Tories leave an open goal (to the DUP?)

God knows what possessed David Davies to resign his seat over last night’s defeat in Westminster. It looks like Cameron’s men are going to try and sideline him as thoroughly as they can. Labour and the Lib Dems are saying they may not contest it. It makes no sense for the Lib Dems (who are on the same political page as Davies), and Labour is probably too unpopular to inflict sufficient damage to make it pay handsomely. But there is a party which might. There is some chat in the DUP that it might just take the field if no one else will. They managed to wrong foot everyone at Westminster, including the Tories, by concealing their intentions, but voting in the end with their own conscience (don’t wait up for that payment of 30 pieces of silver, it ain’t coming). More over at Brassneck.

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  • Blackmouth

    John Laird on BBC Radio defying Sylvia Hermon over 42 Day Detntion>

  • The mystery of the LibDems, surely, is whether Davis consulted Clegg before Cameron: now that would be a real story.

    If Labour is also, shrewdly, keeping out of the hunt, that leaves Davis speaking to an empty hall. Except … we can surely count on the right-wing fringe (UKIP, BNP) offering to cash in for the free publicity. Now think on, lad, as my old Dad’s Yorkshire lot would say.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the PoliticsHome gurus have had a ponder about what Tory MPs really think about 42 days:

    The PHI100, Britain’s most authoritative survey of expert and inside political opinion, believes that the Conservative Party is not as united in its opposition to 42 day detention as it is pretending to be…

    Very few panellists think that the Conservatives would have voted as solidly as they did last night had they not been whipped. A large group on the panel think that half or more of the Tory party would have voted in support of 42 days had they not been whipped to oppose the Government.

    Averaging the responses, the PHI100 believe more than a third of Conservative MPs – thirty seven percent – would have backed 42 days if it had been a free vote.

    The PHI100’s verdict: beneath a public face of unity, the Tory Party is actually quite split over anti-terrorism legislation.

    That certainly echoes what (little) I have heard from inside the belly of the Beast. There are also a few (7% at the last unWhipped sample) Tory MPs who leaned towards 90 days.

    All this implies that Davis is swimming through treacle to make a point, which is out of sympathy with many of his colleagues, is not greatly appreciated by those around Cameron, and will give some unpleasant elements out on the fringes of political reality the oxygen of publicity. How will this play if, despite no “proper” opposition, Davis scores less than (say) 70% of a 30% poll?

  • interested

    Not sure about the DUP making its mainland incursion, but its certainly an interesting and amusing prospect.

    However, after reading a lot of the hysterical faux outrage at the DUP on many of the Tory blogs and sites today it would appear they were all toeing the Davis line a little too closely. Lots of veiled (and some less veiled) threats about a future Tory Government having a “long memory” against the DUP in the future.

    However, underneath it all we now see that actually David (call me Dave) Cameron wasn’t just as enthusiastic as Davis on the whole issue. Not sure if I agree with you about how much trouble he’ll be in at the election (no matter who stands) but it certainly must have had the Labour party pi**ing themselves with laughter as it takes the focus away from their problems to what clearly is a split within the Conservative Party.

    There’s just no way on this earth that the only Tory MP who believes 42 days is ok to lock up prospective terrorists is Anne Widdecombe. Lets face it, if locking people up for 28 days doesn’t rip up the Magna Carta, where in that document does it state that an extra 14 days would nullify habeas corpus. Maybe the Conservative Party could say at what point that principle is sacrificed if its not at 28 days, Is it 29 days, 30 days, or 35? At exactly what point does it go out the window or if its at its limits now then what is so magic about the number 28? Very arguably its just as arbirary a number as 42.

    The final nail in poor old Davis’ coffin was of course hammered in on Radio Ulster. Having the reverse Midas touch of Ken Maginnis and Denis Rogan forced upon him with their ‘support’ must have had the remaining colour drain from his cheeks.

