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I think what all of the polls are demonstrating this weekend is that the public are sick of a tired, incompetent, visio free Government and want every opportunity they can get to kick them, and then the first possible opportunity to kick them out.

They also demonstrate that the public mood does not change much because of a few sleaze allegations or because of the actions of a single MP. This country is in a mess in virtually every policy area you can name and the public believes that we are the party to start clearing up Labour's mess.

Nicholas Who?

On a 70% turnout, the result of the by-election would be:

DAVIS 31,203

Con Hold
Majority 24,683

If that is not vindication of Davis's resignation and a fight for freedom, I don't know what is.

Oh Yeah, now I remember Bunter - he's the one who slagged off Princess Dianna - another great move.

You may not like what Soames has to say but at least he has been public about his comments. Most Tories are briefing against DD anonymously from the look of the newspapers.

CCHQ Spy, Did you know that David's articles are still being published on the Conservative website? or that our By-election God Eric has started talking to the papers about our loss of civil liberties? I think David will be receiving the party's full support.

Soames hates the surveillance society too: anti-hunt sabs spied on him and caught him on camera breaking the law recently by driving illegally on a public highway, remember?

I don't think this tells us anything we did not already know! I can't imagine many people supporting the egregious Kelvin. Interesting that Shami Chakrabarti is getting together a "Celebrities for Davis" group - I wonder who will be joining it?

Other MPs are more pro-Davis than Soames - http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2008/06/12/david-davis-what-a-stand/

Donal you're absolutely right about Soames and I too remember that incident. I think his reaction is simply that of a gentlemanly type who is shocked at someone not being a "team player" (which we know DD - rightly or wrongly - is not). To Nick Soames (who I regard as a Good Egg) that is one of the biggest sins you can commit. I am sticking my neck out here too if I say that his remarks towards The "Sainted Diana" were not entirely unjustified.

The day we start listening to Nicholas Soames is the day we are all doomed. Since when did anyone trust his judgment on anything?

Nice to see the OE's out in force though, quite an operation needed to keep the grammar school boy down.....fixed principles? naaah, only fixed interests...

Soames has listened to the msm media and called it based on that. Shame he didn't consult a few constituents before he spoke.

This will do the party good. Just have a bit of patience.

You know you've down wrong when you've got Shami "Banshee" Chakrabarti and Bob "Pour me another" Marshall Andrews backing you up.

The Observer has very favourable coverage of Davis.

Andrew Woodman - "just have a bit of patience" is exactly right. Leaving aside the immediate newspaper interviews e.g. today's SunTel, DD will no doubt be aware that between now and the by-election he will be in a position to capture the headlines across the board with a major set piece speech, or ideally two or three so that the fuller background to his standpoint is aired.

There is a slightly imperfect precedent from 34 years ago when Enoch Powell followed up his resignation letter with an election speech deliberately timed to cause maximum damage to Ted Heath, knowing he only had one shot. DD will have more chances than this, the enemy is Gordon Brown and not DD's own leader, and it is already becoming apparent how popular the erosion of freedom theme is with the electorate.

It was an unfortunate comment of Mr Soames.

Yesterday this site rightly laid in to the Telegraph. Later that evening the Telegraph's 3 line whip blog said "...... in The Sunday Telegraph tomorrow when a leading Conservative breaks cover and directly criticises the former shadow home secretary."

So what revelation from a leading Conservative did we get from the Telegraph today?

The words from Liam Fox no less "Many of us feel very similarly to David but his way of highlighting it, calling a by-election, was a personal decision, it wasn't something that was taken in consultation with the shadow cabinet."

That is not remotely critical. It just points out that it was his decision.

Or did they really mean Soames in the Sunday Times? But that is a rival paper and Soames can hardly be described as "leading". Maybe "following" or a "big Tory" but not "leading", Soames could not lead anyone anywhere these days unless he was driving.

Sad days at the Gordongraph.

Team player is not always the only or best scenario. Some of the greatest sporting moments stem from individual brilliance within a team.(George Best, Johnny Wilkinson?). DC should be proud to have such a principled player in the tent. The whole affair is up there with the MAJORITY voices of the Irish people. A Federal European State will not be a free and libertarian edifice. Ergo DD's stance has a European connection too!
Post his massive poll victory or unopposed return, how about Shadow Deputy Prime Minister!

M Dowding,

I think David Davis, alas, is more of a Charlie Hodgson than a Jonny Wilkinson.

Copied from a bigraphical website:-

In August 2002, Nicholas Soames joined Lord Tebbit in attacking the leadership of the Conservative Party. Lord Tebbit said that "spotty youths, researchers, assistants and party apparatchiks" were undermining the leader and turning the party into a "pig in a poke".

