back to article David Davis tells El Reg that Labour is 'mesmerised' by tech

As polling day approaches for the Howden and Haltemprice by-election, voters and observers are left with an eerie sense of déjà vu as Labour once again refuses to debate its civil liberties record with David Davis. Just over four years ago, a keynote conference, “Mistaken Identity”, was organised by Privacy International. …


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  1. Michael
    Thumb Up

    Decent bloke with head screwed on right...

    It's clear the wrong man won the Tory leadership election.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Scott Wichall

    Silly Me - A song about it by dreamflower

    I found a song all about it. Go to to download it. Its quite catchy!

    And fair play to David Davis for taking a stance on this....I personally feel "trapped" in this country now, compared to only 10 years ago

  4. Mark

    "So he goes back to the evidence"

    "and on the evidence he has seen so far, the absolute limit for such detention is somewhere between 21 and 28 days."

    But isn't that based on a case where the information they took someone to court for was found in three days (IIRC) but they held this quiet until the last couple of days they had to detain him?

  5. Rob

    Blimey, grab your ice skates...

    ... never thought I'd come a cross a politican like this (alive, and mentally stable by the sounds of it).

    Mine's the big warm jacket with the ice skates, looks like I'm skating to work with the devil on Monday.

  6. Andrew Smith
    Thumb Down

    This is stupid!

    While I agree with his stance on this issue I disagree with most other things he believes in. So why should I vote for him to represent me on just one issue, which by the way is going to be law no matter what he says or how we vote?

    We elect MPs to represent the people of the local constituency, we do not elect them on one issue, and a majority of the public actually support 42 days. Which just shows how stupid the public seem to be. They don't care what he stands for, just that he made this pointless publicity stunt.

    There is no Lib Dem candidate and no Labour candidate, so the choice isn't fair anyway. The whole thing is a farce and a waste of money and time. MPs should not be allowed to act like this, especially when it makes no difference either locally, nationally or to any laws. There should be a rule that MPs cannot resign and then re-stand in the same seat for a minimum of 3 years or so.

  7. Matthew
    Thumb Up

    Computer Science degree as well!

    I thought that being a former SAS man and (one of the very few) defender of civil rights, he was spot on, but now we find out he's also a techy!


  8. Tom

    A teaspoon of wine in a barrel of sewage is sewage

    A teaspoon of sewage in a barrel of wine is also sewage.

    I know which one I'd rather drink.

  9. Ian Ferguson
    Dead Vulture

    I agree with him but...

    ...this reads a little like a biased puff-piece, I know you're not the BBC but how about some press neutrality?

    Or maybe the article is intended to goad the nu-Labour press department into a statement? :-)

  10. Dazed and Confused

    At least he's prepared to put his money where his mouth is

    The theory is we live in a democracy. At least David Davis seems to be prepared to go back to the electorate and say

    I think this is wrong. Tell me what you think.

    The problem with most modern politics is that no one is prepared to take responsibility for anything. They all just want to have their place on the gravy train. Well here we seem to have found an exception.

    Of course New Labour won't put up a candidate, of course they won't get into a debate on this. Even they haven't managed to pass legislation to outlaw any view that opposes them. Look what happened the last time someone tried to ask an awkward question at the labour party conference.

  11. Perseus


    A Tory concerned with civil liberties... That'll be the day

  12. Dan
    Thumb Up

    Is it too little too late?

    I can't help thinking he should have made a fuss about this during the tory leadership campaign, I think there is a large section of the public who if properly educated about the dangers, would start to understand the liberty/security problems. Rather a biased article mind, but still, we really need something to counter all the current stuff going on, and DD appears to fit the bill.

  13. Wokstation
    Thumb Down

    Article about a viewpoint...

    ...or an advert for David Davis?

  14. James
    Thumb Up

    Sound guy making sound well reasoned arguments

    Mr Davis, you have earned my vote.

  15. Alien8n

    @ Michael

    tbh he'd be the wrong person for the leadership.

    David Davis is clearly better suited for a role as Home Secretary than as leader of the Tories. He's got a good grasp of the issues and the background to understand why Labour's solutions just never work.

    The very fact that Labour refuse to participate in any dialogue with him also shows what a liar Brown is. It was Brown who stated back when he was about to become PM that he'd listen to the best people in parliament regardless of their politics. Instead we have a false PM with more cronies around him. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

  16. Guy
    IT Angle

    I'm not suprised he resigned

    Was talking sense and actually looking out for his constituents...bad traits for a politician

  17. Paul Webb

    The tories have a leader? With substance???

    I used to vote Labour. Without fail. Then I gave up on party politics and voted on issues. Now I am despairing and dissolute about what to do with my vote. So now I find myself siding, quite reasonably I think, with DD. The world's gone mad I tell 'ee. Now where did I put that twat-a-tron...

    - mine's the one with the rainbow scarf

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    did someone just mention BBC and press neutrality?? LOL never has a more pro-labour apparatus existed.

    As to issues - sure I don't agree with alot of his or his parties views, but on civil liberties it has to be said, New Labour make the Rusty Lady look soft.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Matt Campbell

    You wrote to your MP to tell him that he and his party are no better than Nazis, and that Britain today is as if it was run by Nazis, and you're disgusted to be told he took offence?

    Spare us the pretend indignation. When you insult people to their face, tell them they are effectively the same as amoral, racist mass murderers they very rarely see your point of view.

    If you've got past the age of fourteen and not figured that out yet then perhaps you aren't yet past the mental age of fourteen. Grow up.

  20. George

    Dear El Reg. Please don't become a politcial mouthpiece.

    You were wonderfully politically agnostic in the old days purely commenting IT in the government, this is a step in the wrong direction and feels like party politically broadcast.

  21. Nomen Publicus

    grim history of people ignoring lose of liberties

    Either people vote to retain their liberties or one day they will discover that they are unable to vote.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @Andrew Smith

    Sadly it is true that the public would happily trade almost all freedoms under the belief that a: they have nothing to hide and so don't need to worry, and b: they believe the removal of various freedoms will make them safer. Particularly with major media outlets unwilling to press hard questions on the matter (every interview I've seen on the Beeb or Sky has been unbelievably weak, much like phorm and other issues of late.)

    O well, a year or two and I'll be off to a nicer nation (Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam - they all sound good to me)

    Mines the one with the Nekomimi on the back.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Why the surprise??

    Which country had the largest Internal survellience dept?

    Which country denied the right to travel to it's citizens?

    Which country denied freedom of speech to it's citizens/

    Which country was the socialist ideal?

    That's right, the good old Soviet Union.

    Socialism (in all it's guises) = Total control of the population.

    Isn't there already a campiagn to dob you neighbours into the KGB, Sorry I mean't DSS.

    Government Members using the special lanes on the MotorWay.

    £24,000 in expenses to furnish an MP's house.

    I wonder if Comrade Brown has a Dachia in scotland somewhere?

  24. Mark

    RE: grim history of people ignoring lose of liberties

    Until "the people" realise they have nothing to lose. Revolution. Which never goes well.


    Russian czars treating people as commodities and giving all the privilege to their mates.

    French revolution: "let them eat cake" attitude to people's rights

    American revolution: Tax their products to keep them down, and they throw you out.

    In each case, thousands upon thousands died.

    All because those with power didn't think of letting go while they still had their lives.

  25. N1AK

    @Andrew Smith

    What you don't seem to get is you ARE supposed to just vote on this one issue.

    David Davis was going to represent his seat until the next election, which means their was nothing you could do till then to remove him from office.

    If he wins the by-election, then guess what he keeps his seat till the next election (no longer than if he hadn't resigned).

    The Lib Dems didn't run because they agree with the cause, and they want people to vote FOR limitations on goverment control.

    You could perfectly well vote for Mr Davis (representing limited goverment control) in the by-election, and vote against Mr Davis himself at the next election (which was the first time you could of if he hadn't of resigned anyway).

  26. Mark

    The stupidity of the public

    "a majority of the public actually support 42 days."

    No, it was that only a minority complained.

    Only a minority supported.

    That was good enough "for the listening gov".

  27. N1AK


    I'm not a big fan of many things about David Cameron and David Davis. But regardless of my personal position, David Cameron seems to of been the right person to put the Conservatives in a position to win an election.

    If there is one thing that the fact that William Hague, IDS and Michael Howard showed it was that too many voters simply won't vote for the conservatives regardless of the ability of the leader if they didn't lose that nasty party edge.

    Perhaps with Labours brown led self destruction Mr Davis could of won the election, but too many left leaning voters would of found it hard to vote for him.

  28. Mike Smith

    @Andrew Smith

    "So why should I vote for him to represent me on just one issue, which by the way is going to be law no matter what he says or how we vote?"

    Well, if your apathetic attitude is representative of the the majority of the British people, then maybe it is a waste of time after all.

    Laws can be changed. It takes lot of time, a lot of lobbying and maybe an attack of common sense from some very senior people in the judiciary (q.v. the current kerfuffle over anonymous witnesses) but it can be done. At least David Davis is trying to force the issue and do the little he can to turn back Britain's setady progress into a police state.

    If he had done nothing, the issue would have dropped off the front page, to be replaced with far more burning issues like which egotistical gibbering retard was going to be slung out of the Big Brother house next, or which overpaid football player had been caught in flagrante delicto at the weekend.

    Unless there's some sort of minor miracle in the next year or so, the Conservative Party is going to win the next election. It seems sensible to me to underline the message that the police state has gone far enough when the chance is offered.

  29. Jay Cooper
    Dead Vulture

    Anyone want to join my class action lawsuit?

    For breach of privacy when I caught on CCTV without my express permission? Obvioulsy my actions waive the neccessity for permission in certain instances like when i walk in a bank. Reckon "so good they named him twice" Davis would support me?

    Like fuck. I'm leaving this dump of an Island. Anyone care to follow? Oh, will the last one out please unplug my phone charger?

    Civil Liberties are dead........................

  30. pete
    Dead Vulture


    People care a whole lot less about liberty than they do about money. If people knew exactly how much money the id card. systems, check were costing them each year they'd actually start kicking back instead of just acting like a door-mat.

    But then again its hardly suprising that they don't as the Government keeps lying about it.

    Canada for me ...

  31. Stuart Harrison
    Thumb Down

    @ Anonymous Coward

    Labour? Socialist? Don't make me laugh.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    He's right y'know

    When the Nazis came for the communists,

    I remained silent;

    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,

    I remained silent;

    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,

    I did not speak out;

    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,

    I remained silent;

    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,

    there was no one left to speak out.

    This government really have lost their way. I don't know who they're listening to but if their aim is finally to realise Thatcher's doctrine of "there is no such thing as society" they are heading the right way. It doesn't take much imagination to see totalitarianism as the flipside of the nanny state.

  33. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: He's right y'know

    Whose law did we agree it was that's just been invoked here?


  34. amanfromMars Silver badge


    "Dear El Reg. Please don't become a politcial mouthpiece ..... You were wonderfully politically agnostic in the old days purely commenting IT in the government, this is a step in the wrong direction and feels like party politically broadcast." .... By George

    Posted Friday 4th July 2008 13:05 GMT

    By George, without IT there would be no politicians. They tend not to be bright enough to realise that ..... which is probably just as well given their lack of Positive Direction. However, that does suggest that IT has been sleeping ....given that they are given/afforded such a prominent voice.

  35. Pete James

    @ George

    ...and a few other people who have complained about the piece being biased.

    Maybe it's because we're almost conditioned to expect any article about a politician HAS to be critical, when something like this appears accusations of bias spring up? I would add that bias is the first accusation made when in fact it's just something you don't agree with. Nothing wrong with that, just need to recognise it.

    FWIW I think this plan isn't really working and he's having to bang his drum to get it all back in the press. So a noble idea I suppose but doomed to failure.

  36. Dennis

    @ AC - BBC/Pro Labour Apporatus

    Had to laugh last night - London tonight lead with a 10 minute blurb on some deputy mayor who'd "borrowed" 25k from a punter while a parish preist.

    It's a shame there wasn't any non political news yesterday - such as the brutal murder of 2 french post grads.

  37. Jon Kale
    Paris Hilton

    Pro-civil liberties, eh?

    So, let's have a look at some of Mr Davis's votes in the past. After all, such a fine upstanding Member, with his unblemished record of support for human rights and civil liberties, should be an example to us all.

    Oops... looks like he's for:

    * reducing the abortion time limit

    * restricting IVF to couples

    * equalising the age of consent

    * rolling back the HRA

    Oh, and he's also in favour of capital punishment, much like many of our more knuckle-dragging colleagues in Leftpondia, and voted repeatedly in favour of going to war with Iraq (ditto).

    It appears that, for Mr Davis, civil liberties only apply if you're male and heterosexual. Strange, you kept very quiet about *that*. Next time, could we have an *interview* rather than a reacharound?

    Paris, 'cos even she wouldn't fuck you as hard as Mr Davis and his chums would like to...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Paul Webb and others undecided

    Vote against the government. Not just this time but as often as you can with a clear conscience.

    The longer they are in power the worse they get, so keep their majority down and stop them getting too comfortable that they can get away with murder.

    The saying that politicians, like nappies, need changing regularly for the same reason is entirely true. Even good politicians need time to get back in touch with the electorate which they cannot do while in power. Give them a break.

  39. Thomas Silver badge

    Resinging as an MP

    Sorry to be dull and technical about it, but MPs can't actually resign. What they actually do is apply for a functionally useless historic position that technically has them a [nominally] paid employee of the crown, barring them from service as an MP. Of course they can then actually resign that post and stand as an MP again if they want.

    While this persists it's pretty much impossible to legislate as to the ability of these people to stand as MPs again. And sadly the British system doesn't usually favour making actual rules when unhelpful historical anomolies can be used to achieve much the same thing through a ridiculous fiction.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    It was Gnubers Addendum to Godwin's Law. GAG for short.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sarah Bee:Re Godwin

    From what I see on forums around the internet the consensus is forming that Godwin's law (at least the ideas that it is inappropriate to make the comparison or that it terminates the discussion) has been suspended in the current crisis over civil liberties.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    David Davis

    Kudos to the man, but, lets face it, he is a member of the nasty party. The party that perverted the right of congregation, that baton charged the unions and destroyed community cohesion with their pile of shite "no society" mantra. That sold the nations assets to their mates and made a pile running them into mediocrity.

    The Conservatives have not changed, they still listen to the voice of the Daily Mail, the curtain twitchers of middle England, the very people that were happy with 42 days.

    Expect nothing but more of the same. This country has always been in a fight between authority and freedom. Freedom is not won in some damn fool by-election stunt.

    Mines the one with the molotov in the inside pocket

  43. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    Wait a second....

    Checks calendar, looks for broken mirror, black cat, checks for phase of moon.

    Something isn't right. I find myself liking a politician

    Ooohhh scary. He sounds like he actually cares... now if he just talked about cutting government tax payer wastage and getting the MOD back into shape, I actually might vote for him.

    Oh wait "Cameron the blair clone won..." and I don't live in Hull.


  44. John Stevens

    Sorry, Jon Kale...

    ...but I do keep seeing this sort of namby-pamby me me me redefintion of civil liberties...and it really shouldn't wash. Politicians and political views do not fit neatly into two camps (labelled good and bad).

    Some people may actually have good - and liberal - reasons for being for or against something: and just because the result of their thinking does not lead to you getting what you think you deserve doesn't make them any less liberal for all that.

    So DD is in favour of reducing the abortion time limit? You may disagree with that view but if - I'm not agreeing with this! - you take some sort of view about the existence of a "soul" and life beginning at conception...then the most illiberal position in existence is that touted by the pro-abortionists.

    Doesn't make DD right - just doesn't mean he's anti liberty either.

    Ditto restricting IVF to couples. Since there is a wealth of evidence out there to suggest that single-parenting can disadvantage children, just dismissing DD's view as anti-liberty is pretty juvenile. Perhaps u need to brush up on your JS Mill, who talks about the state not having a right to restrict people's liberty except where they might do harm to others.

    Seems it is at least arguable that direct harm could result from this liberty. And so on.

    Civil Liberties are not the same as just giving people whatever they would like. Those who think they are probably don't really understand them in the first place.

    P.S. I note some suggestion of bias in the piece. Um. This was an interview with the man! You may object to the Register's decision to do such a thing...but you would hardly expect DD to do a balanced interview, setting out the arguments for and against himself, would you?

  45. Anonymous Coward


    the key thing is that nothing will change.

    In politics it is always the best way to preserve the status quo, ie if you are seen to be changing things you will get bad press and lose votes. So, when labour get kicked out the next party will be no better.

    The coat because mine is the one trying to find a way out of this country...

  46. Steve

    @ Jon Kale

    "Oops... looks like he's for:

    * reducing the abortion time limit"

    That's not a cut and dried argument that the time limit is currently right and there are reasoned arguments for both extension and reduction. Saying he's against a woman's right to choose is little harsh unless you're saying he wants to reduce it zero

    "* restricting IVF to couples"

    That's not unreasonable when you consider that having a child is not a right, the procedure is expensive and bringing up a child is a two person job - not a crack at single mums, just a fact. A person bringing up a child on their own is far more likely to suffer stress and fatigue and poor health as a result of the amount of work involved.

    "* equalising the age of consent"

    So he's for allowing homosexuals and heterosexuals being treated equally in the eyes of the law? The bastard! Did you mean he was against it?

    "* rolling back the HRA"

    I've heard this said before, but I can't belief he's daft enough to just be spouting out the usual "muslim peados are blowing up our jobs" crap from the Daily Mail.

    I don't think any of that really justifies "It appears that, for Mr Davis, civil liberties only apply if you're male and heterosexual." As for capital punishment, that's not a civil liberties issue, "it's a can't understand reasoned argument" problem: Justice is not infallible, death is irreversible. Therefore, death should not be used as punishment.

    How about not voting for him because he supports a system which is deliberately set up to minimise the involvement of the public in policy making? Why is that no longer a valid reason?

  47. Pete James

    @Jon Kale

    Oh Deary me Jon. A few people here commented on the article being a bit of a puiff-piece, so it's perhaps only fair that you give a balance to it. However, supporting civil liberties doesn't mean being opposed to capital punishment - the two are not related, as are many of the other points you raise which are tenuous in the extreme.

  48. Anthony

    Yeah but he's still..

    a slimy bastard.

  49. Dave Bell

    Come the next election...

    ...if my apparently decent local MP has voted for the 42-day limit, I'm not voting for him.

    (My local MP is Labour, but has a good reputation as a constituency MP.)

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re Gnuber

    Oh, you mean this

    I don't think that has reached meme status yet! Anyway the generic Godwin suspension covers that as well I would say.

  51. Martin

    @Jon Kale

    What on earth do you see in those policies (many of which I disagree with DD on BTW) that makes you say "civil liberties only apply if you're male and heterosexual"? What are you on, or is this just another case of "OMG Tory == EVIL lol"?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Party political???

    This is clearly not a party political situation, there are no other mainstream parties contesting the seat, so "bias" is not a concern. It is a single-issue election, for the very good reasons outlined. the fact the the reg chooses to offer him the interview and publicity is one of the reasons i visit the site, like many other readers i lament the relentless and now galloping encroachment of fundamental hard-won rights.

  53. Duncan Hothersall

    Jon Kale is bang on

    David Davis is right on this issue, but he is no civil libertarian. He voted against reducing the age of consent from 21 to 18 and he voted against equalising it to 16. Unless you believe gay people don't deserve equality, you cannot call him a civil libertarian.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd vote for him

    David Davis has always impressed me and he continues to do so. I would definitely vote for him and the Tories if Brown ever screws up the courage to actually call a general election.

  55. Anonymous Coward

    @Pete James

    "supporting civil liberties doesn't mean being opposed to capital punishment"

    Maybe not, but it's a fairly contradictory position to take.

    Regardless of his position on civil liberties, I won't be voting for somebody who believes that killing people is so wrong that we should, er, kill people for it.

    As for the fact that he holds a qualification in computer science, (a) he clearly doesn't use it/know how to use it, (b) it is probably years past its sell-by date anyway and (c) if he DOES know anything about IT, he should have a chat with Cameron, who is cosying up to some rather unpleasant IT types these days.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At the next election, I will vote for liberty.

    Will you?

    Will any of the condidates competing to "represent" you stand up for liberty?

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    David Davies

    I preferred him when he was in The Kinks. Death Of A Clown, that was good.

  58. Luther Blissett

    @ various confused and/or sceptical and/or argumentative

    Pedant alert icon. Hmmm

    Math Campbell > "A Tory. Defending civil liberties. Against the Socialists.

    Something about that doesn't compute. No, really, it doesn't.

    WTF is going on in this country???? > loop echo end-loop

    You have been mistaught (in small part by intent and in large part by inertia of ignorance) to think of the domain of political opinion as comprising a univocal function over the range of real colours from red at extreme left to blue at extreme right (ordered, but not spectrally-ordered). You have been invited, without proof or experimental verification, to map the domain of political PoVs onto that range in an unambiguous way. You now discover the function doesn't compute as expected. You suspect the input or the operational procedure.

    Dear Math,

    It is the function that is suspect. The correct mapping of political opinion requires at least 3 dimensions (no proof supplied here) - you have been working in 1. However even a 2 dimensional mapping will clarify the political scene inordinately hmmm. This is because you will immediately see how such a 2-dim mapping reduces to the ideologically certified 1-dim map that is propagated everywhere in the media by projection onto the hmmm abscissa.

    Expressed geometrically, the domain of this better function is diamond shaped, and parametrized by monotonically increasing values on adjacent sides. OK - your name is still Math? Nice. The parameters are (1) degree of economic liberty, (2) degree of personal liberty. The apices therefore are determined as follows:

    1. (at left) zero economic liberty, max personal liberty

    2. (at right) zero personal liberty, max economic liberty

    3. (at bottom) zero economic liberty, zero personal liberty

    4. (at top) max economic liberty, max personal liberty

    1 is aka socialism, communism, etc

    2 is aka free-market conservatism esp allied with religious zealotry, some half-baked types of fascism

    3 is aka authoritarianism, totalitarianism, fully-baked fascism, etc

    4 is aka libertarianism, anarchism, etc

    Mid values of economic and social liberty are aka liberalism aka sitting on the fence, and recognizable in the UK by forests of green bollards populating pedestrianized market town centres. (BTW does anyone recall this being a lib dem manifesto commitment for bruised kneecaps?)

    I anticipate your first question will be WTF do I stand, i.e WTF in this domain is your spot? The skinny is here *** ***. Follow the link "The World's Smallest Political Quiz" and all will be revealed - to you - and you alone.

    But as amanfromMars might say - to XXXX love is to share. Superior InteL is the AIm. Compute IT.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    David Davis is a twat


    If he cared about parliamentary process and his beliefs he would never have resigned.

    He resigned because he is a twat. Actually let's be fair, he resigned and then stood again because he is a twat.

    If he believes in democracy he should have accepted the vote on 42 days. If he cannot live with that he should have resigned permanently.

    Otherwise all he is doing is costing the taxpayer lots of money by whining that he didn't get his own way in a democratic system.

    I disagree with holding anyone for 42 days without trial (I can accept 72 hours, after that charge or release) but a fair, democratic vote was taken within the UK parliamentary democracy system and it went contrary to Mr. Davis' views. So, rather than be a man he threw his toys out of the pram and acted the cunt.

    David Davis is not fit to be an MP and I hope he is un-elected at the by-election.

  60. George

    @ Pete James

    I see what you mean, but I like the guy admire him but this is sci/tech news not the 6:00 News, saying Labour is "mesmerised by tech" is just a strapline for an article which feels more like an advertorial.

    I think the Conservatives needed to be ousted but not for long enough for the same to happen again but with Labour. Just goes to show ultimate power corrupts ultimately.

  61. Homard

    Fuck Democracy !??

    The fact of the matter is that we have an increasingly surveillance based justice system that is increasingly unable to deliver.

    Not long before armageddon. It will be a simple war over freedom, food, water or some such. It is already happening in some parts of the world.

    For democracy to succeed we have to have freedom of choice. In protection of the populace freedom is being reduced by our "goverment", which we did not vote in (if you have sense that is).

    I truly respect David Davis on this one. He has given us options to vote him out with the choices available. OK - it's our choice as people. Thank you DD. At least this guiy is representing the people of this country.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much I know but..

    For the first time in my life I'm going to be voting Conservative at the next election. I am not joking.

    They can talk all they want about Credit Crunch, House Prices collapsing, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ronaldo, Stabbings, Fuel Prices ad infinitum; there is only one issue worth taking a stand about and David Davis expresses it perfectly.

    Do you want a future free from fear and a life worth living? Then get rid of the New Labour project in its entirety the next chance you get or let them continue to degrade your quality of life and suffer the consequences.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Capital Punishment

    When was he pro-capital punishment? If we're talking when Thatcher tried to bring it back then I think we can allow even a politician to mellow after 20+ years.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So whats his views on Phorm

    I know that contact with Mr Davis has been attempted many times about BT/Phorm/Webwise system which I believe is the biggest threat to privacy currently as we know it. If Mr Davis is so keen to advocate privacy why is he so difficult to contact about the matter?

  65. Vic

    It's amazing

    Bloody amazing when El Reg swings Tory. But I think lots of us are uncomfortably settlings into the 'best of a bad bunch' camp. Me, I'm with the Lib Dems. Bunch of sore-arsed fence sitters they might be but with a good ole Socialist upbringing from the days when the Reds wuz real the Toryness has put me in a spot here. But that said, it depends on where you're living. If I was here with ole Davis, I might become a quiet closet Tory.

    I didn't realise that Tons becoming the great Bush's lapdog would go quite this far. Amazing.

  66. amanfromMars Silver badge

    KNOCK KNOCK ... Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ)

    "he should have a chat with Cameron, who is cosying up to some rather unpleasant IT types these days." ..... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 4th July 2008 17:39 GMT

    That is as may be, AC, but they are pretty ineffective , which when allied to rather unpleasant only suggests/confirms that Dave is out of his depth in the Field. All IT requires though, to completely reverse that Perception, is a Simple Change to much better, pleasant IT Types who are also effective/to AI Beta , whose pleasant IT types are also much more effective.

    One would naturally assume that whatever Controls Governments is liable for that Asset and will bear ITs Cost ......thus Virtually making IT, Practically 4Free2 ..... or at least, at No Cost to the Public Purse.

  67. Chris G Silver badge


    I just downloaded the pdf civil liberties survey. After reading it , I have been trying to figure out if Nu-labour is an anagram of Nazionale Socialist Party, Cant quite work it out but the catalogue of liberties removed during the current regime put Maggie's efforts with the unions into the shade and certainly reads like the record of an extreme right wing government.About the only thing missing is evidence of innocent missionaries with electrodes on their goolies. I would suggest voting against Nu-labour but it may be that I am inciting hatred against a minority group and therefore subject to one of thier ridiculous laws. Alternatively, it may be that if you vote against the government, you are trying to bring it down and are therefore a terrorist. Before you start screaming that your vote is secret, don't count on it, if it is possible to put a spy in your `eco´rubbish bin to rat you out when you put contraband in it then probably there are ways to read what you vote ( terahertz tech perhaps).If you don't want to risk that , do what hundreds of thousand of us sensible brits have done, become a rat and desert the sinking ship to become an ex-pat. Yesterday I had to stand around on a hot sunny beach overseeing the security for an up- market beach party, it was terrible having to watch all those topless be-tangaed girls dancing to disco music but I am willing to put up with it in order not to have to return to librtyless Britain.

  68. Martin Usher

    Don't get too policital!

    Trying to put political labels on groups muddies the water too much. The one that NuLab and the Soviet Union have in common is that they are both enthralled by modern management techniques. The "mesmerized by tech" misses the point -- the 'tech' enables management systems. it doesn't create them. The SU got into central planning, a target culture and other early management techniques in a big way in the 1920s (and starved a whole bunch of its people in the process). The surveillance culture was endemic to the society, it just took over the same systems and techniques that were in use during the Tsar's time. NuLab's got a somewhat updated version of management culture -- rabid Taylorism, I'm told -- but its essentially not much different from how large companes run (especially ones that are so large that they dominate their market). Part of this managment philosophy is the need to quantify, to set targets, so its quite natural that they want to file everyone -- you can't manage what you can't count.

    Anyway, don't expect things to change much, if at all, when the party in power changes. The agenda's set elsewhere.

  69. David Pickering
    Thumb Up

    this guy..

    should be primeminister

  70. D


    I wish all the people who harp on "I'm leaving this dump of an Island" would just bugger off. what's stopping you? why are you posting here and not at the airport you useless twats?

    it's one thing to have all the apathetic people failing to take an interest in the state of this place. But it's quite something else to have you all whining on about how great it is somewhere else, when you're still living here! Go, go now. Please! Do you need the cab fare to the airport or something?

  71. Philip

    Breath of fresh air

    I only wish it were Davis leading the Tories and not Cameron...

    He gets my vote for his sense of decency, lack of spin/unctiousness and respect for citizens.

  72. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Dead Vulture


    "Kudos to the man, but, lets face it, he is a member of the nasty party....The Conservatives have not changed, they still listen to the voice of the Daily Mail....the very people that were happy with 42 days."

    So, let me get this straight, you advocate NOT voting for David Davis because he SUPPORTS 42 days? I know the Socialist Workers Party are able to believe that black is white in their continual class war, but I have rarely seen it argued so openly.

    Mind you, the Reg is hardly helping. There IS a very important principle here, that you should NOT be imprisoned without charge. For a single day. So Davis does not look quite so principled when you realise he supports imprisonment without charge for 28 days, and when asked why simply says that the police convinced him with secret evidence. As for the Reg's statement that here we have a great man, who both has principles and is pragmatic.... well!!!

  73. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    Anonymous Coward

    '"supporting civil liberties doesn't mean being opposed to capital punishment"

    Maybe not, but it's a fairly contradictory position to take.'

    Not really. The freedom to take the consequences of your actions makes all the other freedoms mean something.

    Personally, I don't want the death penalty. It's hard to unkill someone when you find out you've got it wrong. And once you've earned a death penalty, why bother half-heartedly resisting arrest?

    But there are arguments that we can't afford the justice we need without having "death" be one of the consequences.

    I can understand them and disagree with them at the same time.

    You can't, it seems.

  74. Luther Blissett

    @Martin Usher

    > The SU got into central planning, a target culture and other early management techniques in a big way in the 1920s (and starved a whole bunch of its people in the process).

    It's not clear if you use "management" as a euphemism (metaphor) (like a named instance of a C struct), or as a reference& (synecdoche) (like in C++). Was that event part of the expected flow of control, or did it need exception handling?

    If you don't subject the program to mathematical validation proofing, bugs must emerge some time. What comes prior to coding, prior to O&M?

    Large-scale forced starvation can be a managed process, but is surely due to the management rather than the process. The nu labour device of representing itself as management is disingenuous. (The sort of excuse a 9 year old might dream up).

  75. amanfromMars Silver badge

    IT's a Devil of a Job, but somebody has to do IT?

    "But there are arguments that we can't afford the justice we need without having "death" be one of the consequences." ... By Mark

    Posted Saturday 5th July 2008 17:29 GMT .

    It is somewhat Perverse to debate Opposition to Capital Punishment whenever it is delivered daily, with in some cases, a corrupting impunity and immunity, to so many Innocents on the Whim of a Guilty Few for the Greater Benefit of None but even Fewer still.

    War is Hell and everyone knows who stokes the fires/feeds the flames in that domain.

  76. Lorenz Kahl

    Re. Anagram?

    I seem to remember, when I last voted in the UK (now in NZ), going into the Polling Station where an official gave me a voting slip after having written a number in pencil on it. Then said official ticked my name on a list and wrote the number on the list as well. Or am I mis-remembering? If not, it means that for years it has been possible to know which way someone votes.....

    Coat? Because mine was on a few years ago to leave the country that was once home, until Zanu-Labah got in.

  77. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Biometrics is a buzzword that the ministers like to use to reassure people that the ID card will be absolute proof that you are who you say you are and that it won't be copied. But it's actually a bad idea.

    Forgive me but what is the whole point of ID cards when to get one you have to produce proof of your identity using old fashioned means? get one with someone else's information and how can the person who has had their identity stolen prove this? You'll end up with a battle of ID, the person with the most proof gets the ID.

    My whole issue with biometric ID is there is no physical link between someone's DNA, fingerprints, retina scan etc.. until you create an ID with this information. Once the link has been established then if someone steals your name and address then you're in big trouble!

    David Davis is right to bring up these issues, not sure he has done it in the correct way however.

  78. Christopher Hogan

    One Eyed view of the world

    > There should be a rule that MPs cannot resign and then re-stand in the same seat for a minimum of 3 years or so.

    No - we ought to follow the Costa Rican model - NO sitting MP can stand for his/her seat at 2 consecutive elections.

    I also think that:

    >Socialism (in all it's guises) = Total control of the population.

    Is more accurate than:

    >1. (at left) zero economic liberty, max personal liberty


    >1 is aka socialism, communism, etc

    Socialism IS dictatorship by definition. Read Mill

    What saddens me most is the wild-eyed, spittle threaded rantings against Davis because he "is from the nasty party".

    Such fragile egos, such shallow beliefs that can't afford to be challenged - the "he can't be a good guy" {fingers in ears} "naahh, naahh, naahh, I'm not listening" approach of all (apparently) "left-wing" comments

    Precisely the sort of denial of other people's opinions that New Labour so love.

    Presumably the person who believes that Davis should not have resigned and should "respect democracy" (though what bribing the Ulster Unionists has to do with democracy is beyond me) would also agreed that the miners had no right to protest about the closures of the pits - it was a decision made democratically in Parliament after all - or does "democracy" only hold for people who vote in the approved manner?

  79. Lisa Parratt

    Labour? Socialist?!

    NuLab - Putting the National into Socialist since 1994!

  80. W

    Re: 2D Politics

    I've had a bash at The World's Smallest Political Quiz, and it gives a broadly decent result, but for 2D politics I prefer the similar, but more in depth, Political Compass (

    UK Parties 2008 is a particularly interesting read for us UKians. I first saw it a few years ago now, but every time I see it, the "party drift over the years" image ( leaves me in disbelief. I know a few people who've done the test, and only a very very few end up outside the bottom left quadrant. Usually edging slightly into the top right quadrant slightly.

    Other interesting RotW points:

    The EU Political Compass shows the Nordic countries as the only place left with any liberty. But we already knew that, eh?

    And the US Primaries candidates plot tells us that, for all our crowing from this side of a pond, the Democrats are a more centred proposition than NewLabour.

    I've put a request in for a Scottish plot. By the time they get to it, there might not even be a Labour party to put on it if the SNP momentum and Labour's implosion in the Glasgow East by-election continues apace. Gutted that I'm in the adjacent constituency and just a ferw hundred yards away from potentially doing my small bit to pull the rug from under 'em.

    Also: @ Lee - "If he believes in democracy he should have accepted the vote on 42 days. If he cannot live with that he should have resigned permanently."

    Mr Davis, like many others is just as concerned by the shady behind-the-scenes machinations that preceeded the 42 days vote as he is by the issue that was being voted on. The vote was a sham and had nothing to do with democracy.

    I'm no particular fan of Diane Abbott, but she explains it better than I ever could. Read her speech and then come back and tell me that all's well at Westminster. Link to speech:

    Icon = All aboard! Proportional representation, ahoy!

  81. Aron A Aardvark

    Props to Davis

    Neo Lab are not socialist, not by any stretch of the imagination. Neo Lab is run by cabal of globalising, pro corporate, neoliberal thugs. Labour in name, that's all.

    So Davis supports capital punishment. So what? I have often wondered if it is actually worth keeping the Sutcliffe's and Nielsen's alive at taxpayer expense. Of course, as an EU member, the UK cannot reintroduce the death penalty so it really doesn't matter who your view is on this.

  82. TeeCee Gold badge

    NuLab "mesmerised by tech".

    I don't think so. For a start I think most of 'em are rabid Luddites at heart who still regard the Breville sandwich maker as the work of Satan and see the pocket calculator as a prime example of confusing new-fangled gadgetry.

    Deer in the headlights of the Big Consultancies and their bottomless lunchtime expense accounts? Now that would make more sense.

  83. W

    Yes to No. And No.

    ">> There should be a rule that MPs cannot resign and then re-stand in the same seat for a minimum of 3 years or so.

    >No - we ought to follow the Costa Rican model - NO sitting MP can stand for his/her seat at 2 consecutive elections.

    There's something to be said for "warm seats"©. As in Based on 'hot desking', but for parliamentary seats. © of me, btw. If politicians were only there for one or two terms then they'd be forced to operate in the 'real world' and would have more of an appreciation of life outside that of a career politician. The best part of ten years is plenty of time in one job for most folk. There's nothing to stop 'em coming back after a session away.


    ">I also think that: Socialism (in all it's guises) = Total control of the population. Is more accurate than:

    >>1. (at left) zero economic liberty, max personal liberty"

    Nope. To both of you. There's a whole raft of theses as to why.

  84. Ted Treen

    The road to Damascus...

    I have spent a long time wondering how on earth the current load of congenital idiots were voted into power not once, not twice, but three times.

    Reading some of the comments here which so intelligently resort to anglo-saxon terminology of four letters in their description(s) of David Davis has made the scales fall from my eyes.

    I am amazed that there are sufficient numbers ostensibly from the higher part of the bell-shaped curve of intellectual ability - indicated by their reading El Reg - who come out with the tired old cliches of class warfare which actually ceased to be valid decades ago.

    Their vituperative character assassination speaks volumes for their small minds - and it is exactly their mindset which permits the criminalising and imprisoning of dissidents solely for having a different viewpoint.

    Reid, Straw & co are all ex-card carrying communists. Why is it that the left and their fellow-travelers become so dictatorially authoritarian if they achieve power?

    There is a definite lesson to be learned.....(If I can use Gov't/Civil Service answer #42 here)

  85. Steve

    Representative democracy

    "a fair, democratic vote was taken within the UK parliamentary democracy system and it went contrary to Mr. Davis' views. So, rather than be a man he threw his toys out of the pram and acted the cunt."

    The UK's parliamentary system is not a democracy (that would require us all to be consulted individually on everything) it is a representative democracy. We elect 600+ people to represent us, and on this issue it seems that there is significant doubt whether the result of their vote was in fact representative of the wishes of the electorate.

    Davis has taken a perfectly reasonable step, which is *not* to say "I disagree with the vote", but rather to say "I think this vote was unrepresentative", and to offer people a chance to express their views directly. If he is wrong, then people are entitled to not re-elect him, or not to turn out.

    Of course Brown & his cabinet know that the vote was unrepresentative, just like many others that they have whipped through, and so they refuse to contenance anyone standing against Davis, so that they can (as other posters have noted) respond to the result with "Well, we weren't playing, so the result doesn't count"

    The result will be largely irrelevant in itself, but the message it sends may have some influence on the second chamber, when they come to vote on this issue again. If they send it back to the Commons it will be even harder for Brown & gang to force it through.

  86. Billy Ruffian

    The Most Unlikely Civil Liberties Defender of All

    We wrote a song about this too. We even made a video to go with it:

  87. amanfromMars Silver badge

    cc...David Davis, a Leader with AI Following and ITs Support, Based in the Cloud?*

    A Class Act, Billy Ruffian. Bravo [42 Zero]. To Server Servers and Protect is ITs AIMission.

    Cinderella RockerFeller ProgramMIng @ ur Service ...... OHMSAIS. ...... which is QuITe Impossible to Plausibly Deny whenever IT is written before you.

    * A Novel Question Clouded in Fact.

  88. John Erskine

    Abolute rubbish...

    David Davies as civil libertarian?

    He opposed

    - the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, which means that UK residents now don't have to go to Strasbourg to enforce basic human rights

    - equalisation of the age of consent for gay and lesbian relationships

    - civil partnerships for gay and lesbian people

    - legally enforceable rights to Trade Union membership

    - a legally enforceable minimum wage

    and lots more besides....

    These are the liberties that matter to most people - not the right to hunt foxes, smoke Silk Cut or drive gas guzzlers through London.

    He is member of a party that, using the PTA, imprisoned Irish people for months without trial in the seventies, and through exclusion orders permanently prevented people with UK citizenship rights from living on the UK mainland.

    Lots of other advanced countries have ID cards - what's the problem?

    Davies as civil libertarian - pull the other one!

  89. b

    Lots of other advanced countries have ID cards - what's the problem?

    If loads of other countries put their heads in the oven would you do the same?

  90. Fuion


    Actions speak louder than words.


  91. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Does Apathy nest here too?

    "amanfromMars .... Actions speak louder than words. End." ..... By Fuion

    Posted Tuesday 8th July 2008 17:54 GMT

    Indeed they can, Fuion...... which is why CCHQ has alien mail and also why words are shared here.

    And whether that be for Action, Reaction, ProAction or HyperRadioProActivity will depend upon the Third Party Mindset and its IQs.

    And given all the Phishing Tales that we hear, that would also be a BetaTest of GCHQ too.

    I trust that would constitute action by any standard which you would/could apply, Fuion.

    Please be assured that one would not be confined to requiring their understanding though, for it may very well be that they are ill-equipped and badly prepared to be effective active partners, although one would love to be proved wrong on such matters.

  92. amanfromMars Silver badge

    An Embarrassment of Riches ...... can easily Bring Down Brown-Shirted/Corrupt Governments

    And to date, as I'm sure you will not be surprised, both HQs are proving themselves to be Totally Unfit for Future Purpose in AI and ITs Total Information Awareness Society.

    Here's a dumb question? ....Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that all communications are easily monitored/phished and therefore they are petrified to communicate?

    I trust that they realise that that particular problem is easily countered and overcome whenever third party communication is made globally public rather than remaining channelled to them out of public sight.

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