  • The Raven

    “We will have the most intrusive identity card system in the world. A CCTV camera for every 14 citizens. And a DNA database bigger than that of any dictatorship with thousands of innocent children and a million innocent citizens on it.”

    “We’ve witnessed a sustained assault on jury trials that bulwark against bad law and its arbitrary abuse by the state. Shortcuts with our justice system that have left it both less firm and less fair. And the creation of a database state, opening up our private lives to the prying
    eyes of official snooper and exposing our 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 whilst those inciting violence get off scotfree.”

    Now. There would be very little that I would ever find myself agreeing with a Conservative about. Every time I see them creep ahead in polls, it doesn’t take very much for my mind to creep back and remember just how shit the 80’s were.

    But there’s not one thing in that speech which I can disagree with. Ego-mania? A stunt? Futile? Reflective of a poor relationship between Cameron and Davis? I don’t really care. With a bit of luck, the media will be all over this and it will continue to highlight the intrusive nature of the state in our lives.

    What will it change? Probably very little. But it’s a start. Good luck to him.

  • Mick,

    Personally I cannot see how Labour cannot fight the seat, Davies is attacking a main plank of their platform, so if they refuse to defend it at the polls, Davies [plus the media and the tories]will have a field day.

    You do not mention what did, or did not happen last night between Davies and Cameron, did Cameron refute Davies promise to repeal the 42 days legislation as soon as the Tories gained power. If so it would explain Dave Davies anger as he would have seen it as a dishonorable act and Cameron playing politics with our freedoms.

    Of course the media and the establishment politicos are all over the place due to Davies decision, as always their instinct is to condemn and put down Davies, as these assholes would not recognize a man of principle if they had second sight.

    Is Davies wrong to claim our hard won liberties are being degraded by the day, do we life in a country where we are being increasingly spied on by state or local authority agencies,[ID cards etc] do the cameras that litter our home areas serve any purpose beyond snooping and making bad television, shit they did not even pick up a tag on the northern bank robbery.

    What this government has done beyond all others is convince the general population that civil liberties are only of interest to the left and trouble makers. When in reality this has never been the case, but it has of late made far to many people on the right keep there heads down. By speaking up and acting as he has, hopefully Dave Davies will help put such crap behind us and leftist like me can once again be in the same camp with people of all political persuasions when it comes to defending our civil and legal liberties.

  • Brian Walker

    Conventional political analysts will share in the general wonderment at David Davis. But hold on. Watch the news channels carefully for what may be the emergence of a particular trend. They are reporting deluges of emails cheering Davis on. Could he be onto something? Might his move put some heart back into anaemic British politics with a genuine cross- or even non- party appeal? There’s nothing like a single issue for stirring the blood, as all the pressure groups tell us. For funding, Davis will be able to rely on private backers. Will Labour stand is the big question. If not Labour, who? Or will Davis’s gesture be stifled? Will fringe or dummy candidates emerge? Remember the phony “Peter Barrys” the UUs put up to give an edge to the by- elections in Jan 1986 in all of their 15 seats, after they resigned in protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement. (Remember too the element of risk: Seamus Mallon snatched Newry Armagh from the UUs).Those UU by-elections offer probably the closest parallel to Davis, when you could say the UUs gained a limited moral victory with the guilty British establishment, although they failed to dent the Thatcher-FitzGerald deal, which was really shaped by the Foreign Office and Geoffrey Howe as Foreign Secretary and set the precedent for the GFA.(But Mrs T never warmed to the Agreement and only struck it in the fond hope of winning better
    ” security co-operation” from the south.) A byproduct was Mary Robinson’s quitting Irish Labour at the time in protest against what she felt was an undemocratic deal at Unionist expense, thus thrusting her into renewed prominence and probably helping her recreate the Irish Presidency eventually. So springing by elections can shake up politics in all sorts of interesting ways. Two cheers for David Davis, I say, for shattering the usual political calculations.

  • interested

    Given the very weak Tory committment to repealing the Counter Terrorism Bill (if it does get through the Lords) then I wonder what the committment will be to taking down CCTV cameras, doing away with the DNA database and the other list of evils listed by Davis.

    The election might be a referendum to some degree on 42 days, but with his parting rant it’ll widen to things like the DNA database etc etc, and the wider it goes then the weaker the ground he’s on.

  • The Raven

    Interested….it’s a start.

  • I think you’re wrong about Davis, Mick. I suspect there will be a deluge of support for Davis. DD is tapping into a cross-party public mood that goes beyond 42 days and into the real fear that New Labour wants a pseudo-police state, with MI5 surveillance of our wheelie-bins.

    As for the parochial parish pump, political tarts of the DUP who have connived in the erosion of liberties secured by the Glorious Revolution, I doubt they know anything of beyond Larne. Perhaps they should have stayed in the district councils they nearly all still sit on, places more fitting of their talents.

  • interested

    Watchman,
    So you don’t support tougher action on terrorism then?

    Even you’re current political pin-up Jim Allister has effectively said he’d have voted for it.

    I agree that the situation could develop for Davis and a campaign could step up. However, on the other side, the deluge of initial support could become more cynical when he’s (and more imortantly other Tories are too) quizzed on what exactly they will do to reduce CCTV cameras, the DNA database and even the Counter Terrorism Bill itself.

    It will put a focus on tensions within the Tory party – an issue which to date had been completely put to bed. Davis clearly went against Cameron who tried to talk him out of it. He effectively stuck 2 fingers up to the previously unquestionable Cameron and his leadership.

    Even if/when Davis eventually returns to Parliament he’s not returning to a Cabinet position (shadow or otherwise) and at the end of the day its completely taken all the pressure off Brown who’s sitting back now smugly.

  • oops

    Brian
    Watch the news channels carefully for what may be the emergence of a particular trend.”

    That trend’s emerging already. Its all stories of how Davis’s decision has “baffled and dismayed” those in the Conservative Party.

    The ‘bounce’ hasn’t even lasted 6 hours, and he’ll end up fighting an election where the opposition doesn’t even turn up. Its at that point where whatever fringe candidate who turns up gains 15% of the vote starts to make Davis look like he hasn’t got a victory.

  • “I doubt they know anything of beyond Larne.”

    Is there political sleaze in Larne that you’d like to share with us, Watchman?

  • Dewi

    Even more astonishing so far is that the BNP ain’t standing – they agree on Davis’s views on detention……like have I missed something in the last ten years?

    …If DUP have a go so must TUV….and then we have Fianna Fáil of course…..

  • j

    I thought somebody said Robinson was a great strategist?

    Has he calculated that all publicity is good publicity?

    Has he talked to his wife recently?

  • Nothing that has been said so far, beyond new labour spin will convince me that the LP will refuse to stand a candidate. It is interesting that whilst labour is spinning to friendly and gullible journos that this may be the case no senior figures from the party have raised their heads.

    As to keeping a DNA register, Davies is not saying that, he, as far as I’m aware is claiming that law abiding citizens should not find themselves upon it. Which seems fair enough to me as it can only be a matter of time before some scandal around a DNA cock up or fit up occurs.

    As to what to do about CCTV cameras, that is easy, take a great many of them down as many of them serve little purpose at great expense. statistic have proved they are not cost effective, better lit streets are far more effective at reducing crime. As to inner city anti social behavior, CCTV have very little impact on controlling the idiots, often drunk who behave in such a way.

    Professional criminals will know where the CCTV is positioned and carry out their crimes out of rage. the ethos behind CCTV is flawed as it is based on Punishment not prevention. Indeed it is worse than that as it is the state admitting it cannot protect its citizens, simply punish criminals who harm us, which is yet another lie for the reason I have already given.

  • picador

    Mick,

    Why on earth would the DUP stand for election in the East Riding of Yorkshire? Why on earth would anyone in the East Riding of Yorkshire vote for the DUP?

    The DUP have had their moment in the Westminster limelight. The story has moved on and they can return to the parish pump. And ditto for yourself!

  • interested

    J,
    Robinson probably knows that the furore around this issue in NI (such as it is) will die away. What will come in the longer term of course will be other votes where the DUP will be explicitly able to say what they’ve demanded/received from the Government in return for their votes.

    While detailed and rather turgid debates may be going on about habeas corpus that won’t illuminate many living rooms in Ulster. The DUP could be able to stride in and tell them then that they’re not paying water charges because of that party, they’re £X better off because of them and £x of investment has been put into infrastructure because of the sale of military bases they got handed over. (not forgetting the lack of an Irish Language act etc etc etc).

    I know which one will be easier to put across in an election campaign. Debates on how 42 day detention has allegedly scrapped the Magna Carta whilst 28 day detention didn’t are all well and good, but they won’t have put any money into people’s pockets at a time when the price of a loaf of bread is going up.

  • Bemused by an act of protest

    Mary Robinson left the Labour party because she did not get the Attorney General post which went to her political rival John Rogers.

  • “Lots of veiled (and some less veiled) threats about a future Tory Government having a “long memory” against the DUP in the future.” – Interested

    Its not just the Tories who have long memories. I think the DUP are going to seriously regret their actions, because there are few people in England who would trust Brown enough to accept his word that there was no deal and the DUP’s behaviour in selling out and undermining important principles of English Law will not be forgotten. Frankly, the DUP are not going to be trusted in future and people on the mainland are not likely to provide them with much political support. Whatever the 30 pieces of silver were, they had better have been worth it, because the DUP may find themselves very very lonely after the next general election.

  • topdeckomnibus

    He could lay a Common Law Information of Treason with his local bench and try to oblige Gordon Brown to turn up.

    Then he could ask some hereditary peers to report to the Queen naming Gordon Brown as a traitor.

    And perhaps he could find a Yorkshire constable who would arrest Gordon Brown as the office of constable is dependant that the holder defends the antient rights, freedoms and liberties of England.

    I mention this as it seems that Magna Carta and Habeus Corpus and Jury trial have already began to bore the pundits

  • Dewi

    Mick – BNP not standing ??? That must be the biggest story – what on earth is that about?

  • spiritof07

    “I thought somebody said Robinson was a great strategist? Has he calculated that all publicity is good publicity? Has he talked to his wife recently?”

    You got this one badly wrong. In the week that Peter does the business with Sinn Fein, dont you imagine that Iris’ outburst is designed to reassure the grass roots? Who exactly among DUPs hard core support has she offended? Not a one.

  • doctor

    “Why on earth would the DUP stand for election in the East Riding of Yorkshire? Why on earth would anyone in the East Riding of Yorkshire vote for the DUP?

    The DUP have had their moment in the Westminster limelight. The story has moved on and they can return to the parish pump. And ditto for yourself!”

    Thank you, Picador!

    Just when I thought the millionth thread about how the DUP were now the masters of Westminster was getting to border on the ridiculous, I now learn that apparently the Conservatives and company are under dire electoral threat from the likes of Wee Willie McCrea and those other strategical geniuses. I actually wish they would run someone; it would be funny to see their vote tally somewhere between the Vote for Yourself party and the Elf Liberation Front.

  • DC

    Mick, lie down and get some sleep zzzzZZZZZ

  • Comrade Stalin

    There is no way the DUP are going to contest an election in England.

    It’s going to be safer for Labour not to run in this seat, and dismiss it as a cynical Tory stunt (perhaps outlining that party’s own record on anti-terror legislation which is no more shiny than Labour’s is). The BBC article didn’t give me the suggestion that the Tories were going to sideline Davis, though.

    I am still not buying the idea that the DUP did anything other than vote along their existing policy lines.

  • BonarLaw

    Hold fast doubters! Didn’t the DUP hold Basingstoke until 2005?

    As for the general thrust of some posts a few thoughts:

    1. this was a UK wide piece of legislation with consequences for the DUPs’ constituents. Compare their performance last night to Labour relying on Scottish MPs to push through purely English measures.

    2. The DUP vote was in line with current UK wide public opinion. Shock, horror middle Ulster and middle England speak as one.

    3. The Tory memory will last right until the point that Cameron realises he is nine short of an overall majority in 2010.

    4. The UUP peers and voting against 42 days whilst the UUP MP voted for. Anyone from Cunningham House care to explain?

  • kensei

    Mick

    Enter the DUP with an English candidate, fighting on the bill only. I’m not so sure it won’t end up in tears.

    Did you really say this? That settles this. It’s definitely you who’s been at the special sauce.

  • Bigger Picture

    In my view Andrew Hunter should have got a DUP peerage over Mammy but that is another story. Anyway a good candidate, a good parliamentarian and someone who can relate to people over a fly in from Northern Ireland. Therefore not totally ridiculous but nevertheless I will get Eire Nua tatooed on my back if they do!

    The Watchman

    Right it is about time I answer your plainly stupid inconsistent rantings, that do nothing but show your hatred of the DUP.

    “I suspect there will be a deluge of support for Davis. DD is tapping into a cross-party public mood that goes beyond 42 days and into the real fear that New Labour wants a pseudo-police state, with MI5 surveillance of our wheelie-bins.”

    Really? Then why was Cameron against the by-election and did not want to fight an election on a subject that by in large the majority of the public actually supports?? Why has Cameron refused to state that they will repeal 42 days? Why did he appoint a new Shadow Home Secretary to cover up DD’s walk about? Why is it almost certain that as a result of these actions he has effectively kissed good bye his position in any future Tory Government, by standing as a 1 issue politician?

    Please set out your answers to these questions please.

    “I suspect there will be a deluge of support for Davis”

    Of course he will get alot of support in relation to other candidates. In fact he will get in with a whopping great majority. However would that not be something to do with the Lib Dems, their major rivals in the seat, and Labour possibly not standing. Wow you usually do get a great victory when you stand unopposed.

    “As for the parochial parish pump, political tarts of the DUP who have connived in the erosion of liberties secured by the Glorious Revolution”

    I am sorry but this is coming from someone who supports the TUV right? So you attack the DUP for being soft and going into govt with terrorists and then attack them when they are tough on terrorists and start spouting tripe about King Billy spinning in his grave. How utterly pathetic and something only designed to show your veiled hatred of the DUP. I tell you this Watchman, if the abortion legislation is stopped I will remind you of your King Billy argument then.

    Anyway the Glorious revolution did not extend civil liberties, only to those who were prods and didn’t upset William in his conquest for the Crown. The parliamentary government that you love now developed over a period of time that only quickened pace after the Hannover dynasty and the Victorian era. If that thought gives you a skip in your heart when you look at your commerative plate of him passing over the Boyne then fine, but our system didn’t begin and end there and your assertion is laughable.

    “Perhaps they should have stayed in the district councils they nearly all still sit on, places more fitting of their talents.”

    Sorry I missed the TUV conference in Brighton where they discussed Inheritence Tax etc that parish pump was too hard to get away from. That is the best comment there has been, coming from the party that is against anything that breaks out of the barricades to call the DUP parish pump politicians is very very amusing.

    Anyway the Conservatives through the actions of Davis and the inability of Cameron to actually show that he will repeal 42 days clearly shows that this was a Conservative stunt designed to undermine Brown and something that they know is popular and something they will dilute their policy down on before the next general election. The reality is then that the party that played politics with national security was the Conservatives in order to extract gains in terms of popularity.

  • George

    The height of the DUP’s machinations apparently amounts to a deal on land they don’t own that they can now sell so as to minimise the size of the first water bill.

    The union is safe with these bozos and Northern Ireland’s future is golden.

    As for Davies, I can’t believe I am saying this about a Tory but fair dues. He’s stirred it up over an important issue and will be calling a lot of people’s bluff and that’s always good.

