A little bit of politics

Irrespective of your political leanings, you have to admit that David Davis, who resigned from his post as Shadow Home Secretary to protest the 42-day detention rule, has a point:

Yesterday this house decided to allow the state to lock up potentially innocent British citizens for up to six weeks without charge.

… And because the generic security arguments relied on will never go away—technology, development and complexity and so on, we’ll next see 56 days, 70 days, 90 days.

But in truth, 42 days is just one—perhaps the most salient example—of the insidious, surreptitious and relentless erosion of fundamental British freedoms.

And we will have shortly, the most intrusive identity card system in the world.

A CCTV camera for every 14 citiziens, a DNA database bigger than any dictatorship has, with 1000s of innocent children and a million innocent citizens on it.

We have witnessed an assault on jury trials—that balwark against bad law and its arbitrary use by the state. Short cuts with our justice system that make our system neither firm not fair.

And the creation of a database state opening up our private lives to the prying eyes of official snoopers and exposing our personal data to careless civil servants and criminal hackers.

The state has security powers to clamp down on peaceful protest and so-called hate laws that stifle legitimate debate – while those who incite violence get off Scot free.

This cannot go on, it must be stopped.

6 thoughts on “A little bit of politics

  1. Mupwangle says:

    He does have a point. It’s a shame that nobody really believes that if the tories were in power that it would be any different.

    It’s nice to see a politician actually taking a risk though, rather than just spouting soundbites. (Unless of course, he has one of the safest tory seats. I haven’t checked)

  2. Squander Two says:

    I don’t see how he’s taking a risk. Surely taking a risk would involve speaking out and risking losing his job as Shadow Home Secretary. By actually resigning, he’s already lost the job, hence no risk. And I don’t think his majority’s relevant, because, frankly, I don’t think he’s said anything remotely vote-losey.

    I reckon he’s planning to go for the leadership again. A lot of Tories are pissed off with Cameron’s conviction that they need to be as much like Labour as possible. He’s positioning himself as genuine opposition to the Government.

    And, of course, he’s representing his constituents. Good for him.

    > nobody really believes that if the tories were in power that it would be any different.

    Absolutely. ID cards? That would be Michael Howard’s pet project. The problem with Blunkett was that he did a better job of selling it than any of his predecessors, but it’s been the aim of various Home Secretaries since well before 97.

    Then again, depends which Tories. They’re traditionally dominated by the authoritarian socially conservative faction, but there is a small-government group in there who occasionally get the ascendancy, and they’ve been growing lately. I’m sure Davis has heard of the 1952 Committee. There are known to be Tories out there who are refusing to vote Conservative until the party stands against ID cards and the database. Davis probably reckons he knows roughly how many.

  3. Squander Two says:

    Oo, blimey. Conservative HQ are refusing to fund his bye-election campaign. And Rupert Murdoch has agreed to fund Kelvin MacKenzie against him. That might get interesting.

  4. tm says:

    There must be people like me out there as well – I’m extremely unlikely to vote tory in general – but if they were to come out firmly against ID cards I’d give it some serious thought. In fact I’d be pretty nailed on in a bye election.

  5. McGazz says:

    Haltemprice was Alan B’Stard’s seat in “The New Statesman”.

    What S2 said, mostly.

    > There are known to be Tories out there who are refusing to vote Conservative until the party stands against ID cards and the database.

    Who are they voting for at the moment? Are they supporting “We talk, U KIP”?

    The authoritarian/hard-right group (and their neocon mates) are certainly the nastier Tories, (Michael Gove is evil incarnate, and I can picture him with one hand on the nuclear red button, and the other down his trousers), but life under the civil liberties wing wouldn’t be that much better for poor people like me. Sure, you won’t have to worry about 90-day internment, but people like Davis tend to be much more interested in giving employers the “freedom” to charge the lowest possible wages, ignore health & safety, sack strikers etc.

    It’s interesting – Labour have gone so far to the right that people are wondering just what the next Tory government can do that will be worse? I can only think – more pro-employer/anti-employee laws, the privitisation of the rest of the state schools & NHS, a massive increase in defence spending (something that “small government” types are, paradoxically, always keen on), and possibly the reintroduction of the workhouse.

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