Anthony Barnett (London, OK):
I have just watched the declaration of what is a remarkable achievement by David Davis, a 34 per cent turnout with over 17,000 of the approximately 22,000 votes cast. I'm glad to have done my bit canvassing a few of the voters there. He has achieved a lot more than the pundits including the BBC expected when he denounced the House of Commons for being bent and suborned and took the issue of liberty - that MPs had so signally failed to defend - to his electors.
I have blogged about the sneering, rictus-smiled coverage of Davis by the BBC. There will be more analysis of this to come, calm, and surgical. But its coverage of the count was an utter disgrace and will for the moment serve this angry viewer as a symbol of its appalling conceit and incompetance. It lost the sound when the Sherrif read out the results. Anyone could have run forward with a microphone to make sure they could broadcast Davis's acceptance speech. They didn't. Nor was their hapless reporter ordered forward with his own mike.
Listen to Davis at his moment of triumph? Hear what he had to say about the issue? No need for THAT. The BBC knows all, and it knows that we do not need to worry about liberty while it can call in its license fee. Not only did we have the reporter then talking over Davis - he did not even have the curtesy to report to us what he was saying even though he could hear him.
This farrago was followed by one of the most prejudiced leading question I can recall. Without any serious opposition, and indeed with voters pissed off by the sheer amount of idiot candidates, Davis got a fantastically high turnout in the circumstances. In 2005 the current Labour government only got 22 per cent of the total electorate. By my calculation Davis has got 27 per cent tonight. In other words he represents a significantly higher proportion of his electorate than Gordon Brown does of Britain's. So what does the BBC do? From the studio in London it asks, "Were all of his voters really voting in support of civil liberties?" Oh no, says their local lackey, in a clearly primed exchange. "I spoke to Conservative voters who said they did not agree with Davis but because they respected him and the way he was making a stand they were voting for him". The quotes are not exact, they accurately convey the exchange.
It was clear, even though the turnout was deemed "respectable" (BBC for a triumph the Corporation disapproves of) we are not allowed to interpret it as people agreeing with Davis! You see, his success does not mean anything at all. If they had not voted for him it would have shown that the BBC was right and people did not care about civil liberties. If they do vote for him it shows that they don't care either - they just support his maverick integrity. Either way, no effort whatever is to be made to let listeners hear what the newly re-elected MP for Haltemprice and Howden has to say.
PS: The web arm of Britain's corporatethought managed to pull off the patronising view of Davis to perfection, headling the outcome as "Davis cruises to b-election win". It could almost have been "glides". No resistance, no effort, no story.
PSS: Sunny has posted all the results of clowns as well as candidates over on Liberal Conspiracy