back to article Davis faces North Korean victory margin in civil liberty vote

David Davis’ one man campaign to halt the UK’s drift into Big Brotherdom took a dive today as it emerged that the biggest brother of them all will not now campaign against him in a by-election. Former Sun editor Kelvin is not expected to stand in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election which Davis triggered in protest at the …


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  1. Matt


    Bunch of cowards. Don't believe in their own lies, fear and rubbish enough to stand up for it.

    That is all.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    Looks like the stunt is going to fall flat on its face.

  3. James Pickett


    I was looking forward to seeing MacKenzie routed. Didn't he say that he was 90% certain of standing - when the Dirty Digger was behind him, of course. Nice to know that he's his own man...

  4. AndyC

    Vote the MRLP in!

    As much as I agree with Davies, the MRLP would at least make PMq's more interesting... And get about as much sense as anything else going on in there...

  5. Nick Palmer

    Well, UKIP ought to be fun...

    ...given that they were among the odious cortège of opportunists filing in to beg scraps from the New Labour table in exchange for supporting the 42 day travesty. I'm not normally one to cheer on a Tory, but I truly hope that UKIP try to make a fight of it; Davis is probably enough of a bruiser to make mincemeat of 'em.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He should be sacked, and barred from office

    This is just a pathetic stunt which only serves to massage his ego, damage his party and cost the taxpayer huge wads of cash.

    I saw him on Andrew Marr on Sunday and he kept saying that Gordon Brown's refusal to put a candidate against him shows contempt for the people and parliamentary process by refusing to have a debate with him (Davis).

    Well, Dave, you had your debate. In Parliament. And you lost. Democratically. You can't go around trying to force another debate when you have alraedy lost it. This is not Ireland and EU referenda after all.

    If he believes strongly enough that 42 days is wrong then he should resign for good. Or stay and fight to either overturn it or at least prevent its misuse.

    Stupid, egotistical, whiny, pathetic, childish, spoilt bastard.

    Oh, for the record I think increasing the time suspects can be held without charge etc. to 42 days is absolutely wrong on every level, compensation or not.

  7. David Pollard

    Needs El Reg, innit

    Is there then no one on the staff who will step up, in the style of the Talmudic tradition, and sieze this opportunity for elucidation in these dark times.

  8. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    consitutional heavyweights

    "So, MacKenzie’s withdrawal leaves Davis facing the prospect of spending weeks debating 42 days, ID cards et al with such constitutional heavyweights as the Monster Raving Looney Party, The BNP and UKIP. ®"

    Are they standing then? Or will this be an uncontested by-election. If the latter, it will be a straight fight of empty-space versus politician. (Much as I agree with Mr Davis' position on 42 days, part of me would be amused if the empty space won.)

  9. Richard Gadsden
    Black Helicopters

    Not UKIP and BNP

    Both our fascist parties are opposed to 42 days detention and neither of them will be standing against David Davies. I'd link, but you don't want a link to, do you?

  10. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Easy answer

    If the Labour Party apparachiks won't debate Davis in this election, then let's have some interviews with him conducted by the Reg.

    You could even ask the readers to submit questions, and after you've weeded the ones out about Paris, the relative benefits of Mac versus Windows and whether Blu-ray is a crock you should have - ummmm - well like I said, we could have some interviews with him conducted by the Reg.

  11. M
    IT Angle

    This is already resonating with the electorate

    It seems to be that whilst the hacks and MPs seem to be pooh poohing this stunt everyone who I know seems to think its marvellous.

    As I said when this story first broke, if Davis can spin the idea to the voting public that Labour isn't behind its own policies by not contesting, then he and the Tories have a very powerful platform to stand on.

  12. b

    and cost the taxpayer huge wads of cash.

    More or less than the 1.2 billion the DUP were bribed with?

    More or less than the 12.7 billion p*ssed up the wall on the NHS database?

  13. b

    Well, Dave, you had your debate. In Parliament. And you lost. Democratically.

    Is that you Gordon?

