'This cannot go on': David Davis's statement in full
Thursday 12 June 2008
"The name of my constituency is Haltemprice and Howden - Haltemprice is derived from a medieval proverb meaning noble endeavour.
"Up until yesterday I took a view that what we did in the House of Commons representing our constituents was a noble endeavour because for centuries of forebears we defended the freedom of people. Well, we did, up until yesterday.
"This Sunday is the anniversary of Magna Carta, a document that guarantees the fundamental element of British freedom, habeas corpus. The right not to be imprisoned by the state without charge or reason.
"But yesterday this house allowed the state to lock up potentially innocent citizens for up to six weeks without charge.
"The Counter-terrorism Bill will, in all probability, be rejected by the House of Lords very firmly. After all, what should they be there for, if not to protect Magna Carta?
"But because this is defined as political, not security, the Government will be tempted to use the Parliament Act to overrule the Lords.
"It has no democratic mandate to do this since 42 days was not in its manifesto. Its legal basis is uncertain to say the least but, purely for political reasons, this Government is going to do that.
"Because the generic security argument relied on will never go away - technology, development complexity, and so on - we'll next see 56 days, 70 days, then 90 days.
"But in truth perhaps 42 days is the one most salient example of the insidious, surreptitious and relentless erosion of fundamental British freedom.
"And we will have shortly the most intrusive identity card system in the world. A CCTV camera for every 14 citizens, a DNA database bigger than any dictatorship has, with thousands of innocent children and millions of innocent citizens on it.
"We have witnessed an assault on jury trials, a bolt against bad law and its arbitrary use by the state.
"And shortcuts with our justice system, which will make our system neither firm nor fair and a creation of a database state opening up our private lives to the prying eyes of official snoopers and exposing our personal data to careless civil servants and criminal hackers.
"The state has security powers to clamp down on peaceful protest and so-called hate laws to stifle legitimate debate, whilst those who incite violence get off scot-free.
"This cannot go on, it must be stopped, and for that reason today I feel it is incumbent on me to take a stand.
"I will be resigning my membership of this House and I intend to force a by-election in Haltemprice and Howden.
"Now I will not fight it on the Government's general record. There's no point repeating Crewe and Nantwich.
"I won't fight it on my personal record - I am just a piece in this great chess game.
"I will fight it, I will argue this by-election against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this Government.
"Now, that may mean I have made my last speech to the House. It's possible. And of course that would be a cause of deep regret to me. But at least my electorate and the nation, as a whole, would have had the opportunity to debate and consider one of the most fundamental issues of our day.
"The ever-intrusive power of the state on our lives, the loss of privacy, the loss of freedom and a steady attrition undermining the rule of law. And if they do send me back here, it will be with a single, simple message - that the monstrosity of a law that we passed yesterday will not stand."
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...