David Davis: a bounder and a braggart

by Stephen Tall on July 9, 2008

UPDATE: There is an update to this story, published the following day on Lib Dem Voice, in which The Guardian makes clear that the quote on which this posting was based was not uttered by David Davis.

David Davis has had many warm words written about him by Lib Dems – myself included – since he took his decision to quit Parliament to fight for his beliefs in civil liberties, and most notably Labour’s obscene push to detain without charge for up to 42 days.

True, there have also been some harsh words written about him – but the majority view has been that his decision to trigger a by-election was borne primarily of principle, and that the Lib Dems were right therefore not to put up a candidate and risk splitting the votes of those who are in agreement on 42 days. That, after all, is why David Davis (understandably) spoke with Nick Clegg before deciding to put his head above the parapet.

Which makes it all the more disappointing to see him stooping to indulge in petty partisan politics, at least according to this quote in today’s Guardian attributed to Mr Davis:

I’m sorry that Labour and the Liberal Democrats funked it, but we’re still having a good argument and getting the issue raised.” (Hat-tip Tony Greaves).

One can perhaps admire the effrontery of Mr Davis for seeking a behind-doors deal with the Lib Dems before calling a by-election, and then condemning the Lib Dems during the by-election for agreeing to that behind-doors deal. But, actually, it’s just a damned cheek.