Feeds

Ex-Sun chief to fight Davis in '42 days' by-election

Gordon Brown ate my civil liberties

Boost IT visibility and business value

Errant Tory MP David Davis’ campaign to force a debate on civil liberties in the UK looked in danger of descending into a tabloid farce this morning as it emerged that his only serious opposition was the former editor of The Sun.

The LibDems have already said they will not fight the by election in Haltemprice and Howden, while Labour seems to be weighing up whether it would be more pathetic for the party to fight the election and lose or just not fight at all.

So it fell to Kelvin MacKenzie to do the rounds of the morning news shows today pointing out that Davis was actually swimming against the national tide on the issue, as a majority of voters apparently support the 42 day legislation.

MacKenzie told Radio 4 that he would stand against Davis, assuming Rupert Murdoch backs him up.

"The Sun is very, very hostile to David Davis because of his 28-day stand,” MacKenzie said. “And The Sun has always been up for 42 days, or perhaps even 420 days, frankly ... secondly this is a bizarre cost to the taxpayer."

'Slow strangulation' leads to tabloid fisticuffs

Davis surprised Westminster by resigning his seat yesterday, forcing a by-election which he hopes will turn into a debate on the Labour government’s “slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms”.

As shadow home secretary Davis has consistently opposed Labour initiatives such as ID cards, the National ID database and detention for 42 days. His departure – which presumably he hopes will be temporary – came the day after the Labour government barely won the vote on its bill increasing the time terrorist suspects can be held without charge to 42 days.

However, as of this morning, it seemed Davis might not get quite the high-flown debate he obviously craves.

Assuming Murdoch does stump up, Kelvin MacKenzie should have a pretty clear run at Davis – the usual monster raving loons and UKIPs are unlikely to provide much of a challenge to the man behind headlines like “Gotcha”, “Up Yours Delors” and “Freddie Starr ate my Hamster”.

The LibDems have already said they will not fight the election.

Labour too may well demur. It has already condemned Davis' move as a vanity project – something which some Tories are also doing on the quiet apparently.

Officially, Harriet Harman, Labour's Deputy Leader and Party Chair, condemned the by-election saying it “is irresponsible to be calling a by-election when it is unnecessary. What this is really about is the conflicts and divisions within the Conservative Party on the important issues of terrorism and national security.”

Of course, Labour is also wary of turning in another embarrassing by-election performance after its shoddy showing at Crewe and Nantwich. Davis' constituency is a relatively safe Tory seat, making the prospect of the election becoming a real debate at best debatable.

By spinning Davis’ move as being more about “divisions within the Conservative Party on ... terrorism” Downing St gets to slither away from the highlighting of its own principles or its own dismal standing. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.