To avoid being viewed as just grey suited bureaucrats, politicians need to cultivate a public image hence David Cameron’s support for West Villa United and Vladimir Putin’s bare-chested horse riding.
To escape the slavery of Brussels – South-East MEP, Daniel Hannan; author, columnist, and leading-light in the Brexit campaign loves to take long walks in the bucolic English countryside.
This Tweet was deleted after it was pointed out that it would be the sweet sights and sounds of Germany. The photo was taken from an article about the use of dandelions by a German car tyre manufacturer .
Most Leave and Remain campaigners have been accused of manipulating facts and MEP Hannan is no exception. Jonathon Portes an economist at The National Institute of Economic Research wrote :
While both sides in the referendum campaign use statistics “as a drunk uses a lamppost” (for support, rather than illumination), Mr Hannan has a habit of simply inventing them.
Is his countryside loving image an invention ?
Photos’s of every gig, game and traffic accident are shared but part of the point of sharing is to say, I was there.
John Ball was there, but not in Hampshire as he said via e-mail :
The Skylark. Obviously a professional photograph and it’s a stock photo from Alamy taken in Hess, Germany. This idyllic view of the countryside is spoiled by the Northern Europe and UK Skylark population being on the highly endangered Red List mainly due to intensive farming. The EU directive to protect wildlife was, and still is, under threat from Farming lobby groups but conservation groups and other MEPs are fighting back.
Did Mr Hannan get up early in the morning to enjoy this Ramsgate sunrise and share it with the world ? No, Julia, from Germany, did. He said via e-mail:
Anyway, my name is Julia Höfer-von Seelen and the photo was taken on the 11th of November 2014.
Daniel Hannan’s anti-EU stance and countryside loving image plays well with the people who elect him; South-East Conservative Party Members who put him top of their party list for the 2014 EU elections. In the EU elections voters choose a party not an MEP. So in a traditionally Tory voting region, Mr Hannan was a shoe-in to return to Brussels where he has been a fixture since 1999 .
As one of the most high-profile Leave campaigners a Brexit vote could be rewarded with a safe Tory seat in Westminster and higher office. The right public image can help you go along way.