Monday, 13 October 2008

Postscript: Government drops 42 days plan

For whatever political reasons, and I'll leave that to the historians, the government lead by Gordon Brown has accepted defeat and dropped the proposal for 42 days detention without trial. See the report in the Daily Telegraph here.

Friday, 11 July 2008

David Davis victory speech

"First, may I thank the returning officer, his officials and the police. I would also like to take the opportunity to commend the other parties that contested this election. One of the freedoms I defend is the right of anybody to stand in a democratic election. By and large this has been a courteous and entertaining campaign. I thank everyone for taking part. Four weeks ago, I resigned my position as Shadow Home Secretary, and Member of Parliament. Not for personal gain. Not for political advantage. But to defend a principle. The doubters said it couldn’t be done.

"You can’t win a by-election campaigning for freedom. You can’t shift public support for 42 days.

"You can’t spark a national debate, they said… people just don’t care about British liberty. And yet, 3 weeks on, we’ve sent a shot across the bows of Gordon Brown’s arrogant, arbitrary and authoritarian government. We’ve galvanised a new consensus … across the political spectrum … beyond the world of politics. A new resolve. A new spirit of freedom. A fresh sense of purpose.

"Today, the people of Haltemprice and Howden have delivered a stunning message to the government…as our campaign has reverberated across the country. Four weeks ago as Gordon Brown stooped into the gutter to rig the vote on 42 days, Ministers crowed that 69% of people supported 42 days. Today just 36% support it. Four weeks ago, the government touted public support for a range of other draconian measures. Today, 71% support my stand against the attacks on British liberty. And in the House of Lords, the last Head of MI5 savaged the government’s 42 day proposal. It now lies in tatters, robbed of any remaining credibility. Along with this government. And that’s after just 3 weeks.

"But today is not the end of this campaign. It’s the beginning. On Monday I return to the House of Commons, to take up my seat in those hallowed chambers. I do so with a clear mandate to fight Gordon Brown’s vision of ‘Big Brother Britain’ tooth and nail. To stop 42 days dead in its tracks.

"To prevent the disaster of ID cards before it happens. To protect our personal privacy from being ransacked by the ever-intrusive state. But most of all for the thousands upon thousands who have written to me… Supported me…and voted for me….

"I return to fight for those fundamental freedoms that define our way of life. The freedoms that millions died defending. The freedoms that make Britain Great."

NB Hat tip to Cranmer from where this is cut and pasted. I understand the BBC did its best (or worse) to stop this speech being broadcast.

David Davis' campaign wins 72% of the vote

David Davis has won the by-election, with a majority of 15,355. The final turnout was 34%, vastly higher than the 20% that was expected given the make up of the by-election and Labour decision to to democratically defend its record but to hide behind a flag of convenience about the cost of democracy ( on the same week that they announced plans for a wave of local government referendums and forgetting their own more dubious misuse of public money in their tax payer funded Labour focus groups people's juries.

I say David Davis' campaign as many people who normally support other parties have combined to support the banner of his campaign. The Lib Dems put country before party at an early stage and since they agree with Mr Davis stand on our liberties have not stood against him.

There will be plenty of sniping from Westminster and the compliant press, but this result has been achieved despite that opposition and represents a key rebellion against the slow strangulation of our liberties by an authoritarian government.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

David Davis on the government's false bargain

Shane Greer has an interview with David Davis today over at Total Politics here (hat tip to Iain Dale for giving the heads up here - who after all should be aware of what is happening at his creation ).

Its worth reading through in its entirety, but I think the following two sentences sums the current situation up:

    My general view is that what the government does is offer false bargain, and that bargain appears to be more security for less liberty. What in practice it turns out to be is no more security, and sometimes less security for less liberty.

David Davis also quotes that there have been about 300 articles or so in the last three weeks on the by-election, which when combined with the discovery that the more people know about the threat to our historic liberty that 42 day detention without trial represents the less they like it confirms that this has been worth while.

