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No, dear Editors, what is wrong with politics today is the kind of stupid stunt pulled by Mr. Davis.

I am still shocked by what he has done.
It makes absolutely no sense, is a complete waste of everyone's time, departs from tradition and common sense and is tactically a very stupid move by the Tories.

It really is incredibly dumb what Davis has done and an outright blunder that Cameron hasn't stopped him from doing this.

There it goes. All the hard work, all the rejuvenation, everything goes out the window because of a nutcase who thinks he is too important. Now we can look forward to the entire press concentrating on nothing else for the next month. God how Brown is laughing.

I hope tories who are supporting him will be content to remain another 10 years in opposition. Enjoy!

Why would having a principled MP in the party condemn the Conservatives "to remain another ten years in opposition"? It would be one-nil to the Tories.

Members who supported David Davis in the leadership election must be feeling very badly let down today. To be a top level politician requires discipline, patience and good judgement. David Davis has demonstrated none of these.

I cannot believe that the "Tony Marlow" element in today's Press are actually praising this guy for his bravery and nobility. He sought private assurances from Nick Clegg that the Libs would not challenge him, BEFORE he announced his decision.

Irrespective of when he is re elected, his judgement is appalling, and his political career is over.

Bishop Hill asks: Why would having a principled MP in the party condemn the Conservatives "to remain another ten years in opposition"?

That really rocket science to figure out? The press will report on nothing but the infighting and split in the party. Brown was in a hole and was getting slowly buried but now the whole country will forget about him. If we can't work that out, we should remain in opposition forever.

The utter hypocrisy of Mr. Davis is also underlined by his silence on Europe.

Clearly, the Treaty of Lisbon, which is nothing less than the European Constitution but with the paragraphs thereof mixed up a bit, is infinitely more important to civil libertarians than this silly issue of 42 days. If Mr. Davis wants to be principled, why doesn't he make a repeal of all these very many European treaties the core of his existence?

No, Davis has clearly lost the plot and is acting out a mid-life crisis or something.

This is all EXTREMELY damaging to the Conservatives. That a majority of the readership of this blog apparently applauds this bizarre move, unfortunately shows that the Conservatives have lost the art of raison d'etat during their long sojourn in the political wilderness. For, God's sake, what are the Tories for if they are no longer capable of realpolitik?

With respect to the 42-day issue, I can say the same thing about the Editors as I said earlier about Miss Widdecombe: right on the substance, but wrong on the politics.

What ConservativeHome can do now is to publicly sternly rebuke Mr. Davis.

He should be punished for this bizarre behavior. Quite frankly, I hope the Sun-editor does stand against Davis and beats him.

For this stupidity, Davis deserves nothing less.

One can read between the lines and draw the conclusion that Cameron is going to follow the Brown line on civil liberties. 42 days will not be repealed, we'll keep the DNA database, children will go on being fingerprinted. Like the people on CiF you guys care more about your precious party than anything else. I'm just glad that there are some people who think differently.

Bishop Hill wrote "you guys care more about your precious party than anything else."

Dude, this site is called ConservatoveHome. So shock horror, yes you will find some people who care deeply about the party, unlike you or your crackpot hero.

"This is all EXTREMELY damaging to the Conservatives."

No its not, the uber modernisers and the Camerons should be very thankful to Davis Davis, for he has just put the Conservatives right at the heart of a debate they haven't been associated with, rights and liberties, and beyond the confines the Conservatives have been associated with like tax, EU and immigration. In the words of the uber modernisers, he has just 'decontaminated' the Conservative brand more that they could have hoped to have achieved in a month of Sundays.

You were very good on the Today programme Tim. Well done!

I expect the 1st few days will be spend talking about what it means before he gets to campaign on the issues.

In the eyes of the public, this can only be good for the conservatives.

The only in-fighting I see here is people thinking that other people will think he has done wrong thereby causing harm.... it's exactly that sort of negative comment that creates a basis for talk of splits.

Iain wrote "for he has just put the Conservatives right at the heart of a debate they haven't been associated with, rights and liberties,"

Conservatives have not been associated with those debates for good reasons. There is no shortage of hippies and tree huggers in the world that spend their life talking about civil liberties and how bad the State is. Conservatives in the meantime have to focus on more mundane jobs such as running the country, giving people more choice and protect them from crime and terrorist attacks.

You think the British system is draconian? Try living in France, Italy or the US. Oh almost forgot, these are all third world countries with poor human rights records, so we should not compare ourselves with them.

PS: What is the Sun suggesting in this article

"Many Tory MPs believe Mr Davis has become dangerously under the spell of rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti."

Under the spell? Is some kind of suggestion being made here?

David Davis is to be applauded for doing this. What is wrong in standing up for your beliefs. Imaging banging people up for a month on no charge! madness.

I remember writing to Mr Davis and ''Dave'' during the leadership campaign. Dave didn't reply but I got a lovely reply from David Davis. It says a lot.

Having watched Long Walk to Finchley, it saddens me to note that cameron et al wouldnt know a conviction politician if it hit them on the nose.

There seem to be a good many Labour trolls making comments on here today. I can't say I'm surprised, they must feel utterly sick. Apart from the fact that they don't have a principle between them and voted on 42 days either to further their own pet cause or to save Brown's (and their own) skin, the whole essence of 'what it is to be a Conservative' is being (thankfully) redefined. The amount of public support for Davis over his move is phenomenal, a very good day for this country.

Goldie at 09:29 - in a word, yes

Reading the majority of the comments posted on this issue it is obvious that even if the Tory party is trying to change; it is blatantly obvious that a large proportion of Tory voters are still living in the dark ages. I have been watching the changes to the party over the recent period and have been seriously considering voting for the conservatives, but after David Davis's action of yesterday it is becoming clear that Mr Cameron is Mr Blair with a blue tie, with his afraid to commit sit on the fence old school attitude, British politics needs shaking up, along with a few political consciences. Down her at street level many people were actually discussing this issue in our local hostelry last night, a great deal of whom are potential swing voters in the next election, the Tory party really needs to handle this carefully as people really are bothered by the issues highlighted here.

@Iain 9:13

You are very, very mistaken. Let's think about this logically for a moment. If Davis really cares about this issue passionately, then he should simply have argued his case in the Shadow Cabinet and persuade his fellow conservatives to repeal the 42-day limit once in power and perhaps take a series of other measures to enhance civil liberties. He then should have done everything he could to ensure that the Tories win back power, so that he could be the Home Secretary to bring about these changes.

His bizarre behaviour instead creates massive chaos -- thus deeply damaging the Tory brand. The last thing on Earth we need is for the Tories to be associated with chaos again. Meanwhile, he helps his "cause" not a jot.

And anyway, if you care about liberty, focus your attention on Brussels instead of these silly issues like 42-days. The public cares about SAFETY. The Tories should do something about knife crime instead of this silliness.

I reacted positively yesterday and still feel that some good may come of this in that it highlights an issue which we all deeply care about - namely that of the erosion of our civil liberties - but I have spoken with several people on the matter now and have received a reaction from them ranging from bemusement to utter fury. There is a small kernel of doubt inside myself anyway over this as to why he is doing it. Davis is not and never has been a team player - we know that. I am just seeing very large question marks.....

@derek reid 9:29

I am very surprised about all these people praising Davis for "standing up for his principles" when he is so clearly doing nothing of the kind.

The man is a bloody OPPOSITION politician who lost a vote, but had his own party on his side. Why should he resign? it just does not make any sense whatsoever. Really.

Am I wrong, or didn't Michael Howard when leader offer Blair the compromise of 42 days before the the House voted for 28?

So we and the Tory leadership are labour trolls now. Good. By the way, I am using my membership id as my signature, so feel free to look me up if you want.

You lot don't get this, do you? We didn't need this right now. Brown was getting buried, week in week out. Every Sunday, when most people read newspapers, the press have been ripping Labour apart. All we needed to do is to continue with the mementum, do nothing silly, keep the spotlight on Brown and in two years time we'd be back. We didn't need the spotlight. We ddin't need to be scrutinised under a microscope.

Except for every two years of painstaking work by the leadership, there is always a nutter and his ego to derail everything.

By the way, to get back to the issue the Editor posted about here: No, dear Editor, actually it would be rather wrong for anyone to indulge Mr Davis in his egomaniac's desire for a campaign on this particular issue.
Would you want this kind of stunt to become normal behavior? Anytime anyone disagrees with something they give us their safe seat and refight it again to bring attention to whatever pet cause they espouse?
This is nothing but absurd. The more I think about it, the more necessary I think it is to severely punish Davis for this. He should probably be thrown out of the party for this.

@Goldie 9:33/9:38

The majority of the points you have raised as to using the present slow political process are bordering on naive, politicians like David Cameron make decisions based on opinion polls, or as a reaction to the media, even if what David Davis has done back fires on him the nation is actually discussing issues that really matter, not hoodies or fox hunting, issues that do not really interest the larger proportion of the nation, these have been smoke screens used to avoid real issues. If you wish to wear your black shirt and revert to days past; please do it at home as this nation needs change; and it needs it now, but this change must be the right change.

We need to get behind David Davis now, we have a by-election to fight on issues where the party has strong principles.

David Cameron has said he will be going to H&H to help. Posters on here need to decide if they are going to follow the BBC/Labour agenda of Tory splits or move forward and support the campaign. We are where we are.

This week we have seen the last, dying splutters from what is left of the John Major-era Conservative Party. The Party of chaos over discipline. The Party of vanity and whim over loyalty.

Firstly we were treated to the grotesque sight of Ann Widdecombe, a woman who owes her now lucrative income entirely to her links with our Party, hawking her vanity around in public and propping up a discredited Labour Prime Minister. Then we have David Davis, another relic from the 1992-2005 nightmare, conniving with the Lib Dems and kicking his Party in the collective balls just when we look set fair for Government.

Had David Davis been elected Party Leader in 2005, and Labour still put through 42 days and won that vote, do you think Davis would have resigned ?

I rest my case.

Davis is to be applauded, he has stood up for his principles and the byelection will hopefully lead to greater scrutiny of Labour's erosion of our liberty.

I do worry that our third-rate media will focus on speculative stories of "tory splits" rather than the central issue, but that is not DD's fault.

@London Tory, 10:02
Excellent post, and an excellent argument.

The disconnection on this thread between party activists observing the world from inside the Westminster/party bubble and the actual country itself is quite remarkable.

Party activists see this in terms of poltical calculation.
The country ie all of the electorate of all parties will see this in terms of an issue of principle
- a profound one with Magna Carta as the central buzz phrase-

and vote accordingly.

David Davis will return triumphant!

@East Devon

I can't really understand what you are struggling to express but I did get the reference to 'black shirt' and I take offense.

All this hype and tripe written above diminishes the British people. There seems to be no more desire for integrity, honour and beliefs. We truly deserve what we have become; a third rate country, shabby and unworthy.Why are our young servicemen dying for you?
Liz Kemp

@London Tory, 10:02 & Goldie 10:03

The Tory party has lost its balls, and is still trying to find them hence, your comment is void!

A very bizarre thread! Was too busy to comment yesterday but I would agree with Sally Roberts above. I agree with David Davis on this issue,thought his speech was excellent and yet I do wonder about his reasons for resigning and his tactics. If the result is that this disgusting government stays in power one day longer than absolutely necessary it will be an absolute tragedy not only for us Conservatives but much more importantly the country.I pray that tose with cool heads will prevail.

You politicos just don't get it do you? You're as caught up in the msm/westminster bubble as any of the bbc/guardian/independent lot. This is an important issue and an important event, one in which people (real normal people) are fascinated by.

David Davis represents those of us who want to see an end to the 'slow strangulation of fundamental British liberties' and he was not prepared to sit back and watch Brown bribing other politicians to support what is a completely unjustified curb on our freedom. If it 'departs from tradition' Goldie then so be it!

Thank God there are still a few politicians who are willing to stand up for common law.
Brown is out of order. Davis wants to highlight issues like the 42 days and the ID bill. I think we should all stand behind him.
I will certainly be sending him a few bob.
As it is Davis is only highlighting the erosion of our rights. I don't see how this can damage the party. Hopefully those in Labours ranks who are against the Stalinist tendency will applaud Davis for his principled stance.

I support David's actions unequivocally.

Someone somehow has to stand up for our ancient freedoms it has become evident that the HoC either will not or cannot.

This and the battle to free our country from the dead hand of Brussles are all that matter if one values freedom in all aspects.

The party should get behind DD and give him its support. Cameron can help (and unite the party) by making it clear that this will be an official party funded campaign.

Would all you faint hearts stop mithering and support our nation's freedom please.

"Members who supported David Davis in the leadership election must be feeling very badly let down today." London Tory, 08:57

I voted for David Davis in the leadership election. His actions yesterday make me feel proud to have done so.

Yes, I heard the broadcast. The thing that grates with me is the assertion that the public is ignorant, yet again, and that we should be enlightened by the great and the good as to the true implications of the number 42. A ‘noble endeavour’ to educate the plebs.

David Davies: I know what the implications of 42 are and I fully support further detention to counter clear and present danger. In the 1970s we deployed armed force on home territory to counter a threat represented by significantly less active service personnel. We have a homeland security threat that would, historically, have entailed internment and the deployment of armed force in the identified, profiled, inescapably complicit, host community.

Even a cursory understanding of counter-terrorism indicates that terrorists cannot successfully operate without a civilian support structure and a sympathetic and identifiably aggrieved civilian populace. Note yesterday’s conviction. Note how the Iraqi insurgency is being countered by divorcing the insurgents from the support structure.

I would humbly suggest that 42 day’s detention is entirely trivial in the context of the historically deployed alternatives.

I far from advocate internment and armed force (cue armchair general bleating sorry only 1stLt) but strongly support extending the ability of our security forces to counter the threat. Incidentally, the Magna Carta was consequent to armed force used against the monarch by the Barons not a ‘noble endeavour’. It was about income tax.

DD is being gripped by a power that is greater than him. Sort of post midlife crisis if you like. Magna Carta if you like. But I daresay he is being swept along with it.

"I voted for David Davis in the leadership election. His actions yesterday make me feel proud to have done so."

Amen, CJH.

As the debate seems to have moved to this thread, I repeat what I have put on the "5 reflections" one (skip if you have already read!):

"I fear that DD's actions could well prove counter-productive to his cause (which I strongly support). Not only has he seemingly thrown away the chance for his convictions to be applied at the highest level as Home Secretary, but by making this a personal campaign he risks making defence of our ancient liberties (or civil liberties if you prefer) a fringe issue rather than a key part of an incoming Government's appeal and mandate. It will not help the cause for this to be seen an interesting sideshow like hunting or water fluoridisation.

The only redemption would be if he manages to turn around national opinion poll ratings on these issues by his passionate campaign, so dramatically that DC has no choice but to bring DD back immediately into the Shadow Cabinet with a renewed mandate to make this a central (and popular) line of attack on the Government. But is this really a likely outcome?

Finally, should DC start asking now when Gordon Brown is going to stop dithering about whether to put up a Labour candidate, or should he wait until lunchtime? "What is it about this Prime Minister that he is so frighened of the ballot box?""

Anyone who supports Davies is bonkers ! The man has just blown his job , and his future as a serious politician. Gordon brown will be thinking Christmas has come early.

All Labour have to do, if they have any sense is refuse to stand and leave the silly by-election to the banana from the monster raving Loony party all the other weirdos . Davies will get all the limelight for the next month and the Tories will suffer as a result.

Absolutley Bonkers !!

To adapt Richard Weatherill above:

I originally intended voting for David Davis in the leadership election because I agreed with more of what he had to say, but became convinced that David Cameron had better leadership qualities, and so switched to voting for him. I feel proud that I had the good judgement to have done so.

A lot of very nasty and unwarranted personal smears on David Davis here today.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

David Davis believes passionately in ancient British freedoms and is fighting for them. Meanwhile, all most people care about here is the Conservative Partys "image" and nothing else.

Could you get more vacuous than that?

Davis resigned because he found out that Cameron had no principles and convinction whatsoever and sees policy purely as political expediency. Cameron doesn't appear to believe in anything except his own career. Davis resigned to force Cameron to take British Liberties seriously, because Cameron ignored him - he he only listens to his Eton cabal - and Davis felt that nothing but the endorsement of the people in an election would make him change his mind.

Davis also knows that the Conservatives are almost certain to form a government in 2 years time, and Cameron to be the PM, so the only way of preventing a Conservative surrender on Civil Liberties would be to get an endorsement from the people.

Otherwise - the battle to prevent erosion of our liberties is lost.

Cameron wouldn't know leadership if it hit him on the nose. He listens to noone, unless they are in his inner circle, he talks to noone, unless he has to, and he believes in nothing but his own career.

That is the sad truth.

I think David Davis should be supported in this action, especially as he will be the party's candidate in the by-election.

My sense is that the majority of the public will be pleased to see a politician putting principle first and risking his career in doing so. It's a refreshing change in this week of all weeks when we've seen a number of MPs trading their conscience on habeus corpus for favours on their pet subject. Honestly, how low can you get in politics

I also expect that the good people of Howden and Haltemprice will not take kindly to a Southern ex tabloid editor trying to win their seat.

The politicos may just see this in terms of short term party advantage (or not) but out here on the streets of Yorkshire my sense already is that David's actions have both aroused interest and admiration. Good for him.

Finally, I cannot see a public that's heartily sick of this Government for loads of reasons suddenly turning back to it because of David's actions. Even if Brown gets a short term poll boost, and I don't think he will, by the Autumn he'll be deep in crisis still.

Gezmond007 is spot on. Let him fight his own little election with all the other nutcases. He has managed to reduce the standing of the party to the level of a panto, it will then look like a circus, with him being the clown in the middle.

Well Done DD!

I think this is the best thing that has happend in politics in a long time!

Think again regarding this.

For the first time we now can have a debate on how far society is prepared to hand over civil liberties in exchange for security.

It has taken DD to resign and the ex Sun editor to stand in the by-election, so as to present BOTH arguments and take it to the very people that it effects-US!

Look how many Gordon Clown Supporters are standing? Where are the Fib Dems,who talk about freedom yet are quite happy to sell our country down the river.

Then look at Gordon Clown-look how his goons have bribed and arm twisted his way into "winning" the 42 day vote.

Look how he has signed away our liberties to the EUSSR.Where is our referendum they promised?

Look at the way the "Government" conducts itself with the poison of double standards and breathtaking incompetance over a range of issues-from tax to immigration.

We shouldn't be afraid to have a mature debate,let us involve the WHOLE public.
I hope it will capture the imagination,that goes to the heart of what it means to live in this country today.

It's about time we had some real town hall debate -how different WE look compared to the "snouts in the trough" socalists who wage their fingers with their mind-numbing PC doublethink.


I say this as a SUPPORTER of 42 days!

Graham Checker, Richard Weatherill, CJH.

Take a look at the TV/Radio media at the moment, and the penny might drop on the damage Davis has done. They are not talking about the Magna Carta. They are not talking about Habeus Corpus. They are not even talking about 42 day detention. Heavens know ! No. Something far more important is back on the agenda' "Tory Party Splits".

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

First and foremost, I want to see a Tory Government, working for the millions of people who need us. Through sheer vanity and stupidity, Davis has lessened that prospect.

Serious politics, grown up politics, is not some sort of a la carte menu, where you can take your toys away from the picnic when you see fit.

Davis is a disgrace. Please do not encourage such buffoonery.

I am appalled by the comments on this page. Those people who think Davis has "destroyed" the work by David Cameron. It seems some supporters believe Conservatives should be in power whatever the cost; no matter how much ideology we sacrifice. If David Cameron does not reappoint Davis at the end, I will leave the party.

Davis has potentially sacrificed his political career and he deserves nothing but respect. He has shown us what old fashioned bravery is, and how it definitely lacking from modern politics. Ask yourself this: would Cameron be prepared to do something as brave given the circumstance? I think not. Davis is a man of conviction and honour. He will not flip-flop to win crowds, but fight to convert them. A man we need in power. What you will find is that the public will give him nothing but respect for it (something the Westminster journalists have completely missed) and the Conservative Party will be all the more respected for it.

It is you Conservative Future-types that give the party and politics a bad name. Get some balls and stand up for what you believe.

The trouble with sites like ConservativeHome is that the vast majority of posters are party political trainspotters obsessed with the minutiae of our niche fetish and/or the Westminster Village Commentariat. Now normally that is fine and, like the Collectors of Car Tax Discs, we can pursue our little hobby with all the fury and intensity of your regular anorak. However, when something as out of the box as the David Davis resignation comes along we struggle to fit it into our Weltanschauung because it it transcends the parameters of party political discourse – it’s the sort of thing one would discuss in a seminar as part of a Political Science degree…hence the bewilderment of hacks like Robinson and Crick – if they can’t understand it then it must be either a “stunt” or part of some sort of conspiracy.
Fortunately this issue is now beyond the village and the anoraks and and is in the hands of those ordinary, everyday folk who are not political hobbyists. These are the people who we often claim to represent and love but who do sometimes display an annoying tendency to make up their own minds and ignore our sage and well informed advice…..

Writing from Yorkshire, I agree with Steve Garner - DD has aroused interest and admiration. More, he has exposed the collosal gap between the public and the political hacks at Westminster. And, as we can see from this thread, that includes quite a few of you here. Some things are worth fighting for, and that certainly includes liberty. If Cameron cannot 'feel' the cause of liberty it in his bones, he's a bad Conservative, and must be made to 'feel' it. If the sacrifice of DD's ministerial career is the price of Cameron's education, it's a price worth paying.

And for the party hacks crowding this thread - only your bizarre sense of entitlement could blind you to the growing sense of disdain and outrage the country feels at the cross-party cross-media Westminster cabal.

There may be talk of splits now, but as soon as Cameron goes up to help the campaign, that'll stop.

Cameron is quite popular with the public, but still has an air or heir to blair... this will set the party and his leadership apart. A short-term blip for a long term gain.

Plus, if davis hadn't done that, maybe Brown might have been kicked out because of all the bad publicity etc - and the conservatives don't want someone else to lead labour yet and aren't ready for a GE.

Earlier this week there was an excellent thread on Centre Right from Douglas Carswell asking what laws we would most like to see repealed in the event of election victory.

Many of those identified in the replies reflected the very concerns that DD has placed alongside the 42 day issue - ID cards, the database state, municipal snoopers, and so on, all in their own right comprising a steady erosion of freedom under this government.

His decision will now ensure, if all goes to plan, that those issues are not left to the Richard Littlejohns of this world to highlight before being brushed aside by indifferent legislators, but will become a key concern alongside matters like the cost of living and the tax burden. All that would then remain is to ensure that some clear and unequivocal pledges to stop the erosion of freedom in its tracks, and to repeal most if not all of these legislative excesses, are set out in our manifesto.

For this, DD deserves the utmost congratulation and support.

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too.."

Rudyard Kipling's words have never rung more true in recent British politics.

London Tory you need to get out a bit more.

Describing Davis as a disgrace because he's done something on principle that in your view has damaged the party is outrageous. I made the same mistake with my comments about Graham Brady during Grammargate and I regret them. The public like to see principle in politicians and we've seen enough grubby politics this week.

You don't know whether this will damage the party or not. Personally, I think there is every chance it will have the opposite effect. Second, just because the media are banging on about Tory splits today may not matter to the public as much as you think. The public are more concerned about the economy, mortgages, petrol prices, crime, immigration, crap schools etc etc, most of which they blame Brown for.

A few days ago the media were banging on about Tory sleaze but that story soon disappeared and the we're doomed mob were silenced by the Populus poll.

Stop panicking, get a grip and support our party's candidate in the forthcoming H&H by-election.

Graham Checker "Davis resigned because he found out that Cameron had no principles and convinction whatsoever and sees policy purely as political expediency.... Davis resigned to force Cameron to take British Liberties seriously"
I support what DD has done and think it very principled, but dont fall for this 'David v David' rubbish. The shadow cabinet collectively decided to seek repeal of the 42 days, at PMQs Cameron talked about doing what is right rather than popular. DDs and DCs positions are identical and always have been. David Davis points out in his Telegraph piece that he has no disagreement with Cameron. The only "evidence" of splits is journalist's nasty speculation because they can't understand why a politician would risk his seat.

@ Steve Garner

If David Davis is principled, why did he seek safeguards and assurances from Nick Clegg before announcing his decision ?

This whole thing is a great shame as the promise of the return of real and obvious principle to national politics is not lost on many and would have been a massive endorsement for the position of the Party if it had been played right.

DD is not wrong that there needs to be further debate on the issue, but one of his constituents when interviewed on TV summed it up best when he said that DD was best staying put as in two years he would have been able to change it back anyway.

Sadly, the whole exercise has done little more than make the Lib Dems look like they have a spine and gifted Brown the opportunity of respite care that he desperately needed for the opposition from the media nurses...

I wish him well as I'm sure he thought it would be the best way to keep the debate going. I think he's simply just over cooked it this time.

David Davis maybe alone in trying to make a stand for civil liberties, but he is right.The last 11years of labour has done everything it can to erode the values and standards of this country. m.O'b

In the cold light of today it does appear that Davies appears to have made a mistake, the interest in his action is not the 42 days but why did he do it.

Not easy to explain in the circumstances, it would have been a little more plausible if he had waited until it had gone through the Lords.

However at the end of the day he was in the shadow cabinet and it would have been more responsible to remain, unless there are reasons he is not revealing.

All will become clear in the next few weeks

This site has let slip a veritable landslide of bilge over the last two days.

Most people posting are political wonks who seem to hold little notion of life beyond the Association.

Yes, the media - including our friends the BBC and the Sun - are blowing chunks over Davis' actions (the Telegraph especially should be absolutely ashamed with itself for its red-top style coverage: Andrew Portor is a tabloid hack of the most vulgar) but in the wider electorate DD's actions are decidedly popular and I predict will boost - not harm - the party's poll ratings and/or image.

It shows an independence of thought that has been strangulated to death after ten years of landslide, underhand socialist government.

Fact is, even those misguided souls who are for 42-days in DD's constituency will vote for him because, like Thatch, strong beliefs bring respct and admiration from people, even if they themselves disagree with those beliefs.

Davis has called a SINGLE ISSUE by election. We are told that the majority of voters support 42 days - personally I would favour longer. On this basis Davis should lose but won't.


There is only going to be a split in the party or problems of disunity if all the people criticising DD here continue to do so.

You are entitled to disagree with him, you may even think him Bonkers, but for goodness sake keep your concerns to yourself and get out and support his efforts for re election.

Rally round him and the party to ensure maximum embarrassment for the Labour party as they have to defend the indefensible.

If you keep on whingeing and complaining and criticising, all you do is to hand the BBC and the Labour party all the ammunition they need to criticise us.

Just recognise we are where we are. Either back DD or keep your heads down and say nothing.

I am prepared to give Davis the benefit of doubt: that this really is a principled and not a self-indulgent reaction to getting one over Cameron. However, this does demonstrate that DD's JUDGEMENT falls desperatly short. Dare I say he's thrown away the opportunity of serving his country and party as Home secretary in the not too distant future, a position which who have afforded him far greater influence over this issue than an election victory in a constitutency that he already holds a considerable majority in.

I also think those Conservativehomers who supported Cameron in the leadership race and put up with one hell of a negative campaign on these pages will feel somewhat vindicated in their own judgement.

If principle, guts and determination were all that mattered, we will have lost one of the greatest Home Secretaries this country has seen.

DD is not just against the 42 days which will help to make our country a safer place against the murdering terrorists. He says he is opposing the use of CCTV which has helped catch thousands of criminals over the last ten years.

He is also opposed to the national DNA database which has helped solve lots of serious murder and rape cases and is a great weapon used by the police against criminals in general.

If he is re-elected and beats Bananna man from the Raving Monster Looney party he will give the opposition a great opportunity to bash the Conservatives with at the next election , ie we are weak on tackling crime and soft on terrorists and criminals.

Is that what you all want , as I said before , Bonkers !!!

""Many Tory MPs believe Mr Davis has become dangerously under the spell of rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti."

Under the spell? Is some kind of suggestion being made here?"

Given her husband is a partner of a notoriously aggressive litigation firm, I think this may be an un-wise thing to suggest...

Davis has given the BBC in particular an open goal today, and listening to their coverage this morning, they are duly filling the net.

"Take a look at the TV/Radio media at the moment, and the penny might drop on the damage Davis has done." London Tory, 11:03

Take a look at the comments sections of the radio/media websites, where ordinary people rather than Westminster Villagers are giving their opinions. The overwhelming majority of comments are supportive of Davis. Just because the Westminster Villagers wet themselves at the slightest sign of a principled stand in a politician does not mean that the general public objects to it.

Like others here I support David Davis' stand unequivocally.

But I wonder why David Cameron has excluded David Davis from his morning meetings which are attended inter alia by the Shadow Foreign Secretary and Chancellor. Home Secretary is one of the great offices of state.

How far is David Cameron really the team player he himself lauds?

And what position would Cameron have taken on 42 days if David Davis were not there?

So let me get this straight. You want us critics to shut up and rally behind David Davis because otherwise Labour would get their ammunition?

So the onus is suddenly on us, not on the megalomaniac who has inflicted this on his party? It's suddenly our responsibility to somehow get him out of this mess?

