01 February, 2006

One upmanship

The team at Revolts make the pertinent point that last night's twin Government defeats in the House of Commons weren't the second and third under Blair's Prime Ministership, as most of the papers proclaimed this morning, but actually the third and fourth.

It seems it wasn't just one vote that was lost during the terrorism debate last autumn - it was two. And adding these all together, you end up with a tally that brings Blair equal to that notched up by none other than John Major, who in the space of five years (not eight and a half), and with a majority which declined from 21 to zero (rather than 66), also suffered four defeats on whipped votes as a result of dissent. This really is the twilight time of the Blair era - especially when the man himself can't even be bothered to turn up and vote for his own Bill.

Philip Cowley, Mark Stuart and their colleagues are doing us all a favour by dissecting the present combustible state of Parliament in cool, clear and enjoyable prose. Unlike the debate their findings sparked off online at The Guardian, which at the time of writing remains - remarkably - completely unmoderated, disturbingly offensive and profoundly pointless. Rather like last night's Bill, in fact.


Post a Comment

<< Home