Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Civilised Demise.....

When the Howard League asked if I was interested in taking part in a debate organised by the HL student group at Nottingham University, I girded my loins for a long trek. When they told me the opposition was to be Philip Davies MP, and the topic was "life should mean life", then I instantly offered to start walking....

A quick search of the blog reminded me that I have said some pretty harsh things about Davies. And they were justified. People really shouldn't blather on about prisons unless they have some vague idea what the hell they are talking about - an idea anathema to some MP's, who will bleat in public about damn near anything just to hear their own voice.

The views of Philip Davies are, so I'm told, a reflection of those held by his constituents. Ah, democracy in action. Except that I expect political representatives to inform, educate and occasionally lead their constituents rather than allow them to fester in a cesspit of ignorance and bile. But perhaps I ask too much from our political class.

I will be extremely pleased to patiently disassemble the chant that "life should mean life", as I have done so on the blog several times. And as I am representing the Howard League, I will do so with the utmost civility.

But this will still be a massacre. For people who hold extreme views tend to paint themselves into a conceptual dead-end, and spend their time either defending the indefensible or retreating inch by inch from their absolutist position. And it is only then that the real debate can begin.

Me. Philip Davies MP. Nottingham University. Tuesday eve. Bring it on.....

9 comments:

  1. Is there any chance of getting video of these types of things? I understand if it's not feasible, but since a lot of people are not able to attend something like this in person, it would be awesome if there were a way to watch it online.

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    1. Maybe someone could go there, film it and put it on youtube, with informing us here about the link? I'd really really love to go but . . .so, yes, PLEASE!

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    2. You can watch it live: www.nutsonline.org

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  2. It seems fair to say that Mr Davies is a thoroughly conservative conservative; he's a member of the 1922 committee, a founder of the better off out lobbying group (EU membership) , his stances on gay marriage, minimum wage, disabled workers and Muslims all paint a fairly colourful picture of someone who stands slightly to the right of dear old Maggie Thatcher.
    It's astonishing that the good people of Shipley re-elected him in 2010 with a majority that had increased from just over 400 to almost 10000, but sadly they did, and that is indeed democracy in action.
    However, it's unfair of you to suggest that all of his constituents fester in a cesspit of ignorance and bile, especially when you consider that the turnout for the election that returned him as an MP had a turnout of about 60%, and its naive of you to suggest that maybe a part of his remit should be to inform, educate and occasionally lead these constituents ( aka plebs in some circles)...

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  3. I disagree here Ben. It isn't a politicians place to educate their constituents; we have any number of agencies responsible for that and, frankly, the idea that we should be led by people with as narrow a view as this gentlemen is deeply worrying. I think Mr Davies is conflating his own views with those of the people he represents and as another comment states this is unfair on the people of Shipley. Were he my MP I'd spend a little part of each day sending him a letter explaining that his views do not represent me and if he publicly claimed otherwise I'd sue :-)

    I do wish I lived a lot closer to Nottingham...........

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  4. There are some people in this country where life must mean life. It is you not me trying to defend the indefensible. Evil should be met with the harshest response. Some people have no place in society.

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    1. What exactly is it that I am trying to defend? And who are these "some people"?

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  5. Having scanned the NUTS Facebook page it's pretty clear that whoever was moderating the page deleted all posts that were against Bens side of the argument...
    Not really a slaughter Ben if you've enlisted the soap dodging dreamy idealist militant left student brigade to censor any dissent .... Ho hum, déjà-vu !!!!!

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    1. We won the vote at the start, and enlarged that margin at the end.

      I don't enlist anyone to do anything. If people outside of my knowledge and control censor debate then I have no responsibility for it. Feel free not to throw casual slurs around in future.

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