Thursday, 12 June 2008


davisAn interesting day at the spin factory, with the resignation of Shadow Home Secretary David Davis because of the government win on the terrorist detention vote.

It looks like proper conviction politics, when a well regarded MP front bencher stands down and creates a by-election on a matter of principle. His point is about erosion of UK civil liberties and that the 42 day detention without charge becomes another example alongside cameras everywhere, the big DNA database and potentially a national identity card - "The database State", he called it. I see the Lib-Dems say they won't contest the seat when he restands for election in Hull. I wonder whether Cameron will offer Conservative party support for the election?

Its harder to read Gordon Brown's reaction to the outcome, with a win of the vote by 9 seats, despite a rebellion of his own back-benchers. There's still the House of Lords to traverse and possible scraps with the Judiciary. For Gordon this must be more about his leadership credibility as he counts the days to the summer recess.

Interestingly the small majority was finally swayed Gordon's way by the Ulster Democratic Party voters, who changed their mind just before the vote after a backstage session with Brown.

Everyone denies that there were any concessions towards the UDP. Certainly no money from central government to support the introduction of metered water in Northern Ireland. Certainly no concessions on the sell off at less than market rates of ex MoD security bases in Northern Ireland. Certainly no special treatment for Ian Paisley.

I'm sure Gordon wouldn't be using behind the scene tactics to force the vote his way at a time when his own credibility is on the line. He'd play it straight with his own conviction.

Wouldn't he?

No comments: