Friday, June 13, 2008

Thank God for Kelvin MacKenzie

Well thank God Kelvin MacKenzie has the courage of Gordon Brown's convictions. After Labour has wimped out of fielding a candidate against David Davis, MacKenzie has confirmed that he will stand in the Haltemprice & Howden by election. It will now be a real fight and is guaranteed to capture the imagination of the media. When I was doing interviews yesterday the only question I had to worm my way out of deflect was what David would do, or how would he look, if he had no opponent. That question has been well and truly answered now.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. Don't rule Labour out yet - they won't David Davis to have the oxygen of publicity all to himself.

Tony McNulty looked flustered last night - like a man who'd been looking forward to a quiet-ish month, and had the kibosh put on the plans for a bit of a wind-down after the frenetic activity of the last few weeks and months.

This move is starting to look like a masterstroke - we have to ensure that the BBC aren't allowed to play fast and loose with statements like 'the public are in favour of ID cards and CCTV'. Yeah, right !!!

Go David !

Anonymous said...

What if MacKenzie wins?

john miller said...

Why are you and I the only ones who view the Labour attitude as cowardly?

tapestry said...

David Davis versus The Sun!

Should fill a few column inches.

In Belgium they already can arrest and detain without charge. My friend's brother had a job delivering cars driving long distances. He found out that some of the cars were stolen, and hid them around Brussels.

He was arrested, and kept in a gaol with little space surrounded by dangerous types for weeks, without charge. He was eventually released, when it was realised he was trying to stop the cars being stolen.

His boss disappeared, and he had no witnesses to back up his story. His father agreed to pay 100,000 euros to get him released, all with no charges brought - or he'd still be rotting in gaol.

Welcome to justice EU style. You are assumed to be guilty, and have to prove your innocence.

It's coming to Britain.

Evennet for Deputy Leader said...

Hi Iain,

Appreciate your opinions, both here and elsewhere, but are we not being a little bit too generous to DD? I have no doubt that it is a matter of conviction and principle to him, but it dovetails nicely with postitioning himself against DC in the future.

I can just see it on the chicken in a basket circuit going forward. "I didn't stand idly by, I took a stand". In fact it fits with Broon's view of DC as well.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth is it cowardly to watch an opponent self-immolate?

What would Blair have done if Robin Cooke had resigned in 1995 in order to stand up for a principle?

I hope he loses. He is a loser.

Albert M. Bankment said...

My first reaction to Ddvid Davis' initiative was this was a brave tactic which could well explode in his face, and the probable, mischievous, intervention of 'The Sun' confirms this. Let me develop an analogy.

I am a determined Republican. Whenever the matter comes up in conversation, people inevitably ask mockingly if I would "really prefer a President like Margaret Thatcher to Her Majesty". I tend to counter with the idea of a non-political but respected person such as David Attenborough.

If I'm feeling more playful, I propose that each UK Presidential election should comprise a serious, 'establishment' candidate and a silly one. Thus you would have [for that sake of argument] Michael Heseltine standing against Russell Brand. It would be a barometer of the national respect for politics and politicians.

If we were to elect a risible candidate, he/she would be our international representative and head of state, leading to the world's mockery for the term of office. It would be a way of keeping the real politicians in line, for fear of having their 'peer group' laughing at them - and us.

Kelvin Mackenzie is doing just this. I know you don't want to consider this, but he may very well win. The knuckle-draggers want 'terrorists' locked up, just as they want capital punishment - in both instances their opionion is unfromed by thought; it's a simple and visceral response.

Kelvin Mackenzie will appeal to all the baser aspects of the unthinking classes. He has nothing to lose. He will be able to make the most outrageous claims and tub-thumping statements, with no sanction. He will mock and deride, with the full backing of the Murdoch money and media. he has NOTHING to lose. He will play the 'common man' throughout, and everyone will laugh both with him and at him. If he wins, it will be a triumph for 'democracy'. If he loses, it will all have been just a bit of knockabout fun. Many newspapers will be sold.

If Davis wins, however, it will be characterised as an inevitable and unnecessarily expensive non-event. If he loses, which today I fear is highly likely, we will have lost an immensely able and principled politician in a noble but ultimately idiotic piece of unnecessary theatre. It will break him.

I hate to say this, but I feel that David Davis has jeopardised both his standing and his career - and damaged the Conservative Party - by making this principled but rash decision. Whatever the result, Mackenzie can't lose and Davis can't win. We are, I think, about to witness a three-week long train crash.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Labour as 'wimping out'. They simply don't want to participate in David Davis's political stunt.

I don't think David Cameron does really. In his TV interview yesterday he gave the most lukewarm endorsement possible.

Goodnight Vienna said...

I'm astounded that you consider Kelvin MacKenzie to be a credible opponent. He's about a credible as the Monster Raving Loonies. MacKenzie has said he will stand only if Labour don't put up a candidate so where's the Labour candidate who will stand on the government's platform of 42-day internment and defend the indefensible?

Howard said...

What rot! Davis was exposed on Today this morning. Nothing good for the Tories will come out of this. Davis is finished and will be isolated.

Matthew Revell said...

As I understand it, a new small party from Grimsby - going by the name of The Generalist Party - are also standing.

Neil Reddin said...

If Mackenzie wants to have a go (if he thinks he's hard enough) then bring it on. It'll make a change to see him on the receiving end.

If Labour don't put someone up of their own, then he'll just be painted as Gordon Brown's stooge ... job done.

Theo said...

Rupert Murdoch is sending his lapdog in to embarrass and to damage the Tories and for no other reason.

Cassilis said...

This is a big sticking point for me - DD can't reasonably claim standing in a safe Tory seat with the LibDem candidate withdrawn as a fair proxy for a national debate on this issue - whether or not Labour field a candidate.

If a Labour minister from a safe seat resigned to fight again on acceptance of Lisbon would the Tories accept that as a national verdict? No, clearly not.

Davis is right on this issue and clearly a principled man - my worry is he's acted in such a way as to obscure the very issue he's trying to advance. There hasn't been much talk about eroding liberties in the last 24 hours has there...?

Mark Beach said...

Mmmm as a clergyman I find it hard to thank God for Kelvin, but i am pleased he is doing this....
http://rugbyrector.blogspot.com/

Cassilis said...

In the next few days he needs to make clear his ambivalence towards the result (a forgone conclusion) and how he intends to make the issue national and keep it to the fore - making the result something significant when Labour have such a clear and obviou way of making it look silly would be a mistake.

Anonymous said...

I heard on the radio that he was doing it because Rupert Murdoch told him to do so.

Looks like the pantomime season has started early!

GeoffH said...

Casillis.

Well he can hardly provoke a by-election and stand in a safe Labour seat can he?

jvandsqf

Anonymous said...

Ask Boris if the support of a newspaper helps in an election

this will end badly

Anonymous said...

they are both plonkers

i spy strangers said...

MacKenzie, on Andrew Neal's show last night, managed the supreme achievement of making Nigel Kennedy look a model of common-sense. Having heard MacKenzie's unbelievably cavalier approach to (more or less indefinite) detention without charge, I'm more than ever convinced that DD is doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

According to DD hanging is ok
but 42 days is not

I dont get that

Pogo said...

Anonymous@8:36 said...

"What if MacKenzie wins?"

Then the public will have indicated that they do not consider the state's power over them to be of great concern, or are happy to be sleepwalking into a police state, and eventually thereby will get just what they deserve...


"Cassilis" said...

"If a Labour minister from a safe seat resigned to fight again on acceptance of Lisbon would the Tories accept that as a national verdict? No, clearly not."

Maybe so, but have you considered that it wouldn't be in the least bit surprising if Labour lost on that basis?

Cassilis said...

I have Pogo but it's tangential to the point. If they did and chose the safest seat available that impacts the validity of the contest - it's the same here.

It would be ludicrous to suggest a DD victory amounted to a national rejection of 42 days...

Cassilis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Having just heard Kelvin on the BBC news. I think David Davis may well have ended his Parliamentary career.

