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I think you are being unfair. Despite having left the Party, I do still have some friends at a relatively senior level. The complaint of a very small (and somewhat metropolitan and insular) clique around Dave having all of the influence is very persistent.

Mark, it's true that Cameron has his close advisers. Every leader always has. That doesn't change the fact that The Telegraph has repeated something that isn't true and is damaging if it becomes accepted as true.

Best, Tim

Naughty Telegraph!

This is what blogs are best at :- factchecking the media.

Oh! Mr. Porter! Why don't you be more honest about declaring your true allegiences! Many Telegraph readers have LONG memories and remember reading the biog: about you when you took over the job, so we AIN'T fooled.


That doesn't excuse the Telegraph.
I suspect the media sees Davis' move to represent the people as a threat to the cosy relationship they enjoy with political establishment. The media is trying very hard to isolate him.

Ed, fair rejoinder, but I am still not convinced. I enthusiastically voted for DD and resigned when he lost, but even I think he's totally lost the plot on this one.

There seems to be a real effort being mounted by the media to undermine Davis and to turn his brave stance into a thorn in the side of the Leadership. I suppose in the cold light of day this is starting to look like a shot in the foot of the resurgence of the Party. I have been arguing for a number of years for Press reform. As it is this only increases my view that Fleet Street is bad for Britain. there should be at least a modicum of truth in media reporting. I don't think the press should be setting the political agenda, after all they are not the elected representatives of the people.

There is a recurring theme here.

Fraser Nelson's article in this week's Spectator has me rather worried. All cannot be well if key strategists are being so easily tempted away by lobbyists.

It worries me that David Cameron doesn't inspire greater loyalty in his closest aides and colleagues.

David Davis constituency info (just had an email from them)

1) Email address “[email protected]
2) Cheques to “H&H CA fighting fund”
3) Address “Haltemprice & Howden Conservatives at 32, Main Street, Willerby, Hull. HU10 6BU”
4) Campaign website will be up on Monday.

David Davis constituency info (just had an email from them)

1) Email address “[email protected]
2) Cheques to “H&H CA fighting fund”
3) Address “Haltemprice & Howden Conservatives at 32, Main Street, Willerby, Hull. HU10 6BU”
4) Campaign website will be up on Monday.

As I have posted elswhere on this blog...
Daily Mail, Benedict Brogan blog: "DD: Cam cool under fire", 13 June (sorry can't make link). DD was often at morning meetings and sometimes chaired meetings.

Great article Tim. What else can we expect from the Telegraph? Support? You must be joking.

This is the paper that is heavily influenced by Heffer the UKIP supporter. Did we ever in the past have a person that supported another party in such a senior and influential position in the paper since WW2?

As far as UKIP supporters are concerned, anything that damages the Conservatives is fair game. Such as:-

+Hiring a left wing journalist from the Mirror.

+Getting very close to Brown at last year's Labour conference.

+Carrying Janet Daley's praise for Brown etc etc

+Melissa Kite's article last year about a shadow cabinet re-shuffle that was full of untruths.

I stopped buying the paper and rarely read it online because of this. The problem is that its poison does hit a segment of our supporters that are still Telegraph readers.

He didn't look very cool making his announcement post Irish result at Millbank.He's now got ticking bombs on two fronts.

the whole of the british press and media bar the independent (AND im not a fan of the independent ) as acted abonominally with relation to the david davis events - all they have done is support intrigue and lies and in the case of the sun and times disgusting personal attacks . The BBC has taken the telegraph line as fact , it is time to set the record straight

>>Why The Telegraph persists in writing it is the real question.<<

Because the whole effing lot of them, MSM & politicians, wouldn't know a truth that doesn't suit their agenda if it hit them in the face, and certainly wouldn't publicise it. DD has offended against this orthodoxy... and you wonder why he isn't getting impartial treatment??

There is now a massive gap opening up between the Westminster Medi Mafia and the thoughtful grassroots out in the country.

Any questions could not find anyone to phone in and criticise DD. (Andrew Lansley did a good job of backing him)

The best thing Cameron can do is to get right behind Davis and hold him close.

Anna, you have a good point there. The intellectual establishment have a problem with independently minded people like David Davis. Someone who can think on a different level, who can see beyond the here and now. The effects of 42 days may come home to roost long after we are dead. We are handing down to future generations a most dangerous legacy.

Thankyou CH for arguing against this piece in the Telegraph. I found it extraordinary.
Especially when the Heffer supports DD's endeavour so wholeheartedly. At least The Sun is being consistent.

