Sunday, 22 August 2010

Daniel Hannan’s quaint love of Europe

Languages other than English may be better suited, if you want to gain a deeper understanding of European integration, I argued yesterday.

Daniel Hannan MEP, while professing a love for Europe, misses few opportunities to punish a good word about the European Union, or even a suggestion for greater interest in European affairs generally.

At least Hannan rushed to diminish the Guardian article by Martin Kettle about being trapped by the Anglosphere, I mentioned in the aftermath of the Eurogoblin blog post on the roots of European integration.

In 2009 the current account of the United Kingdom with regard to the European Union was GBP 277 billion and with New Zealand GBP 1.35 billion, but Hannan seems to imply that his constituents are better served if they stay in their comfort zone, the Anglosphere:

The Internet makes it as easy for my constituents to do business with a company in New Zealand as with a company in Belgium. Easier, indeed, because the Kiwi company shares our common law, accountancy practices, commercial traditions and language.

Hannan prefers to look for “folk of our blood and speech” in the Antipodes, as long as he can bypass Europe.

If Hannan had used German, he might as well have said “Blut und Boden”.

The Internet will finally turn the United Kingdom away from Europe. This will democratise something Hannan leaves unmentioned.

Hannan has produced another quaint declaration of love for Europe.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Comments relevant to the topic discussed in each Grahnlaw blog post are most welcome. However, the number of spam comments has skyrocketed. This is the sad reason for comment moderation, so it may take a while before your valued comment appears.

It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across borders and between linguistic communities. Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

Antonia on the Euonym blog (Talking about the EU) tells us that the European Commission in the UK arranges a Day of Multilingual Blogging on 26 September 2010, and the UK Representation has been joined by the multilingual aggregator and individual Eurobloggers. Join the event page on Facebook, spread the word through social media and personal contacts, begin preparing your blog posts and start learning a new language.