Three Cheers for David Davis
Posted by rantingkraut on June 16, 2008
If the purpose of David David’s resignation was to provoke an in depth debate on the erosion of civil liberties and keep the issue in the news, then he seems to be succeeding. Here is some recent coverage from Philip Johnston in the telegraph:
“There are several layers to be addressed: the extension of the criminal law to penalise bad behaviour; the proliferation of state databases carrying personal information and so violating individual privacy; and the expansion of the surveillance society, acknowledged only last week by the Commons home affairs committee. Mr Davis may be quixotic, but he is not imagining these things; most of them have happened in the past 10 or 15 years.
You would have been thought mad 20 years ago to have predicted that it would be a crime for people to smoke on an open-air railway station in the middle of the countryside, smack their children on the leg, hunt foxes, own a donkey without possessing ID for the animal, recite a poem without a licence, possess a.22 calibre air pistol for sporting purposes, engage in teenage canoodling, or set off a firework after 11pm.” (source)
… William Rees-Mogg, making the European connection in the Times:
“What I had not foreseen was the impact of the Davis resignation. Annunziata found that Lib Dem voters identified most strongly with the Davis campaign, to the point at which Mr Davis seemed to be validating the Conservatives as a party prepared to fight on liberal issues. There seems to have been a similar reaction among Labour rebels, some of whom say they will go up to Haltemprice and campaign for him. Pragmatists may have failed to recognise the impact of his personal declaration or the strength of public feeling on libertarian issues.
For the Libs Dems themselves, there is a snag in this, or perhaps two snags. The first, as Lady Williams immediately saw, is that Mr Davis is not campaigning on right-wing issues, but on traditional issues of personal liberty. The second snag is that Europe is itself a liberal issue, but one on which the Liberal Democrats as a party are on the anti-liberal side.” (source)
… while Labour rebel Bob Marshall-Andrews ponders the question why it takes a Tory to say this:
“‘They can’t muzzle the whole of the party, and it seems to me foolish in the extreme in the present climate to start describing civil liberties as a stunt,’ he told The Observer. ‘I have had emails asking, “Why does it take a Tory to say this”?’
Under party rules, Labour MPs risk expulsion for campaigning for opposition parties. However, the maverick MP for Medway said that, since Labour appeared unlikely to put up a candidate against Davis, he considered himself free to speak so that ‘the voice of a substantial part of the Labour party may be heard’.” (source)
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