Anorak News | Burnham Breeches: Chakrabarti And David Davis’s Noble Stance

Burnham Breeches: Chakrabarti And David Davis’s Noble Stance

by | 20th, June 2008

chakrabarti-davis.bmpANDY Burnham, the Culture Secretary considers things David Davis and tells left wing Progress magazine:

To people who get seduced by Tory talk of how liberal they are, I find something very curious in the man who was, and still is I believe, an exponent of capital punishment, having late-night, hand-wringing, heart-melting phone calls with Shami Chakrabarti

Chakrabarti is the director of Liberty, the civil liberties group. The Times’ Ann Treneman writes that “there is a rumour that David Davis resigned after being bewitched by Shami. She denied this, but then she would.”

David Davis responds: “Labour has now resorted to personal smears and lies rather than make its case for 42 days detention without charge and for the other illiberal measures it has taken.”

That sounds like an over-reaction to an over-reaction to a crass comment, but then there is by-election to be fought and Burnham’s office calls it “by-election political knockabout and nothing else”.

Burnham’s office goes on to say:

Nothing more should be read into it and no personal offence was intended to Shami Chakrabarti.

End of. David Davis is not shagging Mrs Chakrabarti, nor is he engaging in phone sex with her, nor is he reading passages aloud from Mill & Boon’s Noble Stance series. Move on. Or not.

A letter is, apparently, sent to Andy Burnham, the Attorney General, and Gordon Brown, by one Shami Chakrabarti:

I am writing in relation to your recent article in the ironically titled “Progress” magazine. In that article you set out to smear my dealings with the former Shadow Home Secretary. I must say that I find this behaviour curious, coming as it does from a Cabinet Minister; let alone someone with a partner and family of his own.

By your comments you debase not only a great office of State but the vital debate about fundamental rights and freedoms in this country. Indeed you seem reluctant to engage in that debate except in this tawdry fashion.

I look forward to your written apology as I’m sure does Mrs Davis. If on the other hand you choose to continue down the path of innuendo and attempted character assassination, you will find that the privileged legal protection of the parliament chamber does not extend to slurs made in the wider public domain. The fruits of any legal action will of course go to Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties).

We’re all for liberty and freedom of expression and thought but there comes a point when, well… Tsk!

“What a liberty!” screams the Independent’s front page. “Chakrabarti in threat to sue over Tory ‘smear’ – Furious civil rights activist threatens to sue cabinet minister over smears linking her to top Tory.”

A spokesperson for Burnham corrects the matter: “An interpretation has been placed on Andy’s remarks that he did not intend. His comments related to politics and nothing else.”

Do we believe him? Given the knockabout humour displayed at the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, Mr Burnham’s comedy seems far too subtle for the Labour working men’s clubs and coffee shops.

Says Liberty’s legal director, James Welch: “We are very disappointed in this cabinet minister, who would not have said this if our director were a man.”

Oh, come on. This is a by-election. Who’s to say Labour wouldn’t have tried that? If you want to make stupid remarks about man on man action then you can, at your liberty…

Posted: 20th, June 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink