David Davis: ‘I have a cunning plan!’

My old class mate (college class, that is, not social class) George Pascoe-Watson, the Sun‘s political editor, just said something on Sky that’s taken me by surprise. Referring to Dave’s commitment to campaign for David Davis in the forthcoming self-inflicted by-election, George said this might mean that the Tories “might not stand a candidate against him”. What on earth does that mean? That DD has resigned as a member of the Conservative Party? That he won’t be the Tories’ official candidate?

Davis’s own claim that this by-election will give his electorate an opportunity to pass judgment is perhaps true, but what happens if and when he arrives back at the Commons with his new mandate? That the 70,000 voters in Haltemprice and Howden should have a veto over policy agreed by the House of Commons, a policy supported by an overwhelming majority of citizens (including, presumably, a similar proportion of Haltemprice and Howden’s voters)?

The rather magnificent Denis MacShane is on Sky at the moment, being gloriously patronising about DD’s “little by-election”. At least half of the Labour MPs I met in the tearoom in the past hour have told me they think Labour shouldn’t stand a candidate. Not sure yet; we should probably let the dust settle before that decision is taken.

I had lunch a few weeks ago with a good friend of DD’s who said DD had given up any hope of leading his party. If rumours about an irreconcilable split between Dave and DD are true, could this be DD’s last throw of the dice, a chance to attract some attention after years in Dave’s shadow? He says he wants to take a stand against government infringements on civil liberties. Does that mean he feels that no-one else in his party (aka Dave) is willing to do so?

What is fascinating about Dave’s most recent pronouncement in this is his statement that “I wish him well” in his by-election campaign. He sounded like a disinterested commentator, not the leader of the Opposition and the Conservative Party.

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4 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Media, Parliament, Politics

4 responses to “David Davis: ‘I have a cunning plan!’

  1. Isn’t it simply the case that DD means it whereas know one knows what Dave would make a stand on. I thought Robert Shrimsley summed this up well in his comment on Dave’s attitude to co-payment in his diary piece in today’s FT,

    “Be assured that though you may find our position somewhat similar to the government’s we care much more.”

  2. I think this is contemptuous of parliamentary democracy. Like it or not, elected representatives passed that Bill.

  3. E.Brown

    As a member in a neighbouring constituency, definitely think we should not field a candidate. If we do it would give legitimacy to Davis and the by-election. Given that it is a solid Tory area with a very strong Lib Dem vote as well, it is inevitable that Davis will get a large majority, which will not be a vote on the 42 days but a reflection of party loyalties. I have not heard anything about the public cost of the by-election that he is inflicting on us. To waste Labour Party money on the by-election would compound the waste. Why massage this man’s ego and arrogance!

  4. B4L

    As a member for 15 years I can’t remember a time when I’ve been more repelled by the contemptuous and cynical behaviour of the Labour Party nationally, and many of its supporting bloggers. To accept an illiberal policy that is against our own instincts, with no attempt to counter hostile public opinion; to condemn a politician purely on the basis of his party, implying intrigue rather than engaging in argument, and fostering the popular view that ‘division’ is the ultimate political crime; and to deprive – with utterly cynical points about wasting time, wasting public/Labour money, etc. – Labour supporters the chance to vote, H&H’s CLP and PPC a chance to organise and stand, and leaving the field open to right-wing populist bigots… strikes me as shabby, unprincipled, and a bad example for anyone (intelligent) considering entering politics.

    If this is what it takes to prick David Cameron’s bubble, perhaps I don’t care if it’s pricked after all…

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