Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dragon's Eye

I'd done a lot of filming for tonight's edition of Dragon's Eye about a private sector provider of colonoscopy services for suspected bowel cancer sufferers and others - but Lord Elis Thomas and David Davis's resignation pushed the story off the screen. I felt deeply partisan watching the coverage of the Davis resignation, finding Wayne David's contribution absolutely appalling - Westminster politics at its worst. At least he put it on the screen for us all to see. As always Jonathon Evans was professional and logical. He's an old friend of the ex-Shadow Home Secretary, and knows just how concerned about the growth of the 'police state' in Britain he is. It really was shocking yesterday to read about a British Government offering consessions for votes to help Gordon Brown climb out of a hole. I really do feel alarmed by what seems a total disregard for civil liberties by the Labour Party. Just as the approach of the BBC's Nick Robinson (and others) is deeply depressing. The idea that a politician could put his career on the line for a genuinely held personal belief doesn't seem to register on his radar.

Now I've no idea what the outcome of David's decision will be, but he's contesting an election on a point of principle that the Telegraph tells us that 69% of people disagree with him. Labour have clearly decided that the line to spin is that this is a 'stunt'. A hugely successful politician, who has consistently been one of the Conservatives most successful performers, potentially sacrifices his career - and they call it a 'stunt'. It looks unpleasant, and I suspect that it will reinforce the growing perception of Labour as the 'Nasty Party'. Its what Labour deserves.


Luke said...

He's not put anything on the line, Glyn. He's thrown his toys out of the pram in the most pathetic way possible, and called an election that no one wants or needs to satisfy his huge - and growing - vanity. If the Tories in the Bay had a by-election every time they lost a vote, we'd be in a perpetual election cycle.

Even more pathetic are the Tory cklaims that "there is no split". Rubbish - and you know it.

Che Grav-ara said...

To be honest Glyn as much as I agree the Labour party are seen as the "nasty party" I have to say this does seem like a pointless stunt. Tomos Livingstone makes the point that Davies could have made an equally valid contribution to the debate as Shadow Home Secretary. If it is or not Davies actions do come across like the kind of politics that Labour has been indulging in for the past ten years.

For me, although I agree with Davies point in principal, I think the fact that the bill was presented in parliament and voted through democratically, however disappointing, is what democracy is about. If Davies does not accept that then maybe he should be an MP. Its how our democratic process works and calling a by-election if a vote doesn’t democratically go your way does nothing to help restore the publics faith in the democratic process.

Che Grav-ara said...


If Davies does not accept that then maybe he should (not)* be an MP

Glyn Davies said...

luke and che - To say that David Davis has not put anything on the line is plain silly. He has probably sacrificed his position in front line politics - because he believes our democracy is becoming so debased that our civil liberties are being unnecessarily undermined. I too was disgusted with the tactics employed to force this 'detention without charge' through the House of Commons.

I don't know all the reasoning, or background that led to this astonishing development. I'm dissappointed that a man I consider to be a exceptional politician has left the front of the stage, but I have huge respect for any politician who puts principle, particularly one so important before his political career. It is interesting that very few in the political 'village' even begin to understand how someone can react as David Davis has done. Personally, I regard the insistant repetition of words like 'stunt' and 'vanity' as saying more about those that use them, than it does about David.

Glyn Davies said...

che - its Davis, not Davies.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

Well, let's face it Labour should know all about cheap stunts on terrorism given that they have been playing silly so-and-sos on 42 days in a bid to look tough.

I see Gordon Brown is in full denial mode this morning, saying that this is about splits in the Tories and not misbehaviour by Labour - is he actually as crazy as he sounds, do you know?

Che Grav-ara said...

Spelling noted Glyn.

I don't know why you put me in with Luke as I have not claimed that Davis has put anything on the line. As far as his seat goes I don't think he has as he will be returned comfortably. However he has lost his position on the front bench possibly lost any working relationship with Cameron and certainly lost a certain degree of credibility with many commentators and electorate.

"Personally, I regard the insistant repetition of words like 'stunt' and 'vanity' as saying more about those that use them, than it does about David."

If that’s the case I would be very
concerned as it is 90% of Cameron's arsenal towards Brown.

Anonymous said...

didn't see Dragon Eye's but it sounds similar to Newsnight's take on the David Davis story it was excruciating last night and im not even a Tory.

They had a constantly grinning presenter and sniggering contributors when discussing the day's events they could hardly contain their enjoyment, so much for balanced BBC journalism.

Glyn Davies said...

half blood - In general, I agree with you, but I don't think that Gordon Brown is crazy. Labour has decide to 'spin' this as Conservative divisions, and they are using the words 'stunt' and 'vanity' at every opportunity. I don't know exactly why David has done what he's done, but I don't think any of the Labour 'Spin' is true.

che - sorry to have grouped my response. Was in too much of a hurry at the time. I agree with the first part of your comment, except that we don't know yet how the electorate (both local and wider) will react.

My objection to the use of the words 'stunt' and 'vanity' were that I do not think they are true. I just think that David has probably reached a stage of concern about our democracy, and about our civil liberties that he felt that he had to try something new. My feelings are a mixture of disappointment arising from his disappearance from the front bench, and great respect for David Davis. The saving grace is that Dominic Grieve is a very good replacement, with a reputation for defending civil liberty every bit as strong as David Davis'.

anon - I don't think that Dragon's Eye was unfair in its presentation at all - but Wayne David's sneering performance was unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

Typical Tories.
2 steps forward, 1 step back.
I can not believe it!
And I am a British Tory!

Alan in Dyfed said...

I support David Davis' stand.The erosion of civil liberties under this Labour government is very worrying and more voices of conscience should be raised in defence of the freedom of the individual in the face of these increasing threats to personal liberty.
He may be a lone voice in the wilderness but he exhibits the courage of his conviction. May he be returned handsomely in the By-election to come!

Glyn Davies said...

anon - At least its not one step forward and two steps back!

Alun - I agree with you in every respet.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn et al> Well, the Irish have rejected the EU Treaty! Yes Sir! Great news, imho.