The People Speak

I don't need to remind you that today is the day when the people of Haltemprice and Howden go to the polls, bearing upon their shoulders the burden of a thousand years of British liberty.

Of course, the quality of the other two-dozen candidates, all flocking to try and fill the void left by the absence of the two other major parties, means that there will be no other result than victory for David Davis. Success will be measured in voter turnout, and by how much of a margin he is ahead of the next highest polling candidate. Though I do hate to be pessimistic, judging by the way things were when I was in the constituency last weekend, I must echo Praguetory's conclusion that if Davis polls around 20,000 votes, it will be a great achievement.

However, The Man reckons it's a sunny day, we have the man who started charity behind us, so there's every possibility. Whatever happens, history will record David Davis as the man who took a stand for British freedom.

Don't let 'Brave New Britain' remove our fundamental rights - Bob Geldolf

Bob Geldolf has written for the Comment pages of today's Daily Telegraph, full article here, extract below:

    They are being asked about what kind of country we wish to live in. We may never get to vote on something so profoundly fundamental again.

    Let us be grand for once, for we talk of great subjects. Ask "what is the point of Britain?" if we so casually give up the liberty which defines this country, its greatest gift to the world.

    Still today, 800 years later, Magna Carta resonates: "To no man will we deny, To no man will we delay, Justice and Right." Is that not grand, worthy of your vote? Is habeas corpus to be traduced in one sad moment of political expediency? Do we not clearly deny and delay Justice and Right when we imprison a person for 42 days without charge?...

If you have a vote today don't forget to use it. As with the Irish Lisbon referendum there are many of us who have not been asked rooting for you to make our point for us !

Today's the day

The polls are open, my statelitte images suggests it the sun may even be shining in Haltemprice and Howden. Good luck to Andrew and DD's team on the ground getting the vote out !

Update: Judging by other peoples comments elsewhere I think I was a little off the mark hear....

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

60% think 28 days should be the limit

Today the Rowntree Foundation released a survey that showed that 60% of the general public who were surveyed believe that 28 days or lower should be the limit on detention without trial.

You may remember that at the time of the debate in the commons the media were reporting that the majority of the public supported 42 days.

This looks like strong evidence that David Davis has won his argument and changed popular opinion ( also known as 'leadership' - Labour ministers might like to look this up in the dictionary, as they haven't seen much of it over the last year ).

To see a break down of views - including Labour supporters disgusted with their parties refusal to put up a candidate to argue the case on civil liberties - see this release by the

Now of course the % in a poll doesn't make a view right or wrong - just popular. But is perhaps a sign of an argument being won in the wider population.

See also

Iain Dale - Has David Davis's National Debate Been Sparked?
Donal Blaney - David Davis has won already
A Conservative's blog - David Davis wins 42 day debate!
Tim Roll-Pickering - Has David Davis succeeded?

And alternative view is given here on Politics home ( well inside the gutless Wetsminster careerist bubble I would say ).

Bishops Hill has a good round up of some of the views in the blosphere on all this...

+++ Vote in our poll if you can't in the by-election +++

The usual highly unscientific health warning attached - but to the right are two polls on whether you support David Davis and how you think the by-election may go.

( Since there may be some electoral issue I'm going to reduce their time frame to today, once I've worked out how ).

Note: There's an interesting article in The New Statesman reporting from the by-election. It appears to me to say David Davis has won the argument, but all now depends on turn out.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

42 days not "workable" - ex head MI5

The BBC reports that:-

    The former head of MI5 has dismissed government plans to extend the time terror suspects can be held to 42 days as not "workable".

    Baroness Manningham-Buller, who stepped down from the role last year, told peers she disagreed on a "practical basis as well as a principled one".

    Lady Manningham-Buller, in her maiden speech to the House of Lords, said: "I don't see, on a principled basis, as well as a practical one, that these proposals are in any way workable."

    She added that a "broad cross-party consensus" on fighting terror was needed.

    Lady Manningham-Buller also said it was essential there was a "balance between the right to life", "the fact that there is no such thing as complete security" and "the importance of our hard-won civil liberties".

    She added that "therefore, on principle, I cannot support 42 days' pre-charge detention in this bill".
    (Full article here ).

Sounds pretty damning.

Davis vs McNulty in Sky News debate

Hat tip to

Friday, 4 July 2008

"Liberties sacrificed for 'an illusion'"

See this article by John Ozimek over at the ever brilliant The Register ( a magazine concept that almost has no equivalent in any line of life other than IT ). Extract below:

    ....As polling day approaches for the Howden and Haltemprice by-election, voters and observers are left with an eerie sense of déjà vu as Labour once again refuses to debate its civil liberties record with David Davis.

    Just over four years ago, a keynote conference, “Mistaken Identity”, was organised by Privacy International. While the focus was on government plans to introduce identity cards, speakers ranged far and wide across the civil liberties implications of the scheme.

    Davis: hopes to kick 42 days into touch

    It was Conservative Shadow Home Affairs spokesperson Davis who provided an impressive roundup of the issues. He accused the government of having a poor track record in protecting of confidential information, with the increasing exchange of data between departments authorised by ministerial fiat rather than legislation.

    As for ID cards, .....

This shows that these issues are making headway outside of the Westminster village - as is the idea that Labour are too cowardly to debate them honestly.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

+++ Bob Geldof to campaign for David Davis +++

This should give Rory Brenner plenty of material - but perhaps much of it will be unbroadcastable!

Many people from the right and left are declaring support for what David Davis is doing in standing up for our liberties.

I hope there will be pictures !

Update: See also today's Daily Mail

Tim Collins warns that we run the risk of turning terrorists into martyrs

Tim Collins, made famous for this pre-War speech to his troops before the invasion of Iraq, has written a thought provoking article for the Daily Telegraph ( here ). Below is a small extract:

    ... Prosecutors, policemen, the security services and special forces soldiers - those on the frontline - have no idea of the reasoning, let alone evidence, behind 42 days. So much for clarity of mission. Let's hope the House of Lords makes a stand when it debates the matter next week.

    One person who has been over the evidence with a fine-toothed comb is David Davis. When I discussed 42 days with him recently, I was interested to hear that he had in effect audited the previous police counter-terrorism investigations - checking his facts with the police and prosecutors involved - and found that, in the words of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the police had coped "comfortably" with 28 days.

    Davis fears that repressive measures, such as the unnecessary extension to 42 days, risk doing the terrorists' job for them. He is right. ....

He outlines the importance of what he calls the propaganda war - I would go further and say its the battle for ideas and ideals. 42 days is all about losing both.

He also makes clear the careful level of investigation David Davis has been through before taking the step for forcing this issue at a by-election.

He is perhaps too generous to Gordon Brown's government in suggesting they are making a mistake. The other possibility is they know full well what they are doing and the motives should cause concern to us all.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Fear leads to cowardice then servitude, or heroism and freedom

Did Labour* ever set about a policy of reducing our freedoms ( or civil liberties as those on the left would prefer to call them ) ? Maybe there are some who have hopped to seize power and hold it in a Bolshevik style, but they are perhaps a small minority (unless all this stuff about "Common Purpose" has any truth to it - in which case we are in real trouble).

Then why are they legislating to change the nature of our country, by removing fundamental freedoms that have been been the inheritance of many and then later every English man for almost 800 years ? These freedoms and the love of them have directly lead to the formation of the United States of America, without which the world would almost certainly have been conquered by either National Socialism or Communism.

I would like to suggest its the left's, and especially Labour's, response to fear.

In the 1980's the Left responded to the very real fear of Nuclear Armageddon by proposing appeasement and unilateral disarmament. It was was a response based on cowardice and that would - if carried out - have lead to our, perhaps irreversible, servitude. This very policy condemned them to opposition for a decade, but they learned the wrong lesson from this.

They appear to have decided that they must always look tough, when what they really should have understood was the importance of standing up to your fears.

Since Irish Republican terrorism was primarily aimed at the Conservative party and the forces of law and order, Labour had little to fear from it. ( Indeed many in the left wing establishment sympathised or openly supported. Labour MPs were quite happy to argue against the Prevention of Terrorism Act being renewed each year - remember such powers were only temporary then .)

But now terrorism is aimed at the wider population and Labour fear losing an election in the manner that the Spanish government did after the Madrid bombs. There response to the fear from the blackmail of terrorism has been to protect itself (ie the Labour government, not th people) and show cowardice.

This is exactly the response that those using terror hoped to achieve.

They use terror to create fear, and rely on our reaction to that fear to change our society in a way that suits their aims.

Yes the surrender of the West would be nice, but the surrender of western ( and especially English ) values and principles will do to be getting on with.

And by again taking the course of cowardice the Labour government are providing them with that victory.

We have a choice - conquer our fear and stand up to the threat - as we did in the cold war, or surrender and panic as Labour are doing with 42 days detention without trial. In doing so we have acquiesced in our own servitude to an all powerful state.

It has been argued elsewhere that the only way the threat from Islamic terrorism will be defeated is in terms of the battle of ideas. Surrendering your high ground and some of the most attractive principles of our society to keep a few Labour careerists in their highly paid jobs is no way to do this.

If we don't live in the land of the brave, then we won't live in the land of the free. The Americans at least understand this.

* I realise that many people who are Labour party members disagree with their parties policies here, but they must accept responsibility

Sunday, 29 June 2008

How the instruments of the state are turned to oppression

Today the complainats of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) about GP's and Job Centres passing on details about young women trying to escape forced marriages show the great danger that faces many of our fellow citizens as our rights to anonymity and privacy are eroded.

The problem is that some individuals use their professional status (GPs for example) or their access to public databases (To find where National Insurance numbers are being used ) to help people be tracked down.

In the case of young women trying to escape forced marriages this may lead to their deaths, or the enslavement of forced marriages.

The larger the databases of the state become, the less anyone will be able to hide.

And the weak point in the system, as with most other security systems, is the people with access to the data.

Who can guarantee that an abusive family won't be able to get a sympathetic policeman or doctor or civil servant to use their access to data to track people down ?

If you combine this with national identity cards which need to be regularly used then there will be no escape for these people. We will have enslaved a whole generation of young women (and men ! )

Its happening now in microcosm - but it has the potential to be far worse. These outcomes were never intended when these systems were created, and yet they are very real consequences with us today, as ACPO have confirmed.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Campaigning in Haltemprice and Howden

Last Saturday I was in the audience at Hymers College, Hull, to hear a debate between DD and Tony Benn. I call it a debate, however, on the subject of our rights and liberties they agreed with one another almost completely. This is why this campaign is so important. It unites people from different political parties and those who never take an interest in politics. I certainly never thought I would be applauding Tony Benn, but I was as on this occasion. He was talking sense and he is a man who values our rights and liberties.

Today I have been out leafleting in the constituency, along with dozens of other activists. It is very heartening when you welcome people to the area who set off from South London early in the morning. I went out leafleting with a lady from Staffordshire this afternoon and she hopes to return next weekend. We have had people from Norfolk and the West Midlands. Timothy Kirkhope MEP was out leafleting with us too. DD also popped into the distribution centre to talk to activists. We were grateful he found time in his busy schedule to have a chat with the troops.

