Thursday, June 12, 2008

David Davis: An man of honour


Just - wow.

I have met Charles Clarke, John Reid and Jacqui Smith in the course of campaigning for an inquiry into 7/7, and whilst I was pleased that they agreed to meet me and other families and survivors asking for an inquiry, the meetings were ultimately disappointing.

I met David Davis, and Nick Clegg when I had the honour of standing beside them to give evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, about this wretched terrorism bill that was voted on yesterday. I was glad and proud that we all said the same thing: we do not defeat terrorism by throwing away what we hold dearest of all, our liberties. We said it again and again. And the comittee agreed.

I met Mr Davis again afterwards, and I have to say that before the meeting I was a little wary, because I didn't think the 7/7 inquiry campaign should be used as a political football by the Opposition, because the people who were directly affected that day have all sorts of different political opinions, (obviously) and important matters of terrorism and liberty should be above politics in any case.

But Mr Davis was so obviously sincere about his support for the 7/7 inquiry campaign, and then I saw how he lit up and was clearly so passionate about civil liberties and freedom, that after the meeting I walked out with a much lighter heart, because I had seen that this was not political, but personal, and that he really believed it. And that could only be a good thing for Parliament and his party and for all of us who want to preserve freedom and what we stand for and not be cowed or bullied by terrorists or anyone else.

I applaud Mr Davis for this brave and rather wonderful thing that he is doing ( yes, I know it is a safe seat. So?)

I can't stop smiling. I want to cheer. I woke feeling very gloomy this morning after yesterday's disappointment, and squalid show, ( even though I had high hopes for the Lords fightback to come over 42 days). But now it feels as if the sun has come out and the rain has stopped falling.

Well bloody done sir. Well done.

You have done yourself and the cause of freedom proud.

I salute also my MP, Diane Abbott, who I have just written to, thanking her for her inspiring performance in the Commons yesterday.

Who said politics is boring?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if the 30 or so Labour rebels from yesterday would also follow his lead it might go some way to restore some public faith in the political system, but they are much less certain to retain their seats.

June 12, 2008 2:26 pm  
Blogger Fred Harrison said...

Wow indeed. I couldn't agree more. And also that it would be great if the Labour rebels and assorted other Tories and Lib-Dems also forced byelections, to give expression to the national disgust at this attack on the rule of law and due process.

June 12, 2008 3:02 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

I hear the Lib Dems and UKIP won't field candidates so it will be a straight Labour/Davis fight, more or less, and in that area he will walk it.

However, good, dramatic, democratic way of making a point and absolutely cracking idea

June 12, 2008 3:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing -- I didn't think there were any MPs with backbone and principles.

One of the quotes which amused me in the BBC article you linked to:

'Labour MP Denis MacShane said "I think this will be seen as a stunt" which showed the Conservatives were "utterly unfit" for government.'

Ummmmm .........

What if David Davis wins, but wins so magnificently and makes such an issue out of it, it becomes clear that Labour are (currently) "unfit for government" ...?

Egg on face Dennis MacShane?

June 12, 2008 4:12 pm  
Blogger Andy Ramblings said...

David Davies will campaign on a single issue, the 42 days. The debate will go public and will make labour look so stupid.

June 12, 2008 8:25 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Boo to Labour for not fielding a candidate. Have they no confidence in their own position on civil liberties? Cowards!

June 12, 2008 8:33 pm  
Blogger Shamik Das said...

Diane Abbott insporational?

You've probably the forgotten her hypocrisy over sending her son to a private school.

June 12, 2008 9:00 pm  
Blogger Chris Paul said...

Really, this constituency and this duel is not the place for Labour old, new or just labour to score any points. Labour 13% Lib Con combined 84% or so. This can hardly be a referendum but I think DD has the potential to shake down national polls with this move.

Kelvin Mackenzie has just decklared himself as a potential hang 'em and flog 'em candidate for the seat ...

me, on you, on Luke.

June 13, 2008 12:11 am  
Blogger Pete Kavanagh said...

Meh...I don't see how it is brave in any way, he is all but guaranteed to win the seat and it would hardly be a surprise if Labour stood and lost at this point. He's obviously discombobulated Dave Cameron so perhaps he reckons that a (probably genuine) matter of principle can also serve to big up his leadership ambitions. Is he against 42 days in the same way he was for section 28?

June 13, 2008 1:26 am  
Blogger Stu said...

Thanks for this post, Rachel. I think what David Davis is doing is very impressive, and shows that he has the courage of his convictions and the will to (literally) put his money where his mouth is. People who say he has a safe seat and therefore nothing to worry about forget his Shadow Cabinet position, and the fact that he's near enough staked his reputation on this. It's great to see somebody who is removed from the political circle giving such a positive assessment of events.

That said, I think what's most likely to happen is Labour not fielding a candidate and taking the wind out of David Davis' sails. True, it shows that they have cowardice exactly where Davis has courage, but that's not how they'll spin it in the media. I say good luck to him, though - he's winning the argument and scoring the high moral ground, and showing himself to be a conviction politician.

June 13, 2008 8:20 am  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

Hear Hear indeed. Mr Davis grabbed my attention by talking sense on the Today programme this morning. We need more like him - NOW, but how to get rid of the rest...?

Sometimes I think they're all on drugs personally, such is the bizarreness of their decision-making, policy forming and assorted knee-jerk reactions.

June 13, 2008 4:41 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

The Tories aren't backing him because they remember Operation Demetrius and their own efforts to introduce ID cards in the late '80s/early '90s.

Who said politicians were hypocrites?

June 14, 2008 8:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel that was an interesting insight, thanks. I have a lot of time for David Davis, but I can't help feeling that he would have served us all better by remaining as shadow Home Secretary and fighting the cause from there.

That way, come 2010, he would have been in a much stronger position to roll back the powers of the state.

As it is he could end up on the back benches.

I hope I'm wrong.

Thanks again for your post,


June 14, 2008 11:05 am  

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