How silly can you lot get? Grow up. If you are so passionate about civil liberty in Britain, CCTV, terror laws etc, perhaps this is not the right party for you. Why don't you go join some half-mad, fringe socialist groups? There are plenty and they will lap you lot up. While you are at it, throw in some anti-capitalist, ant-US, anti-West crap as well. Go the whole hog.

"Frankly evil"??
This is really getting absurd. You may have some disagreements, even vehemently so, but the difference between, oh 14 days, and 42 days cannot by any stretch of the imagination be termed evil.

Davis has really lost it.

This megalomaniac took less than a day to get Cameron to do what he had hitherto absolutely refused to do: pledge to repeal 42 days should we get back into office. For that alone he deserves our thanks. And if into the bargain he humiliates Murdoch, several Christmases will have come at once. That he did it by the simple expedient of sacrificing his own personal ambition only makes him still more of a contrast to Cameron.

I am so happy! Thank you, David Davis!

As for his credentials, this is a man who, ulike Grieves, opposes the human rights act and supported Section 28 and 28 days. He believes in capital punishment - the ultimate destroyer of liberty.

If I was a Tory, I'd be glad that Cameron and not Davis was the leader. Anyone who asks Nick Clegg for permission to do anything is seriously lacking in judgement.

To those who say Davis has taken his eye off the ball I say he hasn't. What he's actually done is pick it up and run with it. He's far more in tune with the mood of the British public than some politicians and msm commentators would like. That they are attempting to twist his words will not fool the majority of people who find his action inspirational. All this talk of splits and chaos in the party is pure spin to detract from the real issue of the erosion of fundamental freedoms.

Smoke rebels Hamish Howitt and Nick Hogan are to run against David Davis in the upcoming Hull by-election. Running under the party name of Freedom to Choose, the pair hope to throw the issue of the smoking ban back into the national spotlight.


B60672, I have to respectfully disagree with you on your last point. To suggest that a concern with civil liberties are socialist preoccupations is completely missing the point. It is SOCIALIST governments which tend to be authoriarian the reason being that they can only achieve their ends, things like equality of outcome through a high degree of coercion. Free market parties should recognise that you can't maximise market freedoms without a small state which puts individual liberty as paramount.

The problem with these polls that supposedly show 65% of the public supporting 42 days is because these things are largely influenced by the question posed. If people were asked: "do you think the state should be entitled to lock you up for 6 weeks without charge?" you'd get a better reflect public opinion. The wider public incorrectly supposes that terror-inspired legislation will not effect their lives, as they tend not to be middle-eastern or muslim, but they should because its not long that such terror legislation is used for completely different purpose than the one it was introduced to address - usually control of the public in some form or other. The elderly Walter Wolfgang who heckled Jack Straw at their party conference being the notable example, and he was Labour Party member!

A lot of people here, like in the Westminster village, have totally lost sight of the meaning of the word 'principle'.

Strange but the public think differently. The agenda will shift to the issues when the media suddenly realise they are out of touch with what ordinary voters in the country think.

The Conservative Party with its small government agenda can only gain from this debate and we must unite around DD and maximise the advantage.

I wouldn't be so worried, we were not damaged in the polls when D Conway, did a very dishonourable thing by enriching his family. In fact we increased our poll lead after that event. David Davis has arguably done an honourable thing, which the general public wants to see more of, we may well increase our poll lead again!

B60672 - I'm not sure why being a Libertarian and a Conservative should be mutually exclusive?

It is usually the Left - such as this underhand Labour government - that infringes on civil liberties, intrudes into private lives and tramples on hallowed, sacred rights this country has enjoyed for hundreds of years.

Conservatives, on the other hand, seek to 'conserve' these rights and tread far more carefully.

I am a Conservative, but I am against 42 days, against ID cards and the spread of the quite disgusting surveillance state. And so, with little doubt, would have been Churchill, Disraeli and Pitt.

At last someone putting their principles ahead of their job and bringing the real threat of George Orwell's 1984 to the fore. This government has introduced a series of repressions to the UK nations. There are now more CCTVs per head than any other country; the 2003 Licencing Act restricts musical expression; Labour wants to keep records of our DNA, monitor phone calls at random; is interested in tagging children at birth. . . The trend is bad - you may need to show your Id to buy a loaf of bread at your local shop. Well done David - this is a real issue.

What is a principled parliamentarian to do when the Commons passes pernicious legislation in return for favours? Exactly what David Davis has done. That may not make him a team player, but it's not the team players who are willing to stick their heads above the parapets and take risks.

No meaningful public debate has happened on 42 Days Detention Without Charge, just the usual sound-bite politics that we've become used to from this government and the political commentators with whom they share an abusive and co-dependent relationship. It's all very cosy and socialist, putting the rights of the group ahead of those of the individual. And it's all very foreign.

What moral right do MPs sitting for Scots and Northern Irish constituencies even have to vote on laws which oppose fundamental English liberties. Not British liberties. English liberties. Habeus Corpus is a bedrock of our legal tradition, grounded in the common law of Henry II and applying to England. Men and women have fought and died to preserve and extend it, our civil wars were in large part caused by a King's refusal to accept it, and since Coke interpreted our constitutional law to apply it to all without distinction of class it has been the bedrock of our right to due process at the hands of the judiciary regardless of the whim of Parliament.

So good on you David Davis for doing everything in your power to highlight this issue, and I hope that if Kelvin McKenzie he continues to shoot his ill-informed and alarmist mouth off the way he did on BBC1 last night - his knee-jerk reactions make him a brilliant recruiting sergeant for libertarianism.

As for the opinion polls with which the government supports its position, unless the question asked is:

"If the police suspect you of being a terrorist, is it right that they will detain you for six weeks on that suspicion without informing you of the crime you are suspected of committing."

This is the question that matters, because reasonable grounds for suspicion of a crime are not the same as being guilty of that crime and unless that distinction is clearly made all questions are biased towards a presumption of guilt.