  14. Ashley Stevens
    Paris Hilton

    Beauties for Britain

    Don't forget Gemma Garrett- she could be the dark horse in this race!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kelvin stood against the Torys in Elmridge and lost

    Well that's rubbish, Kelvin already stood against the Tories in a local by election while being employed by the Sun.

    "Kelvin MacKenzie says that his fury over an extortionate hike in parking prices drove him to stand for election to Elmbridge Borough Council....Kelvin MacKenzie Is A Columnist For The Sun."

    The reason digger won't fund his campaign is because people would file a complaint to Ofcom to get Sky's license pulled. HOWEVER KELVIN CAN FUND IT HIMSELF. In fact, now I know he's ran in the past, I want to check to see if he got any funding from digger.... we know Murdoch is a political entity, but you need an incident like funding a political candidate to let Ofcom take his Sky license from him.

    If Kelvin feels so strongly about it, he can fund it himself, he has enough money.... he was all mouth before, so how about it Kelvin? Davis is funding his campaign himself.

  16. Matt


    I can only think that it is Gordo.

  17. Tim Bergel
    Thumb Down


    "Well, Dave, you had your debate. In Parliament. And you lost. Democratically."

    Erm ... technically democratic yes, but bribing the Ulster unionists to support 42 days is, at best, a very poor advertisement for democracy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg-backed candidate?

    If the task is too much or too political for the bear with the checked-trousers, what about one of you lot getting taking a stand for things like IR35 (all contractors would move and register to vote there)........

  19. Joshua

    Just another nail

    The ONLY half-decent reason that Labour ever offered for going through with the extension was that it was popular with the electorate. If Labour refused to actually stand against Davis, it really does show how weak the argument is.

    I just wish all politicians had the guts to actually defend our liberties. Any suggestion that this by-election is a waste of money puts a very small price on the fundamental freedoms of the British.

    The sooner we have an election in the country, the sooner we can start cleaning up the mess left by this lot.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Can we have a fundraiser?

    Rather than a Q&A session, can we organize a fund raiser, it's a pretty clear vote: 42 days vs 28 days as the straw that broke the camels back in stripping UK freedoms. Even if expats can't contribute money we can damn well be vocal.

    Anyone that feels he's wasting tax payer money can always fund their opposing candidate to express their viewpoint...... IMHO it's pretty pathetic argument given the cost of Brown's deals to get the vote, if you wanted to save tax payer money you should be screaming for Browns head on a plate!

    @He should be sacked, and barred from office

    Brown you mean? I agree, this is not the first time he's tried to court the popular vote using tax payers money and the abuse of his position. Remember the 10% thing? He removed the 10%, it was unpopular, he did a quick 180... borrowed some money to save face and secure his position. What next HMRC to be used to attack opponents perhaps?... Oh Davis you mean. Davis the man whom you disagree with should be barred from the by-election because in your view he wastes money giving people a vote. Perhaps we should do away with the next general election to save a bit of money?

  21. Mad Dave

    Won't change a thing

    Kelvin MacKenzie wouldn't have reached double figures in votes cast for.

  22. Corrine

    Can someone please explain this

    In terms understandable to Americans?

  23. ClickMonster


    "Well, Dave, you had your debate. In Parliament. And you lost. Democratically. "

    Actually, the UK is meant to be a representative democracy. Members of parliament represent the area in which they were elected. They are (meant to be) elected on the basis of their manifesto.

    Laws such as this formed no part of the Labour manifesto ... where's the democratic process? I'm not sure it would be possible to design a less un-democratic 'democratic' system than the one we have ended up with

  24. Dunstan Vavasour

    Problem for Gordon

    is that a number of his rebel MPs would go and support DD.

    By not fielding a candidate, he can use the get-out that "they weren't campaigning against a Labour candidate" and avoid the potential train wreck of having to expel a load of his MPs.

    Contesting the election has a lot of potential downside for Gordy, so he's going for the dismissive approach. Sad really.

  25. John

    Miss GB, UKIP and more

    Miss Great Britain will be standing, as she did in Crewe and Nantwich, on a platform of better pay for soldiers.

