Thursday, July 10, 2008

David Davis Interview

There's a web only exclusive interview with David Davis by Shane Greer on the Total Politics Campaigns Blog today in which he talks about the by election and the issues involved.

ConservativeHome has a post today on David Davis's by election entitled Was it Worth it, which looks at the results of a Politics Home poll which has contrary evidence to yesterdays ICM poll which showed voters turning against 42 days and the excessive use of DNA evidence. ConservativeHome's interpretation of the PoliticsHome poll is questionable to say the least, as it fails to compare like with like. They asked totally different questions. Donal Blaney has gone off on one HERE, and Daily Referendum has done the SAME.

I think I will sit this one out!


Anonymous said...

I don't know about "mendacious to say the least", Iain. I would have thought "mendacious" is putting it a bit strongly. CH's main point seemed to be that the ICM poll iself wasn't comparing like with like.

Anyway, I'll go off and enjoy Donal's diatribe. (You're right. Probably best not get involved in 'handbags'.)

Billy Ruffian said...

We wrote a song about David Davis and his byelection, see it here:

Anonymous said...

There is only one poll that asked the same question before and after and that's the PoliticsHome tracker. That's why it's interesting that there's no movement.

It might be that the ICM poll has a better insight into public opinion (although I don't think it does) but it tells us nothing about any changes in that opinion.

Please also see Anthony Wells and James Forsyth on this:

If my judgment is questionable, I'm not alone!

Anonymous said...

The last few weeks of ConservativeHome's coverage has been so far off base as to betray its very name. I'm seriously considering deleting the bookmark I have for it. At the very least it is so far down on my bookmarks list that it is off the screen.

I have never got into the habit of reading Politics Home. The design is clunky and slow. It puts me right off.

Martin said...

David Davis. Yes, whatever happened to him?

Daily Referendum said...


No doubt Anthony and James were sent they same email as you and I. You three decided to post its findings, while I and Donal Blaney decided to question them.

The PHI5000 tracker is not the great tool you make it out to be. If two weeks ago you had put me on the spot and forced me to make a decision on 42 days, I would have gone with DD. Ask me again today and my answer is the same. No doubt if I had been forced to form and opinion and I went against DD two weeks ago, I would still be against him today.

The PHI5000 tracker is asking people who have chosen a side on this subject whether they got it wrong. As I said on your post: people don't like admitting that they were wrong. I don't.

Also asking how long a terror suspect can be held (PH) is totally different to asking how long someone who could be innocent should be held (ICM). And I would suggest that most people would judge the former question to be more leading than the latter.

Curmy said...

I'm sorry Iain, I think DD has made a big mistake. The turnout will be down , he'll have a reduced majority and he'll have lost his place in the shadow cabinet.

I'm very disappointed with him.

Tapestry said...

David Davis has displeased the Party's leaders, but he's shown that democracy still exists in Britain in case people had forgotten or given up on it.

To my mind it feels good seeing that not all MPs are sitting cosy just waiting for their pension, and that risks can be taken for political gain.

The public are happy to see that the elite at Westminster can occasionally show a bit of steam coming out of their ears. It makes the connection with politics a little more real in this era of remote decision-taking.

Interestingly Cameron has been uttering far less cuddly thoughts about people who mess up their own lives, since the Davis resignation - as if to say, I can be tough as well, you know.

He sees Boris Johnson banning drink on London Transport, and getting tough with any nonsense he finds at City Hall.

Then Osborne fires off a tax promise on fuel. Cameron is needing to up his profile a bit or Davis, Johnson et al might upstage him.

Davis is opening up on civil liberties making some very good points that many criminals are not having their DNA recorded, while non-criminals are being recorded.

That most CCTV footage is of very poor quality, and offers little that is useful to Police seeking to identify wrong-doers.

He has made people think.

Of couse Party loyalists will be down on Davis. They don't like the boat being rocked.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Iain, I think DD has made a big mistake. The turnout will be down , he'll have a reduced majority and he'll have lost his place in the shadow cabinet.

And all that matters how much, exactly?

Sure, the turnout will be low. Who cares? Turnouts are always low in elections where it's pretty obvious who the winner (reduced majority or not) is going to be. Still, it remains worth observing that Labour were too scared to put up a candidate.

More to the point, this election was never just about one constituency, or about a single legislative issue (42 day detention). It was about making everyone in the UK stop and think, just for a moment, about whether present-day legislation was stripping us of ancient liberties, and, if so, whether this erosion was justified. And perhaps, to a degree it was also about reminding us that a few politicians value someting - whatever one wants to title it - even more than cv points, 'power', or a quiet and profitable life.

Obviously, tomorrow, the mainstream media and the more well-scrubbed organs of the commentariat will be down on Mr Davis like a ton of bricks, because his majority was too small, his poll ratings too low and his whole attitude towards party politics far, far too irregular. In other words, he was 'off message' by the standards of several dozen people mostly based in central London.

What such people will never understand, obviously, is that Davis has, of course, gained quite a lot, in a number of ways, by going 'off message'. But in order to understand that, it would be necessary to speak with apolitical people, in different parts of the UK, and to listen to what they are actually saying, rather than setting them tightly-constrained little questions and then 'spinning' the answers.

Finally, whatever the result tonight, and whatever Davis' flaws (they do exist), I'm absolutely sure that, in hindsight, a few decades hence, what he did last month will be seen, not just as 'worth it', but as marginally brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Did you know Christopher Glamorganshire? What's the gossip?

Anonymous said...

Did you know Christopher Glamorganshire? What's the gossip?

Oooch, you'd have to read the Graundiad (humour) for that one, apparently - 'lol' as the young folk say.

Daily Referendum said...

Well done DD, 17119 votes is a great result.