And contrary to the rules of this blog, I’m going to include your four-letter-invectives.
David Davis: a man of principle
Well, at least Brown will have two constituencies of cast iron support tonight – lazy coppers and al Qaeda. He’s made the former’s jobs much easier and he’s doing the latter’s for them. Good effort.
But the most impressive and uplifting reaction has been that of David Davis, who has resigned over “this monstrosity of a law”, with a barn-storming speech in which he reminds us that this Sunday is the anniversary of Magna Carta, the document in which is enshrined the concept of habeas corpus.
Mr Davis told reporters outside the House of Commons he believed his move was a “noble endeavour” to stop the erosion of British civil liberties.
The 59-year-old is one of the best known Tory MPs and his resignation came as a complete surprise in Westminster.
He told reporters outside the Commons: “I will argue in this by-election against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government.”
Labour MP Denis MacShane said he was sure Mr Davis would win the by-election but added “I think this will be seen as a stunt” which showed the Conservatives were “utterly unfit” for government.
That is because Denis MacShane wouldn’t know a principle if it came up and bit his balls off; the man is so much of a cunt that even cunts shun him.
The former Europe Minister said he thought Mr Cameron had “cut the ground from under David Davis by not pledging to repeal 42 days” if the Tories won the next election.
That the Tories have refused to do this is, frankly, fucking shocking and an indication of precisely what they intend when in government, i.e. more of the same.
David Davis is a fine man who should be praised for his stand, and returned to Parliament with a vastly increased majority.
LIBERTARIANS SUPPORT DAVIS
The Libertarian Party invites David Davis to “Join Us”
The UK Libertarian Party has extended an invitation to David Davis to join them, after the Shadow Home Secretary resigned as an MP over the 42 day detention law.
The party’s Director of Communications, Chris Mounsey, said, “The Libertarian Party applauds David Davis’ principled stand over this deeply illiberal measure.
“The Libertarian Party is the only UK political party which prioritises freedom and civil liberties above all else.
“As such, we feel sure that Mr Davis would be right at home in the Libertarian Party and invite him to join us.”
Patrick Vessey, Leader of the Libertarian Party, echoed his colleague’s sentiments:
“In this day and age, with spin and political corruption so commonplace that it’s taken for granted that all Members of Parliament are simply in
the job for what they can personally extract from the taxpayer, a man of rare integrity has reminded us all of the long democratic tradition in our nation.
“The Libertarian Party will not be standing against Mr Davis in the coming by-election, and will rather offer our total support to Mr Davis’ campaign, whether he stands as a Conservative or Independent candidate.”
Mr Vessey concluded: “Should Mr Davis find that the party of which he is currently a member does not share his grave and quite justified concerns about the continuing erosion of our precious civil liberties, he would be welcome to join the only British political party for which these issues are a matter of core principle, rather than purely the stuff of sound-bites.”
Come on, David; you know you want to. And I want you to: your resignation speech is the only utterance by a politician that I have ever whole-heartedly agreed with.
UPDATE: here is the speech in full.
The name of my constituency is Haltemprice and Howden. The word Haltemprice is derived from the motto of a medieval priory, and in Old French it means “Noble Endeavour”.
I had always viewed membership of this House as a noble endeavour, not least because we and our forebears have for centuries fiercely defended the fundamental freedoms of our citizens. Or we did, up until yesterday.
Up until yesterday, I took the view that what we did in the House of Commons representing our constituents was a noble endeavour because with centuries or forebears we defended the freedoms of the British people. Well we did up until yesterday.
This Sunday is the anniversary of Magna Carta—the document that guarantees that most fundamental of British freedoms—Habeus Corpus.
The right not to be imprisoned by the state without charge or reason. Yesterday this house decided to allow the state to lock up potentially innocent British citizens for up to six weeks without charge.
Now the counter terrorism bill will in all probability be rejected by the House of Lords very firmly. After all, what should they be there for if not to defend Magna Carta.
But because the impetus behind this is essentially political – not security – the government will be tempted to use the Parliament Act to over-rule the Lords. It has no democratic mandate to do this since 42 days was not in its manifesto.
Its legal basis is uncertain to say the least. But purely for political reasons, this government’s going to do that. And because the generic security arguments relied on will never go away—technology, development and complexity and so on, we’ll next see 56 days, 70 days, 90 days.
But in truth, 42 days is just one—perhaps the most salient example—of the insidious, surreptitious and relentless erosion of fundamental British freedoms.
And we will have shortly, the most intrusive identity card system in the world.
A CCTV camera for every 14 citiziens, a DNA database bigger than any dictatorship has, with 1000s of innocent children and a million innocent citizens on it.
We have witnessed an assault on jury trials—that balwark against bad law and its arbitrary use by the state. Short cuts with our justice system that make our system neither firm not fair.
And the creation of a database state opening up our private lives to the prying eyes of official snoopers and exposing our personal data to careless civil servants and criminal hackers.
The state has security powers to clamp down on peaceful protest and so-called hate laws that stifle legitimate debate – while those who incite violence get off Scot free.
This cannot go on, it must be stopped. And for that reason, I feel that today it’s incumbent on me to take a stand.
I will be resigning my membership of the House and I intend to force a by-election in Haltemprice and Howden.
Now I’ll not fight it on the government’s general record—there’s no point repeating Crewe and Nantwich. I won’t fight it on my personal record. I am just a piece in this great chess game.
I will fight it, I will argue this by-election, against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government.
Now, that may mean I’ve made my last speech to the House—it’s possible. And of course that would be a matter of deep regret to me. But at least my electorate, and the nation as a whole, would have had the opportunity to debate and consider one of the most fundamental issues of our day—the ever-intrusive power of the state into our lives, the loss of privacy, the loss of freedom and the steady attrition undermining the rule of law.
And if they do send me back here it will be with a single, simple message: that the monstrosity of a law that we passed yesterday will not stand.
Good for you! David Davis fucking rocks!
UPDATE: thanks to Rachel Joyce, who points out that Dominic Grieve has pledged that the Tories will repeal this piece of shit law. I don’t suppose that they’d like to commit to taking it back down to 72 hours, would they? Rachel, who is Conservative PPC for Harrow West, has a good post up too.