Thursday, July 10, 2008

David Davis is a hero

Its the sneering I dislike most. The dismissive tone of those politicians and commentators who cannot grasp that there is some greater purpose for an MP than reaching a lofty position on a greasy pole. Oh how they will mock the turnout, which will inevitably be down on the General Election. Oh how they have already mocked a man who did something extraordinary, when they can only understand the ordinary.

I believe David Davis has achieved a great deal. He has made us face up to the insidious advance of state surveillance - the remorseless chipping away of our civil liberty. He caused Bob Geldof to write (or have written for his approval perhaps) this fine article in today's Telegraph. By his actions David Davis has pushed open a window and allowed some light to be shed on the intrusive tentacles of a domineering state as they encircle the neck of our liberty in their suffocating grip.

Some comments on one of my previous posts on this issue seem to challenge my right to hold this opinion - because of a previous Conservative Government's association with a policy of Internment in Northern Ireland. This seems odd to me because when internment was operational, I had almost no interest in current affairs. I did have a passing interest in the future of my home area as a result of involvement in Young Farmer's Clubs competitions, but from my early 20s, life was dominated by sport and family and then working to make enough money to provide for them. Developed an interest in local public service when I became involved in local government, and in national issues when Lord Walker plucked me out of obscurity to chair the Development Board for Rural Wales. It was only in the early 90s that I started reading national newspapers on a regular basis, and joined the Conservative Party. I've stiven to catch up since , but always suffered from the lack of historical perspective on some issues. None of this is not to dismiss 'Internment' as anything but a hugely important issue - just that I wasn't in the least bit interested in it at the time. Reading about it on the Internet, I reckon that I would have been opposed to it, though I accept that its easy to comment with hindsight.

Anyway, I do comment on detention without charge, and ID cards, and CCTV surveillance. I just going to watch Newsnight now, to learn what the BBC's take is on it all - but for me David Davis is a hero.

UPDATE - As expected, Emily Maitlis sneered and mocked, but Michael Crick surprised me by acknowledging a much higher turnout than expected, and was clearly impressed. The turnout % is expected to be in the mid 30s which David is right to describe as 'Spectacular' in the circumstances.

25 comments:

Normal Mouth said...

David Davis has a right to draw attention to whatever issues he deems important. He has a right to cause a by-election in order to do (though whether he is right to do so is another matter). These rights are a function of a free society.

And we have a right to ignore him and his stunt, if we wish. That's freedom, too.

Anonymous said...

Did you know Christopher Glamorganshire? What's the latest?

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics-news/2008/07/09/sacked-blogger-s-taking-case-to-tribunal-91466-21308104/

Glyn Davies said...

NM - Wouldn't life be boring if we all agreed. Of course you have your rights as described, as I have mine to laud DD as my hero. In fact, my regard for him has increased from its already high level by the principled stand (or stunt in NM terms) he has taken on this issue.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - No I didn't. I was sorry to learn that he/she was sacked though. Martin Shipton got my comments about right. If Christopher Glamorganshire's terms of employment stated that no public comment could be made on a blog, then the defence case is weak. But if the Government is just depending on a general proviso that nothing should bring disrespect etc., I think it was very harsh, because the blog was fairly innocuous. But we do know that the 'establishment' hate blogs, because they lose control in this age when 'control' is all pervading. I don't fancy the chances of CG getting the job back though. The 'establishment' usually backs up the 'establishment'.

Billy Ruffian said...

We wrote a song about David Davis and his by-election it's called "Most Unlikely Civil Liberties Defender of All" and it can be heard here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsqYihgo0AI

Anonymous said...

i'd make an mp pay for the by election costs if they resign and then stand again.
farcical glyn.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Ur definitely entitled to your opinion Glyn. Given the past history of the Conservative Party in supporting Internment and torture and a lack of acknowledgement that it was plain wrong, I am moving towards NN's stunt version. All the same, I do agree that 42 days detention without charge is not on.

PS When you make it to Parliament - beware of 'yes men' and be thankful that some who actually respect you will sometimes disagree with you.

alanindyfed said...

Agree absolutely. See my recent blog....

Frank H Little said...

How do you interpret the result?

The fact that Jill Saward, the only candidate so far as I know whose main plank was support for 42-day detention, finished so far down the order tends to bear out your thesis.

On the other hand, the Green candidate finished second, which must be an indication of how the public views the Conservative Party's green credentials.

Glyn Davies said...

billy - thanks. Why should DD's approach be so unlikely ? I went to his office in Westminster and talked through a few issues before supporting him for the party leadership two years ago. I'm not surprised at all by his attitude.

anon - I just dont agree with you, and the people of the consituency don't either. To have 34% of them vote when Labour, the Lib Dems or Ukip were not standing, when the significant student proportion of the electorate had left, and with little media coverage was very impressive. The only other people I've heard take your line have been known Labour Party supporters.

christopher - I don't object to your criticism - but I'm not going to make up an opinion just to avoid it.

