Friday, August 26, 2005

Davis On Clarke Challenge

DD was interviewed on BBC R4 Today this morning. Although a BBC technical gremlin means we can't hear replays, we do know that he called for the suspension of the new licensing Act, the so-called Binge Drinkers' Charter:

"What we need to do is suspend this whole thing, full stop, until we've got the current problem, which already exists... under control."

This amplifies his previous statements, and reflects mounting anxiety nationwide about the operation of this half-baked measure.

He was also asked if he thought Ken Clarke was a serious challenge for the leaderhip, responding: "No, I don't think so. We're in the middle of August. Most parliamentarians, I suspect, are elsewhere, they're not even here and they're the ones, by the looks of it, who are going to have the vote.

"What we're seeing in the course of all this is a lot of newspaper manoeuvring which will have very little effect at all on the end result."

Sounds like DD takes the same view as us: Ken isn't going to win.

But unlike us, he's far too statesmanlike to propose the cuddly one's immediate withdrawal. He's also too polite to give that tobacco dagger another twist, merely noting that the BAT job is neither a "qualification nor a disqualification for anything".

He's similarly even-handed in his comments on David Cameron's bar and nighclub interests: "The only question is does a parliamentarian misuse their position. I'm quite sure David hasn't."

And on that tricky subject, poor DC seems to seems to be getting himself in a right old tangle. One story has him resigning from the Board of bars group Urbium plc, while the next has him denying it.

Update: The BBC gremlin has now been slain- hear the interview here. And listen to how many times Davis laughs. I made it four times in nearly 8 minutes, rather different to the "he's as bad as IDS for nervous giggling" stories put about by some anti-DD bloggers.


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