We still need your help though. It is vital we get the vote out. David needs to win this by-election with a thumping majority and with a huge turnout. Come and help us achieve this goal.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Averting The End of Freedom

As we learn that David Davis will face no opponent from the other major parties in his by-election, the campaign website has produced his "manifesto". As promised, it focusses entirely upon the subject of British freedom and civil liberties, and includes ten specific policy pledges, which so far as I'm aware, is in-line entirely with Tory Party policy:

1.Reverse 42 days pre-charge detention – a ‘PR coup for Al-Qaeda’.
2.Scrap ID cards – put the £19 billion savings towards a Border Police Force and other security measures.
3.Immediate reversal of the ban on free speech outside Parliament.
4.Protect the right to trial by jury.
5.Stop neighbourhood spies using powers that should rest with the police and MI5.
6.Use intercept evidence to prosecute terrorists – but restrict bugging by local councils.
7.Replace 1 million innocent citizens on the DNA database with the serious criminals left off.
8.Make CCTV more effective (80% is unusable) – strengthen punishments for privacy abuse.
9.Slash the 266 separate powers the state has to force its way into the home.
10.Launch an independent inquiry into the government’s serial database failures.

He may also like to take notice of Peter Hitchens' latest blog post, which explains that the Government needs more power to "protect" us simply because it - as well as previous administrations - has undermined the usual proceedures of justice that used to be so effective:

I mentioned in my column that there's no contradiction between supporting the gallows and defending English liberty. On the contrary, the two things go together like roast beef and horseradish sauce. The good old English hanging judge, as George Orwell once unwillingly conceded, was also an incorruptible figure of impartial justice. But I'd go further than that. Feebleness towards wrongdoers will eventually mean the end of freedom.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Tony Benn on David Davis' resignation

Tony Benn explaining why he thinks David Davis is taking a principled stand.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Do opponents of civil liberties (such as ACPO's Ken Jones) have the guts to debate David Davis?

Did you see the press conference by Association of Civil-Illiberal (sorry - Chief!) Police Officers (ACPO)'s Ken Jones broadcast 'live' on Sky News? What a weak defence for CCTV, DNA etc by an opponent of our civil liberties - is this the best the Government can line up against David Davis?

David has just posted a response to Ken Jones; here's an excerpt:

Mr Jones must explain why 80% of CCTV cannot be used for operational purposes, after half a billion of public funds invested. And if he makes the case for the DNA database, he needs to explain why 1 million innocent citizens have been swabbed since 2001, with absolutely no improvement in the 0.4% rate of crimes detected using DNA.

Best of all, David challenges Jones to a debate:

If Ken Jones really wants a serious and balanced debate - without misrepresentation of either side - I invite him to debate me in Haltemprice and Howden on any date of his choosing.

Does Jones have the courage of his convictions to take on David in a debate? Time will tell! Whatever the outcome of this challenge, it is clear that the opponents of civil liberties have weak arguments (Government policy on the hoof is often based on little evidence), and are absolutely terrified of having to debate the subject with someone who has solid evidence against the authoritarian policies of the Government.

Hand over your film !

Every day provides new examples of how our freedom has been curtailed. Take this example of the story of a photographer in Hull, not far from Haltemprice and Howden by coincidence, reported in The Register by John Ozimek, see extract below ( The full article is worth a read also ):

When you hear the phrase "helping police with their inquiries", does an image of dedicated selfless citizenry instantly spring to mind? Or do you wonder whether the reality is not slightly more sinister?

How about "voluntarily handing over film to the police".

Stephen Carroll is a keen amateur photographer, with an interest in candid portraiture: "street photography", he calls it. In December 2007, he was in the centre of Hull taking photos.

Unfortunately for him, his actions were spotted by two local policemen. They stopped him in the middle of Boots and asked him to accompany them outside. There they told him that he had been taking photographs of "sensitive buildings". One said: "I am taking your film".

Mr Carroll requested an explanation. He asked whether he was "obligated" to hand over the film. In vain! Every time he asked, back came the same response: "I am taking your film". Robocop is alive and well and apparently working in Humberside. Full article here....

Do you still feel free ? How the story changes, see article, when Humberside police are challenged is even worse ...

Get Up, Stand Up

David Davis' campaign website is now in full gear, and looks pretty spick.

It includes an opportunity to volunteer your services to the by-election campaign online. By the looks of it, they're able to the provide transport and accomodation. Hope you follow me in "signing up", if you're able. And if you can't, consider donating.

It sounds cliche, but it is for a good cause.

Monday, 23 June 2008

The Rift Closes

Just after David Davis resigned, the MSM began to look for a story that wasn't there. They struggled to understand that a person could make a sacrifice purely on a matter or principle, either because of the general corruptness of politicians, or because they were judging others by their own personalities.

Consequently, they tried to pick open a wound that didn't exist, struggling to plausibly say that the real motive behind the resignation was a Cameron-Davis split. It wasn't helped by the fact that the party refused to put its full machinery behind Davis' campaign, seeing Henley as the primary target for their attention.

Of course, this was a mistake because Henley is a guaranteed safe seat which the MSM has paid next-to-no attention to, whilst Davis is fighting a by-election on an issue of Tory Party policy. Whether this reality has dawned on the party leadership or not, we would hope that the rumours about a Cameron-Davis split will be put to rest by the news that David Cameron has commanded all members of the Shadow Cabinet to report to Haltemprice and Howden for duty.

As well as eliminate any speculation about a "rift", it will also, hopefully, turn media attention towards the campaign. It also affirms the line of both Davis and his successor, Dominic Grieve, that the Conservatives are 100% committed to the preservation of civil liberties. Although some of us would love for the 28-day detention limit to be slashed too, as conservatives, we have to be happy with small, slow progress.

Catching the mood

It seems the wider public understands what DD is up to, see Guido's post on a video by Billy Ruffian here...

The (local) government now starts to engage with the Freedom agenda

Today we hear that Sir Simon Milton, chairman of the Local Government Association, has written to councils warning them that overzealous use of the powers could alienate the public.

The local councils have powers such as phone and email records as well as surveillance , given to them under anti-terrorism legislation introduced by Labour.

They have famously been used for tasks other than preventing terrorism.

And here is the problem of laws framed by politicians who believe its okay to create intrusive powers, as they can be trusted to use these powers. They ignore the fact that powers on the statute book tend to get used in ways you didn't expect. ( As the poor pensioner dragged from Labour's Party conference a few years ago under anti-terrorism legislation for shouting at Jack Straw discovered. )

What the announcement by Sir Milton shows is that those in power are now worried about how the issue of freedom is playing with the public. He has also provided Labour with a fig leaf to use when these abuses of power are brought up in debate. They all seem to forget that we are laying the foundations of a totalitarian state, which may be run by people they haven't thought of yet.

And this is, as I understand it, at the base of David Davis' campaign.

Update: And so apparently does he !

Thursday, 19 June 2008

+++ David Davis on Question time BBC1 tonight 10:35pm +++

If your interested .. I'll probably add comments as it goes on live.

Who would have thought a week ago...?

A week has passed since David Davis shocked the Westminster village, and wrongsided many of the commentariat and his fellow politicians, by his brave and principled decision to take the fight for civil liberties to the people. Writing on Conservative Home’s Platform, he outlines why, "Our British freedoms are precious - far more precious than the career of any single politician."

How appropriate that this by-election is being fought in a constituency so close to Hull and including some of its western suburbs. Some words from the sleeve of Hague’s book, “William Wilberforce”, a Hull MP who: "achieved the rare feat of placing principle above politics, mankind above party and results above ambition."

Who would have thought a week ago that ...
  • a leading Frontbencher would risk his career - 201 years after Wilberforce’s victory in achieving the abolition of slavery - to launch the first salvo for freedom from the illiberal, authoritarian state that Labour has fomented?
  • Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg would have announced he was not fielding a candidate against Mr Davis, signalling to Lib Dem voters to vote Davis?
  • an Ipsos-MORI poll in The Independent would have shown rapidly declining support for 42 days and a shift in public opinion to provide major backing for David Davis?
  • the Westminster village and the know-it-all commentariat would get it so wrong and backpedal, realising that David Davis has hit a chord with the public?
  • even the biggest and fiercest dog on the block, Kelvin 'Gotcha' MacKenzie, would announce that he would stand in the Haltemprice & Howden by-election, but then chicken out when he recognised that the public was backing Mr Davis?
  • Labour MPs such as Bob Marshall-Andrews (Medway) and Ian Gibson (Norwich, North) would announce that they would campaign for Mr Davis in the by-election?
  • Liberal activist Sunny Hundal (editor of leftie blog Pickled Politics) would blog that, "given that New Labour wants to extend anti-terrorism legislation until every brown person in the country is locked up until proven innocent ... it makes more sense for brown and black people, who will overwhelmingly face the brunt of this police-state legislation, to vote Conservative"?
  • Gordon Brown wouldn't even have the guts to put up a candidate in a parliamentary by-election?

