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Geldof backs Davis 'For Freedom' by-election

Banana republic, sceptic isle redux

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Popstar turned humanitarian Bob Geldof has thrown his unkempt weight behind David Davis' by-election campaign.

Geldof’s announcement adds just a pinch of stardust to Davis’ effort to turn the by-election into a debate on the erosion of civil liberties in the UK.

However, it will get up the nose of Gordon Brown, whose efforts to eradicate global poverty and write off third world debt have been praised in the past by the nation’s favourite ex-Boomtown Rat turned humanitarian media mogul.

Geldof will be speaking in support of Davis in Hull today, and the pair issued a statement on Davis' blog yesterday.

"What is the point of Britain without its freedoms? What terrorises the terrorists is our civilisation," said Geldof, the man behind I don't like Mondays and the Big Breakfast.

Davis said: "I am delighted that Bob Geldof is supporting our campaign, which stretches across all parties and is vital to the freedom of our country."

Davis’s campaign has indeed drawn support from a number of arguably unexpected quarters. Liberty boss Shami Chakrabarti has backed it from the start. Some Labour backbenchers have voiced their support, while Tony Benn has actively backed the Davis effort.

The Tory Party proper has appeared slightly lukewarm, though the earlier hostile noises from Central Office seem to have been silenced.

However, there has been no rush of celebrities voicing their support for Davis' efforts to shore up our civil liberties. Perhaps that’s because for many of them, the right to privacy means only having your photo taken when you’ve already agreed the price. As for free speech, isn’t that whatever a libel jury says it is?

For its part, the Labour government has given the by-election a wide berth - not even putting up a candidate. ®

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