  • Intelligence Insider

    I’m surprised no-one has thought about what Gordon Brown threatened the DUP with rather than what he bribed them with.

    Imagine the conversation between Gordon Brown and Peter Robinson;

    PR: Well Prime Minister, I see you could need the support of myself and my 8 party colleagues over 42 day detention. You see, I’ve been thinking about these new water bills and the value of those MOD bases in Ulster…

    GB: Shut up prick, it’s like this, if I don’t get your 9 votes then every time sinn fein come crying to my door I’ll give them every thing they want. Abortion, it’s on it’s way. There will never be another DUP member of the House of Lords. Oh and I’m just about to put through an amnesty for all provo activities.

    PR: Yes sir, as I was just about to say, you can rely on the DUP to back the government on this issue.

  • BonarLaw

    Bigger Picture

    Hunter should have got the peerage but I understand that Hain blocked it. Something to do with Hunters’ views of Hains’ activities in yhe 1970s…

    George

    so the good people of NI will have to pay less in water charges as a result of the DUP voting in a manner in which they were always going to vote. Where do you get bozos from?

  • interested

    ‘Intelligence’ Insider
    “I’m surprised no-one has thought about what Gordon Brown threatened the DUP with rather than what he bribed them with.”

    Odd for an ‘intelligent’ person and an ‘insider’ that your views seem to contradict with other actually intelligent people who have all commented.

    It seems to contradict with the views of a huge number of MPs, the Tory Party, Lib Dems, SDLP and others all included. It seems to contradict just about every journalist and broadcaster in the land.

    It also ignores the fact that the DUP (in your theory) could have actually stuck their two fingers up at Brown and wait for his possible downfall.

    It also ignores the fact that old Gordo just wasn’t in the position to be making threats.

    But then hey, you’re “intelligent” and an “insider”. Who are the rest of the human race to disagree???

  • “It’s going to be safer for Labour not to run in this seat, and dismiss it as a cynical Tory stunt (perhaps outlining that party’s own record on anti-terror legislation which is no more shiny than Labour’s)”

    How could Labour use the Tory Party’s record on anti terror legislation, by not voting against it they were party to it.

    Of course this is not the first time a Labour Government has done a deal with Ulster Unionists to maintain itself in power, now is it. Perhaps a swift google might be pertinent before anyone claims no deal was done.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Well “interested”, I’m not saying it happened I just said I was surprised no-one else had considered it. Do you really think the DUP were going to vote any other way?
    AS to sticking two fingers up to Brown, why didn’t they do this with Blair when faced with the renowned “Option 2” of not signing up with power with the provos/sinn fein?
    I don’t think it would have brought down Brown or Labour anyhow, made life more difficult certainly, but not brought them down unfortunately.
    PS – as to your comments regarding monikers perhaps you’d consider changing yours to Tunnel Visioned Idiot?

  • George

    BonarLaw,
    “so the good people of NI will have to pay less in water charges as a result of the DUP voting in a manner in which they were always going to vote. Where do you get bozos from?”

    I get bozos from the fact the the people of NI will have to pay less initially but in the end they will pay.

    I get bozos from the DUP entering the cross hairs to achieve something that they could have got by other means.

    They have been given the profits from land in Northern Ireland which they could have lobbied and got by other means.

    I get bozos from using the money to stave off the inevitable water rates rather than investing it in something substantial.

    I get bozos from not giving a damn about the future relationship with either the Tories or Labour (do you think Brown will appreciate them holding him over a barrel for something they always supported) for the sake of a few bob today.

    This is manna for heaven for all those mandarins in Westminster who want to cut into that 8 billion a year subsidy that so many in Northern Ireland live so comfortably from.

    Tough times lie ahead and the DUP are the chumps at the table with a big pile of 8 billion chips.

    But this is the first time they have ever been at a table so what more could you expect.

  • interested

    II
    “, why didn’t they do this with Blair when faced with the renowned “Option 2” of not signing up with power with the provos/sinn fein?”

    Not only again do you demonstrate an astounding lack of intelligence, but less insider knowledge than my granny.

    Blair had Parliament behind him. He had a good working majority and had the air of a man who could carry through his word. Thing is Gordo hasn’t quite got that air – read the papers, maybe you’ll get the inside track that he’s had a tough week or two!

    “Do you really think the DUP were going to vote any other way?”
    For a vote which was so ‘in the bag’ it seems to have caught the imagination of the entire population of the United Kingdom. They all don’t seem to share your ‘inside’ track.

    Frankly I’m more interested in what the conversation between Robinson & McGuinness will be next time.

    MMCG – If yousuns dont do what usuns want then we’ll go to the Brits so we will and they’ll give usuns what we want.

    PR – Don’t fancy your chances big lad. (chuckle brothers takes on the singular emphasis at this point)

  • interested

    George,
    Your entire theory rests on the hope that that’s all the DUP got…..

    Abortion and other issues of policy seem to have been raised also. That makes an awful lot of issues which they allegedly could have got by ‘other means’.

    Just what means would those have been then??

  • The Raven

    Arcane little factoid here found while looking through another blog. Davis doesn’t resign. He takes up an office of profit known as the Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiltern_Hundreds

    ‘Course, if y’all already know this, then my apologies.

  • interested

    Ohh err,
    Just heard Kelvin McKenzie – he of former Sun fame express absolutel ease with the whole Counter Terrorism Bill.

    Forgive me for suggesting, but McKenzie has well been able to sniff out the mood of the people in the past. I doubt that ability has left him….

    David Davis take note!

  • Dewi

    The Raven – of course we know than stuff – if we didn’t we would not be playing on Slugger!

  • George

    interested,
    they got nothing that mattered to the British government or that will help Northern Ireland going forward.

    The abortion issue is a dead duck. It was never coming Northern Ireland’s way. In fact, didn’t the Lib Dems remove their request regarding NI a while ago?

    As for other means, it’s property in NI, there is always another way as long as you sell it correctly.

    So the DUP achieved the following:

    – the benefits from land in Northern Ireland owned by the British government will now be used to help reduce the British government’s subsidy.

    So what do we have? The DUP all but telling the British government how the first installment will be paid.

    – the continued abortion policy that the British government was never going to change.

    Top achievement.

  • The Raven

    Dewi…yer a feckin’ bluffer! 😉

    And Interested…of COURSE the public want 42 days. I mean, they’re all well-versed in the issue, aren’t they? Aren’t they…?

    I mean, the last time capital punishment was discussed in the HoC, 75% of the public backed it…

    They, of course, know the effect that internment had here. Well versed in it, no doubt.

    But anyway, sure it doesn’t really matter. It’ll only apply to Muslims and a few Paddies. Who, in the British public, really gives a shit about that lot? Extension of mandatory minimums, anyone? Anyone….?

  • Dewi

    The Raven – I know it’s the third time I’ve said it but what on earth are the BNP playing at? – very strange.

  • Bigger Picture
    There is The King Billy pub in David Davis’s constituency but it is named after William IV(Irish actresses anyone?) so it won’t be a rallying point for the DUP.The statue of William of Orange is in nearby Hull.
    Maybe the OMRL party will be on course for their first MP on a platform of building a new bridge over the Humber.

  • The OMRL are fielding the Mad Cow girl.A somewhat Thatcherite loony.Building bridges is the winning strategy for by-elections in the Hull area.

  • Interested and Bigger Picture,

    I am a civil libertarian and a right winger. Why is that so difficult to understand? Actually, until a few years ago I thought that civil liberties were only for soft left wing types. The book that changed me and forced me to think was “The Abolition of Liberty” by Peter Hitchens, which taught me why preservation of civil liberties and social conservatism go together. If you can’t grasp that argument, Bigger Picture, that’s your problem. Maybe Mick will let me write something sometime.