Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ask The European Parliament--Socialized Medicine, Yuck!

Contrary to what you might think, not everyone in Europe thinks that socialized medicine or single-payer health care is the Michael Moore utopia that our American administration would have you believe.

British MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Daniel Hannan is a very outspoken opponent of most of the European socialist schemes that the Obamists so clearly wish to adopt. In a political policy speech (which was subsequently developed into a much-viewed video), Mr. Hannan described England and its leader as "The Devalued Prime Minister of a Devalued Government." If Mr. Hannan ever decides to leave government, he could make a very good living as a social commentary standup comedian. His comments are biting and well-analyzed, yet he has a delivery that is both vicious and hilarious. He is a fine representation of the kind of stiff upper lip ironic humor that kept England going during the Blitz.

Hannan follows American politics very closely, and is attuned to daily events. And he's on our side of the pond for awhile. This week he addressed a conservative crowd at the Army and Navy Club in DC by greeting the audience as a "fringe gathering of racist fruitcakes." The crowd laughed heartily. And he followed that up with "these are the terms that are virtually the same as the ones used to describe the founders of the original tea parties."

This MEP is no shrinking violet when it comes to describing socialist policies and the encroachment of government into every aspect of the citizen's life. "I know politicians literally think they can make the weather on this, but anyone who is in government who tells you that he can is someone you can't vote for." The thing he likes least about British and European socialism, and warns Americans most about, is national health care.

A trait he likes in post-Revolution Americans is that we have been, from the beginning, citizens of the country rather than subjects of the crown. Even where the crown no longer exists in Europe, the mindset remains the same. "Crown" and "government" are interchangeable words, and more importantly, interchangeable concepts. Citizens demand. Subjects plead. In England, he says, The National Health Service, an arm of both the crown and the government, "treats you as a supplicant. You're expected to be grateful for eveything you get. You Americans demand quality health care, we in England plead for minimal treatment within our lifetimes."

Although he was invited to speak in New York and Washington D.C. on the general topic of social welfare, he arrived just in time for the early Town Hall protests. With Obama pushing hard for nationalized health care before the August Congressional recess, Hannan felt his timing couldn't have been any better to take up the sword of health care protection. He sees this as an opportunity to say to the American people: "I have lived this nightmare of national health care, so I don't have to guess when I tell you it doesn't work."

Hannan is an astute observer of government entrenchment. "A government plan is almost irreversible, and almost inevitably continues to grow in size and cost; government health care is by definition a plan that must ration and decrease the quality of care; and the recent spate of town hall protests that have come about as the result of the Democrats' health care proposals are the perfect expression of liberty and freedom on which your country was founded."

The War of 1812 was launched in large part by the British habit of "impressing" American sailors into the British Navy involuntarily. I think it's time to return the favor. We should "impress" Daniel Hannan, rush him through the citizenship program, and get him ready to run for Congress in 2010. And he would already have one friend in Congress with the same dry humor and disrespect for received wisdom--Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI).


Joel Farnham said...

I would love to hear this guy in the original. Do you have any link?

Joel Farnham said...

I found him! Yes, he is hilarious. :-)

Thanks for pointing him out.

Tennessee Jed said...

excellent, Hawk! This guy has often been a guest on Sean Hannity's show. He's a wonderful spokesman. I say we could run him against Obama and win except he isn't a citizen like Obama.

CrisD said...

Jed-do I detect a note of sarcasm in your citizenship remark. You and Lou Dobbs will now be "deselected" from public view!!!

AndrewPrice said...


Nice article as always. I read the Economist every week and they are constantly discussing the failures of the British health care system. The big thinking had been that they were underfunded by the conservatives. So when Tony Blair took over, they poured money into the system. Guess what? This got more expensive, but nothing improved.

A government run system is a mess, pure and simple. And the idea that this could fix our problems is so contrary to human experience that I have to wonder about the sanity (or honesty) of anyone advocates such a system.

Unknown said...

Joel: Thanks for providing a link (which I forgot to do when I posted). Here are some easy links for our other readers:

Hannan 1

Hannan 2

Hannan 3

Hannan 4

I also apologize for being late in responding to you, but I'm on Left Coast time, so I'm three hours behind most our readers.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I wish I had saved the play date. Hannan and McCotter were both guests on different segments of a recent edition of Red Eye. Hannan was natural-born, whereas Obama was not natural-born, since virgin births are not considered "natural" and are very rare. Interesting sidenote: Hannan was born in Lima, Peru.

Andrew: Isn't it amazing how "more of a bad thing" doesn't make the bad thing good?

I'm sending the Hannan videos to the Obama fishy snitch line.

StanH said...

Hannan is a breath of fresh air from the otherwise lost Europe. I know we’ve beat this to death, but Obamacare IMO is an arrogant Washington power grab. Commentarama Care good, Obama Care bad. Rep. McCotter is the kind of Republican that can save the party, a phenomenal speaker, very quick mind, unapologetically conservative, with a humorous wit that is endearing to the listener.

Unknown said...

StanH: And McCotter even has his own rock/country band--The Second Amendments. If I remember correctly, he was the first Republican in the House to stand up and denounce the first bailout (under Bush at the end of his term).

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, "ObamaCare bad, CommentaramaCare good." I like that. I need to get someone to wear a t-shirt with that on it right behind Obama at a press conference!

I think, don't know yet as I haven't looked at his full record, but I think that Cotter is a great sign. I think that he's the kind of guy who might be able to revive the health of the party in Congress.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Lawhawk, clearly the left has never heard the phrase "good money after bad."

Unknown said...

Andrew: As far as I can tell, the only RINO-type thing that McCotter has done was to vote for a 2007 Democrat-sponsored "anti-price gouging" measure during an oil price spike. Considering his otherwise solidly conservative votes, he probably did that for political expediency knowing that the bill had no teeth anyway. He is also not known for trying to pacify extremists. There is a strong anti-America, anti-Iraq War lobby in his district, and basically, he just ignores them.

StanH said...

I beat you to it Andrew, I had it embroidered into my invisible tee shirt, and I had the good fortune to get my picture on the evening news at a protest. The talking head said, “what’s the shirtless funny man doing with his chest popped out so proud?” I was screaming at the TV, “can’t you see?” My daughter added with a concerned look, “the only thing they forgot to add was fat, with the funny man, dad.” My wife just shook her head in disgust.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, that's awesome! I'm just glad we didn't send out invisible shorts! 8-(

Unknown said...

StanH: All right, Stan! Unlike Andrew, I don't have any problem with the Commentarama Invisible shorts. They make it easier for our loyal male friends to point to the evil-doers when both hands are occupied holding up signs.

StanH said...

“Go commando, …with Commentarama.”

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