The political landscape has changed in many ways in the last week, but it just proves that putting principle above party politics in the fight for civil liberties is the right thing to do. This is the mark of a true statesman.

David Davis interviewed by Labourhome's Alex Hilton

LabourHome's Alex Hilton has the coup of one of the first interviews with David Davis, see below.

Its a refreshing interview because Alex is intrested in what he is actually saying, and challenging him with his own views and questions. Alex was usually good value on 18DS - except of course the day he 'pre-announced' the death of a certain ex-prime minister.

He asks the question about why Labour should put up a candidate against him.

Have a watch, I'll rewatch it a bit more closely tonight and comment later.

Gordon Brown's take on liberty and security

On Tuesday this week, Gordon Brown delivered a speech on freedom and liberty to defend himself after the resignation of David Davis (not that he would admit to that). You can read the full speech HERE but I thought these quotes did a rather nice job of summarising the lies and contradictions peddled by the government as well as demonstrating the utter contempt that Gordon Brown has for your freedom and liberty. Enjoy! (or not....)

“it is our duty to write a new chapter in our country’s story - one in which we protect and promote both our security and our liberty”

“our border controls are stronger than ever”

“[We must] strengthen the protection of the individual by never subjecting the citizen to arbitrary treatment [and] always respecting basic rights and freedoms.”

“We must recognise that winning the battle of ideas means championing liberty.”

“To say we should ignore the longstanding claims of liberty when faced with the urgent needs of security is tempting to some, but never to me - it would be to embark down an illiberal path that is as unacceptable to the British people as it is to me.”

“Just as when we change our laws to respond to the new terrorist threat, we must match new laws with new protections for liberty”

“[You have] the right to have your identity protected and secure. This is why, despite years of exaggeration about its costs and its implications for liberty, public support for [ID cards] remains so strong.”

“We have no plans for it to become compulsory for people to carry an ID card.”

“So let us not pretend that CCTV is intrinsically the enemy of liberty.”

“the National DNA Database has revolutionised the way the police protect the public.”

“It is simply not responsible government to let such opportunities to use new technologies to protect the public pass us by.”

“And it is a measure of the emphasis that we place on at all times advancing the liberties of the individual that we have in the past year done more to extend freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of information.”

“To summarise, we have given people new rights to protest outside Parliament, made it easier for people free of charge to exercise their right to Freedom of Information - and we are now considering a freedom of expression audit for all legislation. We have removed barriers to investigative journalism; introduced new freedoms that guarantee the independence of non-governmental organisations; while at the same time surrendering many powers from the executive to Parliament, and thus to greater public accountability and scrutiny.”

“at all times the enduring responsibility remains the same - both protecting the security of all and safeguarding the individual’s right to be free.”

(cross-posted on Letters From A Tory)

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Its not just our freedom that's at stake

Today we have heard more of the deeply shocking news of the campaign of intimidation, torture and murder being waged against the Zimbabwe opposition MDC party and its supporters.

One of the senior members of the MDC party has been arrested - apparently for treason - but has not been charged in court over 48 hrs latter, which is illegal in Zimbabwe.

Just imagine what use the regime there would make of 42 day detention without trial. They would have no problem at all in describing their victims as terrorists to justify it.

What would the British government say ? Nothing, as we would have the same laws on our statute books.

Every time a repressive foreign regime is challenged from China to Burma to Zimbabwe to Cuba they would respond with - "but look at the laws you have".

Much of the Commonwealth's legal system is based on our own system of law, what Britain does is noticed. Our hypocrisy will be noticed too.

You can see it is not just our freedoms that are at stake with Gordon Brown's insistence in passing the 42 day detention bill.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Terrorism -vs- Freedom

I began blogging when the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 was passed. I took exception to the idea of detention without trial. The Labour Government seemed determined then - and still does - to prove its anti-terrorist credentials by destroying our liberties. Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown have consistently talked of weighing freedom against safety. It is a false choice.

Many times in the last three years, I felt I was wasting my time. Add up all my posts over the period and I have written a book. Without the support of a few other bloggers focussed on the issue, I would have lost heart long ago. For all this time we have waited for what has now happened - for a credible mainstream politician to stand up for our freedoms.

As I said in my first post, our patriotism is not so much to do with "blood and soil." At its best, it is a matter of values. Those values are rooted in Magna Carta, which set the laws of England above her rulers. They are rooted in habeas corpus, a simple writ which forces our rulers to account for their prisoners and to justify their detention to the courts. These things made Englishmen free long before democracy gave them the right to choose their government. They set limits that even a monarch could not cross. If you don't take pride in them, you simply don't understand what it is to be a freeborn Englishman.

The present Government clearly does not. David Davis clearly does.

I could not be more pleased that Mr Davis has chosen to take a stand. There is much at stake - and not just his political career. Our freedoms, the credibility of British politics and perhaps even the soul of the Conservative Party depend to some extent on how we respond to his decision. I hope all bloggers of good will will support him. He has raised a flag to which we should all rally and I for one thank him for it.

Not standing against Davis is political cowardice - Labourhome post

Free Radical - over at Labourhome, makes the case that it'll be cowardice not to put up a candidate against David Davis to support Gordon Brown policy of 42 day detention without trial.

See here ....
The following quote gives an idea on the post ( in case the control freaks get to delete it before PMQs )

    ...If our leaders are so sure of their case on 42 days and civil liberties they should surely relish the opportunity to present it, along with the rest of party policy, in a high-profile byelection - even in a seat in which we would ordinarily have little chance of winning. Who knows, if Davis' act is, as our leader asserts "a stunt" then the good people of Haltemprice and Howden might see through him and show their support for imprisoning suspects without charge for six weeks by voting Labour?

    But, on the other hand the public at large may see our failure to stand up for our beliefs by not contesting this byelection as an act of political cowardice, compared to what might appear an act of political courage and principle by David Davis.... [Free Radical].

Update: Its been confirmed that Labour will not be fielding a candidate at the by-election. Their excuses are no doubt available to read elsewhere.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Fighting for freedom and loving every minute of it

I am delighted to be an author on this blog. We are currently very busy in the constituency stuffing envelopes and getting David's campaign off to a great start. There is a buzz about the place. We know this is a unique time in the history of this sceptered isle when we can make a difference. I will enjoy giving you all regular updates of what is happening in the campaign. Watch this space, we are in for one hell of a ride.

Campaign blog launched

After a slightly shaky start - telling Conservative home about the new domain name before getting a page up - the web site is up and includes a blog !

I'll be linking the RSS feed shortly.


David Craig to stand ?

David Craig looks like standing for the Haltemprice and Howden by-election.

His reason is that the key issue is not 42 days or freedom, but the massive amount of money our politicians waste and pay themselves.

See his article in the First Post.

Update: David Craig is a pseudonym for Neil Glass who is an occasional contributor to The First Post. If he's going to stand as David Craig - needing to change his name - I hope he can remember the fate of the reporter who stood in the by-election as "News Bunny" ( now there's a challenge for your google skills ).



Its time to pull some supporters of David Davis' campaign to stop the government destroying our freedoms together.

So I'm looking for any contributors who want to write in support of David Davis in challenging the government on its plan to establish detention without charge for 42 days.

Email if your interested, or comment below.