David Davis resigns…
It is, apparently, in protest at the Government’s plans to detain potentially innocent people for up to 42 days. Cranmer also opposes this, but the House of Commons voted on the matter, and the Conservative Party lost. In a representative democracy, that is how things go. You win some, and you lose some.
But Cranmer is truly baffled.
While His Grace has a certain penchant for martyrs and martyrdom, and rejoices with any politician who makes a moral stand based on conviction, it is not entirely clear what Mr Davis will achieve by this. He is highly likely to be re-elected, and so there will neither loss nor gain on the Opposition benches. He is unlikely to be re-appointed as Shadow Home Secretary, so he has sacrificed his position in the Shadow Cabinet in order to protest against Labour's authoritarian legislation which the Conservatives are, in any case, pledged to repeal if they win the next General Election. Certainly, the issue will be kept to the media fore a little more, but nothing can change until the Prime Minister goes to the country.
In his statement, David Davis invoked Magna Carta and protested at the erosion of the ancient rights and liberties of the British people. And he questioned the legality of the vote in the House to curtail those liberties.
Cranmer does not mean to be dense, but if 42-day detention without charge is worth resigning over, why was not 28? And, more importantly, why was the lack of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty a fortiori not worth taking a principled stand and resigning over?
Are there not rather more ancient rights and liberties being eroded through ‘ever closer union?