    As for the UKIP, they were the real Conservative party, favouring free markets, grammar schools, and all that good stuff as well as independence from the EU. However, their only MP at Westminster, Bob Spink, voted with the government in support of 42 days' dentention.

    On the one hand, if Labour puts up a candidate they are giving Davis more publicity. That's one reason Clegg didn't get the LibDems to put up a candidate. On the other hand, Davis has challenged Labour to make the case for more intrusive government to actual ordinary voters and taxpayers, not MPs. If there isn't a Labour candidate, Davis can legitimately claim the government is abandoning the debate.

    Finally, I am ashamed that my MP, Rev Dr Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, MP MLA, voted with the government. The DUP obviously has some shady deal in place to get more English money for NI or to get some policy changed. Paisley's wife is now Baroness Paisley of St Georges. Hopefully she will see sense and vote the bill down in the House of Lords.

    Davis's move was certainly a stunt and probably has a lot to do with being in Cameron's shadow for the last two years, but if he wins his seat back I hope the Queen invites him to be PM.

  26. Jay Zelos
    Thumb Up


    What he said :)

    If Gordon seriously thinks the public are behind him with 42 days, then why not put forward a Labour candidate on that platform?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we live in strange times

    When the official uk fascist party is against detention without trial and the what about the workers party is in favour. Or are the bnp with the metropolitan police (as supported by red ken, ffs) tendency - shoot them on sight?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Give me a break

    I'm no fan of Mr Brown or the 42 days, but David Davies is a little suspect as he is willing to stand up for his principles (which include the death penalty I believe). So the state can't lock people for 42 days without trial but it can execute them (I suppose then you won't need the 42 days?). Also if we had a spate of attacks (unlikely I know) you'll probably find that the state could pretty much do as it wished and get away with it - we do after all have no constitution and the army and police report directly to the government. This has everything to do with ego on his part mixed with a dash of politics. Anonymous as I'm afraid of the lynch mob.

  29. Adam Williamson

    Bit of factual accuracy (I know, I know, first time for everything)

    BNP will not stand against Davis. Rather hilariously, they oppose 42-day detention. I wish someone in a prominent public media position would make the point that Labour is to the right of *the BNP* on this issue...

    UKIP are standing, but in theory - if no-one did oppose Davis - it wouldn't be Davis vs. empty space, there'd be no election and he would be returned as MP automatically.

  30. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The huge losers here...

    have been the Westminister Village pundits, who called it wrong on every level.

    I see many of the Reg viewers also take their opinions from these 'experts' - the last thing this is is a stunt which will backfire. But no one is really considering what Labour's options are.

    With the public backing that Davis has shown so far, an unopposed campaign would give him a month of unopposed publicity, followed by a triumphant and probably increased majority return. The whole episode will be thrown at Labour for the rest of their term in office, and much will be made of it across the country at the next General Election.

    If, however, Labour field a right-of-centre candidate, and push the 'saving the country' angle, they will probably pick up some of the Liberal votes. They might even get more than they did last time (12%, wasn't it?). So say Davis gets 80% and Labour 18% - this could be spun as a Labour increase of 50%, and provide a counter to the crowing of the Conservatives.

    So where are the specialists who are paid to provide this insight? Sitting on their arses waiting for a spin-doctor to phone them up and tell them what to say, that's where!

    Paris, because she can provide expertise in her own specialist area on demand. And on anyone else's specialist area....

  31. Ade


    What if.....

    on all substansive issues of this kind MP's had to go back to their constituants and hold a ballot, with each issue on the paper and whether people wanted their MP to vote For or Against the issue... and had to vote with the majority of the people they 'claim' they represent..

    if they then went against this decision, due to horse trading or bloody mindedness, then the local party should de-select them and have a by-election!!!

    That would make MP's listen to their constituants... if they didnt the'd be out on their ear in a heartbeat!!

    Just think of the intrest generated... better than watching the voting out on BB!!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Summary for our American cousins...

