I’ve no wish to re-hash the arguments that raged here on Lib Dem Voice and around the blogs about whether Nick Clegg was right to agree not to stand a Lib Dem candidate against Mr Davis. On balance, I think he made the right call. But, whatever your view, that’s a done deal. What I’m more interested in now is how the party will make the best of its decision? How do we associate the Lib Dem cause with Mr Davis’s thinking on civil liberties, while emphasising that Mr Davis is by no means representative of Conservative views in the shadow cabinet? When will Nick be sharing a platform with David Davis? When will the party launch its Lib Dems for DD website? (I’m only half in jest). Why haven’t we tried to adopt him as one of our own – on civil liberties, I mean – the better to show up how disunited and un-libertarian the real Conservative party is?
I'll leave the LibDems to their own discussions on what their approach should be, but I do take issue with him on one point. He says: "Mr Davis is by no means representative of Conservative views in the shadow cabinet?" Er, come again? On this issue David Cameron and David Davis and the rest of the Shadow Cabinet are in total agreement. Sure, there were rumours that Michael Gove and George Osborne were concerned about being painted as soft on terror, but they rowed in behind the policy of opposing 42 days detension.
Having seen the LibDem contortions over the Lisbon Treaty I think they should be last people to accuse the Tories of being disunited on any issue!