...a blog by Richard Flowers

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 2749: Halting Price and Howdoo


Well Done to Mr Davis David for winning his seat back with only five-hundred-and-sixty-three votes FEWER than the Liberal Democrats got at the last proper election.

In fact, the total turnout was only about a thousand higher than Mr Davis David's own vote last time. So it's POSSIBLE – in spite of (or because of) the long string of LOONIES and less serious candidates – that Conservatories were the ONLY people out voting.

It is a bit SAD, though, that Mr David's magnificent gesture has become rather muted thanks to the Labour giving him quite another sort of Great British Gesture.

"Vanity" says Mr Tony McNutty, the Labour Minister for Bravely Mouthing Off From the Sidelines rather than Facing the Test of Public Opinion.

The FT claims that Liberal Democrats, by not standing, allowed the Labour to duck out too.

But this is obviously to overlook the fact that there probably wouldn't have BEEN a by-election if we'd said that we would stand.

The Greens, with only just over a TENTH of Mr David's total, did not make much of a fight of it. And anyway they were standing on a platform of "he's not Liberal ENOUGH!"

The announcement of the result has not made much of a SPLASH. Not least because, without the Liberal Democrats standing this is a very safe Conservatory seat. "Mr Davis David elected" therefore isn't even in the "dog bites man" league of newsworthyness. And besides, the Labour have very successfully moved the news agenda on from "42 Days" to a whole NEW raft of policy disasters and backbench rebellions. Er…

So while it is quite TRUE that Mr David has a big new mandate to campaign for civil liberties, will he be in any position to capitalise on it?

Mr Balloon has described Mr David as "a strong figure" (the bas…bad-word) who may "contribute in the future" (to the foundations of a motorway overpass).

So clearly, Mr B has plans for Mr David to be side-lined up for head of one of those "commissions" that go away to think about policy and don't come back are given SERIOUS consideration when they have proposals to ignore consider. This will leave Mr Balloon free to indulge in some BACK-SLIDING on this issue (or more accurately a return to form for the Thatcherite Poster Boy) in line with his new policy of TACKING to the RIGHT.

As Mr Clogg puts it:
"The Conservatories are a long way from being defenders of liberty."

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