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13 June 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:35am

Magna Carta: did she die in vain?

By Paul Evans

Days like these

42 days in clink without a charge. What rotters would pursue such a vile infringement of our ancient liberties? The answer is: Ann Widdecombe, the DUP, our old friend Bob Spink and most of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Bloggers now regularly make waves, but rarely do they get quoted by the Prime Minster. During firey exchanges at this week’s PMQs, ahead of the crucial 42 day detention vote, Brown quoted Conservative Home’s Sam Coates in support of the government. Coates had written that:

“A clear majority of the British people favour a longer detention period.  We believe that the British people are right.  They won’t readily forgive any politicians who allow a major atrocity to occur because our detention procedures prove to be inadequate.”

The mirthless Blaney caught the tone of many right-wing bloggers in angrily rejecting this assertion. He insisted that:

“To have argued for 42 days – and in favour of ID cards, as Tim has done many times before – is wrong at the best of times. To have done so today, on the day Parliament votes on the issue, is badly misguided.”

After a slim victory for the government, and Tory recriminations, there was contrition over at Conservative Home.

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Vanity? Oh dear me no!

But the storm was still brewing. The following day Shadow Home Secretary David Davies stunned Westminster by standing down from the Tory frontbench and parliament, to force a mini-referendum on 42 days. Shocka. His former Chief of Staff Iain Dale reflected on his old boss’ decision, and believed his motives to be true:

“This isn’t about one man’s vanity. It is about the ability to sacrifice personal and public advantage for a greater cause. As he said in his statement, Sunday is the anniversary of Magna Carta.”

While many Tories were impressed by his stand, Shamik Das thought he was making a prat of himself though, and advised that:

“To show this man up for the self-aggrandising, pompous bore he is, Labour should join the Liberal Democrats in boycotting the Haltemprice and Howden by-election.”

Nick Clegg had quickly taken the bold step of declaring that his party would not contest the seat. The majority of voters in a Lib Dem Voice poll backed him, though The Yorkshire Gob felt that his party “should have told the Tory tosser to stuff it”.

What have we learned this Week?

On Thursday night ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie dropped a hefty hint that Rupert Murdoch would bankroll him to stand against Davis. Doctor Vee was unimpressed, and remarked that:

“I sincerely hope Davis is able to wipe the smirk off that poisonous man’s face.”

Across the Pond

Conservative MEPs have had a little trouble with their expenses recently, but the sums pale in comparison with the House Republicans, who are nervously examining their options following a spot of embezzlement, as Daily Kos reports. If they find a good accountant, I’m sure the Labour party would appreciate the tip.

Video of the Week

Continuing to pump all the latest celeb news into your face, Best of the Politics Blogs this week introduces a young Conservative currently festering in the Big Brother House. Luke Marsden calls himself “self-righteous” and “judgemental”. Showbiz blog The Sweet 16s calls him a “cheap suit-wearing weed”. You can watch this curious young man’s entry to the house here.

Quote of the Week

“The new Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, has described Davis Davis’s resignation as “a highly individual decision”
“A highly individual decision” = “He is a lunatic””

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