Friday, June 13, 2008

David Davis reminds me of Kilroy

Reading the BBC's HaveYourSay I had a sudden sense of déjà vu. The championing of David Davis by HaveYourSay folk is very similar to the support they gave Kilroy when he first appeared on the scene.

HaveYourSay is generally quite strange as message boards go. If that was all you read over the last four years, you would have concluded at various points that Kilroy was about to become Prime Minister, UKIP was about to replace the Conservative Party, and that the BNP were about to be the largest party in local government. The HaveYourSay crowd is so right-wing that even paid-up Conservatives shudder and recoil in fright.

Of course HaveYourSay is in favour of David Davis - he's exactly their type. A lone, mad, maverick with a big ego who comes on like the Messiah and promises to be "pure" and make no compromises. Exactly like Kilroy.

There is an anarchic part of the population that is anti-everything. They hated the Tories when they were in power, Labour is the new enemy now that they are in government. They hate the establishment - so Westminster is vilified, political parties are vilified, political parties making compromises are vilified, the EU is vilified, the USA is vilified, Murdoch is particularly vilified, as is "Bilderberg" whatever that is (the American version of this group hates the "Beltway", Congress and Wall-Street). You name it, if you hold some authority you are vilified.

They make a massive amount of noise but arn't supported by the electorate at large. The Ron Paul phenomenon in the USA was like this. If all you did was surf the net, you would have been convinced he was about to win. By contrast no-one talked about McCain. Certain elements of the Obama phenomenon also had this fervent belief in the Saviour. Obama was lucky that so many contests were held in January and February when hype was at it's zenith. As time wore on he was fading. And if Dem contest rules were like the Republican rules, Hillary would have definitely won.

Kilroy eventually came a cropper at the ballot box (to his enormous surprise) - though like Obama he actually managed to win an election in 2004 when the hype for him was at it's strongest. Ron Paul crashed and burned. Most of the people championed by this vocal anarchic group on the net come to nothing, and this will be David Davis' fate too. The public at large is simply too sensible to believe in knights on white horses or a world without compromise or to invest everything in a single person as opposed to a political party.

If David Davis was really serious about opposing 42 days, he'd have stayed on as Shadow Home Secretary to see the bill opposed in the Lords, and he'd have been the Conservative spokesman at the general election on this issue. The general election will happen shortly after the bill comes on the books after all.

Instead he's gone for this stunt. Perhaps he didn't believe he would be Home Secretary in a Cameron government. Perhaps he thought this was the only way to force Cameron to pledge to repeal 42 days. Perhaps he wanted to embarass Cameron. Perhaps for all the Tory talk about winning the next general election, he didn't think it would actually happen. Or perhaps like Kilroy he thought he was a new type of politician/new Messiah.

Conservatives must be thinking they dodged a bullet by not electing him as leader. At least Cameron looks stable by contrast.


Anonymous said...

most public messages boards, like the letters pages of most local newspapers, tend to pull in the sort of salivating right winger of the Alf Garnett variety.I used to have an AOL account and all their polls and message boards were overwhelmingly conservative, I remember one poll that put Iain Duncan Smith about 40% ahead of Tony Blair as best PM in 2001, despite the country at large thinking IDS was a loser.Even the Guardian comments attract more ranting right wingers than any other sort.It's a mistake to think they represent the country at large, they don't.

Anonymous said...

Talking about IDS,two pollsters interviewed on BBC this morning by Jackie Ashley; said that Brown had now dropped below Major and now had the same ratings as IDS.

According to the pollsters the Labour brand is now completely broken with no way back.