Daniel Hannan describes himself as “Blogger, MEP, Old Whig. Loves Europe, not the EU”. He is the Member of the European Parliament for South East England. He is Anglo-Peruvian by birth and speaks English, Spanish and French. He has been an MEP since 1999, before that having worked as a speech writer for Michael Howard and William Hague.
I suspect the number of people in New Zealand who have heard of Daniel Hannan will be pretty low. But in some elements of the conservative movement, he is very well known. He is a politician who is very well spoken, able to take at great length on many topics.
Daniel has been a member of Twitter since late 2009, he has just broken through the 8500 tweet level. He is nearing 43,000 followers. For a high profile politician, 500 accounts is the sort of number I would expect to see them following. Using this as a base, a followers to following ratio of 85 is a good ratio.
Daniel has managed to not fall into the trap/lazy habit of filling his timeline with retweets. For someone who has a lot of content out there on other accounts, it would be easy to fall into that trap, retweeting just about every tweet you are mentioned in. However Daniel keeps his retweets under 15% of his total tweets. The other good sign in his stats is the level of replies in his time line. If you compare this to John Key (4 replies, 0%), or Sen. Rand Paul (94 replies, 5%), Daniel is doing much better than both of those accounts. Looking at the number of his tweets that have been retweeted, 76% for a total of 60,000+ retweets, I would dread to think how many notifications he gets, and how many replies he gets.
Daniel doesn’t just stick to politics and serious issues in his tweets. This tweet from Easter Weekend is a great example. It is a reflective thought that I suspect a lot of parents are having this weekend.
Little insights into daily life are a good thing for politicians. It makes them seem more human and relatable.
Daniel is highly passionate about the spread of democracy and the idea of limited government. Through his involvement with the IDU, he has connections with conservative parties around the world, including those in the Former Soviet Union.
Daniel is a well known Eurosceptic. He is very open about this. It is a theme that runs through his tweets.
Recently Nick Clegg, UK Deputy PM and leader of the Liberal Democrats, debated Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, about British membership of the EU. As with many modern political debates, there was the requisite twitter discussion of the debate. Daniel engaged in this as well.
With his background in history, Daniel has a habit of tweeting quotes from history that he sees as still applying to the modern world. These tweets make clear his views on the importance of freedom and his desire for small government, with a focus on localism.
He is also not afraid of tweeting things that will illicit a response from both sides of the political spectrum.
Daniel also appears to be an art lover.
Daniel should be one of the leading lights his generation of for the modern conservative political movement. He has a grounding in the history of the Anglospehere, is able to articulate the message of freedom and small government in a way many aren’t. He is passionate about raising awareness of the growing spread of overreaching government, as best showcased by the EU. He is comfortable on social media, not just twitter, but Youtube and blogging, which will be a key method for political communication in the coming years.
I will leave the last word to Daniel, with these two tweets.
And some advice that many people on Twitter can follow.