I don't suppose Cameron would object to Kelvin winning either.

Man in a Shed said...

If you really want to stir things up invite John McCain over the campaign for a day.

Both men would get the sort of publicity for their causes that money can't buy.

In some ways David Davis reminds me of John McCain anyway !

the orange party said...

Sorry Iain but you are talking rubbish.

Davis was cut loose by Cameron - he was pushed out.

You can view my analysis of this here:

http://theorangepartyblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/camerons-attack-dog-davis-quits.html

As for Kelvin - it's a cheap publicity stunt to boost sales of Murdoch's newspapers!

Please show some real insight, Iain

Pogo said...

"Cassilis" said...

"It would be ludicrous to suggest a DD victory amounted to a national rejection of 42 days..."

Why? The opportunity is there to defeat him if enough people feel he was absolutely wrong. OK, maybe it's not a "national" rejection but it's probably more representative than the distinctly venal HoC.

Colin said...

For f*ck sake Iain...

What do you mean "thank god for Kelvin MacKenzie"?

This twat is an irrelevant anachronism. He should be sealed in a glass case with a label that says - "Break Glass, Only In The Event Of A Return To The 1980's"...

His performance on Brillo's show last night was cringe making.

canvas said...

David Davis and Kelvin MacKenzie.
They are peas in a pod - full of self importance.

They are both overly reactive and I'm not interested in either of them.

David Cameron has worked miracles in decontaminating the 'Tory' brand. If you want to remove Gordon Brown and his incompetent government from power then you should focus on the real issues. Not on the actions of some ego maniac soloist (Davis).

You have to be in the system to change the system - David Davis is too vain and short sighted to get that.

This is a pointless by-election. It means NOTHING. Who cares.

Andy said...

MacKenzie's potential candidacy could almost be a boon to Davis's campaign. Bear in mind that 49% of the vote in H&H last time went to parties (at least nominally) to the left of the Tories.

As a pinko-leftie type myself (though not currently a member of any political party), I can't see many of those votes going to Kelvin MacKenzie, somehow.

Iain Dale said...

Colin, what do you mean, what do I mean? I explain quite clearly what I mean in the article. Read it.

Curmy said...

David Davis' resignation comes across as grandstanding. He could have expressed his opposition by speaking out within the house as well as in public fora. He could have continued as MP,created public opinion against the 42 day detention and ensure its defeat in the House of Lords.

The feeling I get is that this resignation is not about the 42 day detention at all; it is about him back getting into the limelight. Or a sign of differences with David Cameron.
David's a fool on an ego trip who's thrown a spanner in the Tory party's works !

bobthedog said...

McKenzie will be a "labour" candidate, as I suspect he has been asked to stand by Murdoch. He may not wear the colours of labour, but it will be G Brown who is the puppeteer.

This is evidence that Brown is Frit again, and wont stand against Davis on his securocrat policies.

Anonymous said...

Has somebody used the "T" word about our next Home Sec K. MacKenzie? Surely not but let's thank the Sun for making this interesting and joking aside the paper is read by real people with real jobs often self employed and working long hours. Let's hear it for the soaraway SUN.
PS Looks like my 42 years detention may be coming true.
Freedom to Prosper

Anonymous said...

"what do you mean, what do I mean?"

You've described a man who is running at the behest and request of a very rich man as a man of courage and personal conviction.

He's clearly a puppet, but you can't see that.

Your new magazine is partly funded by Lord Ashcroft, isn't it? Just asking, like.....

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, it is quite clear that I meant Thank God David Davis has an opponent so the debate can be had.

Lord Ashcroft is one of several investors in my magazine. So what?

Anonymous said...

So in your view, a debate involving puppets is a credible one.

That's the way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Is Lord Ashcroft the major investor?

Iain Dale said...

He is a minority shareholder - 25%. I and my partner own 66%.

Anonymous said...

So apart from you and your life-partner, he's the buggest shareholder.

Anonymous said...

An interesting fight with Kelvin Mackenzie? This will do immense damage to the Tories.