    Our nominally left-wing Labour government has pushed through a bill allowing summary detention for up for 42 days without being informed why. By contrast those reknowned liberal bastions Russia and Turkey are limited to 5 and 7.5 days respectively. The USA is 48 hours, except Guantanamo of course.

    Confusingly, David Davis from the nominally right-wing opposition has resigned in protest even though his party voted against this bill. There will now be a by-election in which he will stand unopposed, as the fascists on the right, communists on the left and everyone in between all seem to agree with him.

    The only man who threatened to oppose him was Kelvin Mackenzie, a former newspaper editor chiefly famous for summarizing the death of 323 Argentine sailors during the Falkland war with the word "Gotcha" and for staking his claim on the goldrush that was Cable TV by bringing us "Topless Darts" and a naked weather broadcast. In Swedish.

    He's on record as saying 42 or even 420 days detention is fine by him. A shame he never met Joseph Fritzl, I can't help feel that's a missed opportunity.

  33. Stephen Jenner

    UKIP are liberals.... NOT fascists!

    @Nick Palmer

    “..given that they were among the odious cortège of opportunists filing in to beg scraps from the New Labour table in exchange for supporting the 42 day travesty.”

    I suggest you get your facts right before you spout your ignorant witterings. Bob Spink who voted with Labour on the 42 days caper is not an elected UKIP MP (they don’t have any yet), he is a right-wing Tory who has found safe harbour within UKIP, I suspect his vote was more to do with a wish to vote against his old party than anything else. UKIP is treated with disdain by the other parties, because it stands for liberalism and independence and as such, any bribes being offered by Labour would not be on the table for UKIP.

    I hope that David Davis wins, and wins big, in the forthcoming by-election, which as far as I know will not be contested by UKIP, since they agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Davis. I hope, (but do not expect) Mr. Davis to widen his civil liberties argument so that it encompasses the Treaty of Lisbon and the predictable reaction of its bigwigs at the EC and the Labour government, to the Irish referendum. Ireland was the only EU member state to have a public vote, who despite the machinations of their own government, when asked, voted overwhelmingly against it, (that is 33 constituencies voted no and 9 voted yes (one of those came out yes by a majority of only 4 votes)). DeValera, the old leader of Ireland and the originator of the Irish constitution knew a thing or two, when he added the clause about the rights of Irishmen to have a referendum when their new constitution and Irish independence was under threat. I wonder whether he foresaw that Ireland’s own government would be the biggest threat to this independence.

    @Richard Gadsden

    “Both our fascist parties are opposed to 42 days detention and neither of them will be standing against David Davies.”

    Your point is essentially correct, UKIP will not be standing in this by-election, in fact Godfrey Bloom MEP and other UKIP supporters will be campaigning for David Davis.

    However your suggestion, that UKIP is fascist, could hardly be further from the truth, they are conservative libertarians. The fascists in this country are those that knowingly and wholeheartedly support the EU, which is by definition, anti-democratic and fascist.


    “As for the UKIP, they were the real Conservative party, favouring free markets, grammar schools, and all that good stuff as well as independence from the EU. However, their only MP at Westminster, Bob Spink, voted with the government in support of 42 days' detention.”

    Bob Spink is a free man and he voted with a clear conscience the way he voted, but he did not have the support of the vast majority of the membership of UKIP (which is bigger than the membership of the Conservative or Labour party’s), with this action.

    UKIP policy, (see their manifestos) is not to invade foreign countries or to support the incarceration of citizens (suspected terrorists or not) without sufficient evidence. They are famously against the traditional European (Napoleonic) legal system of corpus juris. This is where a suspect is detained for six or more months whilst the government “gathers” evidence, which effectively puts the “42 days” into the puny category; instead they support the traditional British system of habeas corpus, where the onus is on the state to produce the evidence to a court more or less immediately. This is a consequence of Magna Carta, where King John was imprisoning everyone and anyone on a whim.

    As a point of interest, once the Treaty of Lisbon, that Labour support, is law, corpus juris will become the de-facto system of law in the UK, and we will laugh at the day when we argued about the coward Brown and his “42 days”.

  34. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    democracy shamocracy

    If elections could change the system, they would be illegal.

