There were two broad and immediate responses to the Davis resignation.
The first, and most common amongst politicians and the mainstream media, was to sneer and deride. It was "mad", "career-limiting", and "counter-productive". Moreover, it was for Parliament to decide the issue and, if a vote was lost, then so be it. The action of Davis was outside the comprehension of these people. Their "vision" is one of careerism and factions, even if their language invokes principle. For someone to step outside this world-view requires insult and discredit. It does not compute.
The other response was to just "get it". Yes, Davis has probably ruined his front-bench career. Yes, it may mean that the government can now force through a Commons reversal of any Lords amendments. But - and here here is a significant but - there is a real need to buck a trend in public policy which would be otherwise immune to parliamentary elections and legislative scrutiny.
Since the mid to late 1990s there has been a shift to a State seeking evermore stronger powers of arrest, detention, and surveillance, and to a State also wanting evermore personal data.
(By the way, the so-called Human Rights Act has super-charged this trend, as almost all of the rights are "qualified" and so can be circumvented by appropriately worded legislation and executive action. The RIP Act, for example, is specifically drafted as a statutory scheme to rely on the exceptions to Article 8 (which purportedly protects privacy). If anything, the HRA makes it easier for the executive to systematically undermine rights.)
There is nothing to check this trend. It matters not who is the Home Secretary. There will always be the push for ID cards by the Home Office. The "War on Terror" has done more to permanently limit freedoms than any terrorist act. In general terms, there has been the "creep" of the State into a New Police State which repeats the post-war "creep" of the State into a Welfare State with an unaffordable system of provision and all-powerful public sector unions.
Each step into this New Police State will be incremental. There will never be a general election which will focus on this. The economy, stupid, will dominate party campaigning. So how can this trend be checked? I think Davis - who is not an extreme liberal by any definition - realised that the time had come to make a stand. He may succeed or he may fail . Those wallies sniggering at him in the Westminster Village may well lose the foolish looks on their faces; or sadly they may not. Davis, however, has realised that something had to be done. He is right.
I was thrilled when Davis made his announcement. So were others. Others were aghast or amused, filling out like the onlookers in a Bateman cartoon. But your reaction to the announcement will tell us little about Davis. It tells us more about you, and about what is right and wrong about contemporary British politics.