Nicholas Soames, who supported Michael Portillo’s bid for the leadership, was scathing of attempts by the Mr Duncan Smith to recruit more women and ethnic minority candidates. "The Conservatives will not get anywhere until they end this mad obsession with gays, blacks and women and start behaving like a grown-up party," he told The Mail on Sunday.

Soames appears to be all wind and piss to me. Totally disloyal in the past and one of the Conservatives from yesteryear who make me cringe every time they open their self important and over opinionated mouths. Worst of all, he doesn't even consider, nor care, about the damage he causes. Should be deselected if his local party have any sense!

Vienna Woods,

Being disloyal to the unelectable IDS is no bad thing.

Being disloyal to the best leader since Mrs Thatcher is just plain stupid.

David Davis' action could attract enormous media attention on the single issue of our personal liberties and give rise to a real debate on our surveillance society. This would show up Brown's tawdry stance on the matter.

It should also force David Cameron to say much more clearly what measures he will take in government to protect the realm and ensure our safety on the streets.

The Party should cease to be churlish and support David Davis. What is done is done and a lot of good could come from it.

His action could well be the catalyst for the formulation of much more decisive policies, based on a clear call to preserve our civil liberties.

There are Conservative associations across the country where people who have never voted Conservative are phoning in to show their support for David Davis. That is the strength of feeling his actions have generated.

"Politics is at all times a team game."

...and Soames in his comment is playing into Brown's narrative.
I think it's worth pointing out that his grandfather was also somewhat of a political maverick.

Soames also says:

“Politics is at all times a team game,” he said. “Reliability is all in politics.”

Sir Winston Churchill said:

"What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?"

Perhaps Soames should have taken more notice of his Grandfather instead of pontificating like some silly old duffer.....

Soames also says:

“Politics is at all times a team game,” he said. “Reliability is all in politics.”

Sir Winston Churchill said:

"What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?"

Perhaps Soames should have taken more notice of his Grandfather instead of doing a reasonable impression of some silly old duffer.....

''You know you've down wrong when you've got Bob "Pour me another" Marshall Andrews backing you up. ''

Medway would have been Conservative a long time ago had it not been for Bob Marshall Andrews- people respect him round here..not unlike people respect David Davis. Soames...the guy is relatively unknown despite being an MP (and an ex- Minister!) for ages. There is a pattern here...

The issue is much bigger than the Conservative party. That's what Davis seems to recognise and the Cameroons don't.

Is it my imagination or is Brown dithering about having a candidate at H&H?

Those of us here in H&H will back DD on this because he is a great constituency MP and if he thinks this is the way to do it, then we will back 'our' David.

Kelvin Mckenzie's comments about Hull just show how ignorant the South is about our region and about our City. Hull City got into the Premier League, and we now have a Premier League MP in our area too!

I should also add that all this nonesense about Cameron and splits is exactly that - total crap!

We can't wait to have him up here too, out and about with DD.

nicholas soames politics is not a game its about principle , your grandad understood that ,you dont seem to . Also if you believe in politics being a team game , you should get behind david davis -so as not to show splits in the conservative party.

he's not being disloyal as for soames , he's having a go at davis which disunites the party , thereby he is not being a team player to use his own words back at him.

On a 70% turnout, the result of the by-election would be:
Opinion polls are unreliable and by-elections can be unpredictable.

It's early days yet and even if Kelvin MacKenzie runs he may not be the main runner - the Miss Great Britain Party is to field a candidate - they support the government over the 42 days issue and favour strong defence and increases in the pay of the Armed Forces. MadCow Girl of the Monster Raving Looney Party is so far the only candidate and favours internment - a combination of many wondering why he called the by-election and favourability towards strong National Security and Defence policy, and quite possibly an Independent critical of many of David Davis's positions on Immigration and detention of foreigners suspected of terrorism (on which there is no limit) could see someone favouring increased limits on detention without trial, indeed who was jumping up and down saying that the government wasn't going far enough, elected to parliament.

67+14 still leaves 19 - so if the poll was correct who would they want? If it was someone else than Kelvin MacKenzie the results would probably be different.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings, as the saying goes.

67+14 still leaves 19 - so if the poll was correct who would they want?

Aren't they the malcontents and ballot paper spoilers. The truth is you cannot please some of the people any of the time.

At the very start of the Davis surprise I said to all my readers "A good man loses the plot". And I stand by it.

Nothing here justifies what he's done. If he'd kept up the pressure from where he was he'd be Home Secretary with the power to DO something about it after winning the election.

But as ComRes poll points out respondents asked AFTER his announcement went off the Tories by a staggering 7% - THAT's what he's done!
And as YouGov points out the Tory lead in the polls is nothing to do with liking the Tories it is entirely disgust at Brown and where he has dumped us.

He has also dropped the best news oif the week off the front pages. Apart from a tiny piece in the Telegraph not one paper has the EU's proposals to break their own laws on their front pages. To fight on THAT could have made a difference. For a start it could have gingered up Cameron who persists in talking-the-talk but failing to walk-the-walk.

A disastrous move all round. The by-election is a farce - not serious politics at all.

I didn't think the man had such a self-destructive mindset

Its still bizarre what he's done though, surely?

What most impressed me about Soames and his illegal drive was that it was on a quad bike. Some engine to carry that load!
Has he been before the courts yet? Any photos of the incident?
As to team players, it is the duty of the captain to ensure that the whole team work together and that no player is made to feel that he must take on the opposition single-handed.
Good to see that Eric is prepared to support the man with the ball(s).

Oberon, isn't more bizarre that the state of British politics has plummeted so far that we can't recognise, never mind easily accept a principled stance for what it is.
That's the problem, no one in parliament or the media could understand someone chucking away a possible senior ministerial post in a government, much less risking their reputation and job on something they feel personally strongly about.
This government more than any other has politicised the civil service and debased our parliamentary process. I am not surprised that someone has finally got fed up and decided to ask the public about this important issue.
This government implements draconian laws with no evidence to back them up or a manifesto pledge of intention. It does this just after it votes down and amendment to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which was indeed a manifesto promise.
David Davis, is going to ask his constituents what they think, while Gordon Brown lives by the opinion poll and then quotes it as the will of the people. Heavan forbid that he should have to eventually ask them to speak in the ballot box.
His is simple a maverick, and we don't get many of those anymore and so people are baffled and suspicious. But we used to produce them quite regularly in Westminster, and it was a better more interesting place.

I suspect that Brown will be gone by the time of the next GE, and that it will be far more bizarre that we ever had a PM in peacetime, that was elected without a vote being cast in a leadership contest or given a mandate by the public before or after their premiership.

I really don't understand the line taken by CCHQ here. Admittedly Davis has behaved badly, probably hates DC, is vain and attention seeking but he has resigned. The smart thing to have done given that he has no other choice is to back him wholeheartedly with a facade of 100% enthusiasm and support.
It is quite clear from the comments over the internet and from new polls that CCHQ has yet again completely misjudged the mood and been wrong-footed over an issue that should be at the core of any Tory message (first low taxes, now English Liberties). Davies is going to walk home in this election and particaularly if Labour doesn't stand a candidate against him Brown is going to look scared and dictatorial. If Labour stands someone he can at least say they wouldn't have won anyway.
CCHQ had no choice in the decision, subsequent events show that ordinary people outside SW1 are worried about the erosion of Liberty and DC could be reaping the benefit in three weeks. At the moment he gains nothing, except our noting another misjudgement.

To speculate endlessly and peevishly about Davis motives, mental health or sense of amour propre is entirely irrelevant to the big picture of are we (now this has happened) more likely to win the next GE by opposing in spectacular and unusual fashion Brown's authoritarianism or are we more likely to win it by bitching impotently from the sidelines at what Davis has done?

John Leonard@11:16

Excellent quote from the great man! (not Soames)

Its also worth remembering that Churchill's government in the '50s presided over the 'Bonfire of Controls'. Which was a mass dismantling of many special internal security procedures which had been introduced during the war.
The post-war Labour government had continued their use for absolutely no reason. (Do you see a pattern here?)
I am glad Grieve has made it clear that we will once again carry out a bonfire of controls. It will be a distraction when having to restart the economy ...again (ugh!)
'Progressive' governments always seem to set us back about 50 years in many spheres. I admire everyone who supports the Conservative party in striving once again for the chance to rebuild the country after a period of damaging Labour tyranny.

What you said @19.29 Jonathan. Totally agree.

It will be interesting to see what the party narrative will be once Labour have decided what they are going to do.

It will also be interesting to see whether any of Bob Marshall Andrews colleagues follow his lead.


Excellent points. Yes I always think when the left use the word 'progressive' its code for either 'regressive' or 'oppressive' or often both!

Regarding the Churchill quote, there is another which I think is particular apt in regard to the Government's position over H&H / 42 days and also their general performance.

So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.

Will somebody please explain why they are getting excited by thiks foolishness. One way or another the result of the by-election doesn't matter tuppence-ha'penny. Meanwhile Davis has harmed the party in the polls on an issue he had he had already won. It's utterly crazy as it has taken the issue where someone COULD have made a difference with such a gesture off the boil.

Read what Davis actually said to Melissa Kite in the S.Telegraph. I agree with all of it excerpt the action he has taken as a result, which has been utterly destructive.

Christina, I am sorry, but I can't help but be amused at your attitude to this especially for the reasons you put forward. Considering your well known views on the EU, can you understand that others might not share your passion for that cause while having equally strongly held views on their personal liberty in the UK?
I read somewhere that one stumbling block to this legislation might come from the EU community?

1. Christina - you are absolutely right. This is pure foolishness from Davis.

2. These Churchill quotes are also silly. Old Winston was completely bonkers for most of his career. Don't forget how he lost the 1945 election with his absurd demonisation of the "socialist menace" - this of patriots like Atlee who had loyally supported the national government! By all means praise Churchill's superb stewardship during the war, but let us not pretend he offers many lessons for domestic politics. He does not.

that it will be far more bizarre that we ever had a PM in peacetime, that was elected without a vote being cast in a leadership contest
He won under the nominations system - not only was he the only candidate to get enough votes to be nominated, but he got more nominations than any candidate since the introduction of the Electoral College got, he was backed by hugely more MPs than ever voted for any single Labour candidate under the old system in which the Parliamentary Labour Party elected the MP itself.

Labour aren't going to get rid of him though, getting rid of Gordon Brown would make David Davis's decision to fight a by-election or the removal of IDS, and pressured exit of the previous 2 Liberal Democrat leaders seem as nothing - it would seem opportunistic and disloyal to the general public and would start a wrangle inside Labour that would tear the party apart, they would be totally destroyed at the next General Election.

What bliss that this 'off the wall' action by DD has thrown the cosy world of career politicians/commentators / bloggers into total confusion. The most significant quote I saw from one poster on CH was" Hey - suddenly I am interested in politics again !!"

That says it all - a breath of fresh thinking in a sterile world. The public can see what is at stake and are energised. Go for it Dave !!

Andrew Woodman at 09:51 -

"This will do the party good. Just have a bit of patience"

I agree with you!

Oh, Christina at it again! .... 'has harmed the party in the polls'?? Funny I wasn't aware that we had dropped any points in the polls, rather the reverse in fact.

What bliss that this 'off the wall' action by DD has thrown the cosy world of career politicians/commentators / bloggers into total confusion
It's thrown many politicians into confusion, so far as journalists go confused or not it's made producing stories much easier for them.

What bliss that this 'off the wall' action by DD has thrown the cosy world of career politicians/commentators / bloggers into total confusion
Forgot to put this bit in italics.

ChrisD @2043 That really is a very silly comment on what I wrote. I care as much as DD does over personal liberty - I just don';t think this does anything for it at all. Indeed his actions have weakened the chance of the Tories winning the election (see today's ComRes poll)

1. Davis had won the argument in parliament and ass likely Home Secretary would be in a position to scrap the 42 day rule - if it ever reaches the statute book,
2. a demarche on the same lines about the referendum promised but denied us could have put that right with a local poll.
3. The press wiped all politics off their fron pages today altogether (1 tiny exception in the Telegraph) This was DD's doing and the media are having a foolish psychobabble over Davis state of mind.

Just tell me how any of this helps our country in any way.

Patsy Sergeant @2236 - You shouldn't write without MAKING yourself aware and reading the polls TODAY. Half of ComRes poll was taking before DD went off the rails and half after. The Tory lead between the first half and the second dropped by 7 points.


"I just don';t think this does anything for it at all. Indeed his actions have weakened the chance of the Tories winning the election (see today's ComRes poll)"

It does many things Christina, it restores the public's faith in individual MP's, a much needed boost after all the expenses scandals.
It means that people will look again, and much more closely at this legislation rather than the simple headline that Labour want the public to concentrate on.
It further decontaminates the Conservative brand and also completely scuppers the government strategy of simple trying to look tough while making the opposition parties look weak.
The issue of our liberties is not a straight forward left vs right argument, and it will bring a lot of people together under one umbrella that you would not normally expect to agree on anything.
The ComRes caveat added when the results were announced was no surprise either when you consider the initial reaction of the media to this news, already the narrative is changing. I would not read to much into that mid polling change of the Conservatives vote levels because the initial polling figure was about 40% before the news broke, and with 60% polled afterwards I would have expected that figure to drop anyway.
The other poll showing people to be wary or unsure of David Davis's motives was more interesting, and I expect their views to harden in support as the arguments are made and the smoke clears.
Now the Gordon Brown is hoping that the public will see this as a stunt, and he desperately wants an independent candidate like Kelvin McKenzie to run to turn it totally into a circus.
But if Labour does not stand, they risk being damaged by the fact that they do not have the courage to argue their case in front of real voters. It blunts any criticism of David Davis or the opposition parties, and weakens their own case for this draconian legislation.
David Davis might have bounced David Cameron into this position, but there is a lot of upside for him and the party if we are supportive.
But he has also effectively and completely boxed Gordon Brown and the Labour party into a corner with no escape route. Already the public mood has caught the media by surprise and they are slowly recognising that. Brown has as usual dithered so long that his position is weakened what ever he does. And we the public get a real debate on this legislation with Labour most likely being forced to sit on the sidelines unable to contribute.
They don't look so tough now, nor we saw weak on this issue?

