Friday, June 20, 2008

David Davis and Freedom

When I first heard about David Davis resigning to fight a by-election my first reaction was that he had gone mad. As Shadow Home Secretary he was clearly doing a good job, and he had helped position the Conservatives as the next likely government, in which he would have one of the great offices of state. I think that my view was shared by many of those involved in politics and political commentators, and it was certainly the line peddled by openly gleeful government ministers doing rounds of the TV and radio studios. The thing is though, while us political anoraks might have been shaking our heads it has gone down rather well with the wider public. David Davis has clearly struck a chord with his campaign on privacy and against the encroachment of The State. He has garnered approval from all across the political spectrum, judging from comments in the left-leaning media, and quite a few Labour activists reckon he is dead right on this issue. He has also made Brown look like a coward, again, for not daring to take him on and it may be that DD's judgement was spot on. Instead of detracting from the Conservatives, he has positioned the Party perfectly on an issue where the government is hopelessly vulnerable with its own supporters, never mind those who already dislike it. That he will win his election is pretty much a done deal. That he will hurt the government quite badly in the process seems increasingly likely.

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