Remember Monty Python's right-wing prisoner who was jealous of Brian for being spat in the eye by the gaoler? 'Gaoler's little blue-eyed boy...' He'd probably have voted against 42 days detention without trial: '42 days? Oh, what I'd give to be detained without charge for 42 days. But it's too good for them. String 'em up, string 'em up long before then.'
Somehow that thought came to mind following the news of Mr Davis' latest bid for attention, which John Humphries seems to want to depict as his Hampstead Heath experience -- the 'moment of madness' of Davis without an 'e'.
Mr Davis didn't make a bad fist of the interview. But the headlines aren't good for him. Then again, the news is not much better for the LibDem principled stand of not opposing him because we support him on 42 days.
Support him? Come off it. This is a man who declares he's going to make the taxpayer foot the bill of an ego-trip of a pointless by-election and does so, he says, in the name of civil liberties, when his own personal dream is to bring back hanging. If, during the dark night of the soul (yes, let's assume he has an inner being) following his defeat by the Witney Wonder, a flame was kindled in his breast which was marked 'civil liberty', well, he can start by repenting of his previous errors and apologise for his party's abysmal record. We don't support him or the Tories' attempt to paint themselves as liberal: it's about as convincing as the green face-paint they've taken to wearing.
He'd serve the country much better, if he resigned and stood aside for a candidate from a party which takes all civil liberties seriously, instead of treating them like the sweetie counter in Woolworth's where you can pick 'n' mix. But, instead, we have a prospect of Davis v McKenzie -- of right and righter. What a tedious by-election that would be. Pity the poor people of Haltemprice and Howden: if it's an elongated campaign, they could be suffering their own 42 days of hell.