An inarticulate, overweight dinosaur who makes Richard Littlejohn look like Shami Chakrabarti.

What he will do is bring out the nastiness from the hard right.

I thought the Conservatives had forgotten how to do the splits!

Cassilis said...

C'mon Iain - are you seriously suggesting a contest in a safe tory seat between one of the most high profile politicians in the country and a slightly ludicrous former newspaper editor funded by Rupert Murdoch is a fair & proper proxy for what Davis and you (and I) agree is a serious and fundamental issue about liberty?

Is that seriously what you're suggesting here?

I know I'm banging on about it but that sort of pitch is undermining the very issue Davis is claiming to be advancing...

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 11.19, did you do Maths GCSE? Seeing as though 66+25 = 91% it's pretty bleedin' obvious, innit?

Weygand said...

Kelvin MacKenzie couldn't even win a seat on his local council. If he comes up to Yorkshire, we'll be pleased to give him, and those who back him, a good kicking.

Iain is right. Even if this is a stunt, the world beyond Westminster is longing to demonstrate its fury at constant manipulation whether lies over Iraq or buying votes at Crewe or in the Commons, and the accompanying erosion of our rights. It is part of the phenomenon whereby the political class is controlling the electorate and not vice versa.

My bet is that Rupe is bright enough to see this and that the Sun won't show, (but I hope he isn't).

Anonymous said...

"it's pretty bleedin' obvious, innit"

It's all in the way you sell it.

worzel gummy said...

Many comments on here seem to be stressing on the 42 days point. That is certainly one aspect of all this. But surely the point that David is making is that the 42 days thing is the final straw in a whole 11 years worth of increasingly intrusive behaviour by the government. He has reached the end of his tether and like millions of others, he has decided that enough is enough - and, unlike most of us who can only sit and complain via these blogs, he is in a position and able to actually try to DO something about it. He is using the only weapon at his disposal, his parliamentary seat.

The next three weeks will now highlight in the full glare of the up-coming election processes the extent to which our freedoms have been eroded - and one hopes wake the great unwashed British public up to the fact that they have been sleepwalking into a nasty politically correct and illiberal police state led by an unelected and unprincipled communist subversive.

There is still time to stop and reverse all this but Davis now requires as much help and vocifierous and other support as he can get. Count me in too.

Conand said...

I remember Kelvin on QT describing Brown as 'a dud'. He then argues last night on 'This Week' that we should believe the PM when he says this legislation is necessary. He came across as incredibly naive.
I totally agree with Diane Abbot, it WAS and IS all about positioning.
It really is depressing to watch Her Majesty's ministers playing silly political games with national security.
Labour spinning the proposed By-Election as a stunt shows just how out of touch they are. In the context of 'Gordon's fight back' you would have thought they relished the chance to again demonstrate their (allegedly)cohesive arguments for prolonged pre-charge detention.
Labour's problem isn't entirely Gordon. At least part of the problem is that the 'leading' members of the Labour party are spineless cowards and toadies who don't have the courage to promote what they supposedly believe in. They are all an intellectual and moral vacuum.
Labour are trying to say that the Conservatives are more divided about 42 days than them..er.. reality check: Who had the bigger commons rebellion?
Oh and much as I like PoliticsHome their PHI100 survey about what proportion of Conservative MPs didn't really support 42 days is complete Horlicks. Its a 'political balanced' survey and therefore not a survey of Conservative MPs. Labour will spin it as such. Many of the PHI100 will be Labour MPs stirring the pot.

PS: Don't miss this great Quentin Letts piece> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1025862/Quite-right-42-days-twittered-nodding-Harriet-Harman.html

Letts really is turning into a hero, I loved his direct attack on Brown at the press briefing.

Anonymous said...

what i consistently fail to understand is why anyone thinks either labour or libs dems should even consider wasting their time and money on this vanity project by fielding a candidate.

