It’s Lisa’s birthday today, but it’s a working day for me and she’s with George, plus, we’re going to the Gherkin this evening with a group - all of which means we had a present opening session before George got us up this morning and we'll have a glass of champagne later, but our real celebration will have to wait until we have our night out together tomorrow night.
After the Government barely managed to get through legislation allowing them to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days (although the bill will almost certainly not survive the house of Lords), David Davis – one time runner for leader of the Tory party has resigned on principle. His idea is to force a by-election which he’s going to campaign on the basis of fighting the erosion of civil liberties.
Good for him – and I told him so in an email:
Just a note to say that I thought your actions today were honourable and intelligent.
You may be feeling isolated without the backup of the party mechanisms you’ve become used to right now, but be assured, you are not alone in believing that the principles on which our democracy was founded are worth defending.
The British have always guarded our freedoms jealously, and the veil under which they are now being eroded is thin indeed. Our freedoms were forged in times far more dangerous than these, and we forget sometimes quite how hard won they are.
I am not a natural Tory supporter – and I’m unlikely to become one any time soon, but I’d like to commend you for your stand today. As an IT journalist I’m constantly reminded of the small, technical developments that are eroding our personal freedoms piece by piece and of the difficulties of bringing the real issues underlying those changes to the public eye. The excuse of terrorism may be allowing our police and our leaders to persuade themselves that more and more draconian measures are needed, but it is good for them to be reminded that democracy makes them our servants, not our masters.
Good luck with your stand.