Desperado's Last Stand: David Davis Gives His All for a Noble Cause-And for Himself

By Hamilton-Miller, Tara | New Statesman (1996), June 23, 2008 | Go to article overview

Desperado's Last Stand: David Davis Gives His All for a Noble Cause-And for Himself


Hamilton-Miller, Tara, New Statesman (1996)


Many fondly recall David Davis's website for his Tory leadership campaign of 2001. It featured Davis in a vest, hanging by a rope from a cliff edge. As if that were not enough, underneath was a quotation from Frederick "Freddie" Foresyth comparing Davis with Bruce Willis or somebody like that.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In 2008, Davis is back on form with the triumphantly named David Davis for Freedom, although he invites the reader to "Follow me on Twitter", which doesn't seem very hard after his former McNab-esque approach.

All the attention has no doubt left other Tory MPs fantasising about what their noble cause would be and what they would call the website: "Liam Fox for Leader", "Ed Vaizey for Tiny Little Skirts", "Alan Duncan pour Homme".

A friend of Davis's says: "No one really gets David-the two closest to him are his wife Doreen, and Ramesh." His loyal press aide, Ramesh Chhabra, will remain at Conservative Party headquarters to work for Dominic Grieve.

Chhabra is possibly one of Britain's longest-suffering men, having endured eight years of Davis at his most puffed-up. At present, his selfless contribution to the cause has gone unnoticed, but history will correct this. David Cameron should put Chhabra in the Lords.

Davis subjects staff to his own, unique regime. A Davis ex-employee says: "His office is like a survival-of-the-fittest jungle: the best men are left standing, perhaps damaged and broken, but standing." In real life, people protest and break into buildings about conditions like that. Expect to see a wonky trestle table outside Sainsbury's soon, showing harrowing snaps of Davis staff tormented like laboratory monkeys. …

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