Thursday, 12 June 2008

Davis gambles to take revenge on Cameron

The idea that David Davis's self-imposed by-election in a Tory seat that Labour could never expect to win will provide some sort of public verdict on the 42-days decision is utterly ludicrous. Given that the Lib Dems will apparently not run, it is grandstanding of the highest order by Davis. The idea that six rather than four weeks is a fundamentally different order of loss of liberty is quite absurd. What the new law does allow, with serious safeguards, is some flexibility for the police in the most serious terrorist cases.

If Davis gets a good result, as must be probable given constituency politics, Cameron and those in the shadow cabinet like Michael Gove who have some understanding about the seriousness of the contemporary terrorist threat will be the losers as the shadow home secretary will become insufferable. He will have got his revenge for his leadership election loss and a payback on other issues like grammar schools where Davis has sniffed a sellout. But if he loses, can we expect a Tory u-turn on the 42 days issue?


Toby said...

Labour shouldn't oppose him, making his chosen contest the obvious non-contest it is.

Adam McNestrie said...

So, Davis has resigned. He’s called a hissy-fit by-election – the first in history apparently. Yes – this is an unprecedentedly vain and hollow piece of political bravado. It is historic. No one wants to fight him (who can blame them? he’s former SAS), no one understands why he has to fight a by-election to demonstrate his fondness for civil liberties; but he’s going to damn well do it anyway. No one – not Gordon Brown, not the Murdoch press, not hundreds of years of accepted Parliamentary practice, not common sense, not even David Cameron – is going to stop him.

Just think, though: what if they all start doing it? What if he’s just the first Tory MP to have this particular eureka moment? We’re all vulnerable to crazes, fads and bubbles. Imagine a Parliament in which the Conservative Party has done the decent thing and resolved to act as the kamikaze party… The remaining Parliamentarians appreciate the increased elbow space at the bars; there is a fire sale of Tory offices; Labour MPs stretch out in the Chamber, taking to sitting on both sides of the Speaker’s Chair; a wonderful spirit of bonhomie and harmony descends on the House of Commons. Without the Conservatives, MPs finally get round to doing all of the things that they had always been meaning to do, but had never been able to find the time for. A fair tax system is introduced. Child poverty is abolished. Comprehensive environmental legislation is passed. Nuclear disarmament begins. All of a sudden no one can remember why they used to think governing Britain was such a tricky business…

It could happen. If we want it bad enough it just might happen.

Read about Davis at greater length in my blog, just who the hell are we?, at: