This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 25, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL HANNAN, MEMBER OF BRITISH PARLIAMENT: The truth, prime minister, is that you have run out of our money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Get to know this fellow, and get to know him fast.
They are already calling him the shout heard round the world, so jolting, so jarring, so stunning, that, within minutes of delivering cryptic comments so stinging, he was becoming viral, so quoted so fast that this 37-year-old rising conservative member of Parliament who decided to take on his country's prime minister on spending had become something else: A global YouTube phenomenon, and, to hear some tell it, maybe a future prime minister.
And it all started with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNAN: It's that you're carrying on willfully, worsening our situation, wantonly spending what little we have left. Last year, in the last 12 months, 100,000 private sector jobs have been lost, and yet you've created 30,000 public sector jobs.
Prime minister, you cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive bit.
You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Thirty-seven years old. With us now, the man who rocked the world, now on "Your World." Daniel Hannan joins me exclusively from Strasbourg, France. Mr. Hannan, very good to have you.
HANNAN: Good evening, Neil. It is great to be here.
CAVUTO: Did you expect this would get the sort of viral reaction that it did?
HANNAN: No, certainly not.
I suppose what it was is that a lot of people had wanted to say something like that to the guy. You have lots of elections in the U.S. It's one of the things I really like about your system. You know, you vote for the guy who collects the rubbish. You vote for the school board. You vote for the sheriff.
Nobody has elected Gordon Brown. He came in after a kind of party deal. There wasn't even an internal Labor Party election to make him prime minister. And he has never faced the electorate.
So, I guess a lot of people had pent-up feelings, so they wanted to tell him what they thought. And, you know, you don't really get chance to do it. So, I guess the next best thing is, is, you watch some other guy doing it for you. And that is maybe what — what people liked.
CAVUTO: Well, you know, others have been enraged about spending, not only in your country, Mr. Hannan, but in our country, and, globally, this unrest about maybe we're going a little crazy with all this spending.
But you seemed to articulate in few-minute speech what others have been spending days, weeks and months whining about. And I guess they're likening it to sort of a Davy Jones moment for the world. And I'm wondering whether that was your intention, or you just hit a nerve at the right time.
HANNAN: Yes, you know, it's the funniest thing.
In the immediate aftermath of the — the banking collapse, there was an almost immediate consensus among all the media, among the politicians, that something had to be done, all right?
And it is the hardest thing in politics, so why — you know, there is not very much we can do about this. But the do-nothing option, if you like, which barely got a look-in — I mean, it sure got a look-in on FOX News, but it didn't get a look-in, in many other places, now turns out to be a pretty majoritarian position among the people who are paying for the whole thing.
So, you had this kind of rift between the political parties on one side, and, their voters everywhere — you know, around the world, not just in Britain and the U.S. And in those early days of the — of the financial crisis, it was a brave politician who would stand up and say, listen, you know, interest rates were held too low for too long. There's not much we can do to stop this. Maybe we can rescue victims, but we can't actually legislate against recession.
And, so, we kind of — we talked ourselves into this ridiculous auction of, something must be done. OK, that is something. I will do that. Yes, that is something even bigger, so let's do that.
And, of course, we have now got to the stage where we're — we're hugely worsening the situation. The recession is happening anyway, but taxpayers are going into it with a much bigger burden.
CAVUTO: And not only in your country, but — but in all countries.
And, if my memory serves me right, in looking a little bit, researching you, as I did, in the middle of this whole financial freefall, there was a sort of global consensus that you alluded to Mr. Hannan, where the government has to do something.
And I think you had coined phrase, well, why? Why does the government automatically have to do something? But it is a point that our own president, Barack Obama, is bringing with him when he travels to Great Britain next month for the G-20 conference, along with your prime minister, to coordinate this global action, this sort of a global spending plan, to — to fix what globally ails us.
Are you saying, that is a bad idea? We will make a bad thing worse? What?
You know, all the guys watching this program will know people who are in debt. You know, they have got five credit cards. They have overspent on them. And what would be the advice that you would give to somebody in that situation? You would say, curtail your spending. You know, try and live within your means. Keep your budget down.
But, when it is a government, the advice is, no, spend more. There's this brilliant magic wands called Keynes. And it means that, the more you spend, the more you borrow, the better you're going to actually make the economy.
Well, you have to be either a banker or a politician to think that way.
HANNAN: Fortunately, ordinary people are kind of brighter than that. You know, they have seen through it. And they can apply the lessons that they see in their own lives to national governments.
The trouble, as I see it, Neil, is this. When something like this happens, a big crisis comes out of the blue, nobody was expecting it, and you have got two — two sides of the argument. You have got one politician who says, I know, I have got the answer. And then you have got another one who says, well, listen, I'm sorry about this, but there is — there's not much we can do.
In that atmosphere, your instinct is to let the first guy try.