Daniel Hannan MEP decides to break the law

Labour Party

Last year I highlighted London UKIP MEP Gerard Batten was not paying his television licence. In UKIP, obeying the law is selective, and I will not repeat the list again. The Conservative Party now seems to be moving ever closer to UKIP’s morality with the news that Daniel Hannan MEP has also decided to not pay for his television licence.  Here’s his position on BBC radio’s Any Questions:

“Asked by host Jonathan Dimbleby whether he hoped to threaten the survival of the state broadcaster, he added:

“I think it is anomolous in this day and age to have a state broadcaster, funded out of general taxation.”

As the studio audience responded with heckles and boos, Mr Hannan was quick to emphasise that his personal views did not reflect the policies of the Conservative party.

A spokesperson for the TV Licensing Authority said: “Television licensing law still applies to you no matter what you use to watch TV.

“Whether it’s a laptop, PC or any other device that receives television, you need to be covered by a TV Licence. It’s the law.

If a Labour representative decided they were only going to obey the laws that suited them I think there would be media coverage, but there seems to have been very little notice taken of Daniel Hannan’s law breaking. Conservative Leader in Europe Timothy Kirkhope has taken no action, prefering to take disciplinary action against Edward McMillan-Scott for objecting to the Conservative’s European group leader Michael Kaminski’s extremist views. David Cameron seems quite happy with this state of affairs too. Shouldn’t they be asking Daniel Hannan to do what every Labour representative does and pay their taxes? The television licence is in effect a tax. Perhaps there are other Conservative representatives who take the same view? Conservative supporter Charles Moore has also decided not to pay his licence too.

The BBC has taken no action, which seems to show partisan bias. There’s an election coming and if Conservatives are going to ignore the law, and UKIP too, then the BBC should be enforcing the law and not turning a blind eye. It’s inaction is starting to bring into question its impartiality, which is especially important in a pre-election period. Let’s not forget that Daniel Hannan is one of the most popular Conservative representatives amongst ordinary Conservative members and activists.

As someone who makes laws how can Daniel Hannan expect anybody to obey any law that he votes for when he has no respect for the law? An honourable representative would either pay up and apologise or resign. Remember Daniel Hannan’s pompous youtube video hit? Look at this interview where he says he was doing what his constituents want. Daniel Hannan has millions of decent constituents who pay for their television licence. They expect him to pay his share and not to take a free ride on their backs.

4 thoughts on “Daniel Hannan MEP decides to break the law

  1. Mary, with all due respect, it is not for the Leader of the Conservative Delegation to take disciplinary if Mr Hannan decides not to purchase a Licence for his television – it is for the appropriate civil authorities to take whatever action they think fit. Mr Kirkhope is neither a Judge nor a Policeman.

    1. Sally
      I am no expert on the internal procedures of the Conservative Party. What I do know is that in the Labour Party the Group Leader would not tolerate this and action would be taken first informally and then formally. As a former Chief Whip I can categorically say that turning a blind eye would not be an option. Timothy Kirkhope’s inaction may demonstrate how weak his position is as Leader. First he loses the ECR leadership, now he seems unable to discipline one of his own group.

  2. I understand Hannan’s point of view if he believes the BBC are breaking the law themselves, and there is much evidence to point to this. From Hannan’s own blog, referenced to a blog by Charles Moore:

    “The TV Licensing information I have accumulated strongly suggests that the BBC breaks the law systematically in the methods of collection it uses. For example, it libels people by suggesting dishonesty with no evidence. It also harasses people, which is a crime. And, according to another correspondent in the Telegraph, it breaks section 40 of the 1970 Administration of Justice Act which makes it a criminal offence to pursue people for debts for which they are not liable. TV Licensing probably also infringes the right to privacy enshrined in the Human Rights Act.”

    From here.

    If this is what Hannan believes, it would in fact be more hypocritical if he did still pay the TV Licence. You are acting like the BBC, you assume he watches television, when in fact I am sure he is busy enough to entertain himself doing worthwhile things until the programmes appear on iplayer and he can watch them perfectly legally for free.

  3. The BBC do not like to talk about TV licensing. It uses intimidation and insults to get its way- it was described by chairman of the all-party Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee as such “The tactics used by TV Licensing in their letters are intimidatory and cause genuine distress. Their records are not always correct, but they write letters that assume members of the public are criminals”.

    The BBC already tries to distance themselves as much from it as possible by using a front company to collect fees. They’re not going to try and start a public row with conservatives. They are very partisan in favour of labour, but it would be blatant stupidity for them to start a public fight over their gestabo style tactics.

    Conservatives tend to favour the tax even less since the BBC hates their guts, so it would make little sense for high ranking conservatives to attack highly popular personal beliefs that win MPs lots of votes.

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