Stuff and nonsense

November 24, 2016 22:48

A fine two days I choose to go away! David Davis goes, er, bonkers and Ireland goes utterly sane.

Actually, thrilled as I am that Ireland has stuck two fingers up to the conspiracy to impose a new constitution on the EU, if I was Irish I'd probably have voted yes. From a purely selfish, Irish perspective the EU has been an undiluted boon, and I'd want to have stayed as close to that gravy train as possible. But thank heavens there are enough Irish who don't think like that, and who are prepared to do what they needed to do for the rest of us.

As for David D, I am stunned that such an apparently shrewd, clever man can be so completely stupid. Let's assume that things panned out as he had wished, and he won a thumping majority against Labour in the by-election. So what? What would it have achieved? Nothing. A big fat nada, other than to remove from the post of Shadow Home Secretary a man committed to the abolition of 42 days. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

As for his supposedly principled stand; what a load of boll**ks. This is an ego-driven stunt, and nothing more. All it can do is damage his own party's chances of getting into power and doing what he claims to want - standing up for civil liberties.

The one thing David Davis has achieved is to make it crystal clear that he reached the summit of his capabilities under John Major as a Minister of State. He is not fit to hold Cabinet office, and David Cameron - whom I have never been slow to criticise - has done absolutely the right thing in making it clear that his front bench career is now effectively over.

Mind you, one thing has irritated me enormously about the coverage: the constant references to Davis' supposed contradiction in being in favour of the death penalty and supporting civil liberties. This is typical:

He does not like the state very much, which other liberals rightly see as a necessary protection against social injustice. He has called for the return of the death penalty, backed section 28, and wants to scrap the Human Rights Act. What exactly is liberal about that?

And Jon Snow managed on C4 News last night to say the same thing in the news headlines themselves.

Such criticism says a lot more about the mindset of the people who make it than it does about David Davis. Whatever one's views of the death penalty - and I have come to support it - it is entirely logical to marry the two. There is for instance a fundamental civil liberty - the right to go about one's business without being the victim of crime. And the death penalty is, some would argue, pivotal to that right. Was FDR not 'liberal'? Was JFK? Was Clem Attlee?

November 24, 2016 22:48

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