The reason this is bad for the Tories is because Davis has pointed up the fact that the Tories are not pushing this debate, they are not making it clear that they are on the side of the individual not the State, they are not clearly in favour of British freedoms and liberties. In short, I fear that if the Tories get into power, they'll do nothing about the intrusive, surveillance state Labour has erected but will just use it for their own ends. So we'll still have ID cards, our childrens' details being put on databases, our personal details being shared amongst all sorts of agencies, council officials spying on us, etc. If I'm wrong on this perhaps a senior Tory would like to come on here and say so but I have yet to hear Cameron say anything passionately about the way Labour has trashed and is continuing to trash our freedoms. If the Tories do not stand for liberty and freedom, for the people against the State, what on earth is the point of them? Why should we vote for them? No point putting them in power for the same old policies to be continued just with different snouts in the trough. Somehow today I feel that getting their turn at the goodies is the only reason the Tories do want power not to do anything for us. That's why the Tory high command are cross at Davis: because he may have shown up the emptiness that's at the heart of Project Cameron. I'd like to be wrong but the way the Tories have reacted today fills me with gloom. Good on DD for raising the issue, though.

“Get some balls and stand up for what you believe.”

Here here!

There is no such thing as bad publicity in politics. Make the most of this golden opportunity. Providing he plays his cards right I believe that David Davis could increase his majority very substantially, going back into the Commons with a huge amount of moral authority, simply because he is in touch with what ordinary members of the public believe and think.

As I alluded to yesterday the public probably don’t really give a toss about 42 days but certainly do about political correctness, loss of the right to free speech, being told what to think and what to say by the socialist morons that rule over us. By concentrating on those points Mr Davis could really strike home. Having a principled politician who is very popular with the public will do this party no harm whatsoever, but it is likely to be disconcerting for Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron will have to start making the effort to restore real conservative values and principles such as freedom of speech, liberty, justice is blind and all are equal before the law, etc, etc, rather than just keeping his head down hoping it was all going to go away, and then when in office do nothing. No more hiding Mr Cameron, time to show some real balls.

"""Many Tory MPs believe Mr Davis has become dangerously under the spell of rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti."

Under the spell? Is some kind of suggestion being made here?"

Given her husband is a partner of a notoriously aggressive litigation firm, I think this may be an un-wise thing to suggest..."

I think the litigating husband would only have a case if it were alleged that SHE were under the spell of HIM. On the other hand if DD's wife were a top notch lawyer...

But just to end any possibly innuendos about DD and SC, I hereby offer to personally escort SC during several days campaigning in Yorkshire (purely altruistically to avoid any scandal of course)...

Malcolm it is nice when we agree on things -and I believe we do on many of the most important things!
Someone earlier in the thread asks what we do now and I believe that Davis having made his decision we have to get behind him as David Cameron has undertaken to do and give him our backing in his fight for the freedoms which we all hold so dear!

"There is no such thing as bad publicity in politics."

Absolutely - just as Messrs Hamilton, Archer, Mellor, Aitken, (Ron) Davis, Vaz, Blunkett and the Lib Dem MP for Winchester (whose name momentarily escapes me) would no doubt warmly attest!

“Absolutely - just as Messrs Hamilton, Archer, Mellor, Aitken, (Ron) Davis, Vaz, Blunkett and the Lib Dem MP for Winchester (whose name momentarily escapes me) would no doubt warmly attest!”

And mostly doing very nicely out of it!! Publicity didn’t harm their life chances one bit. How many books have Lord Archer and Mr Aitken sold since being released?

All parties able to score points off one another over each others MPs – Labour benefitted over Hamilton et al, Conservatives benefitted over Blankett et al. Someone, somewhere, will always benefit from publicity, and in the cases above everyone seems to have been a winner.

So in the case of DD we could turn this to our advantage with the right strategy and really finish off Brown. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Thank you Eleanor McHugh . Like you I notice that many here rabbit on about " British liberties" . They should be referring to English Liberties.

Magna Carta is part of the unique history of England. It and all that derives from it is a large part of Englishness. Scottish history followed a different path and developed a different law. There is nothing comparable. They got Magna Carta as a job lot in 1707 with the Act of Union although that is not what they after. They have put up with it though. Until now.

It is no accident that a Scottish PM who has shown no sentiment to England other than contempt and an inclination to exploit her should be happy to throw away a central part of the English Constitution . No accident either that some here who are loud in support of "British" liberties are equally happy to follow the weird Conservative party policy to single England out and deny her a national parliament, government, ministers and budget which they laud for Scotland and Wales.

The same panparty/British media mentality which completely fails to comprehend why an (English)MP should resign and stand again on a matter of profound English principle merely points up the vast gap that has arisen between the Brtish state and the English
- who will understand DD's action , debate it and support it by a large majority.

I am greatly irritated by media coverage of David Davis' resignation, and am very disappointed by the Daily Telegraph in particular. Instead of doing the patriotic thing and backing someone who wants to end the erosions of individual freedom, an end to the ID card scheme, an end to the surveillance society and the right to be free without charge, they seem hell-bent on twisting everything to Labour's advantage and trumping up a non-existant Tory fued.

Kevin McKenzie is the epitomy of everything that is wrong with the British press. Let him stand and face a crushing defeat by David Davis.

London Tory. You make a good argument. Just one thing: we want Brown in.
If Davis has propped Brown up for abit he may have done him a favour.
But he hasn't done the Labour Party one.
Cameron knows how to handle Brown.
That is worth more than a few days bad headlines.

If Rupert Murdoch (a foreigner)decides to bankroll a candidate against David Davis, DD's slogan should be:
"British Freedoms for Britons,by Britons, of Britons".

I do not condone any infringement of our inherent rights; the right to silence, the principle of innocence until guilt is proven, the freedom from fear, habeas corpus, protection under double jeopardy rules and the right to a private life; BY ANY GOVERNMENT.

For too long a culture of subservience has crept up on us. The government has treated the public as the prop in a knife trick in a circus. Each time they have thrown another knife it has narrowly missed us and we have not flinched.
The 42 day knife did not miss us. For David Davis it has penetrated his heart and he is standing up and rightly saying "No, No, No".

