Good Old Boy #60
Good Old Boy of the day has to be David Davis, unlikely hero of the libertarians.
This is a new and interesting way for the Tories to come up with their policies for the next election. If this is how they get on with each other while they are 20 points ahead in the opinion polls, it suggests that it will get really, really nasty when they actually have to take some decisions. This is all the more the case now that Davis has just acquired a new fan club of people who are very good at strident denunciation and regard any compromise as betrayal.
There's a certain amount of support for what Davis has done from leftie liberals, which is kind of understandable in light of the campaign on 4 weeks detention without charge rather than 6. But I don't it would actually be awfully clever of liberals (of whichever party) to rally behind someone who supports such liberal causes as the death penalty, scrapping the human rights act, indefinite detention without trial for asylum-seekers, boot camps for young people, and getting rid of 'so-called hate laws'.
Lastly, on Davis' own terms, Labour definitely shouldn't stand a candidate in the by-election, because, by definition, if they do then it won't be about the single issue of security vs freedom as he wants. If Mr Jones of Haltemprice supports interning terrorist suspects for at least 42 days, but actually cares more about the issue of road tax, then his vote for Davis would dilute the 'single, simple message' that Davis is looking for.
But if there were an Independent candidate who was prepared to stand for the other side of the argument, then it could make for a really interesting election with a proper debate about some important issues. And, I think I know just the man. Step forward, Cllr Byrom.