Thursday, June 12, 2008

Did Davis Jump Or Was He Pushed?

David Davis' decision to quit as a Conservative MP and force a by-election in his Haltemprice and Howden constituency should come as no surprise. Davis may have been a senior member of the shadow cabinet, but he was never part of the Conservative political elite. He was just too working class to be part of Cameron's Political Class.

Did he jump or was he pushed? Is he just fighting for his principles or was it time for a change at the top?

The Conservative leadership campaign between Cameron and Davis focused on what kind of person should lead the Conservative Party. Cameron won hands down. Davis even asked at the time whether the Party wanted him or an 'heir to Blair'. Cameron's presentation skills won the day.

In the early days, he was used as the Cameron attack-dog. Just like Prescott was used by New Labour, Davis is working class and the perfect balance for Cameron's New Conservatives. 

He was used to help Cameron become 'electable' - part of the 'all things to all people' strategy. Davis was tough on crime - but Cameron showed the caring side. The device was used so effectively by Blair, all by himself.

Cameron's Conservatives are now clearly 'electable'. Now though it's time for Cameron to get 'elected' and he wants to move on. Different times require different people. 

Davis had been quiet recently. At one time he was popping up all over the place with a 'hard-line' approach. Recently he's been reduced to end quotes in newspapers. 

You could feel during PMQ's on Wednesday that Cameron's heart wasn't really in the 42 day detention debate and there's a sense that Cameron might be wavering on this issue. Conservatives 'soft on terror' is hardly a vote winner. Davis on the other hand was firmly against the bill and its attack on civil liberties. 

Davis says he will fight the by-election on the 42 day detention issue of civil liberties and that is a noble cause. But what happens if no-one stands against him? All a bit pointless really.

The timing of this announcement should have been a gift for the canny Brown and his New Labour strategists.  But no-one is listening to them and nobody cares. 

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