Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Passion of David Davis

I've been following events since midday when it became apparent that senior Tory MP David Davis was to resign, in response to the 42-day terror limit vote. I've read most of the reports in mainstream press, on prominent UK blogs and tried to piece together my thoughts.

Undoubtedly his resignation has taken everybody by surprise. Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor has said "This resignation is quite extraordinary and without precedent that I can think of in British politics and means that politics is now utterly unpredictable."

Well what to make of it all? This piece entitled The Passion of David Davis I think is one of the most illuminating piece I've read thus far. The piece concludes:

Perhaps we are so used to insincerity in Westminster that a heartfelt protest which contravenes the rules of career politicians is denounced as mad. Who in their right minds gives up a surefire path to the Home Office? Politics is about more than taking safe bets, Davis would say. And he has decided to prove it.

Food for thought.

Update: Unsually, for a political blogger, Beaman supports the 42 day, or even 90 day detention without charge period.

It's worth noting that I, too, were in favour of 90 days. That was before I read this.

God, I'd make a terrible politician wouldn't I? I'd be know as flip-flop, yo-yo, or wobbler or some other gem.


Tu S.Tin said...

It's a tough one.
What are you thinking about? His resignation? or the 42-day vote?
I don't know much about Mr. Davis, but it would seem he would rather put himself in a place he feels he can do more good - right now.
What that is exactly maybe you can explain better.
People want to have their rights protected but they want to be safe too, right?
who gets to draw the lines?
Sometimes the ones who react so "passionately" to everything aren't the best with all their judgments.

Letters From A Tory said...

Politics is indeed about more than taking safe bets, although to be fair Davis is in no danger of losing his seat.

John East said...

One would have thought that the "safe bet" was to sit tight, become Home Secretary in 2 years, and repeal the legislation.

Safe or not, good luck to Davies. I hope he gets a bandwagon rolling that scuppers all of our recent totalitarian legislation, or in the longer term sets him up as the great new hope for freedom post Cameron.

Beaman said...

Great book, 1984. ;-)

Steve said...

Are you going up north to campaign for him Marvin?

Peter R is saying he probably will. I will if I get time, although the byelection is pretty soon?

marvin said...


Maybe - mail me if you have any plans


Tu S.Tin said...

On the 42 hour.. I looked into what other countries do, and there is good and bad points to everything.
a longer detention can maybe act to protect rights as police dont have to rush information and are less likely to make up stuff just to keep the suspect longer........ on the other hand having more time might make everyone just relax and take longer.
terrorism isnt really like a regular crime though and you would think there was good reason for person in question to have been arrested in the first place right?

marvin said...

Tu s.tin, I'm sure that was a typo you've made I'm sure, it's 42 days not 42 hours :D

Incidentally, the USA has a 48 hour pre-charge detention period!

The problem we have is that the government is turning this country into a nanny state, we have more cameras per square mile than any other in the world.

There are several reports of misuse of special powers designed to combat terrorism by local councils in order to check up on whether people are leaving their rubbish bins out in time.

Quite simply, bureaucrats and local powers cannot be trusted with too much power. There are stories of government officials every single week of loosing confidential information. Its a mess and they can't be trusted!

Also, I think we need to draw a line somewhere. It can seem arbitrary, but it needs to be done. Initially we had 14 days, now we have 28 days. I think 28 days without charge is the maximum that should be allowed.

I am no bleeding heart liberal, as you know, I would ring Bin Laden's neck myself with little hesitation.

We should also be aware of being justified, being in the right, on the side of morality. We mustn't forget we are also in a battle of ideas. Guantanamo bay, water-boarding, long periods of detention without charge, do not help us to win the moral argument.

Let's fight the fuckers, and let's be right about it.