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Was Davis’s big mistake the deal with Nick Clegg?

July 11th, 2008

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    And why more abysmal election coverage by the BBC?

So David Davis got his expected big victory in the early hours and the BBC showed once again with their minimal coverage of the count and lack of analysis that they have abandoned their case to be funded by a tax enforced by all the apparatus of the criminal law. Covering the electoral process at work should be the first priority for a public service broadcaster and they failed miserably. Sky, by all accounts, was so much better.

The numbers voting for the ex-shadow home secretary in an election that had become a total foregone conclusion were OK for Davis particularly on a turnout that was barely a half of what happened at the general election. None of the other 25 candidates managed to establish themselves as being the main vehicle for anti-Tory votes.

    But wouldn’t Davis’s original action have carried much more weight if he had not done the deal with Nick Clegg before his resignation that the Lib Dems would not contest the election? If they had stayed in it would have been harder for Labour to stand aside and the contest would have been less of a side show.

Given that the Lib Dems were the undoubted challenger in the seat in 2005 it would have been that bit more difficult for Clegg to avoid the contest even though the move was on an issue in which he was in total agreement.

The question now is whether Gordon will get his new law though parliament. Although interest in the 42 days declined towards the end of the campaign a lot of people across the political spectrum and in the security services have spoken up for his stance and this could make it tricky for Gordon to invoke the Parliament act if the upper house, as expected, stands firm against the proposal.

There will be more tight votes in the commons and Brown will once again have to go deal-mongering.

Mike Smithson






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