It is ironic that politicians are accused of building nests for themselves and the minute they try to protect the most important nest of all, British Society, it is "unhinged", "madness", "loopy".

The media cannot have their cake and eat it. He is risking a lot for our liberties to be retained. It would be nice if they were to do the same.

This election is about more than 42 days. It is about whether we want to see the freedoms that have been so hard fought for swept to one side, like rubbish on a floor. It is about whether government is based on newspaper columns or courage and convictions.

As Confucius said: An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger. That does not mean we should not stare the tiger in the eye.

That is why I am supporting David Davis.

Gordon Brown talks about how divided the Conservatives are when 36 of his own MPs voted against the 42 day detention limit, compared with just 1 Tory voting in favour. Typical of Gordon Brown to be as distorting as the media.

One of the most disappointing and infuriating thing about the current administration is its lack of consistency and integrity. I think the debate against 42 days was won but undermined by sleazy buyoffs of the DUP and some troublesome Labour MPs. So to attack David Davis for not buying into the grubby shennanigans that went on is illogical, do you really want to resemble that mob, power at any price? In addition, I would say there is a strong track record on the part of this administration in abusing any powers it accrues to itself. RIPA was supposed to be used in exceptional cases, and now we find it being used to put surveillance on people to ensure that they are not lying about where they live when they apply to schools. There is a whole rotten edifice of political power, warped perverse us-them thinking (councils should serve their constituents, not oppress them by flawed bin-taxes and traffic fines and indulging the warped fantasies of frustrated employees by letting them play Starsky and Hutch on the public purse)that needs taking on and if David Davis can really get that message across then he will have done the country a huge favour. As for Kelvin Mckenzie, the only time I have seen him in action on the box, he came across as a right loudmouth nana, so come on with your 420 days and expose yourself for the lightweight twerp that you are. I expect it to be a nasty vicious campaign if McKenzie and Murdoch bend their backs to it and I hope that all aspects of Davis's life are squeaky clean. Could we set up a Mail vs Sun battle for power? Aaah, the coffee tastes better already.

I wasn't a Davis fan until now. His decision to resign is a calculated attempt keep the issue of our civil liberties alive.

Of course it's risky...that's what the careerists and journo hacks can't get their heads around. It's this that explains the gulf between the Westminster village and the man in the street. And what does the man in the street think about the issues? The truth is, they're not informed...there has been no real debate yet.

So to David Davis I say, well done, you've taken a stand for liberty, you might have upset Tory plans but it's worth it.

Reading through this thread has been depressing I have to say.

It would appear that, to some of you at least, David Davis is responsible for everything that has gone wrong from World War 2 onwards.

Further it would also appear that the Conservative revival has been ruined and we are destined to a further 10 years in opposition, all this with very little of a constructive nature to illustrate why some of you believe this to be the case.

I applaud the stand taken by David Davis and believe this is motived by conviction and principle an extremely rare commodity in any politician today. For sure he could have argued his case in parliament, but sometimes a principle or an ideal needs to be taken further and acted upon.

There is more at stake here than the proposed 42 day detention, the right to a trial by jury, the right to peaceful protest and much more.

Or just for the sake of power do we ignore these fundamental rights and say to hell with principle? If we abandon our basic core beliefs and don't uphold equality and fairness for all we might as well give up now.

Peaceful protest has in the past brought about fundamental changes for the common good and highlighted hypocrisy, yet a protester was recently arrested for reciting the names of the dead service personnel arising from the ill advised New Labour adventure in Iraq, why is this an offence to show up the governments folly?, is criticism now on a par with terrorism? why was this protesters arrest not widely reported in the media?.

The media has its own agenda and no doubt will present the picture it thinks is the position which often has no basis in reality or is the picture its favoured political allies wish. Polly Toynbee is a good example of not being in touch with the reality of ordinary people

It seems to me this is the true legacy of 11 years of New Labour, there will be no criticism of the government and those whom dare to challenge are reported as lunatics and for good measure you can be suspected of an act of terrorism and be held for 42 days with out charge and if arrested have potentially no right to a trial by jury, is that just or fair?, should we at least not show that criminals/terrorists will be dealt with in a fair manner and by doing so not reduce ourselves to the level of the rabble that commit such acts.

Those with nothing to fear etc etc I can hear people saying but mistakes have occured in the past, fatal mistakes! not to mention the stigma that potentially could taint innocents & their families and would the media retract damaging comments?

Where is the evidence to show that 42 days would work better and produce results as opposed to 28 days?

We are at risk of sleep walking in a 'brave new world' and I for one have no desire to be a citizen of a totalitarian state, far fetched? perhaps, but look at what has already been eroded away and do you really trust this government with your most sensitive information about yourself, that it will be kept secure and not on a bus on its way around the streets of London?.

Nor do I wish to see criminals/terrorists not punished, those found gulity of such crimes should receive harsh punishment but should at least expect a fair trial and not be held without formal charge for longer than 4 weeks.

The 42 days issue is in no small part down to the actions of New Labour leaving us open to potential terrorist attacks, so its 'oh sorry everyone we got it wrong in the first place but this should protect us all now'

Yet who is to say that the 42 days won't be used by some radical hothead, 'this is an affront to you, an attack on you' and more impressionable minds are tainted and could be driven to acts of brutality and terror, is dividing/marginalising communities further & creating potentially more tension a good thing?, is that what people really want? I don't think so

Initially, popular opinion favoured ID Cards but that has chnaged and I believe we have a basis to change opinion here. No one has suggested that punishments shouldn't be harsh & must be seen to be so to act as a deterant but to get the convicition there must be fair treatment en route and in my view at least holding a suspect for 42 days, no matter how rarely this might happen is unfair, further this might just be for terrorists at present but is this the thin end of the wedge? what else has Brown & Co got in store?

No David Davis has done a brave thing and we should all support him on this point, in order to achieve power we need to been seen we deserve it and on occasion to act when popular opinon might not be with us, this is about doing the right thing and protecting basic and fundamental freedoms

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