Bring it on Sunshine!

Guy Aitchison
13 June 2008

Guy Aitchison (London, OK): So, former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie has told the BBC he will "90% stand" if Labour don't put up a candidate to fight Davis in the Haltemprice and Hamden by-election. If he does, he will be campaigning in favour of 42 days detention, ID cards and CCTV and against the view that "we are living in a controlled state."

Bring it on, I say. But why are you only 90% sure, Mackenzie? What are you afraid of? You'll get all the money and support you need from Murdoch. After all it was the Prince of Darkness himself who told you to stand last night at current Sun editor Rebekka Wade's Birthday party. Also at the party were Blair and Brown. Your candidacy would be most fitting: a Murdoch candidate dispatched to defend a Murdoch law.

This is a debate that needs to be had and judging by Mackenzie's performance on the BBC it is one that the Davis camp cannot but win. He trotted out the same tired, knee-jerk arguments in a sneering bullying tone. "If you're an honest person who haven't got bad thoughts in your heart," he said, "then there is nothing to fear." Um, Mackenzie, we're talking about banging people up for 42 days without evidence. Anthony has already pointed out how many innocent people have suffered under the 28 days. Mackenzie and the Sun would be happy with "420 days" according to Mackenzie. He waved his driver's licence round in front of the camera. "ID cards are the same," he said. They're "not a threat." Wrong again! The point is that ID cards will NOT be the same as other forms of ID. Davis showed he understood this when he referred to the "database state" in his speech yesterday.

I could go on of course but the arguments are already familiar to anyone who hasn't been following them through the distorting prism of the Sun newspaper. A showdown against the Murdoch Empire in Haltemprice and Hamden should be welcomed by democrats. It would not only be a chance to debate the continued "strangulation" of British freedoms, as Davis has said, but a chance to expose the pernicious and corrosive effect of the Murdoch press…Unless of course they're scared?

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