As long as he is given a fair press (always a problem in this land of gutter press lairs) He will do the party a lot of good. You would be surprised how many people are sick of Labours nanny state mentality and the erosion of long held liberties.


Fatty Soames clearly out of touch............again!

What was it a former girlfriend said about his amorous attentions?

"Like having a wardrobe fall on you with the key still in the lock"

Well quite!

I have read hundreds of media articles and blogs on the DD story. Commentators remain divided. Those anti-DD on the right criticise DD for "disloyalty", "vanity" etc. and those on the left for "engaging in a political stunt".

But almost nobody seams to actually disagree with the principles raised by DD. And nobody can disagree that DD has struck a chord that crosses normal political divides.

I can imagine Conservative party leadership and its strategists are not happy at DD for "rocking the boat" arguing that as Shadow Home Secretary DD had a perfect platform from which to launch such an argument.

However, if the Conservative leadership listened closely to the "ordinary people" - who in the end will elect them - then they will discover that ordinary people are uncharacteristically angry at the continual erosion of their freedoms.

Council "bin-bullies", the unelected health and safety quangos directing our lives, the totally unnecessary use of CCTV cameras everywhere, revenue (not safety) raising speed cameras, the destruction of the freedom of speech, the removal of the right to peaceful protest, the abuse of anti-terror legislation by Local Councils, the prosecution of anybody who dares to be critical of Muslims and Islam whilst some Muslim leaders - who preach hate, death and destruction - go unmolested, identity cards and DNA databases. Ordinary persons are angry.

I fully support the Conservative Party and DC as our leader and I implore them the put their full weight of support behind DD.

If they do they will find that they will tap into the unspoken hidden concerns of the majority. They will do this in the way that Thatcher tapped into the concerns of the country about TUC power - and for which she will always be remembered and praised across the political divide.

By engaging in a campaign and supporting DD on these crucially important issues then DC and the Conservative leadership will be seen, not only as the "government in waiting" but the saviours of the nation, the protectors of freedom and liberty.

We know that DD has wide public support and respect across the political divide, for his stance. Supporting DD will add further double digit points to the Conservative opinion poll lead; and could finally end Gordon Brown's leadership.

Freedom of the individual, liberty, free speech and protection of the individual against the state are the fundamental foundations of our party and beliefs.

When such an important public figure as DD raises this banner then we should spend less time questioning election strategy, loyalty and motivation and more time supporting DD.

By supporting freedom DC cannot loose. Politics is not just about power it is also about principles, beliefs and doing what is right.

Be proud, stand tall for your beliefs and raise this banner of freedom high.

Howard Floyd

Why can't Cameron come out in full support of Davis? He has stuck his neck on the line over this in a way that no modern politician (especially from New Labour) would ever do. He should be praised and the gutless Brown should be shown up for not even having enough faith in his own policy to put a challenger up in support of it.

Furthermore, all the 'Tories in turmoil' rubbish coming from the media is rubbish. Since when has a minister resigning his seat out of principle over an issue that almost the whole of the party agreed with plunged a party into 'turmoil'? It seems the Westminster machine was completely thrown by this rare act of true statesmanship and so retreated into its old territory of suggesting that because an unexpected event had occurred someone had to be in 'crisis' or 'turmoil'.

Finally, all those Tory MPs who have criticised him or basically called him insane don't appear to see that this is a chance for the Tory party to be the party of principles and solid befiefs as opposed to the unprincipled and power lusting Labour party. So far it seems more support has come for Davis on the left than the right! This is absurd as there is no better party to defend our ancient civil liberties than the Tory party.

Cameron and the rest of the party need to stop simply chasing poll ratings and get some backbone or they will be doomed to the same fate as the Blair administration - of governing without direction and without any firm beliefs other than the will to be re-elected. They could begin to show these convictions by supporting Davis.

Had DD waited two days, he could have sought re-election in support of the brave Irish as well as the 42 day issue.

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