Alan and David Davis, an unlikly pairing.

Glyn Davies said...

frank - I don't think the votes cast for the other candidates tell us anything much. The most significant result was that 34% of people voted, which I think was very high in the circumstances. I also expected more people to vote for others, simply as an anti-Conservative vote - not all Lib Dems would have agreed with Nick Clegg's strategy. I also thought at least some Labour voters would have wanted to vote against David. It will be interesting to see whether this interesting exercise in democracy will persuade other Parliamentarians that there is more to politics than high office.

Che Grav-ara said...

Whilst I do agree with David Davies stand on this issue (although not his decision to hold a by election) I think it is difficult to claim a man that agrees with the death penalty is a civil liberties hero!

welsh lobbyist said...

I agree with the analysis of ITV's Political Correspondent Libby Wiener who said that this is not the last we will hear of David Davis, that he may not have scored a bit hit with the Civil Liberties issues, (but people are talking about it) but DD has done himself a great deal of good in the eyes of the wider electorate, watch this space.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Ru signaling Glyn that you prefer DD over Cameron?

alanindyfed said...

I'd far rather have David Davis to David Jones. Though DD may be a unionist I support his stand for individual freedom and civil liberties in the face of mindless bureaucratic, robotic and dictatorial pen-pushers.

Glyn Davies said...

che - I agree with you about the state killing people, but I do see a difference between this issue and what DD is talking about. The debate about the death penalty is not really about civil liberty.

Welsh lobbyist - agreed.

Christopher - No. I did support David Davis for leader, but David Cameron won fair and square, and has done a fantastic job ever since. I am a fully fledged supporter of the Leader.

Alan - why pick on David Jones, who is a hard working Welsh MP.

Anonymous said...

A wise PPC would distance him/herself from DD, not align him/herself with DD.

Glyn> "What if" the real motivation behind DD's resignation and self-styled re-election was to set up a 'launch platform' against Cameron? I think there was a 'calculation' here, and firming up support from other Conservatives like you.

It would be unforgivable to give DD such support - this would be 'a gift' to Gordon Brown and risked de-stabilizing the Conservative Party.

Gordon Brown must be gone ASAP and there can't be any harmful distraction on this score within Conservative Party ranks. I was a former Labour Party supporter but no more, not while Gordon Brown is in charge. In my humble opinion Gordon Brown presents a 'clear and present danger' to the nation.

I have no truck with DDs and his ilk in the Conservative Party cluttering up the path to Gordon Brown's exit from front line politics.

You gave me pause for concern - you did seem to be pulling for DD, thanks for clarifying that you are in fact firmly in Cameron's camp at a time when there can not be any deviation from getting Gordon Brown out of office. DD's actions risked spoiling Cameron's clear road/path plan.

A wise PPC would distance him/herself from DD, not align him/herself with DD. Now is not the right time to offer what looks like (to some in the CP) unconditional support.

Anonymous said...

Alan is a silly old crank, that's why.

alanindyfed said...

Hardworking he may be but his ideas do not conform with my vision of a future Wales, freed from the ties that bind it to Britain.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I suppose you could say that a wise candidate would not write a blog. If I thought that any member of my party was seeking to undermine David Cameron, I would withdraw my support. What has driven my posts on this issue has been a personal interest in civil liberties. From the first minute I heard his speech on my car radio, I believed that David Davis' action would assist rather hinder Gordon Brown's exit from No 10 (even though I would have preferred David Davis not to have done it.) My support for people has never been calculated on personal advantage. If I admire someone, I say so.

Anon - and what's wrong with a silly old crank. Blogs couldn't survive without them.

Alan - I've not discussed this with David, but I suspect you may be correct to think that there might be some difference in outlook between you and him.

Anonymous said...

Glyn -why do you bother with Alan? He's barking mad.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - This blog welcomes comments from the barking mad, and that is not a comment about Alan, who will be quietly pleased that there seems to be a bit of a 'get Alan campaign' on the go at the moment.

Valleys Mam said...

Good on David Davies, more like that please, wouldnt it be good to see some principle from Labour and the Lib Dems and even Plaid may be.
More power to you DD.
PS Glyn did u see the documentary on the Cheeky Girls - it should have been relabeled OPik comits political suicide.I cannot credit what he said and did.

Alan in Dyfed, glad to be mad! said...

I suggest you read Kahlil Gibran: "The Madman".
There is enough madness in the present state of society and in political circles (I won't mention which ones), and those who are apt to call another mad are often loathe to look at themselves in the mirror. They also go under the ubiquitous pseudomyn "anonymous".
;-)

What happened to all the real eccentrics in British politics?
I mean the ones everyone thought were mad?

Glyn Davies said...

VM - I didn't see it, but others have told me about it. I just don't know what to think. It all seems so tacky and tasteless to me, but I still talk to people who think its ok. I guess we'll have to wait and see what the voters think of it all.

alan, the mad - stand proud and remember that you believe in your opinions enough to publicly stand behind them. That counts in my book.