds on how Brussels is spraying money at the European Investment Bank . Perhaps people felt frustrated about the way Gordon Brown had carried on without once asking for their votes. Perhaps they would have loved to tell him what they thought of him, but lacked the opportunity.
Breaking the press monopoly is one thing. But the internet has also broken the political monopoly. Ten or even five years ago, when the Minister for Widgets put out a press release, the mere fact of his position guaranteed a measure of coverage. Nowadays, a politician must compel attention by virtue of what he is saying, not his position.
It's all a bit unsettling for professional journalists and politicians. But it's good news for libertarians of every stripe. Lefties have always relied on control, as much of information as of physical resources. Such control is no longer technically feasible.
CONSERVATIVE HOME Blog 25.3.09
Daniel Hannan MEP becomes a worldwide internet phenomenon
About 25 hours ago, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan posted onto YouTube the video of speech he delivered yesterday afternoon in the chamber of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, during which, for want of a better phrase, he well and truly monstered Gordon Brown.
As soon as I saw it, I also posted the clip onto our PlayPolitical site and just a day later - with a little help from a�Drudge Report link - nearly 80,000 over 260,000 (as at 10pm Wednesday) people have watched it, making it the most viewed YouTube clip in the world today.
I have known Daniel for a decade and apart from being a robust eurosceptic who is fluent in a number of languages, he is an extremely articulate Conservative. His exposure on the web over the last 24 hours will have won him some new fans, and I imagine that they, like those of us who have known of his abilities for rather longer, would join me in hoping the party makes the best use of those talents in the months and years ahead.