    This looks like it might turn into a system challenge like the Poll Tax revolt, with pensioners ready to go to jail for our freedoms.

    Christ almighty, this lot are shoving us back to pre-Magna-Carta days. That's before 1215! Habeas Corpus - stranded porpoise.

    Bonehead Blunkett the bludgeon and baton-brain behind this basket of bollocks.

    For the Yanquis here, this kind of government highhandedness and readiness to steamroller taxpayers and the disfranchised is why you had your revolution - remember?? 1776 etc.

    Total disconnect between the rulers and the rules.

    Those on top can't rule, those down below won't be ruled. Interesting situation.

    Paris, cos that's where the enraged people stormed the Bastille and started the French revolution.

  35. Mister Cheese
    IT Angle

    Safe Tory seat by any chance?

    The reason Labour (and probably the rest of the parties too) aren't bothering to field a candidate is because, like a lot of places, the local electorate would vote in a cabbage if it was wearing a blue rosette...

  36. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    42 days, what's the question?

    If the question is prefixed with "should we let terrorists human rights take precident over ordinary peoples right to life?" you get yes to 42 days

    If the question is "should we lock up very bad people and delay charging them for up to 42 days then let them go if we can't find evidence?" the answer is no to 42 days.

    One really important issue here with two parts.

    1. Should terrorists be treated differently to any other bad guys?

    2. Can we decide which category a bad guy is in?

    If one imagines a huge well connected terrorist organisation that stops at nothing and can have anyone whacked at a moments notice then we can't afford to pussy foot around giving people bail.

    If one agrees with various EU top nobs that people who critisize the EU are a type of terrorist then the crime of sedious libel could have you locked up for 42 days then released.

  37. Anonymous Coward


    "BNP will not stand against Davis. Rather hilariously, they oppose 42-day detention. I wish someone in a prominent public media position would make the point that Labour is to the right of *the BNP* on this issue..."

    And on ID cards, which they also oppose. They aren't even, strangely, the party that is promoting "ID for foreigners" at every opportunity, and making a big fuss about the wonders of counting everyone in and counting them out, via e-Borders: that would be the Government.

  38. Colin Jackson

    @Wayland Sothcott

    We are talking neither about terrorists or bad guys of any sort. We are talking about suspects, who have yet to be proved guilty of anything, and indeed may actually NOT be guily of anything. The division of rights is based on 'suspicion', which is about as far from a liberal approach as it's possible to get, and a really fucking awful precedent.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Well it was a good idea....

    His own (suspicious) motives aside, 42 days detention and civil liberties generally are possibly the most important issues of the day and need serious debate. Since Labour seem determined to ram through whatever ill thought out, immoral and unethical legislation it can, it seems the only way to force the debate is to resign and provoke a by-election. I agree with Davis' decision, it's just too bad labour didn't have the b*llocks to participate in what we in the ex-free world like to call "the democratic process".

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Miss GB, UKIP and more

    Baroness Paisley won't vote against.

  41. Jess


    Maybe the Monster Raving Loony Party could be persuaded to stand using the relevant parts of Labour policy as its manefesto.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We now have a greengrocer from Northampton running against him. The guy in question modestly calls himself the "voice of Northampton":

  43. Colin Millar

    Just too boring

    I mean - 42 days? No-one actually has any concept of what that is.

    What is needed is a proper measure so that people can truly envisage what it is proposed to put people through.

    i.e 42 days in pokey with plod and his rubber truncheon and the water boarding would have the same soul crushing force as, say, a weekend in Blackpool or an afternoon in Bromley.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Stephen Jenner

    "the EU, which is by definition, anti-democratic"

    Errr... How many UKIP MPs are there? And How many MEPs? Now tell me again which parliament is undemocratic?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    K. MacKenzie

    I see ( the iconoclastic, tell-it-like-it-is, man-of-the-people has been told by his boss not to stand.

    6 letters, beginning with W, ending in r.

    Meanwhile, the labour party is relying on a market trader from Northampton and Mad Cow-Girl to make its case.

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