There is no policy break between DD and The Party

Labour had a bigger rebellion on 42 days than us.

Labour then saying that we're the ones who are infighting is bizarre and somewhat malevolent.

Yes David Cameron spends time with his closest friends. Every political leader does, except Brown, who isn't a leader and is a bit of a no-mates saddo.

(Can you tell how much I admire our PM?)

HF @ 13.48 - 'The problem is that its poison does hit a segment of our supporters that are still Telegraph readers.'

Not me, HF!, not me.

It seems to me that the problem with journalists - whether on TV or in the newspaper industry, is twofold:-

First and foremost, all journalists have to constantly demonstrate their ability, because after all in this highly competitive world its bringing in the readers, or 'bums on seats' that is the priority! Add to that, that it is so much easy to peddle negative news than a positive angle on anything, then it is a cinch that a journalist is going to go for negative first, well a fair number of them at least! The better the journalist the more able they are to take a more reasoned approach to whatever they are reporting on, and incidentally produce a really interesting argument.

Secondly, I don't think that any journalist - apart perhaps from Charles Moore, is particularly interested in having/helping to achieve a Conservative government! Not necessarily because they are politically motivated, more because they are able to get so many more 'column inches' from the present awful government, why on earth change it - at the moment. Am I cynical, of course! Mind you they don't think very far ahead - most of them!, because if they continue to facilitate this PM, in the furtherence of his cherished totalitarian ideals, the first thing that will GO when there is total control, will be freedom of the press. I have seen enough Soviet newspapers in Communist times to know that you don't do 'criticism' and 'negative reporting', if you want to survive.

I stopped taking the Telegraph some time ago, because I was beginnnig to get an uneasy feeling about it. This post confirms my suspicions.
Bad enough having the bias of the BBC's NuLab toadies, but now the Telegraph. Proves that Peter Simple was a prophet - what is comonplace today would have been regarded as too far out by him a decade or so ago.
Might try to get a copy of An Phoblacht (the Sinn Fein organ) after yesterday's (Friday 13th!) Irish result.
On that score. Watching Brasso polish and all the other "democrats" was a tonic. Reminded me of being in Reims of all places when the French said "non" and watching the headless chickens scuttling around.
Like those companies who had relocated their call centres abroad, but changed their tune when they began to hear from departing customers why they were taking their trade elsewhere, might a drop-off in sales of the Telegraph get a message to its Channel Island owners.

Well done Tim for singling out the Telegraph and highlighting there behaviour towards David Davis over the last few days.
The Three Line Whip seems to have gone into collective trashing mode on this.
Love to know who gets to sit in on the editorial meetings at this newspaper, and who decides their position?
I made a joke over at PB.com in response to a post which highlighted the way that our Political media were behaving like robots who are malfunctioning, unable to compute a principled stance on a strongly held issue.
It reminded me of the Daleks moving around madly screaming exterminate, exterminate.....

"As it is this only increases my view that Fleet Street is bad for Britain. there should be at least a modicum of truth in media reporting. I don't think the press should be setting the political agenda, after all they are not the elected representatives of the people."

Spot on Rev Smurf!

Finally on a lighter note, the behaviour of the Westminster media bubble reminds me of this Coldplay song.
I hope that Davis goes onto give this collective bunch indigestion and a lot of belly ache!!

A perfect example of why I don't buy the Telegraph any more.

Newspapers lie. Get over it. If they came out supporting DD would they sell as many papers? Doubt it. But by adding a conspiracy, more people are reading the Telegraph.

I'm not saying that what they said wasn't wrong, but there is no point crying over spilt milk. To ask for a retraction is silly. We want them on our side, and by the time they issued one the story would be dead and buried.

For news and views I personally stick to blogs and news channels - bar the Sunday Times every week, and the Spectator. The majority of newspapers are just looking for scandals, print lies if they can't find any and usually have a 'celebrity gossip' section. *cringe*

Most extraordinary! I suspect you are probably right Tim but even 'though I'm aware that the Telegraph is a very clique riven divided ship I find it amazing that they print something they know is wrong and the Conservative Party can prove is wrong.
I actually think the Daily Telegraph is an interesting paper at the moment unlike HF above I can bear to read newspapers that challenge my prejudices or are anti Conservative Party. Witness todays DT where Heffer praises David Davis whereas Charles Moore lambasts him. A newspaper that carries contrasting views like that is much more interesting than something as boringly predictable as the Sunday Telegraph where one knows its views on everything before it is even published.

It has been the case for ages that most media find it easy to attack the Tory party because they do nothing about it. If this was more or less any other party letters would be pouring in pointing out the truth, jounalists know this in advance so, to avoid looking silly, are careful. But with the Tories they reckon they will be allowed to get away with rubbish because no one would do anything. In the case of the BBC one could expect the next day Labour MPs proposing motions highlighting BBC "lies" (in the case of Iraq truth even) so BBC staff are careful but get at the Tories and you have a "story" which is unlikely to be gainsayed. It seems to me, in general, it is the ordinary MPs who seem unable, or unwilling, to put their head above the parapet and make a fight of it.

"I find it amazing that they print something they know is wrong and the Conservative Party can prove is wrong."

Benedict Brogan has a slightly different take on this story.
Malcolm, check out the Three Line Whip blog and show me where the contrasting views are?
With Heffer or Moore, they are columnists writing as they see it.

I see that the Three Line Whip blog is trailing an article in tomorrows Sunday Telegraph.
"The true depth of the anger felt by senior Tories at the decision by David Davis to resign his parliamentary seat and fight a by-election is revealed publicly for the first time in The Sunday Telegraph tomorrow when a leading Conservative breaks cover and directly criticises the former shadow home secretary."
Any idea who this senior Conservative is, and will it be a shadow cabinet minister, backbencer or dare I even suggest it one of the old guard?

Who really cares Chris? There seems to be a very different reaction to David Davis' actions outside the Westminster village than inside it. The people appear to respect a politician who stands for principle even though they might not agree with it. Time will soon tell.

Ordinary people see all this and they not only think the party is divided they think it is soft on terrorists.
Mark my words this will come back to haunt the party at the next election and could do great damage to the party`s chances.
People had better stop thinking the next election is won which many seem to thought in recent weeks and start realising that by his selfish and irresponsible actions David Davis may be responsible for another Labour victory!

"Who really cares Chris?"
I care about this kind of shoddy journalism if it purports to be fact!
The behaviour and general standard of reporting over the first 24 hours after DD's announcement was abysmal, with the political lobby concentrating on delivering their perceived opinion in the absence of cold hard facts.
Sorry, but it s a real bug bear of mine that the ordinary political hack has become a verbal opinion column rather than an oracle of factual news. Some ordinary people quite like to be given those facts and then allowed to make up their own opinions rather than being fed them. Its why the internet has become such a valuable resource in this area.
Its not a view I have suddenly come to hold in light of the DD surprise announcement, its something I have moaned about before over at PB.com. The lack of proper scrutiny and reporting in the early years of this Labour government is nothing short of a scandal.

Rosa Prince is the worst one. She barely conceals her pro-Labour bias.

I think you misunderstood me Chris, I too care about shoddy journalism. My 'who cares' remark was directed at the 'senior Conservative' who is apparently going to attack DD in the Sunday Telegraph.
I'm still unsure whether Davis's action (the principle of which I wholly approve) will prove to be a boon or bane to the Conservative party.

CH why not quote Davis's high profile supporters? For example:

Why I support this passionate politician.

By Helena Kennedy QC, Labour Peer & Chair of the Power Inquiry

The decision by David Davis to resign over the extension of detention without charge is a reminder of what politics ought to be about. Here is a politician going back to his own constituents to see if they support his stance on issues about which he feels passionate.

I suspect that, like me, Davis has watched the steady erosion of the freedoms we had taken for granted and wonders where it will all end. He probably also regrets that the debate had descended into complicated impenetrable layers of process, masquerading as safeguards, and feels the public is being denied a real debate about the principles and why they matter.

Everyone seems to have amnesia about the historical experiences out of which our civil liberties took root; we have forgotten lessons about what it is like to be at the receiving end of abuse of power. I think Davis wants a full-on debate with the public to reinvigorate our belief in freedom. I am all for it. I just wish my own party was initiating it.

The Government has justified its abandonment of civil liberties on the basis that this is what is required for security reasons and it is what the public wants. Yet when people are given the real facts, they are usually aghast at the catalogue of inroads into our liberties, often unaware of just how extensive the salami slicing has been. The steady flow of power away from the citizen to the state has been extraordinary.

One of the great values of being a British citizen has been the strong sense that we are not here at the behest of the state; the state is here at our behest. That was why policemen could not just stop us and demand to know who we were or where we were going. It was why we did not have to have an internal passport, as is now being put in train with ID cards. It was also why, if we were arrested, we would have to be charged promptly. We knew that to give police the power to lock people up for weeks on end while they went looking for evidence was a recipe for serious abuse.

