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