Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Election 2024
11 July 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:22am

Token opposition

To win back his seat, David Davis needed only to defeat a smokers' rights advocate and a man claimin

By Paul Evans

Faith in the City

What is more interesting – tackling ingrained poverty or securing our beautiful liberties? Both get me warmed up, and likewise Britain’s bloggers seemed pretty turned on by both Haltemprice and Glasgow. Turning his attention to the by-election in Glasgow’s East end Jock Coats spun back the clock to explore century-old arguments over the potential of land value taxation to ease the city’s woes. He mused:

“What benefit has the political game been to them in all those years? What good the franchise? What good socialism? Or the vested interests of the Tories’ friends?”

One of Scotland’s most brilliant bloggers, Clairwil scoffed at the much discussed claims of sectarianism’s role in the by-election. She claimed that:

“Never in my thirty three years living in Glasgow have I ever heard anyone announcing their intention to vote along sectarian lines.”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Making a statistical mockery of the idea, she went on:

“Funnily enough people seem to be more upset about the abolition of the 10p tax rate and sleaze than the candidates belief or otherwise in transubstantiation.”

Meanwhile, eagle-eyed Scottish Nats blogger North to Leith uncovered the curious case of the disappearing news item on Scottish Labour’s website. The story had criticised Alex Salmond for sitting as both an MP and MSP, but as he dryly noted:

“Funny now that Curran is seeking to do the same thing that Labour are trying to airbrush that story out of history.”

The Haltemprice is Right

If sweet freedom is your bag, then you may have been thrilled by the result in Hatlemprice and Howden. Like Anthony Barnett, who despite the lack of serious opponents for DD, found the campaign a hard slog:

“I canvassed for David Davis on the eve of the by-election. The uncertain did not want to discuss. We had a single conversation with a man who did raise 42 days – he was for locking them up, but not, on consideration, if they were innocent.”

The colourful field featured a spiky-hair chap called Hamish who wanted to stick up for smokers (91 votes) and a very curious fellow named Tom, who admitted that he has “no understanding of your presiding concerns,” but wished to be elected because he is “the true Archbishop of Canterbury, the true Pope, and the true Heir to the throne of England” (25 votes).

Across the Pond

While Bush joined Brown in Hokkaido to nosh down on hairy crab soup, Janet Ritz on The Huffington Post was concerned with the G8’s settlement on greenhouse gas emissions. Major polluters China and India aren’t part of the G8 or any negotiations on emissions. Ritz noted that Bush has presented this “as a sticking point for a G8 agreement on specific targets,” while “the EU and Japan had been pressing the G8 to accept the targets without them.” She went on to explain that worrying environmental developments make substantial progress all the more vital.

Video of the Week

The streets of Easterhouse are echoing to the sound of Hush Puppies as Scottish Labour piles in to defend the seat. Turn the clock back twenty years and the band Easterhouse, named in honour of the Glaswegian estate, were belting out some of the best and most under-rated political music ever made. The left-wing radicals once sang:

“At Labour’s house trained ‘socialists’
The lowest form of hypocrite”

In a couple of weeks we’ll know – are the SNP about to claim a potentially fatal scalp, or are they just Whilstling in the Dark?

Quote of the Week

“I am a simple soul, and do not claim to understand all of the issues involved, but I do know that I would not want the police to have the freedom to haul me off the street, lock me up for 42 days without charge, without a trial and without me knowing precisely what I was suspected of.”

Didcactophobia on David Davis.

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action