It is the existence of these quiet but enduring entitlements that are at the core of our national being. When people hear the evidence they often take a different view of what government should be doing. David Davis knows that and wants to win the argument so that his own party sees it is not an electoral handicap but a bonus to espouse liberty.

However, some in his own party, having learned the puny politics of triangulation, think they may be missing a populist trick if they make a principled stand on these issues. They think that if they leave New Labour to carry the anti-terrorist banner, it could give them political advantage with "Who will best protect the nation?" becoming the slogan for the next election.

And, indeed, that is precisely why the Government has sought this fight. They want to play the card Hillary Clinton tried against Obama – of being experienced in and understanding security imperatives. And a fat lot of good it did her.

The flaw in Davis's stance is that he has no Labour opponent with whom he can do battle. If he had been in a constituency where he was being seriously challenged by a New Labour contender, then the issues could be laid bare in a clear way. But New Labour is refusing to put up a candidate against Davis in his by-election, its proxy being Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of The Sun, carrying the law-and-order flag and funded by the newspaper's owner, Rupert Murdoch.

It may seem like a jolly wheeze to have MacKenzie making a monkey of Davis and generally lowering the tone of debate, with calls to jail people for even longer than 42 days, but if the Government wants to retain any credibility it should at least accept invitations to debate these issues in a serious way.

I hope that the debating organisation Intelligence Squared and other interested groups will go up to the constituency and hold events. Let us have David Blunkett, former home secretary, justify his illiberal policies. Let Mr Davis justify his cause directly to local police chiefs and the security experts we are told want this extension of detention.

A couple of years ago I chaired the Power Inquiry which looked at the reasons why people were so disillusioned with formal politics and political parties. Along with complaints about politicians being unprincipled and self-interested, the recurring theme which emerged was that people felt there was no real debate and they were never consulted on important issues between elections. They complained that contemporary politics created no space to be heard on issues where they diverged from their party.

Well, here is an opportunity. The problem with general elections is that a party produces a manifesto as long as the Thames and is then able to claim that it secured public commitment for changes only hinted at within the document. If this by-election becomes a serious deliberation on liberty a lot of people might go out to vote for David Davis who would not for one minute agree with him on other policy areas but who feel that on this vital issue he is speaking truth to power."

CH: and why not quote BBC's Have Your Say and it's 250 odd pages with over 2,500 comments from ordinary voters, the overwhelming majority of them backing Davis - and the Conservatives for Davis's courageous stand? See sections of the first 32 most recommended below:

(I have never voted Tory so this is unbiased opinion.)
Mr Davies shows a high-minded, principled, self-sacrificing attitude in complete contrast to the grubby self-serving MP’s who voted yesterday to save their own skins at the price of our historic laws.

Recommended by 850 people

2. It's come to something when it takes the lone bravery of a Tory MP and the house of Lords to protect civil liberties in this country. The sight of Gordon Brown flogging the ancient rights of British citizens in return for votes in the commons is one of the most disgraceful spectacles I have ever seen. Well done David Davies.

Recommended by 835 people

3. A politicians with some moral scruples and personality. That's novel. Well done Mr Davis and best of luck.

Recommended by 657 people

4. I'd vote for him.

Recommended by 604 people

5. His resignation will help highlight the public disgust at the erosion of civil liberties that this horrendous new law has created.

Recommended by 579 people

6. At last a front bench politician takes a stand

Recommended by 563 people

7. Finally, a British MP with the integrity to stand up for what they believe in and actually do something about it

Recommended by 532 people

8. its about time someone stood up to zanu-labour’s state sponsored interference

Recommended by 484 people

9. Well done David. I back you 100%

Recommended by 462 people

10. I may vote Conservative next time - something I have never considered before in 40 years of maturity.

Recommended by 454 people

11. At last a front bench politician takes a stand

12. A brave move for which he should be applauded

13. Its about time someone took a stand

14. That's one politician with real backbone. Shame about the other 649!

15. An MP with principles, and a Tory at that ... wonders will never cease.

16. David Davis is to be applauded for his stand

17. David Davis is a true hero, and I like him am ready to fight for my freedom.

18. At last, a politician not lacking the courage of his convictions

19. They came first for the communists, I didn't speak out for I wasn't a communist.

20. WOW! Actual principle backed up by actual action

21. I could not be more proud of David Davis

22. I will raise a toast tonight to a very honourable man.

23. Now *that's* what I call a conviction politician!

24. At Last! an honest and pricipled politician

25. he will get my vote at any opportunity I have.

