Cartoon entitled 'Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you?' and featuring David Davis


In 2008 David Davis, the Conservative Shadow Home Secretary, resigned from the House of Commons in protest at the passing of the Counter-Terrorism Bill. The bill contained a controversial provision allowing terror suspects to be detained for up to 42 days without charge, and for Davis this was an unacceptable infringement of civil liberties. By resigning he hoped to force a by-election on the issue, but no established party stood against him and public opinion was split on the appropriateness of his actions. In his resignation speech, Davis invoked Magna Carta as a document that guaranteed fundamental freedoms. This cartoon by Dave Brown repeated the famous question, ‘Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you?’, from the 1950s British television comedy series, Hancock’s Half Hour, and portrayed Davis as a tub-thumping ‘Monster Raving Tory’, who hoped to enhance his standing by making populist appeals to Magna Carta.

Full title:
'Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you?'
10 July 2008, London
Illustration / Image / Newspaper
Dave Brown, The Independent
© Dave Brown
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© Dave Brown

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British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent
Dave Brown (British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent 77707)

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