I would sympathise 100% with Davis if he say, left his party, but isnt it completely contradictory (if not impossible) to stand on a single issue basis, whilst still standing as a Conservative? he is standing as the Conservative candidate. end of story. as such, he is standing on the premise of every single tory party policy. he's already won the seat on this basis, so why feel the need to win it again?

in such circumstances, every time the tories vote against the Government and lose they should resign in a fit of moral outrage at the passage of a piece of legislation they oppose.

That isnt democracy. thats pure and simple vanity and PR.

i'm a Tory and i hope to god he loses. Politicians need to remember that demonstrating not only a commitment to, but a respect for, democracy. Wasting the electorate's time, and whoever's money, isn't going to win anyone any friends.

I fully urge every crank in the country to run against him, simply to demonstrate what a circus he has made out of British politics.

conand said...

To anon @ 12:23 PM:

I totally disagree. He doesn't have to resign from the Conservatives as there is no break with policy.
As for you accusing him of making politics 'a circus' that really annoys me.
We're told that most people agree with 42 days. Therefore DD is consulting his constituents in an entirely appropriate manner i.e. 'If you really really want 42 days then I probably shouldn't be your MP'. I see it as a return to the great days of the 'mother of parliaments' and an enhancement of our democracy.
Too many MPs (mainly in supposedly safe seats) regard elections as a brief interlude between gravy trains. This might shake up the poltical system in a way that can only be good.
In David Davis we have found a true 'Conviction Politician', in stark contrast to the evil,calculating,pathetic liar who pretends to be HM the Queen's Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Did I just miss Iain giving a lecture on mathematics? How any unique visitors are there in a visit, Iain?

DES: said...

I am do not support mckenzie's bigotted views on Scotland. But I think he may have a chance against the tory. The sun can be pretty terrifying at whipping up public anger in a mania even on issues that are pretty trivial. It could be a messy campaign. I support 42 day detention. I respect the tory mp though for standing up his principle.

Stalin showed the left can be tough on national security. Look in WW2. Where Stalin kicked Hitlers butt back to his bunker.
The BNP, sinnful fein, the UKIP and the tories are now all supporting the 42 day detention policy. Which shows the right wing so called nationalist parties are not as trustworthy on national security when it really counts. We are now tougher on: terror than the right wing.

Anonymous said...

Presumably Kelvin MacKenzie will be standing on a 'Morons for Injustice' ticket.

Anonymous said...

Is it worth starting a Downing Street petition urgin Gordon Brown and the Labour Party to front a candidate or face charges of cowardice?

Damon from Birmingham said...

I am surprised more has not been made in the media of the similarities between the 42 day arguement and Hitler's rise to power. Lest we forget Hitler blamed the Reichstag fire on Communist Terrorists and used that as his excuse to suspend Habeas corpus.
Britain is on a very slippery slope at the moment and I hope David Davis's campaign can go someway to turn things around.

chuck said...

While it seems preposterous now, imagine if Mackenzie won? Imagine him fielding more candidates at a general election with the full backing of the Sun behind him?

some bloke said...

This presumably is a joke des ? June 13 1:16 PM
"Stalin showed the left can be tough on national security. Look in WW2. Where Stalin kicked Hitlers butt back to his bunker."
And Stalin caused the death of more of his fellow citizens than Hitler did, all in the name of security for the Revolution he hi-jacked.
But hey, let's not pick on the left.

As Damon from birmingham points out June 13 6:08 PM
" Lest we forget Hitler blamed the Reichstag fire on Communist Terrorists and used that as his excuse to suspend Habeas corpus."

Extremes of left and right both attempted to drag us toward the monolithic superstate now envisaged by the EU of which 42 days is but one element.

I'm not sure if Mr. Davis' gambit is wise but good luck to him.

Anonymous said...

Iam very anti-Labour, but do not say "Thank God for MacKenzie," because he represents the lowest gutteral form of journalism. As editor of The Sun, he produced some of the most xenophobic, prejudiced, jingoistic trash around, most of it false along with numerous smear campaigns. Why don't you research the proven lies he wrote about Liverpool fans in the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy.

It doesn't matter whether you're left wing or right wing, he's a disgrace.