|British politician and Member of the European Parliament, representing South East England for the Conservative Party.|
GLENN: Daniel Hannan is, I don’t know, some muckity muck in a European parliament. He’s from ‑‑ I don’t know how that whole system works. I just know it’s old, you know, and he’s one guy in it that I think has made complete sense. Ever since I saw this guy, and I think most of America feels this way, here is a politician I could actually vote for. Here is a politician who seems to be, oh, I don’t know, sane or at least honest and will say what he really believes. Daniel Hannan, welcome to the program, sir.
HANNAN: Hi, Glenn, nice to talk to you again.
GLENN: Good to have you here in the United States. Would you consider staying and running for congress?
HANNAN: You know, I love this country. I really do. I like everything about it. I like your Constitution, I like the old way of doing things. But if there’s one thing I like even more, it’s my country and what I really want to do is stick around and work to bring back your ideas which we exploited to you in your revolution and repatriate them and try and improve the situation in the U.K.
GLENN: You exported the ideas of the revolution to us?
HANNAN: Yeah, I was just reading your book here, Glenn. Where do you think that Jefferson and Franklin and all these people got their thinking from, the idea that, you know, governments should be controlled by elected people, that the legislature should be supreme, that you shouldn’t raise taxes without permission. They ‑‑ you go back to what they were saying at the time, they thought they were defending their rights as free men. The tragedy is that we in the U.K. have now lost the conception that you should only be allowed to make law through elected people, and I can see some of the same grievances that your colonial leaders laid against George III, I can see them now creeping into your government in Washington.
GLENN: Oh, I have to tell you something. I think that we are seeing ‑‑ the words of the Declaration of Independence come alive again. We have all of these politicians, and I know you and I, we saw each other yesterday. So you and I have already spoken about this a little bit that these politicians are going home and they are being questioned by their voters. And Daniel, I said yesterday to you, I said, you know, what do you think’s going to happen. And you said that politicians, they are afraid of, they have got to answer to the people, right?
HANNAN: And there is no dishonor in doing that, you know. Sometimes say, politicians should take a lead, they shouldn’t be so populist. My take on this is that a politician who listens to his constituents and tries to act according to what they regard as being in their best interest is a good Democrat and he shouldn’t be ashamed of doing that.
GLENN: Okay. So here are some of the things that the politicians are saying now. After the big meetings that they had with people, they are now saying that the people that they are seeing on the streets, the people that they are seeing coming to their town hall meetings are nothing but extremists, they are all politically connected and put together by these organizations and they are all on talking points and that they are dismissing these people. Where does that lead?
HANNAN: Well, if they are right about that, then they will be all right. But if they’re wrong about it, then it’s going to be they who are dismissed when the next election comes. That’s how the system works. And, you know, I have a lot of confidence in the good sense of the American people, you know. This is a freedom‑loving country, a country founded in the ideal of independence, the dispersal of power, the constraint of people in office, and I can’t believe that the American people will suffer this encroachment of state power and state coercion in their life. I just don’t believe that is compatible with the good sense, the sturdiness, the independence of the American people. And American legislators I’m sure because there are good people, patriotic people in both parties in this country, on both sides of the aisle, I’m sure they want to listen to what their constituents are saying.
GLENN: I know you have to catch a train to go to Washington. Do you have any more time?
HANNAN: I reckon we’ve got time for one or two more questions.
GLENN: I’d like to know, the healthcare system, they are saying that this is going to save us money, that this is going to be better healthcare system. You know, Chris Dodd, God forbid, you know, nobody wishes anything to happen to anyone or anyone to get ill and even though I disagree with this guy, you know, I wish him the best. But here he is pushing for healthcare, the kind of healthcare that you have in your country where I’m trying to remember the number. I think it’s 75% of those men who get prostate cancer in your country live.
HANNAN: Five years, yeah, five years later you’ve got a one in four chance of being dead from the moment of diagnosis.
GLENN: Five years ‑‑
HANNAN: Whereas in the U.S. you’ve got a zero percent of having died five years, if the condition was good.
GLENN: Canada is already, I heard a story on Fox and Friends this morning where somebody who had to come into the United States, Canada said, you know, there’s nothing we can do for you; your cancer is too far gone. He came down here and he got the radiated pellets and he’s fine.
HANNAN: There you go. I mean, if your health system was that bad, why is the whole world knocking at the door to try and get in and use it. Look, I don’t think the U.S. healthcare system is perfect, right, because nothing is perfect in this life. And it’s not for us to create perfection. But you can improve your system without junking the essence of it which is that you get to choose as a consumer. You get to choose a doctor, you get to choose the specialists. And if you are unsatisfied, you can go for better treatment elsewhere. And that’s what is missing in the British system or in any state‑run system. You basically have to put up with whatever you’re given.
GLENN: We have the AARP, which is the association for retired people. They are supposed to be the guardians of the elderly. This special interest group has just thrown their hat in the ring with universal healthcare. I have never, ever read anything other than not good for the elderly if you are in universal healthcare. Why would they do that? Is there anything that shows you, anywhere in Europe that healthcare gets better for the elderly if you are in universal programs?
HANNAN: The opposite is true. First of all I’m slight ‑‑ I’m going to slightly convolute the use of the word universal. I mean, I haven’t ‑‑ I’ve been here a few days now and I haven’t seen anybody kind of dragging their broken leg behind them down the street because they are not getting treated. So you already have universal healthcare in the sense that if you are in need of treatment, you get it, right? But no, I mean, if you look at our system, they probably reflect the values of society to some extent when I say this, but this isn’t really an excuse for it. It is very good at treating children. They will make a real effort if your child is sick. They will move whatever machinery they can to get you the treatment you need. But elderly people, you know, Glenn, I could tell you horror stories of people that are left without being fed, left without having their beds changed, you know, and it’s the worst situation to find yourself in because there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve got no opportunity for redress as the user of the system. The whole NHS is based around the idea that you are a supplicant, you are meant to be grateful for anything you get, you are meant to smile and say thank you, doctor, and if you are dissatisfied, that’s too bad.
GLENN: Daniel Hannan, I hope that the next time we speak, this will be dead and buried, if you will, and we will have come to our senses.
HANNAN: I have ‑‑ like I say, I repose a huge amount of confidence in the instincts of the American people and I just can’t believe that they will suffer the minutian of their freedom.
GLENN: I tell you, I feel the same way but I think most Americans are wondering if their government is even listening to them at this point.
HANNAN: Well, the great thing about your system, the great thing about any representative democracy is that if the government doesn’t listen, you good he the to change it.
GLENN: Thank you very much, I appreciate it, Daniel Hannan.
HANNAN: Thanks, Glenn.