26. a decent honourable man, unusual in a politician

27. I don't hold much hope from the Tories but at least someone is starting to make a stand against this awful Government

28. Well done David Davis...We are not a slave nation

29. moral backbone for once.

30. he has had the decency to stand up and be counted

31. a noble and just move...Thank you David Davis.

32. I'm Liberal...never voted Conservative in my life...can't remember the last time I saw such a remarkable display of integrity as I have ever seen

Read Have Your Say for yourself and click on pages at random to see how overwhelming support for Davis's stand and, by association, the Conservatives, is on this issue:


Or, CH, why not even quote the Liberal Left who are backing Davis brave stand:

"Why we should support Davud Davis"
Liberal Conspiracy blog

"Whether we like it or not, David Davis is now the most important symbol of opposition to a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation."

"It seems likely that Labour will not field a candidate against him and then try to argue that the whole thing is an empty gesture. But, if there is not a Labour or Liberal candidate then there is no reason why members of the Labour and Liberal parties who disagree with the 42 days decision should not throw their support behind Davis...."

"High profile endorsements from civil libertarians, pledges of support from Labour MPs (including perhaps some who felt that they had to vote for the Bill since a defeat could have brought down the government), visits to the constituency by celebrities and all the other usual campaigning techniques should be deployed to try and turn out a respectable vote for him."

"Davis has already stated that he wants to broaden his opposition to 42 days into a debate about ID cards, the assault on jury trials, the unregulated growth of CCTV surveillance, and the civil liberty implications of the DNA database. He has warned about a “surreptitious and relentless erosion of fundamental British freedom” and wants to re-cast the Conservative party as the champions of individual liberty.

Well, good. Someone has to defend these rights."

"Up until yesterday, I was a member of the Labour party. I joined it at the age of 15, back in 1980, and have backed the party through its best and worst times. However, the 42 days law, following so closely on the racist tactics used during the Crewe by-election, clearly shows how the party’s strategists intend to try and avoid defeat at the next election. Labour has officially become the Nasty party of British politics and we can expect much more of the same over the coming two years. I do not want to have anything to do with Labour, but I would also like to try and extract guarantees that a future government led by another political party will not be worse."

"The reality of British politics is that there is not a choice between the current Labour party and a purer, better, nicer party that we might like to see come into existence at some point in the future; it is a choice between Labour or the Tories, with the Lib Dems backing one or the other."

"The good thing about Davis’s move is that it could help to change some of the terms of the debate about how the two main parties regard the issue of civil liberties."

"If, for example, prominent Lib Dems and Labour rebels were to go his constituency and campaign for him it could provide the basis for a cross-party defence of an agreed set of basic rights. He is going to win anyway and presumably part of the reason that he is standing is to shore up support for these values in his own party. If we can help him do this then it will have a direct impact on the policies of what will almost certainly become the next government."

"I have been viewing British politics, from afar, with increasing disillusion and dismay over the last few years. Davis’s resignation has just given me a little spark of hope that there is some point to keeping on conspiring."


Apologies for the misunderstanding Malcolm, I await with baited breathe to see who this leading Tory is...

ChrisD said:

I await with baited breathe to see who this leading Tory is...

I know who my number one suspect is...the 'leading Tory' who failed to get elected when he stood for parliament and who, I believe, has been consistently briefing against Davis for some time.

What's your hunch about this ChrisD?

The Sunday Telegraph is causing mischief now.

Story : "Fox says Davis was selfish"

What Liam actually said : "David took this decision himself".


Telegraph owners have long abdicated their relationship with readers. The decline is evident in all sections of the paper. No more so than in politics and sport. They have allowed their best to defect to DMail(£££) and Times. Only reason for continuing to read is that Murdoch is not the owner.

Porter has his own agenda.

David Davis on Andrew Marr has confirmed he attended the 0915 strategy meeting - proving that The Telegraph was making mischief.

my perception of the Telgraph as follows:-
it has always been - at best - non-commital about Cameron; who - as anyone vaguely intelligent can see - offers the best hope of real reform and modern day relevance to the Party and the country.
it panders to its largely boneheaded, reactionary readership.
a pity, as the women's section and features (also in the main geared towards women) are often really good and insightful.
perhaps we thoughtful, intuitive, intelligent and undervalued women are married to reactionary boneheads who happily believe everything they read in the DT. like their fathers and grandfathers.

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