Wednesday, 18 June 2008

MacKenzie v. Davis: Sorry to miss it

The Labour Party have finally confirmed that they will not be throwing their hat into the ring of the David Davis circus. Rather than seeing Gordon Brown as gutless (as Davis suggested), I am sure that the majority of the thinking public (which admittedly isn't many), will realise that there was little chance of Labour winning in Haltemprice and Howden, and that the best option was to give Davis the contempt his stunt deserves.

Personally I was hoping for the farce of MacKenzie v. Davis, but the last I saw, that was looking increasingly unlikely. MacKenzie v. Davis would have been great for the Labour Party, it would have highlighted all the divisions between old and new conservatism. The huggy-feely public face of Conservatism having to have a battle with the lock-em-up Thatcherism which really flows through the majority of the party.

It looks increasingly likely that Davis will return to parliament with his tail between his legs, missing the battle that he needed to make himself a potential leader of the Conservative Party. David Cameron will breath a sigh of relief, and Gordon will get on with the job of leading the country.

Is there any other potential candidate that could show the rifts in the Conservative Party? Will any other publicly recognisable Tory break ranks and take on New Tory?

I wonder what the Sun headline would have been if MacKenzie had won...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

David Davis...but re-election will prove nothing!

Following my previous post, the Conservative David Davis MP is resigning, forcing a by-election in Haltemprice and Howden, which he wants to be held on the single issue of the 42-day detention bill. Whilst he wants to be seen as a man of principle, the election will be a joke. His constituency seat is not a battle between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, but rather a battle between the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems...and the current rumblings are that the Lib-Dems will not be contesting the seat! If Davis wins, it means nothing.

The election seems to be more about internal Conservative Party politics than a Conservative-Labour fight. David Davis wants a meaningless mandate, whilst David Cameron will probably be hoping that the party suffers a little embarrassment with Davis losing, at the expensive of long-term embarrassment over internal party politics.

Whilst the odds look long, there is always an outside chance that Davis will lose. After all, if you were a Conservative Party member in the Haltemprice and Howden district would you really want to campaign on an anti-42-day-detention policy? Conservatives love a lock-em-up policy.

Only the Labour Party can win this election.

DUP Alliance Evokes Major Memories

Gordon is riding(fairly)high thanks to nine votes from the DUP (and one from Anne Widdecombe) on the 42-day bill. Unfortunately the reliance on the nine Democratic Unionist Party votes will evoke memories of John Major's weak government's reliance on the nine members of the Ulster Unionist Party votes. Has Brown got into bed with the devil? Or did the DUP vote according to their conscience?

It seems likely to be a little bit of both: the 42-day bill is in line with the DUP's political thinking, whilst they won't be disappointed to have a little influence with the government.

Whilst I can understand the Labour Party and Liberal Party members voting against the bill, the Conservative Party voting is nothing but partisan voting for the sake of it. Are the Conservatives really against the 42-day bill? Of course not. Most of them would lock up anyone they didn't like (e.g., gays, foriegners, and the working classes) indefinately, given half a chance. They have merely seen it as an opportunity to put the boot into the Brown government.

Personally I am not overly concerned by the new 'erosion of civil liberties', but that is probably because I am a middle-class WASP who is unlikely to be carted off to prison because I am looking at a certain class of web site...and anyway, I can always claim it is part of my webometric research.