"We increasingly need a written constitution guaranteeing our right to freedom of speech"
It's stopped helping as much as you'd think (see: Guantanamo Bay, "extraordinary rendition," warrantless wiretapping, "free speech zones," etc). Seems the US and the UK both are in a race to see which can become the fascist police state first.
The 10p tax furore wasn’t about people paying a new starting rate for income tax; the 42-day pre-charge detention is not about the extension of government powers to hold terrorist suspects without charge. These are synthetic controveries spun from virtual issues. They represent the shadow cast by power in an age of consensus politics. An adversarial political system must have conflict; the heat generated by partisan political conflict has to find a site for its release. And so, like the United States and the Soviet Union in 1970’s and 1980’s, we get proxy wars – conflicts purporting to be about one thing (social justice; the liberty of the individual) which ultimately are about something else altogether.
Read my blog, just who the hell are we?, at:
So, Davis has resigned. He’s called a hissy-fit by-election – the first in history apparently. Yes – this is an unprecedentedly vain and hollow piece of political bravado. It is historic. No one wants to fight him (who can blame them? he’s former SAS), no one understands why he has to fight a by-election to demonstrate his fondness for civil liberties; but he’s going to damn well do it anyway. No one – not Gordon Brown, not the Murdoch press, not hundreds of years of accepted Parliamentary practice, not common sense, not even David Cameron – is going to stop him.
Just think, though: what if they all start doing it? What if he’s just the first Tory MP to have this particular eureka moment? We’re all vulnerable to crazes, fads and bubbles. Imagine a Parliament in which the Conservative Party has done the decent thing and resolved to act as the kamikaze party… The remaining Parliamentarians appreciate the increased elbow space at the bars; there is a fire sale of Tory offices; Labour MPs stretch out in the Chamber, taking to sitting on both sides of the Speaker’s Chair; a wonderful spirit of bonhomie and harmony descends on the House of Commons. Without the Conservatives, MPs finally get round to doing all of the things that they had always been meaning to do, but had never been able to find the time for. A fair tax system is introduced. Child poverty is abolished. Comprehensive environmental legislation is passed. Nuclear disarmament begins. All of a sudden no one can remember why they used to think governing Britain was such a tricky business…
It could happen. If we want it bad enough it just might happen.
Read about Davis at greater length in my blog, just who the hell are we?, at: