Will the real Daniel Hannan please stand up?


A very curious thing happened on Saturday morning.  I received a series of Tweets that appeared to say that Dan Hannan was “60/40 on to jump ship” and to leave the Conservative Party and join UKIP.  I clicked on the site @Daniel_Hannan and found a very credible-looking series of Tweets, larded liberally (perhaps too liberally, with hind-sight) with the kind of Latin tags of which Dan is fond.

I must admit that at first glance I took them as genuine.  I tried to contact Dan by phone, text and e-mail, but without success.  And doubts soon arose.  ConHome was certainly not following the story — I can only guess that Tim Montgomerie saw through it straight away, and decided not to touch it.  And folk were soon pointing out that Dan’s real Twitter account is @DanHannanMEP.  His last (genuine) entry is April 4th, where he says he’s away for the Easter weekend and out of Wi-Fi contact.

I must say I had been fairly astonished at the idea that Dan would ruminate publicly about crossing the floor.  The normal thing is to keep it under wraps until the big announcement.  But Dan often takes an imaginative and unconventional approach.  What if, I wondered, he had already decided to jump ship, but was using the device of a Twitter consultation to help to bring his followers with him?  A little Machiavellian, perhaps, but not inconceivable.

Of course since I crossed the floor myself, people are constantly asking me if Dan will follow, since his views on Europe seem to be exactly the same as mine.  My only answer — the simple truth — is that I have no reason to believe so, but that you’d better ask him.

But now we have to recognise that this was a scam.  A fraud.  An impostor.  So the question arises, who would do such a thing?  Could it be an attempt to discredit Dan?  Or to push him towards a move?  Very unlikely, and if it was, it was inept, since the scam was uncovered in short order.  Dan only needs to point out that it was nothing to do with him.  Could it have been an attempt to embarrass UKIP, by getting the Party all fired up about a high-profile defector?  Doubtful.  Not much impact there.

Could it have been someone close to Dan who was flying a kite with a toe-in-the-water exercise to gauge reaction to a possible move, while leaving the suggestion utterly deniable?  Perhaps too Machiavellian for words.

So I don’t know the answer.  Suggestions please.  Maybe at the end of the day it was just a prankster having a bit of fun

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4 Responses to Will the real Daniel Hannan please stand up?

  1. If you’re taking bets? …..I’ll go with prankster.

  2. Maureen Gannon says:

    Well I am going to use an interpretation of an old jewish saying here.

    “From the prankster’s typo to God’s ears”

  3. nigel carter says:

    I awoke, sweating…
    “It’s a Cam scam! In the bowels of darkest Tory Schlöss der Bösen fear shivers through the flanks of jackals prowling back and forth, growling, yapping, before their Lord, “Pleez, Lord Trikimiki SAVE US from UKIP!!!!! Our best are going to, UKIP! Oh the shame of it, the shame! Hannan will be next! Oooo=oooh!” they howl and squirm, “What will we DO?” The Lord rises and booms, “A coup de théâtre will inoculate OUR audience against this Hannan, who will be dim-in-shed thereby! Announce it now before Hannan is ready! He’ll be forced to deny it when he gets back and the damage to him will be done, ha ha HAH!” Jackals join in the laughter, “He, he, he, Prince of Politickery, chip, chip, what Ho! he, he, HEH!”
    Lord Trikimiki-Mickey smirks, “And we will do it every month, time and again until if he goes or stays he will mean nothing, diminished to nothing, NOTHING! A non-event!” Jackals a-whooping with joy, “Eeeeeeee-yooooooo!”
    “Bring me my book of spells, smells and Dirty Tricks. This UKIP must be tricked and mimicked until no-body knows who they are. Not even themselves!!!
    Fetch me my Cane of Distractions. No, not the fuel strike one, I’ve used that! No, the coal strike doesn’t work anymore. No, not the vanishing veto! ..that’s had its day. Yes, let’s do down another LibDem for now… Cook up a devious diversion, I will send for Cameron and see if he can handle it properly this time!”
    On the other hand it could just be a prankster or a mix-up.
    ‘Now, children, you don’t believe that do you? Go back to sleep now…sweet dreams!”
    nc9apr12 for Easter Bank Holiday

  4. Ken Hall says:

    I cannot really see Mr Hannan ever putting country before party. He loves the trappings of establishment politics too much and is staying to try to convince other disillusioned tories to “keep the faith” and keep voting tory.

    I would love for him to prove me wrong, but I have my own theories as to why he will keep betraying this country and his own voters and supporters.

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