David Davis for Freedom
The campaign website for David Davis is up and running. Mr Davis explains:
On 11 June, Gordon Brown forced through a vote on the extension of 42 days pre-charge detention - a draconian infringement of the citizen’s fundamental freedom not to be held in police detention for prolonged periods without being informed of the charges against him. This marked a watershed in the erosion of British liberty, but it is only the most recent in a long list of repressive measures introduced by this government over the last decade.
We will soon have the most intrusive ID card system in the world. There is a CCTV camera for every 14 citizens - despite growing evidence of their ineffectiveness as deployed. We have the largest DNA database in the world, larger than any dictatorship, with thousands of innocent children and millions of innocent citizens on it.
The Government has attacked the jury system, that historic bulwark against unfair law and the arbitrary abuse of state power. Shortcuts with our legal system have left British justice less firm and less fair. The Government hoards masses of personal data on insecure databases, opening up our private lives to the prying eyes of official snoopers, but also exposing personal data to careless civil servants and criminal hackers.
The state has security powers that clamp down on peaceful protest, and so-called hate laws that stifle legitimate debate - while those inciting violence get off scot-free. A 15-year-old boy was recently charged on the spot for holding a banner describing scientology as a "dangerous cult", but extremists such as Abu Hamza are left free for years to incite violence and vitriol against this country.
There are now 266 state powers allowing officials to force their way into the home. Six hundred public bodies have the authority to bug phones and emails and intercept the post. Forget the security services: councils and quangos conduct 1,000 surveillance operations every month, using powers that ought to be the preserve of law enforcement agencies. Officials in Poole spied for weeks on a family taking their children to school, to check that they lived inside the catchment area. Even our rubbish can now be examined by neighbourhood spooks.
None of this has made us any safer. Violent crime has doubled in 10 years, and the Government continually briefs blood-curdling assessments of the terrorist threat. It is a myth to believe that we can defend our security by sacrificing our fundamental freedoms - one I intend to puncture over the next few weeks.
I am fighting this by-election as the Conservative candidate, but on vital national issues that transcend party politics. I hope to attract support from across the political spectrum, and the country at large. I look forward to taking on those who say the British public do not care about liberty - this campaign will be about leading a national debate, not pandering to polls. At stake is my own career as a Member of Parliament, but more fundamentally a long overdue debate on the preservation of liberty in our great country.
Cranmer wishes Mr Davis well with his campaign. His only regret is that nothing, absolutely nothing of the EU's egregious contempt for democracy has ever inspired any member of parliament to take such a stand, and it is the EU 'issue' which truly transcends party politics, and which constitutes the real threat to liberty in our great country. Politicians with conviction are rare. Politicians who have eyes to see and ears to hear are rarer.