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Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell wrote David Cameron's speech today on devolving power

Well, no, in fact they didn't.

But the South East England MEP and Harwich MP can rightly claim to have been ahead of the curve when it comes to proposals to devolve power to lower levels; indeed, the ideas and even some of the rhetoric employed by David Cameron in his speech this morning is remarkably similar to that of Messrs Hannan and Carswell.

Compare the following, for instance.

Here's an extract of what David Cameron said this morning:

"I believe the central objective of the new politics we need should be a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power: from the state to citizens; from the government to parliament; from Whitehall to communities; from the EU to Britain; from judges to the people; from bureaucracy to democracy. Through decentralisation, transparency and accountability we must take power from the elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street."

And here is an extract from The Plan: Twelve Months to renew Britain, the book written by Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell last autumn:

"We need a radical shift of power... to redistribute power back, from Brussels to Westminster, from Whitehall to town halls, from the state to the citizens... to disperse power among communities, through localism and through referendums".

It hasn't taken very long for many of the ideas they set out in that book to become mainstream party policy. Dare I mention here that they also proposed repeal of the European Communities Act 1972?

Jonathan Isaby


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