20 Jun 2008

Green Party will fight David Davis at by-election

Well after some debate the Green Party of England and Wales will fight the Haltemprice & Howden by-election against David Davis. I am must admit I have had to think hard about this...but I have just been told we are going for it.

Martin Deane local party secretary has polled the members and they want to go for it, so Shan Oakes will fight the constituency.

A decision strongly influenced by Aled's post. Davis decision is some what off set by his reactionary voting record on a range of issues from pro-Iraq War and fox hunting.

The members have spoken, the Green Party is grassroots democratic, so the job is to support our candidate...you have heard of 'democratic centralism' this is democratic decentralisation.

Martin Deane argues


With the ability and enthusiasm to stand, if we were not to, it would
make us – nationally - appear that we agree with the present
"two-party" system. The others standing aside sends that message, so
people like Davis can make this sort of protest about one strand of
policy, namely the assault on civil liberties, but that everything
else is pretty much ok. Yes, it is great to see someone, somewhere,
finally, standing up for some principle on anything these days. But
yet our territory remains radically different from Davis'. There is
hardly a view of his that comes to light that we would give the time
of day: capital punishment, the war, gay rights, GMOs, economy,
resource decline, etc, etc. We should simply not let him have it all
his own way.


Aled noted:

David Davis is, amongst other things:

* For the death penalty;
* Very strongly for the Iraq War;
* Against equal rights for LGBT people;
* Against the ban on hunting.

Interestingly, he has apparently “never voted” on parliamentary transparency – strange, given that Davis repeatedly made the point that he felt the ’sanctity’ of parliament had been defiled by Labour’s dodgy dealings with various groups to buy the 42 days vote. Marr countered by noting that parliament has always been the scene of dodgy dealing, which begs the question of why this particular issue at this particular time has led to this particular reaction from this particular Tory frontbencher.

Most significantly, Davis backed 28 days detention, and even admitted that and stood by it in the interview today. Apparently, banging people up without charge for 4 weeks is fine; 6 weeks, and its time for a principled resignation on the issue of, erm, banging people up without trial for too long.

7 comments:

merrick said...

I'm glad someon'es going to hold Davis to account. Not only are there his assorted attacks on rights such as backing Clause 28 and opposing gay adoption, but this defender of our freedoms wants to do away with the Human Rights Act!

His support for 28 days but dummy-spitting over 42 days is utterly baffling. Apparently the former is essential and needs enshrining in law but the latter destroys Magna Carta.

The best comment about detention without charge was made by an audience member on last week's Question Time - it shouldn't be more than the amount of time it would be fair to lock you up without charge if you were wholly innocent.

If Davis wouldn't like to have a month's interrogation in Belmarsh for no reason, he shouldn't wish it on anyone else.

Phil said...

Um... it is the amount of time it's fair to lock you up without charge if you're wholly innocent. I think I understand how the audience member was thinking, but we need to get beyond the idea that the people being locked up can be divided into guilty terrorists and innocent bystanders. When you've been convicted in a court of law, then you're guilty. Until the judge passes sentence, you're innocent.

I'm actually against anyone standing against Davis on the Left - it takes the heat off the Tories & makes it easier for them to back away from Davis's civil libertarian message after he's re-elected. "Civil libertarianism? Not at all, we just thought the government was going a bit too far... if you want libertarianism you should hear some of the things that Green candidate was coming out with..."

As for the HRA, I think there's a perfectly respectable argument for grounding liberties in the common law rather than in declared rights. The common law tradition basically starts from the position that every citizen is free and has the right not to be coerced unless a law specifically says otherwise - whereas the rights tradition starts from the position that governments can do whatever they like with their citizens and then tries to put some limits on that. (Could anyone who wants me to expand on this email me in work time? It's Saturday night, dammit.)

More importantly, the whole thing is pretty academic, as the UK can't abandon the ECHR without leaving the EU, and leaving the ECHR in place while repealing the HRA would have no real effect.

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that there is any debate on this. Things an individual Tory may say on occasion may be thoughtful, of some value or possibly entertaining, however this does not detract from the fact that they are the vanguard of the system and to be blunt are the enemy. Other issues about David Davis' shortcomings are important but ultimately secondary.

Great blog, shame more poeple (myself included) don't use it for genrating debate and discussion.

David G said...

Obvious that the Green party would stand realy. The Green Movement's penchant for authoritarian coercion of their views on the electorate rather than educate encourage and inform puts them firmly on the side of the 42 day rule.

Derek Wall said...

The Party opposes 42 days and unlike Davis, 28 days as well and are hostile to his record far from libertarian record on cannabis, gay rights and a range of issues.

Green politics is libertarian based on grassroots democracy not Nu Labour or warmed up Tory central control

Phil said...

That's my point, Derek - the Greens are far more consistently libertarian than any Tory can be. My worry is that being challenged from the libertarian Left could push Davis back to the Right and diminish the impact of what he's doing. "Civil libertarianism? Not at all, we just thought the government was going a bit too far... if you want libertarianism you should hear some of the things that Green candidate was coming out with..." Tactically I think it's a bad call.

Anonymous said...

Merrick

The Human Rights Act supports the criminal not the victim.

It should be repelled.