David Davis - I feel confused but relieved by his stand.
David Davis resigned from the Conservatives because the Left are taking away our civil liberties. Kelvin Mackenzie, ex-editor of the Sun wants to stand against him in the by-election because Murdoch and his giant organ are all for 42 day detention without charge, supporting the Left. The Observer newspaper is supporting the Conservatives and I don't know whether I'm coming or going. What I do know is that Davis' move looks to me like one of the most principled actions by any politician in a very long time, Left or Right.
I never thought I'd find my sympathies falling to the right, to the party who treated gay men with dangerous disdain in the 80s. Maybe these distinctions don't mean anything any more? Maybe I should drop my traditional hostility and recognise that though we were sinned against, it wasn't actually this lot.
Like many gay men, I've been left leaning all my life, but my heart pounds with fear when I think about the behaviour of this Labour government: growth of CCTV, impending ID cards, crazy and intrusive databases and phone/email monitoring in the name of countering terrorism. When the British public one by one lay down their rights for their safety, they find that all they've done is give power to councils to chip their bins and fine them for poor recycling habits. Would 42 days be any different? Can this government be trusted? I don't think I even need to explore that question.
Perhaps the only thing to do is pay attention to what Benjamin Franklin was widely misquoted as writing. I don't care who said it, and I don't care whether someone is Conservative or Labour anymore - it's a brilliant yardstick to measure our current actions against.:
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."